How To Play Along The Sides - Part 5

British Go Journal No. 11. March 1970. Page 8.

Kaku Takagawa, 9p

Continued from part 4, BGJ 10 page 11.

X. The Second Line is the Route to Defeat

Having discussed in previous chapters the ideas about pressing on the third line and some play on the fourth and fifth lines, I would now like to explain why the second line is called the route to defeat, and why it is important not to play on this line except as an auxiliary to play on the third and fourth lines.

Diagram 73

Diagram 74 (BGJ had Dia other way up.)

Diagram 75

Let us start with the example of Dia 73. Black plays 1 on the handicap point to disconnect whites two stones. What should white do? If he continues as in Dia 74, determined to maintain connection between his groups, black will play 3 and 5, permitting white to connect his groups. However, in the conclusion of Dia 75, white is completely connected along the upper side, but blacks outer strength is quite overwhelming in comparison with whites small territory.

Diagram 76 (BGJ had Dia other way up.)

Diagram 77

If, on the other hand, Black persists in separating the white groups, then after Dia 76, Black 1 in Dia 77 is necessary, and then white invades the corner. In such positions black should take the more profitable and simpler line of permitting white to connect along the second line.

Diagram 78

Diagram 79

Dias 78 and 79 show a familiar joseki position. The course that the joseki will follow depends on whether the ladder of Dia 80 is in whites favour or not. If it is favourable, white can follow that diagram, otherwise he must play as in Dia 79.

Diagram 80

Diagram 81

Should White play Dia 80 when the ladder is unfavourable, he will be forced to crawl along the second line to save himself, as shown in Dia 81.

It should always be borne in mind in the opening stage that a large number of plays on the second line will mean a disadvantage to the side making those plays.

XI. The Open Skirt

Diagram 82

In Dia 82, we see a position arising from a joseki in the upper right. The formation of black stones around white appears to be a skirt, except that a stone is missing at the point A. This position is known as an open skirt.

In this position, white can extend out from the corner by playing at the point below A, but black does not worry about this at the beginning of the game, since it is merely a second line expansion. At the proper point he would press down on any such expansion, but the possibility of the expansion will make a difference to the value of other moves.

If Black succeeds in playing at B and the point two spaces below B, then the area enclosed on the upper side is almost blacks. On the other hand, even if he plays at C and the point two spaces to the left of C, he cannot consider the right side his territory before he plays at A. This White will not permit without adequate compensation. Therefore the primary area for expansion in this joseki is an the upper side and the right side is secondary to it, and white should prevent black expanding along the upper side if it is his move, which one would expect it to be after this joseki.

Diagram 83

Diagram 84

[ BGJ had Dia 84 the other way up. ]

In Dia 83, Black places his stone low on the right side, attempting to use his influence downwards. After white 2 and black 3 are exchanged, it seems that Black has expended a great deal of effort in his attempt to make territory, but has even then not been completely successful because of the possibility of White a. This is obviously bad for Black. How then should he have played?

In Dia 84, we see a high Black placement 1. This is the correct way to handle the situation, making light of the territory which cannot be secured by one move.

Diagram 85

In Dia 85, what should Black do, in view of the open skirt at the lower right? The first thing is that Black should not play below 1. A principle to apply to this sort of invasion is that it should be stopped from the wider side. The right side is wider* but, in combination with the two centre stones, you will find that the upper side is larger.
* [ BGJ had larger. ]

Diagram 86

Dia 86 shows the sequel. In this formation the two centre black stones would be ideally placed another line to the left. On the right side Black cannot hope to secure much territory.

Diagram 87

A strong variation for Black on his fourth move is shown in Dia 87. Black compels Whites moves 5 to 11, and then places 12. The result is that the right side has been neutralised by White due to the open skirt at both ends, but Black has developed a strong area of influence which will have a great effect on the subsequent course of the game.

This series of articles is now concluded.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 11
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

Last updated Thu Jan 03 2013. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.