Two Nine Stone Openings - Opening 2

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

Opening 1 is on page 5a.

The game-file in SGF format.

Figure 1 (1-29)

  • Black 9: Instead of playing 9, Black could play 9' at A, white 10' at B, black 11' at 9 (see handicap joseki article) because of triangle.
  • Black 11' could have been played at 13.
  • White 14: If 14' was played instead at 15, Black's best reply would be C.
  • White 16: White would not play 16 by choice, but is forced to lest black play here and cut off white completely.
  • Black 17: This play safeguards the corner, and is better than a continuation at D for then Dia 1 causes complications which Black, of course, doesn't want.
    Diagram 1

  • White 20 threatens, with the support of 12, to invade at E and destroy potential black territory.
  • Black 21: A good play. It promises future attacks on white 20.
  • White 26: Since Black already has a stone at 21, White doesn't play 27. Black would then answer with F, and although 22 and 24 would live, 20 would stand alone and hard pressed. For this reason white first secures the corner with 26, thus abandoning 22 and 24 for the present, hoping for an opportunity to save them later.
  • Black 29: Black would like to play at 20 (see handicap joseki article), but as this is already occupied the best move is 29. G is used normally, but as square is there 29 is better as it captures both stones.
Figure 2 (30-63)

46 ko at 36.
  • Black 31: A typical attack by white, reducing the black potential, answered in one of the best ways, separating the two white stones.
  • Black 33: A very good play in the circuumstances. White threatened to play G and then to connect to 32 or triangle. After 33 the white stones have lost all chances of survival.
  • Black 35: A play strongly attacking the white stone, possibly better at 43 which is simpler, for then white H, black 42, securing the corner and attacking the white stones strongly.
  • Black 39: The normal play. Otherwise white will be able to connect through the black position.
  • Black 41: The beginner, usually afraid to start a ko fight, would probably have played J instead. This would have been a poor play, as white would reply at 42 and even though the black group lives, it is worth very little, see Dia 2. It is then best for Black to play 41 and engage in the ko fight. Should he lose the ko, he is bound to gain an advantage elsewhere.
    Diagram 2

  • White 44: Black must answer this, or else white (playing G) would save his stones near there, and threaten black on the right side.
  • Black 47' could also have threatened at 58 or 49, but 47 is a safer play, since it not only secures his own stones but also cuts apart white's.
  • White 48 takes because black has many more ko threats.
  • Black 49 continues the attack started with 47. He has lost the ko, but was able to make the important plays 47, 49 and generally made out well.
  • White 50: If white had connected at 51 instead, black's reply at K would have cut white off completely.
  • Black 51: This play doesn't seem necessary at this time. However, since black has no weak position to defend, the play is a good one as it prevents possible future developments of an unpleasant nature.
  • White 52: White wants to see how Black will react before deciding on his future plans.
  • Black 53: This is the correct answer. Black can play this because he has square already.
  • White 54: In this way White still brings use from the sacrificed stone 52.
  • White 58: There was the constant threat that black might occupy 58, then white L, black M and white would have been very hard pressed here.
  • Black 59: A good play as white is forced to answer, to make sure that black cannot play 61' at 60 and seriously endanger the life of the white group.
  • Black 61: There was the threat that white might play N, black P, white Q reducing the large black potential.
  • White 62: Reducing the black potential slightly and stabilising this group.
  • Black 63: Completely securing the territory in the centre.

After this white has almost no chance of winning, for though he may be able to reduce the north west corner somewhat the two circle stones are very weak.


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

Last updated Thu May 04 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.