Baduk TV English: Becoming 5 Kyu: Lesson 9

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 9.

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

Lesson 9

Video: Becoming 5 Kyu: Lesson 9

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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.

Sometimes I diagnose my Go ability by myself.

I'm going to introduce a kind of theory from a book, and I want you use it to check your Go level with me.

Let's think about which parts of Go we can play well,

And how strong we are now, in order to answer the following questions.

As we know, there are many different aspects of Go, such as the opening, middlegame, endgame, invading and so on.

Now we're going to give a score to each aspect of our own game. Suppose my opening ability is worth 3 points.

And I might give myself 2 points for fighting during the middle game.

And give yourself 4 points for endgame, if you're good at it.

If you're weak at life and death, just give yourself about 2 points.

We can also consider some external factors,

For example, you can give yourself points for perseverance. Or, if you have good concentration, give yourself some big points for that.

In this way, you can draw a diagram around the center in terms of points.

After that let's draw a line to connect all the dots and we'll get our own shape.

If the shape is close to circular, it means your game is quite well rounded.

If you're only good at one or two aspects of Go, it means you can't be a strong player yet.

Therefore, to begin with, you'll find out which parts of the game you're weak at and you can supplement it by studying.

And extend the areas you need to supplement with study, then the shape starts to become a larger circle.

I think this is one path towards getting better at Go.

Anyway, I just want you to think about this method.

Ok, let's move on to today's lesson.

We're going to continue our study of the opening.

I cannot overemphasize how important the opening is.

When white pincers, black has many options.

The 3-3 invasion is the simplest and easiest way to play.

The circumstances dictate that white plays this joseki.

After the joseki, we've seen that white can't build a big territory at the bottom.

So white approaches here and black takes a defensive attitude, because white's wall is over there.

Now black goes to the left top, which is the biggest remaining place.

White encloses with a knight's move and all the josekis have finished.

There's miai in the top right, so white plays on the lower side, which is very big.

This is the key point in this opening. White should play here before black does.

Now black should play in the top right.

Enclosing the corner is better than making a double wing shape here.

The most important thing in this opening is the invasion here.

Let's continue looking at how white can invade at the top.

As I said last time, there are 3 ways to play here; the attachment, one space approach and knight's approach.

In the previous lecture we studied the variations after this move.

Black can headbutt and, when white extends, black can keep the corner.

This pincer lets white live in the corner, but black can build good moyo at the top.

And we also studied this move last time.

Our conclusion was that there's no way to kill white in the corner.

Today we're going to look at some other ways of invading.

This knight's approach is another possible move here.

It's often played by strong players.

I can't say that this move is better than the previous ones though.

Ok, let's examine how black answers here.

If you want to play safely, you can play like this.

If white plays here, it's the same as if white had played here first and black had headbutted.

But perhaps black wants to try harder here.

What will happen if black attaches here?

Now white has 2 options; the extension and the wedge.

Whether white can wedge or not,

And whether black draws back or not,

These are two important questions, which we'll go into later.

Anyway, extending is the best move in this case, and black should connect.

Compare this shape to the one we studied earlier. Bad aji remains in this shape.

But now, black can keep the corner without any bad aji.

Then white can extend 3 (or 2) spaces.

However, black's territory in the corner is clear enough.

So black doesn't need to rush to play on the right side.

White may want to play the right side, but extending at the top is more important.

But white faces a dilemma here. The 3 space extension looks dangerous, but 2 spaces looks too narrow.

Therefore, white might decide to play this wedge.

Blocking here is what white wants black to do.

Black needs to connect the weak point in the corner.

Before white extends, she can push in sente.

If black extends, to make good shape,

Then white can safely make a 3 space extension at the top.

White can be satisfied with this result.

But black can do better.

When white wedges, black can play more aggressively.

Unless absolutely compelled to do otherwise, black has to cut here.

You might feel a bit scared about this, but that's why you have to study.

If you can't play like this, white will look down on you.

We'll go into this cut in detail in the next lesson.

For now, just remember that black has to cut when white wedges.

There's a move here which strong players often use against weak players.

It's this attachment.

I think some of you have already been bullied by stronger players with this move.

So what should black do now?

If black just blocks, white wedges naturally.

This is the result white wanted.

If black comes out, white can capture a stone in sente.

And if black connects in the corner, white can close off the top side.

Earlier, black's shape was like this.

Now it looks like white attached and black just blocked gently.

But black can split white's groups, or should at least just connect, and it's better.

Who wants to play here when white blocks?

This result is too bad for black.

The first move is always important. If you can play a good first move, the following moves will also be good.

Never draw back in any case.

As I said, black has to cut against white's wedge.

Just remember this move!

Black can't get a bad result now, no matter what white does.

If white comes out, black just connects along the side.

If white pushes through, black can capture white.

