Baduk TV English: Becoming 5 Kyu: Lesson 11

Becoming 5 Kyu is a Baduk TV series that aims to teach the fundamental knowledge required to reach 5 kyu. The presenter is Shim Wooseop 7 dan. This is lesson 11.

In Korea, 5 kyu can actually be quite strong, so even dan level players will find some useful knowledge here.

Lesson 11

Video: Becoming 5 Kyu: Lesson 11

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Transcript of the video

Translated by Eugene Lee 5d for

Edited by David Ormerod 5d

Hello everyone, welcome to 'Becoming 5 Kyu'. I'm Shim Wooseop 7d.

Many Go players in Korea enjoy drinking.

They say they drink to blow off steam after losing a game.

But I think that's just an excuse. They actually just want to spend more time with their Go friends.

And they keep talking about Go, even while they're drinking.

Lots of useful information about Go is discussed and learned on such occasions.

I miss those days with my Go friends and hope that you'll become one of my Go friends too.

Ok, I'm going to start today's lecture.

Let's replay the opening we've been learning about.

You'll be able to use many of the invading moves we've learned about in games.

As I said earlier, It's easy to forget knowledge that you seldom use.

And if that happens, we don't make progress.

So you try to use this pattern in your own games.

If your opponent plays like this, you can show them what you know.

This is the easiest joseki.

I've showed you this pattern many times now.

So I think you should be becoming proficient at this opening by now.

Let me stress again that white should approach from this side in this opening.

And we play defensively when there's strong influence nearby.

Now the top left is the widest area.

This is another easy joseki.

Normally the corner is more valuable than the side.

However, in this case black and white's positions face each other.

There's a vital point around here for black.

If black approaches here, he can aim at some aji in white's shape.

For that reason, it's important to play here, instead of in the last open corner.

Enclosing the corner is better than building a double wing formation for black.

Black has quite good shape at the top.

Now it's time for white to invade black's camp.

In today's lecture, we'll continue looking at different ways of invading.

Recently we've been looking at more aggressive ways of playing.

This attachment leads to the most difficult variations for both players.

Last lecture we saw what happens when black hanes on the inside.

But this time black hanes on the outside and threatens white's stone.

It important for both sides to play well here.

If either player makes a mistake, they'll suffer a big loss.

The Go proverb says "hane in response to the attachment and extend in response to the hane."

But at this point, it's slack. The corner is too small.

White should find other ways of playing.

This counter-hane is a very nice move.

It's a kind of tesuji.

The counter-hane here is also possible.

Players who know these kinds of moves are usually good at fighting.

Or they have a good sense of play.

Black has some options here.

Cut or atari here to fight.

Or just connect patiently here, and look towards future possibilities.

You should take these three possibilities into account.

Let me repeat, normally black plays the cut, connection or atari in this case.

First of all we're going to study the connection, which is solid and safe.

Now white also needs to make up for the cutting point.

White can either connect or extend.

Firstly, let's suppose that white just connects.

Then black blocks off the side.

White hanes to live in the corner. Black blocks here as well.

Now white has something to worry about.

It seems like white should just descend to live,

However, bad aji will remain in the corner.

The tiger's mouth will make white completely alive.

White just connects when black ataris.

But white needs to live in gote.

And her territory is smaller.

Black got to play these endgame moves in sente.

In summary, it's a kind of humiliating way to make life.

If the purpose is just to live in the corner to win, this can be good for white.

But let's try to live with more territory.

And study the variations after black invades.

Actually, black won't invade the corner right away, because black has some weak points on the outside.

So black should reinforce first and get some territory at the top.

Now white has chance to reinforce her shape in the corner.

But is it really necessary to live or can white play elsewhere?

It's a life and death problem. The key point in this case is whether you can solve it.

This is a shape you'll often see in actual play.

So, if you're black, you need to hit the vital point first and see how white responds.

White has to play really carefully.

It looks symmetrical. So it might seem that both moves are the same.

But actually, this is best move.

Next black should remove white's eye shape.

Next, this hane is important.

Connecting here is uncreative - this hane promises to make another eye.

Black can't cut now.

Black keeps removing eye shape.

Now white needs to connect, otherwise black can cut and white dies.

From now on, please listen carefully.

It wasn't really difficult so far.

I'll tell you that the result will be ko.

