Baduk TV English: Becoming 9 Kyu: Lesson 12

Becoming 9 Kyu is a Baduk TV series designed to help you break through to the single digit kyu ranks. The presenter is Kang Nayeon 5d. This is lesson 12.

Lesson 12

Video: Becoming 9 Kyu: Lesson 12

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Transcript of the video

Translated by Oh Chimin 7d for

Edited by David Ormerod 5d

Becoming 9 Kyu - Episode

Hello everyone, welcome back to 'Becoming 9 Kyu'. I'm Kang Nayeon 5d.

I suppose all of you like Lee Changho 9p.

He's such an unusual player to be liked by so many people for so long.

I went to Jeju island to record Lee's game, as the timekeeper.

I accompanied him on the bus along the way.

So I asked him how to improve my Go strength.

At first, he just said that one should try very hard.

But I persevered, and eventually he shared some tips with me.

He said, "when reviewing pro games, don't just follow numbers".

"Before looking at the next move, you should first try to guess what the next move will be".

I think that's a good way to compare strong players' moves to your own.

I guess Lee became the world's strongest player in part because of this study method.

And I thought it would be helpful for you as well!

Let's begin today's lesson!

Chapter 1 - Joseki

This is our last episode on 3-4 josekis. Today we're going to look at the two space low approach.

We learned about the high and low approaches before.

The two space low approach is also played quite often.

Players usually choose this approach when black already has a stone on the side.

If white approaches like this, black will pincer.

And this stone will help black to attack white's group. That's why the two space approach is played instead.

In general, this approach is more flexible.

If black secures the corner, white extends along the top side.

So white can avoid being attacked severely.

Black can still pincer though.

Depending on the situation, black can choose an appropriate pincer.

No matter where black pincers, white can attach here to manage her group.

If black hanes here, white can easily settle with this extension.

Therefore, black should play more aggressively, like this.

Cutting here now is important. And for black, the move order is crucial.

Black has to atari here first.

After that, he ataris again. This is the right move order.

How about playing an atari here first?

Some people would argue that it's the same.

If white extends here, it'll be the same.

However, white can resist by cutting here.

After exchanging this atari, white can capture black's cutting stone in a net.

I don't think white's necessarily better than black.

But the point is that black gave white the choice to play differently.

For black, there's no need to give white such an option.

Therefore, you should be careful about the direction of your atari.

Remember this move order!

White can't resist like this.

This ponnuki is too painful for white. It's no good.

At this moment, extending is the only option for white.

After that, black connects here.

Playing here is an efficient way to capture this black stone.

Black can't move his stone out like this. It's an overplay.

Instead, this jump is a proper move.

It looks like there's a weakness here, but white can't cut here immediately.

If white does so, black captures white's three stones in a ladder.

So white has to capture this stone.

Up to here, it's a joseki.

Even though it's a long sequence, you can remember it easily by understanding the intention behind each move.

So we've learned about a joseki based on the 3-4 two space low approach.

This concludes our study of basic 3-4 point josekis.

Next time, we'll investigate 3-3 josekis!

Chapter 2 - Fuseki

Today, we'll focus on how to develop from the side into the center.

Playing in the corner, the side and then the center is the proper order in Go.

We get into the middle game as we begin to play in the center.

What do you think about this long knight's move, or this knight's move, to complete black's moyo?

I often see people play these moves.

However, they're too solid.

In terms of making territory, these moves are fine. But overall they're too passive.

In this case, jumping towards the center is good choice.

Have you heard the proverb "The one space jump is rarely bad"?

Jumping like this is often good.

With this move, black can enlarge his moyo and his influence.

Compared to defending here, it's easier for white to invade.

However, black can welcome an invasion and get more profit by attacking the group.

In addition, if white tenukis, this move is a good followup.

If white tenukis again, black can capture this stone by attaching here.

If black chooses this move, he can't play here as easily later.

But, after jumping, black can develop his moyo and aim at this move.

Moreover, black can develop more influence in the center.

Therefore, playing towards the center is important.

Let's look at some examples from pro games.

This fuseki was played by two professional players.

Black invaded here just now.

If white tenukis, black will cap here, applying pressure to this white stone.

This stone will suffer as a result.

Because of that, white jumped out into the center.

In response, black jumped too.

If black tenukis, white can attack black severely by capping here.

After black jumped, this point became vital.

So white jumped here again, and black jumped along with her.

White continuously jumped into the center.

Despite there being many big points, two pros focused on the center.

That's because omitting one move here would allow the opponent to control the game.

These jumping moves were very important.

In theory, the center should be the last place where stones are played.

However, it can be crucial in some cases. Remember this!

Let's look at another example.

This game was played by professional players too.

Where should white play now?

As you can see, this stone is weak. It's being pincered by black.

In the game, the professional player who took white played a knight's move.

We call this kind of move a 'pivotal point'.

