Baduk TV English: Level Up to 5 Dan: Lesson 8

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 8.

Lesson 8

Video: Level Up to 5 Dan: Lesson 8

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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.

Last time, we investigated some patterns related to the Mini Chinese Opening.

We reviewed four possible options in the last episode.

Episode 8: Understanding the Mini Chinese Opening III

Today, we'll focus on approach moves in the top right.

For black, these three moves are possible.

They've all been played very often.

Each move has advantages and disadvantages.

This tight approach aims at attacking white severely.

This long knight's move is focused on both territory and attacking white.

But it isn't as powerful as this move.

And compared to this knight's move enclosure, the corner is insecure.

This knight's move has little impact on this white group.

Instead, black can defend the corner better.

In response to this approach, white needs to extend here anyway.

Let's see the most common variations.

This is a joseki.

As you can see, white's position is very thick and now this black stone is too close.

Therefore, if you want to choose this joseki as black, this knight's move is the best option.

For white, if black approaches here, she needs to play as solidly as possible.

If black plays here instead, you should manage this group lightly.

After this approach, white has several options.

In addition to these three options, this slide has also been played recently.

All of these moves are played frequently though.

This two space extension is most common.

As we've seen before, black can play a shoulder hit and a knight's move.

This variation is also played, but as we discussed, this stone is too close.

Therefore, many players don't choose this variation.

Instead, this knight's move is played more often.

Then white pushes here and flies out.

In this case, this extension is vital. Let's consider its intention.

That move aims at playing in the middle of white's large diagonal position.

So black can cut white's single stone off. It's quite annoying for white.

Because of that, white needs to defend like this.

After that, black completes his moyo. It's another joseki.

White has another option.

After this exchange, she can also peep here.

If black connects, white jumps.

After black approaches, white caps here, keeping her groups light.

Of course, these groups are thin.

Since white's focused on speed, that's inevitable.

If white pushes here, black blocks.

It's a very common variation.

It'd be better if this stone were closer to the corner.

Nevertheless, the territory at the bottom is huge.

Therefore, the result is slightly better for black.

Before pushing, this attachment is a good asking move.

When white pushes, black still blocks here.

As we discussed previously, black shouldn't push again now.

Instead, black tenukis here.

Black can still take territory by pushing several times.

Let's consider this exchange now.

If white attaches here, black will hane to capture white.

But in this case, white can hane like this.

If black ataris, this counter-atari is a nice move.

But white can connect under.

It's a big difference.

That's why black should tenuki without pushing further.

By doing so, black can make the attachment into a bad exchange.

Locally speaking, this exchange in itself is unprofitable for white.

If it's white's turn to play now, she'd rather approach like this.

If black attaches, white plays several forcing moves.

After that, white can turn here. This is the expected progression.

But now, it's a bad exchange.

Here's one important tip I'd like to share.

If possible, it's important to make opponent's previous moves become bad.

If black pushes and completes the moyo, this exchange will become really good.

Therefore, to make the exchange worse, tenuki is a sensible choice.

You should always try to turn your previous moves into good ones.

In contrast, try to do the opposite to your opponent's stones!

This enclosure is a possible alternative.

I can't say this is a bad move.

However, it looks a bit loose, because black started with the Mini Chinese Opening.

First of all, black's position is now defensive. It's inconsistent with his original strategy.

In addition, there's a weak point here. If white invades here, black can't capture this stone.

If black tries to enclose like this, white jumps into the corner.

Since it's still the opening, white won't invade immediately.

However, this aji will be a burden for black.

This attachment is good in combination with white's push.

Black can't hane on the inside because of his cutting point.

After white lives at the bottom, black's territory isn't very big.

So this aji is quite irritating.

Because of that, black doesn't normally enclose the corner like this.

That's why this knight's move is played more often.

White slides, and black pushes here.

This is a popular joseki.

After this exchange, white extends.

In the Micro Chinese Opening, it's possible for black to block here.

But in the Mini Chinese Opening, black can't play here because of the cutting point.

One line makes a big difference in this case, so black has to choose another move.

Inevitably, black has to connect here, then white jumps.

Up to here, it's a joseki.

White's group is safe and solid. Now this black stone is very close to white's position.

This stone should be placed here instead.

How should white respond if black chooses this enclosure then?

Let's try this sliding move.

