Baduk TV English: Level Up to 5 Dan: Lesson 6

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 6.

Lesson 6

Video: Level Up to 5 Dan: Lesson 6

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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.

Episode 6: Understanding the Mini Chinese Opening I

Today, we'll look at the Mini Chinese Opening.

Chinese players rebuilt the foundations of the Chinese Opening in recent years.

In contrast, the Mini Chinese Opening has been investigated by both Korean and Chinese players.

Let me show you the basic form of the Mini Chinese Opening.

With this move, black can complete the formation.

Instead of this, the Micro Chinese Opening has been more popular recently.

But before we learn about that, we need to understand the Mini Chinese Opening.

Typically, this kind of direct approach isn't good.

After the diagonal attachment, black will play a knight's move.

White needs to extend now, but this area is already occupied by black.

Because of that, white's group will be attacked.

So you shouldn't approach here immediately.

This high approach isn't good either. White still can't extend properly.

White should play elsewhere. However, if black extends here, the moyo will be huge.

In addition, this is a double wing formation.

So black will eventually gain a lot of points from this potential.

Therefore, this splitting play is common.

This approach is sometimes played too.

However, splitting here is more straightforward.

At one stage, black used to play a shoulder hit, or attach here.

But at some point, these moves disappeared from professional play.

We're going to focus on more popular moves today.

With respect to the top right corner, this knight's move enclosure is perfect.

However, it has almost no impact on this white stone.

In terms of attacking, this move isn't ideal.

This approach is the best way to apply pressure to this stone.

However, there are some weaknesses here.

And the long knight's move has a weakness at 3-3 too.

Since this enclosure is solid, the 3-3 point isn't a serious weakness anymore.

But in this position, the 3-3 invasion can still be irritating for black.

At this point, black has three options.

And each move has its strengths and weaknesses.

In response to this approach, this extension is common.

After that, white pushes here.

Up to here, black has built a large territory in the bottom right.

So this variation is unfavorable for white.

If this stone were placed here, it'd be perfect for black.

There's no need to play this close to white's wall.

In terms of the corner, the knight's move enclosure is better.

If black's stone is here, it's a big failure for white.

This isn't a joseki.

When black plays the knight's move, white has another option.

This knight's move is common.

Or, white can exchange this attachment first.

After that, white pushes here. These two moves have been played often recently.

Let's see why white exchanged this move.

Black can build a large moyo, like before.

If white plays here now, black will hane to capture white.

But, with this exchange, this hane is a strong aim later.

Now black can't capture both stones.

These ataris are the best responses for black.

After that, white can counter-atari and connect under. It's a big difference in terms of territory.

Let's go back to the beginning.

In response to this knight's move, white can attach here first.

After that, white pushes and extends.

Now black tenukis.

Now this exchange is unprofitable for white.

In contrast, if black builds this area, this exchange is profitable for white.

But if white played in the bottom right now, she'd approach like this.

Since the corner is open, black has to answer.

Now this exchange is bad for white.

Therefore, black should tenuki now.

You should always strive to make your previous moves look good.

In contrast, it's important to turn your opponent's stones into bad moves.

Black's tenuki is a good choice which reduces the value of white's previous exchange.

Inevitably though, white needs to prevent black from making a big territory.

When black approaches, white can also extend on the fourth line.

If you don't like this knight's move, you can play like this.

In response, black will jump here.

If white blocks, black will push several times and build a big moyo like before.

So this attachment is a well timed move.

After that exchange, white blocks here.

Black pushes and approaches white's corner.

It's practically the same.

We've investigated the push and the attachment.

Let's learn about this knight's move now.

When this move was first played, black answered here.

After that, white pushed and defended like this.

After black plays a tiger's mouth, white can peep here in sente.

Up to here, this was a joseki, and it was played a lot at the beginning.

But, as you can see, white's position looks good.

In addition, there's some aji here. So it isn't good for black.

So this variation disappeared.

But people regarded it as joseki to begin with, so this was played a lot.

Later on, this attachment was discovered.

This move was frequently played in the finals of Korean tournaments.

