Two Nine Stone Openings - Opening 1

British Go Journal No. 1. Summer 1967. Page 5a.

The first of these openings is from a book by a professional and it starts with a statement of general principles which any player would do well to remember.

  1. Make full use of your own influence.
  2. Plan your play to avoid clumsy redundant formations.
  3. Separate enemy stones whenever possible.
  4. Play lightly in areas where the enemy is strong. If you cannot make a safe group in such areas, run out quickly.
  5. When a few stones are so threatened that rescue attempts would build up your opponent's strength out of all proportion to the value of the threatened stones, sacrifice them promptly for advantage elsewhere.

The game-file in SGF format.

Figure 1 (1-16)

  • White 8: This is a typical white play in a large handicap game, and attempts to intimidate Black into believing that his stone is being surrounded and needs to make eyes on the side.
  • Black 9: It is important to separate the white stones. Black runs out with his attacked triangle stone by counter-attacking the weaker white flank.
  • White 10: The usual white response, preserving white 2.
  • White 14: Threatening a further intrusion into the upper side, and defending himself.
Figure 2 (17-40)

  • Black 17: A good move, again attacking white and keeping him on the defensive.
  • Black 19: Following the proverb "Answer a checking stone by hitting it on the head".
  • Black 21: Note that Black must play here before protecting at 23. If he plays 23 now, White answers at A.
  • White 24: Indirectly protecting the cutting point at A and securing room for eyes.
  • Black 29: After this shutting-in move, white is forced to make eyes on the side.
  • Black 35: Black could have tried to kill the white group with B, but then white could take counter measures with C, D, E (see Dia 1) and the situation becomes rather complicated, just what White wants!
    Diagram 1

  • White 40: White is now secure with 4 points of territory in his group, and black can turn his attention to the upper side and secure the corner. This forces white to run into the centre with his weak stones and build up the black territory while getting little himself.
Figure 3 (41-51)

  • Black 51: Should white now play 52' at F, black would reply with 53' at G probably followed by white 54' at H. Black can undertake such harassing action because his own stones are safe. In this particular situation, White's stones may live but black is bound to secure large territories as a result of these manoeuvers.

[Start] Opening 2 is on page 5b.

This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 1
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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