Apparently, this jump is very big - worth one move.

However, white's not under as much pressure as in the previous variation.

So white can secure her bottom left or top left corner like this.

Tenuki is a good option for white in this case.

If this stone is close to the group, white shouldn't tenuki.

If white tenukis, this peep is very powerful.

This kosumi is the best defense now, but it's still painful.

Later on, black can push and atari here in sente.

If white connects here, black can still enclosure this area.

So white should play a knight's move here in this position.

In this case, white has many options.

After that, black doesn't have powerful continuations like he did earlier.

Therefore, white can tenuki here.

We've seen this two space extension.

Let's look at this slide.

Recently, many players have played here.

Some people get confused by this.

In this case, a kosumi is common.

This enclosure is possible, but there's aji later.

These moves are sente and are nasty for black.

The exchanges are profitable for white.

So this kosumi is better.

After that, white should play a knight's move here.

Then black can play here, aiming to attach here.

White should answer, and black attaches.

White can't hane, because of the cutting point.

So this extension is the proper answer.

After this exchange, black should fortify his moyo.

Otherwise, white will reduce the moyo immediately.

This shoulder hit is also possible.

The corner isn't in danger, but the invasion is still quite annoying for black.

By defending here, black can consolidate a big territory.

So the result is satisfactory for black, and it's often been played recently.

This long knight's move is another option for white.

However, this move is played more often when black approaches here.

This move focuses on thickness.

Obviously, this enclosure isn't bad. But this jump is more common.

If white blocks, black pushes. It's very similar to a variation we saw earlier.

As I said, black's territory is better than white's thickness.

So white needs to respond differently.

The idea in this case is similar.

This asking move still works.

If black hanes, white blocks here.

After pushing, black tenukis.

Now this black stone is too close to white's wall.

For black, it's better if it's here.

That's why white often chooses the long knight's move when black approaches here.

But if black chooses this enclosure, white doesn't usually play like this.

Black got a lot of territory.

In contrast, it's hard for white to utilize her thickness now.

Overall, black's stones are better placed than white's.

When black approaches here, this extension is also a good option for white.

If black answers here, white defends her position.

Even though it's gote, white's position is very solid.

And this invasion becomes a strong aim for white later.

The theory we've discussed today is always consistent.

If white has a solid position on the right, black's stone should be closer to the corner.

Likewise, when black plays a knight's move enclosure, white doesn't choose this option.

If black approaches aggressively, white wants to get a solid position, to invade here.

So, in this case, this extension is a good move.

This progression is popular recently.

This invasion is conceivable. However, this attachment is a good response.

After this hane, white crosscuts. It's similar to a 3-4 joseki.

It's like when white plays the the two space low approach to the 3-4 point.

White can play at 2-2, or kosumi to get a solid position.

This is ok for white.

Therefore, black has two options now.

Both are possible.

Let me clarify which joseki this shape comes from.

In response to the distant low approach, black pincers.

White attaches and cuts. It's a basic 3-4 joseki.

Only the move order is different, but the progression is nearly the same.

If white blocks here, this kosumi is a strong move. White should be prepared for this.

Of course, you can easily capture this stone.

But since this group isn't alive yet, white has to be careful afterwards.

If you don't like that variation, I recommend this kosumi.

Then, after exchanging these moves, black blocks here.

Even though black developed a good moyo on the right, the bottom side became vulnerable.

So this joseki has both advantages and disadvantages for black.

The variations of the Mini Chinese Opening are numerous.

We've discussed the most common and practical variations.

For white, these four moves are playable.

However, your choice should vary based on black's enclosure in the top right.

When it comes to the fuseki, you should understand variations, rather than remember move order.

Then you can apply patterns and concepts to many different situations.

You can't always play the same fuseki or joseki.

Your choices should differ depending on the position and circumstances.

In other words, your play in the fuseki should be flexible.

Here's one simple principle for this lesson.

If black approaches closely, you want to get a solid position, to aim at the invasion.

Whereas, if black focuses on his corner, you should play lightly and take sente.

Today we've learned about the Mini Chinese Opening.

Many of the positions and theories we've studied can be applied to a other situations.

To develop your fuseki skills, you should understand principles rather than memorizing patterns.

Next time, we'll focus on another popular fuseki, the Micro Chinese Opening!

Thank you!

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