Lee Changho 9p and Cho Hunhyun 9p used to play like this often.

If you've played Go for a long time, you may remember it.

White needs to capture this black stone.

After this atari, black fortifies his moyo.

This fuseki was very popular for a time.

However, do you think white can resist like this?

Let's study some variations.

In response, black has to push here. Now the ladder is favorable for black.

If white fails to respond properly, black will capture some stones.

In this case, this hane is the only possible move.

After these exchanges, the ladder isn't favorable for black anymore.

The previous hane is now a kind of ladder breaker.

So now white can look after her other group.

By extending here, white can take the corner.

The next move is nice indeed.

Black can't let white enclose this area.

However, this atari isn't a good exchange.

It's miai for white to cut or turn here.

White's turn is quite unpleasant for black.

Therefore, this kosumi is a good response now.

After white extends here, black plays a tiger's mouth, to save his two stones.

In response to this push, black kosumis again.

The result is unfavorable for white, since her cutting stones are floating in the center now.

Therefore, white can't resist like this.

Instead of pushing, white has to capture black's stone.

Even though it's a bit old now, this joseki was played many times.

So it's worth studying.

However, pushing here is more common recently.

This extension is too submissive. Because this exchange is definitely profitable for black.

Now you can see the effect of the exchange.

So, before extending, white has to exchange this move.

Because it's a vital point now.

After that exchange, white extends here.

Up to here, this is another joseki.

As you can see, the corner is open.

In addition, this black stone is too close to white's position. It'd better be here.

This is one big difference between the Mini Chinese Opening and the Micro Chinese Opening.

If this stone is placed here, black can block.

It's a huge difference in terms of territory.

In addition, black can attack white. This group isn't alive yet.

So the Micro Chinese Opening is more powerful when playing in the bottom right.

We've focused on this approach so far.

What if black encloses his corner like this?

Let's look at this move first. Black can still play a knight's move here.

This joseki was also popular at one stage.

After the atari, black connects. It's a joseki.

In this case, Black doesn't need to approach here.

When choosing this joseki, you should defend the corner like this.

In other words, your choice should be flexible, based on the overall situation.

Some players didn't like the previous joseki, so they jumped here.

This move was also played a lot.

Then black peeps here.

After that, black separates here. Players thought this variation was plausible for black.

Exchanging the peep is meaningful.

When white counter-attacks the corner, black can attach here.

If there's no exchange here, bumping and cutting is a good combination.

Now it's hard for black to respond.

But in this case, black can strike at the head of white's two stones. This move is very powerful now.

Without this exchange, white can easily capture black's two stones.

But if there's an exchange here, black can capture white in a ladder.

Therefore, exchanging the peep is necessary.

Then black can attach here without a problem.

After white connects, black pushes and blocks here.

The push intends to create weaknesses in white's position.

After that, black can turn here, or jump to attack white.

So, many players thought that this variation was playable for black.

However, another move was investigated.

This low approach is nasty for black.

Because of that, black didn't separate white like this anymore.

Instead, black secures the corner, then white pushes or connects.

This joseki has been very popular recently.

In response to this shoulder hit, white has two options.

As I said earlier, this knight's move is another option for black.

White slides here, and black pushes.

When you play the Micro Chinese Opening, blocking here is very powerful.

But since this stone is far away now, black should connect here.

When black had approached here earlier, white answered with this knight's move.

That's because, if white tenukis, this peep is unpleasant for white.

If white connects or kosumis, black can enclose here.

This knight's move is nice, because white can aim to invade afterwards.

In this case, white can still jump here, but this invasion is also possible.

In this way, white can focus on speed in fuseki.

Some players ask whether this enclosure is good or not.

The problem is that this move doesn't threaten this white group at all.

In addition, there's still aji here.

I hope you enjoyed our first lesson about the Mini Chinese Opening.

Recently, the Micro Chinese Opening has been becoming more popular amongst pros.

But to understand the latest variations, you need to understand the Mini Chinese Opening first.

The Mini Chinese Opening usually leads to fighting, so the game can be decided at an early stage.

We'll continue our study of the Mini Chinese Opening next time!

Thank you!

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