British Go Journal No. 55.  March 1982. Page 22.
This piece of enlightenment crept up on me a couple of years ago, when my 3 Dan diploma was still wet behind the ears. I’d been told by a strong player that my game was good locally, but that I lacked overall vision. Trying to figure out what I was missing, I came up with a slogan about balance. We all know that we are supposed to maintain balance between the third and fourth lines during the opening (even if some prefer to balance between the fifth and tenth!) My newly discovered Go proverb was "balance between corner and side is as important as balance between high and low". A bit verbose, but I am sure the Chinese could boil it down to four characters.
My illustration of this is a handicap game, since the point is even more crucial there. The two stone game opening in Dia 1 was played in a recent match - my opponent was 1 kyu. Dia 2 shows how I might have played before my revelation. Dia 3 shows how the game could have developed along very orthodox lines, and was the sort of thing I had in mind when I played 6, the critical move. I give some detailed comments below, but the point should be clear. In Dia 2 White controls two corners, but only got to the sides with 14; an invasion of the top right seems both necessary and unappetising. In Dia 3 White controls one corner but two sides, as does Black, so that if White manages to gain in the fighting in the top left he is in with a good chance. It would be too much to say that White has pulled back some of the handicap in Dia. 3, but in practice this style of rapid development on the side offers more hope than slower profit-taking in the corners. The game is better for White than Dia 2.
Diagram 1 |
White’s upper formation eventually turned into a large central territory which won him the game.
Diagram 2 |
Diagram 3 |