All white can do is wedge now.

Once again, never draw back!

Always try to cut when white wedges.

White can only extend now.

One important detail is that black shouldn't atari here yet.

Because white will play both ataris and live easily.

Black should just keep pushing into the corner.

This atari is absolute, otherwise white would die.

Now, the question is, can white escape?

If white defends here, black plays to capture white in the corner.

Cutting here is silly, black needs to extend and now white's dead.

The hane is also possible.

If white blocks, black just connects.

Notice here, if white just extends, black can cut to capture. But the problem is this attachment.

If black hanes inadvertently, white can escape.

Black can't cut here.

The answer is simple, black just plays here. Then there's no problem.

White doesn't have any way to escape now.

But if white had thickness nearby, that attachment might work.

So just extending is a clearer way to capture white in the corner.

Because of that, white needs to play on the inside rather than defending the outside stones.

White blocks here to live.

This atari is necessary.

White can easily live with this move.

However, black can cut in sente and white has to defend the corner in gote.

Moreover, black's influence in the center becomes very strong.

But this connection's also bad for white because it creates a shortage of liberties.

This will be explored in a life and death problem later on.

This attachment is the tesuji. It should be your first instinct in a shape like this.

If black hanes on the inside, white can escape.

So black hanes on the outside and white can pull back in sente, because of the cutting point.

Then black closes off the center.

Black can make ko in the corner with a throw-in, so white needs to reinforce.

So you see, white lives in the corner but black gets really nice thickness in sente.

Now black can take a big point to make up for the territory in the top right.

To review, when white approaches with the low knight's move, black attaches to it.

Then, don't fall back, resist when white wedges.

If you remember only these two things, your opponents will have to take you seriously.

Ok, now let's move on to life and death.

The 3-3 point is a repository of life and death problems.

If you don't play a 3-3 invasion well, it's easy to run into trouble.

This is one of the popular shapes for a 3-3 invasion.

Maybe you're familiar with this variation.

Both players reinforce their weak points.

Now white has two options; the push and the knight's move.

If white chooses the knight's move, this variation can be expected.

White needs to play one more move in the corner to live.

And then black defends the cutting point.

However, what if white tenukis in the corner?

It seems to be easy, but it's not a problem to be taken lightly.

When you face a life and death problem, first you need to find the vital point.

Focus on these two stones.

Black doesn't need to make a placement on the inside, because there's no tiger's mouth shape.

In this case, this hane (at the head of 2 stones) is a good move.

Weaker players often exchange these moves unnecessarily, and that gives white a chance to live.

Just playing the hane directly is the best move here.

Anyway white can't block directly. It's out of the question.

White can only extend or jump.

First, let's examine this. You see, there's no tiger's mouth shape.

So, black just hanes, instead of playing on the inside.

Black still doesn't need to play a placement and just reduces white's eye space from the outside.

When a tiger's mouth appears, then black will play on the inside.

What about this jump? It confuse people.

If you play carelessly, white may live in the corner.

As I've emphasized, if there's no tiger's mouth shape, reduce eye space.

Always reduce from the longer side.

Anyway, white can't live after black hanes.

Even if white blocks, there's still no tiger's mouth shape.

If black pokes, it becomes the same shape as before.

It's so easy to kill.

It's useless for white to struggle.

As you've seen, this problem is quite easy.

Therefore, white has to play one more move to live.

Now lets examine this push.

This move is sometimes played in special cases.

Before living, white probes first. Black should cut.

If the ladder favors white, she can extend.

If black tries to kill white in the corner, white can sacrifice the corner stones and build thickness [Ed: Starting with the cut].

So black reinforces here.

Then white settles easily with this move.

But as a life and death problem, suppose that white hanes here.

Then white plays tiger's mouth, which is usually played to live in the corner.

The problem is whether black's descent is sente or not.

In some situations, black might want to descend here.

Now, if white tenukis here, how does black kill white in the corner?

There's a famous tesuji which you should remember for this shape.

This move looks like the vital point and many players tend to play here.

But white has this headbutt, which is a good response.

Even if black ataris here, white doesn't connect, but ataris black's stone.

Now black has no way to kill white in the corner.

This invasion was wrong.

Perhaps you've already guessed the answer? This throw-in is a good tesuji.

Move order is important, black has to throw-in first.

If black ataris here, white can live with this move - it's miai.

That means the vital point is here!

White can't make an eye here now.

No matter what white plays now, white dies in the end.

Because, eventually, this becomes a 'bent four in the corner'.

According to the Japanese rules, the bent four in the corner is a dead shape.

In this shape, just remember to throw-in and then make a placement at the vital point.

So, now we can see that white has to reinforce when black descends.

Even though it looks easy, you need to be careful not to make a mistake.

This brings us to the end of lesson 9.

Thank you!

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