But how should black make the ko?

If black plays here, white can live without ko.

Even if black hanes later, white already has two eyes.

I said it would be ko, so you may find this move.

But this hane should be played first.

If white plays here, black removes this eye and white dies, so white has to block.

After that exchange , black plays here.

If white blocks right away, it will be a normal ko after black blocks.

White must win this ko to live.

But white doesn't need to block immediately.

White can extend first and now white has to block.

They've both been doing well so far, but if black rushes to fill this liberty white will live.

White captures here and is completely alive. It's a double ko.

If black captures, white captures too.

White can answer every ko threat and whenever black takes, white takes too.

So what should black do instead?

We saw that playing here lets white live. Connecting is the correct answer.

This results in a two step ko for black.

You may question whether the result is worse than before.

Previously, white was completely alive, but let's change our perspective.

If black wants to capture this white group, black needs two more moves.

And, to begin with, white's already tenukied to play another big point.

White can play three moves elsewhere, while black plays in the corner.

In other words, white can sacrifice and gain compensation elsewhere.

So the burden of the ko isn't that heavy for white..

Anyway, the sequence to make ko is important. In conclusion...

White was able to tenuki and, because white can play three moves elsewhere,

White would rather do that than live completely in the corner.

The key point here is for white to know how to make ko.

And it's important for black to know that too.

Then you can punish your opponent.

Right, let's stop here and move on to life and death.

Today we're going to look at a new problem.

The 3-3 invasion is a possible move in this position and blocking here is absolute.

Normally, white hanes first. But, in this case, white pushes here.

This isn't really a joseki, but white might try this anyway.

Generally black blocks on the left, but in this case black hanes here.

White blocks and black connects.

The problem now is how can white live in the corner?

This isn't the best move (white should attach under), but many players play like this.

Then they hane, to widen their territory.

But black can double hane at this point.

White can't cut and capture black's stone, because the corner will die.

So white connects to live in the corner.

But it's gote.

Now white might think a bit more and try to live in sente like this.

And black should connect the cutting point.

This is today's problem. Perhaps white insists that he's now alive and tenukis?

You may often encounter this shape in real games.

How can black attack this white group?

When we face a life and death problem, finding the vital point is important.

If you're good at tsumego, you might immediately see this vital point.

It's the center of a symmetrical formation.

Or the center of three stones.

However, this is what white wants you to play.

White can live with this move.

It's not that difficult to find.

Even if black attaches here, white just ataris.

It might look like black can make ko, but it doesn't work.

White can just connect and white's alive.

Let's go back and think more carefully.

If black hanes, to reduce white's eye shape,

White creates a comb formation and lives.

Even if black plays in the center, white plays here and makes miai of either side.

If black attaches here, white can attach like this and make miai again.

Even though black ataris, it doesn't work anymore.

You should be wary of letting white make a six space eye. It's common sense for life and death.

But then, a quick witted player might realize where the real vital point is.

Because white lives with extension when black hanes.

'The enemy's vital point is your own.'

Namely, this is the vital point. If you thought of this by yourself, you're awesome.

Then white has some options:


Or atari.

First of all, if white ataris here,

It seems to be a ko fight, but black can atari here.

And if white takes the stone,

Then black just cuts.

White can't atari one either side, so white dies.

Therefore, it's better for white to extend here.

Some hotheads tend to cut and make ko immediately.

But now white takes the ko first and the side is still open [meaning black will take a bigger loss if he loses the ko].

Black needs to play more meticulously.

This move is a good combination.

White has to reinforce the cutting point.

Black still shouldn't start the ko yet.

Blocking here first is better.

Now white should connect, to prevent a snapback.

And it's finally time to start the ko.

If black loses this ko, the side's already closed.

But if black starts the ko without blocking the side first.

After white wins this ko,

White can play endgame here. Let's compare these two results.

When white comes out, black can't block right away, so he has to play here.

Then white can jump, to further reduce black's territory.

White can reduce up to here.

You see, white's reduced black's territory by 7 points in sente.

7 points in sente can be counted as 14 points in total.

So if you're going to make a ko, you need to find the best way.

In summary, attaching and jumping are key moves in this shape.

Then, before starting the ko, black should block off the side in sente.

And now, finally start the ko. This is the correct sequence.

That's the end of today's lesson. See you next time.

Thank you!

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