If you imagine black playing here, you can easily compare the two variations.

With this move, black can enlarge his moyo at the top.

In contrast, white's moyo on the left side was significantly reduced.

But if white plays here, it's the opposite.

White can expand her own moyo while erasing black's potential.

Therefore, it's bigger than any other move in the fuseki.

In response, black attached here.

This diagonal attachment was good, because black could attack white.

Black continued to attack white.

Despite expecting black's attack, white chose this point.

Remember that pivotal points are the biggest moves in the fuseki!

If you become good at finding these sorts of moves, you'll be able to manage your games much better.

Chapter 3 - Tesuji

Today we're going to focus on sacrifice strategy.

Let's look at an example. White just cut here.

Actually, this cut isn't a proper move.

Instead, this atari is better.

How should black respond now?

If black ataris, white will capture this black stone.

Later on, white can hane here in sente.

This choice isn't good for black.

In this case, black should sacrifice one more stone, like this.

When you have a stone on the third line, it's usually good to sacrifice one more stone.

After white blocks, black can attach here.

By sacrificing these two stones, black got a very solid position.

If you remember this sacrifice strategy, you'll find it very useful.

Let's see another example.

By using a sacrifice strategy, black can make shape.

Now these three stones are very weak. How should black manage his group?

This attachment is a good tesuji.

However, you need to know followups after white hanes here.

First of all, cutting here is important. Then white will atari.

If black ataris, white will capture this black stone. It's no good.

So you should sacrifice one more stone when there's a stone on the third line.

After white blocks, this atari is a good forcing move.

Then black can bump, or attach here.

Initially, black's group was quite weak. How about now?

Now this group is very thick!

The top right corner is big, but it was already white's territory.

Let's look at one more tesuji!

White struck at the head of black's two stones.

You shouldn't let your opponent play such a great move.

If possible, you should extend here first.

But black had to tenuki, since there was another urgent point to play. So white played here.

How should black answer now?

If black plays here, white will double hane.

In fact, this move is very painful for black.

Some players extend in this kind of situation, but that's the worst response.

If white blocks here, black still has to respond like this.

After connecting here, white can hane in sente as well.

Even if black connects here, this hane is still sente.

Because of that, it's the worst variation for black.

Instead, this tiger's mouth is a better move.

Then white will defend her weakness after exchanging this atari.

But as you can see, black's shape doesn't look so nice.

It's an unsatisfactory result for black.

Many of you would think about this jump as well.

But white will attach here, then black has to wedge and connect like this.

It's the same as the previous variation and it isn't good.

In this case, there's a good tesuji.

This knight's move is the answer.

If white bumps, black extends here.

Black can easily connect up without any problems.

If white tenukis, black can fly out here.

So he can still develop his territory at the top.

This attachment is the strongest move for white.

Now black needs to answer carefully.

This move is important.

If black bumps like this, it'll be the same as the worst variation we saw before.

So black must not play like that.

This hane is an overplay. White will cut here.

Black has many weaknesses now.

So this extension is the best response for black.

After white connects up, black can tenuki.

The focus of today's tesujis was on getting a good position. I hope you'll find them useful!

Chapter 4 - Life and Death

Let's investigate the ten thousand year ko today.

When a ten thousand year ko occurs, it's hard for both sides to start the ko.

Players always postpone the ko, and it takes a long time to finish it.

That's why it's called a 'ten thousand year ko'.

Here's an example.

Let's try something.

If black connects here, it's seki.

That's because neither side can capture the other's group.

But if black ataris here, it's a ko.

However, if white captures this stone, black has to make the first ko threat.

So this ko is unfavorable for black.

For this reason, it's hard for black to begin the ko immediately.

Let's see the ko from white's point of view.

To save the corner, white has to capture this black stone first.

If black tenukis, white needs to atari here to start the ko.

But black will capture first. So this ko is unfavorable for white.

Therefore, neither player wants to be the one to start the ko.

If you understand that, you know the main concept behind the ten thousand year ko.

You also need to know how to deal with this ko.

If you look at the corner carefully, black made the ko inside white's territory.

As you can see from the number of stones, white risks more than black does.

Black can simply make a seki when he's leading by a big margin.

If he has enough ko threats, black can begin the ko. It's black's right.

But for white, the only option to rescue the corner is to capture this black stone.

After that, this atari is necessary.

The ko will begin. White has to win this ko to save her group.

Because of that, the ko is much more risky for white.

In addition, there are more white stones.

So white's burden is even heavier.

When a ten thousand year ko emerges, black needs to create ko threats in other areas.

On the other hand, white has to prevent black from doing so.

As a result, white's moves will become more passive than usual.

Remember that this ko is more risky for white!

We learned about the ten thousand year ko today.

I hope you'll be able to better deal with this kind of ko when it appears in your games from now on!

Thank you!

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