Baduk TV English: Level Up to 5 Dan: Lesson 11

Level Up to 5 Dan is a Baduk TV series designed to help you become a strong amateur player. The presenter is former world champion Yu Changhyeok 9p, who also runs a famous dojo where he trains pros.

In Korea and China, 5d is really the highest rank most amateurs attain, unless they win a regional (6d) or national (7d) championship. These lessons will show you the path to becoming a top amateur player. This is lesson 11.

Lesson 11

Video: Level Up to 5 Dan: Lesson 11

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Transcript of the video

Translated by Oh Chimin 7d

Edited by David Ormerod 5d

Hello, welcome back to 'Level Up to 5 Dan'. I'm Yu Changhyeok 9p.

So far we've been learning about the fuseki.

However, learning fuseki isn't easy.

In general, fuseki consists of variations in the corners and on the sides.

Strong players are familiar with many variations in both the corners and the sides.

So they can play the fuseki better.

To become a strong player, you need to improve your fuseki.

Episode 11: Micro Chinese Opening and Sabaki

After white's splitting play, black encloses the top right corner.

Last time, we learned about white's extension and this knight's move.

Since this opening is very popular now, we investigated many variations last time.

To reiterate, when black approaches closely, white wants to get a solid position.

This long knight's move and this approach are both possible.

However, after this attachment, pushing here is normal in this case.

What if black plays a knight's move enclosure like this?

Now it would be strange to play solidly.

In this case, white should respond lightly.

For example, she should approach here. Because attaching here after the two space extension isn't good enough.

Recently, some players have played this move.

In general, black kosumis.

After white plays a knight's move, black exchanges this.

To prevent black's attachments, this move is the best defense.

You don't have to exchange this attachment right now.

But let's see what happens if black does so.

After connecting here, this attachment is very powerful.

For black, this move is so pleasant.

When playing the Mini Chinese Opening, this move is very good.

But with the Micro Chinese Opening, playing here doesn't seem so nice.

So in this case, this one space jump is normal.

If black tenukis, how can white punish black?

This shoulder hit looks like the move.

If black pushes here, white should jump.

However, if black connects up like this, white's profit is a bit unclear.

If white invades here, black will attach.

This hane is impossible because black cuts here.

This extension isn't good either. Black will connect under.

Which move is left then?

In this case, this is an excellent move!

If black pushes, white jumps out.

A battle will begin. However, black was split into two groups.

Therefore, the battle will be unfavorable for black.

Because of that, black should defend with this jump.

As I said, connecting here will be very powerful later.

So this variation is quite playable for black.

Some amateur players watch pro's game and play here.

Since most players aren't familiar with this move, they lose some points here.

If you don't like this splitting move, there's another option.

This approach is also played in actual games.

I think more than 80% of players choose this move.

And one in five approach here.

In response, black should pincer.

If black responds like this, white will easily settle down.

Then the Micro Chinese Opening can't function very well.

No matter which Chinese Opening you choose, the responses to the approach are similar.

In general, you can think about these two pincer attacks.

Let's see the one space low pincer.

Up to here, it's a basic joseki.

The weakness of the one space low pincer is this shoulder hit.

There's no way to prevent it.

If you choose the two space high pincer, there's no such shoulder hit.

However, white can activate her stone like this later.

White's response will be the same no matter where black hanes.

By jumping here, white can fight.

Therefore, you should be prepared for this aji when choosing this pincer.

After this joseki, this shoulder hit is annoying.

So black might defend his moyo. But this move is far away from the bottom right corner.

This move is frequently played.

However, white can play a shoulder hit now.

White can easily manage her group.

Even though it's playable for black, this shoulder hit is quite irritating.

How should black defend after this pincer joseki?

In the Mini Chinese Opening, black can play a knight's move here or kosumi.

But when the distance is narrow, it's different.

Instead of the kosumi, this knight's move is more tempting.

By the way, this aji can be annoying for black.

After black hanes, white jumps here.

This move makes miai of flying into the right side and jumping out here.

If black defends the side, white jumps here.

Black has to push, then white extends.

If black pushes again, white jumps from this side.

Now it's hard to tell who's attacking whom.

If black hanes here, white plays a knight's move like this.

Now black can't capture white's group.

As a result, black will lose lots of points on the right.

So this aji is uncomfortable for black.

Regardless of the fuseki, this aji is always powerful.

Therefore, you need to be prepared for this.

This aji is not only powerful, but also severe in many cases.

If black hanes on this side, white will jump here anyway.

Depending on the situation, this hane is also possible for white.

In response, black cuts immediately.

After white ataris, connecting here is nonsense.

White will sacrifice her two stones, and black will fail.

For this reason, black should counter-atari.

Capturing this stone isn't a good idea.

Even though white captured a black stone, it doesn't affect anything. It's no good.

So white should move her stones out like this.

After black connects, this cutting point is exposed.

Therefore, white should bump here.

Black must extend here. He can't capture these three stones.

If black does so, white will destroy the right side. This is bad for black.

After black connects, white can rescue her stones.

Then black should push here.

White normally extends, but in this case, connecting here is proper.

Let's see what the difference is.

If white extends here, a battle will begin and black may play here at some point.

Then black can throw in and atari here.

After that, black can push and cut. This is a critical weakness.

So white should remove that aji now.

Then black extends, and white hanes here.

This aim is both practical and powerful.

To repeat, this move exposes strong aji.

We looked at this hane just now.

It's a powerful aim.

But this jump can also be played when white's looking for something simple.

If you hane here, there will be a complicated battle.

However, this jump intends to develop lightly.

If black separates white, white can fly out and destroy black's moyo easily.

So black should prevent that move with a kosumi here.

Then white hanes.

Connecting here is a very bad move.

You should counter-atari like this instead.

At this point, white has two options.

First, you can give black a ponnuki in order to break through like this.

This is playable for white.

Another option is to capture this black stone.

White can connect up like this.

But as you can see, this moyo is massive.

Therefore, I think this counter-atari is better.

That way white can reduce black's moyo.

So we've learned about the aji that exists after two pincer josekis.

However, the timing is an important issue.

You could play that move immediately, or several moves later.

It depends on the situation, so you have to use good judgment.

However, if you don't know about this, you can never use that aji.

Let's go back to this approach.

Black chooses the two space high pincer.

We learned about the 3-3 invasion earlier.

Of course, this jump is another possible option.

Up to here, white can manage this area lightly.

This sequence is also called joseki.

Let's compare this with the basic joseki.

In this variation, it looks like white's position has been flattened quite a bit.

Because of that, this joseki isn't recommended for white.

In addition, there's some critical aji.

After black kosumis, white should push to prevent black from blocking here.

To get a base, white pushes several times, like this.

If white tenukis, black kosumis here.

White has to connect under, like this.

After that, this combination is very annoying for white.

It's very hard for white to respond.

If white tries to connect to this stone, black captures this white stone in sente.

Above all, white's position doesn't look nice at all.

Because of that, white has to spend another move here, somehow.

So with the exception of special circumstances, this joseki is rarely played.

In many ways, it's hard to call it 'joseki'.

In this situation, this 3-3 invasion and double approach are most common.

There are two ways to double approach though.

This high approach focuses on the center.

In contrast, the low double approach aims to take territory.

If black attaches here, white invades at 3-3.

Black can block here, but this move is easier.

Up to here, this is joseki.

After that, black defends his moyo.

However, there's aji here.

Black should block.

If black tries to separate white, a battle will begin.

This battle will be slightly favorable for white.

Despite the loss of territory, blocking here is more common.

White can atari here, but it's gote.

And if white tenukis, black can cut and separate white like this later.

Even though black lost some points here, he can expand his moyo.

Black's strategy is based on speed, and this fuseki is chosen by many players.

This low double approach is fairly similar.

In response the 3-3 invasion, black plays a tiger's mouth here.

With the high approach, white can reduce black's moyo more easily later.

But if black approaches here, white has to defend.

For example, white should jump here to secure his group.

With the low approach, white doesn't have to answer.

In terms of territory, this variation is better. But in terms of the center, it isn't ideal.

When you seek territory, you'll lose thickness towards the center.

Inevitably, you need to give up something on one side or the other.

In Go, creating balance is very important.

In response to this approach, the two space high pincer is most common.

After that, the 3-3 invasion or this double approach are normal.

Occasionally this distance double approach is played, but it's too complicated.

So we'll leave it for later.

We've investigated some variations arising from this approach move.

There are many other responses too.

First of all, you need to learn and understand variations.

After that, you'll learn to choose appropriate variations.

If you just play blindly, following patterns you've memorized, your progress at Go will be slow.

Next time, we'll look at the Mini Chinese Opening.

Our main focus will be on sabaki.

Thank you!

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