Baduk TV English: Level Up to 5 Dan: Lesson 9

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 9.

Lesson 9

Video: Level Up to 5 Dan: Lesson 9

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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.

You may find it hard to improve your Go strength at your level.

I think most of you develop your reading and fighting skills by playing many games.

However, fuseki and joseki are not easy, because they require you to understand a great deal of theory.

If your reading isn't based on theory, then it can become hard to improve.

Let's begin today's lesson!

We're going to look at the Micro Chinese Opening today!

Episode 9: Micro Chinese Opening I

This fuseki is very popular, especially amongst Korean professional players.

They often use this opening in international tournaments.

This is the Mini Chinese Opening.

And this is the Micro Chinese Opening.

As you can see, this focuses more on the bottom right corner.

In contrast, it's quite far away from the other stone here.

Because of that, this fuseki is more vulnerable to invasions.

So there are pros and cons.

The Micro Chinese Opening is newer and has been more popular recently.

White should still split here.

Black secures his top right corner, and white extends here.

After this knight's move, we can expect a contest in the bottom right.

This stone will help black more in any fighting that takes place here.

Since the bottom is less urgent than the right side, black's idea is plausible.

And here's another thing. Let's suppose black encloses the corner.

When extending at the bottom, this move is best.

As we know, this position has a critical weakness here.

And this looks over-concentrated, so this is the most appropriate extension.

However, this splitting play is still the most common choice for white.

The theory is quite similar to that of the Mini Chinese Opening.

This two space extension is conceivable.

And a battle will begin.

Since black's stones are nearby, white could get into trouble.

So it's important for white to manage her group solidly.

This long knight's move is a common response.

After black jumps, white blocks here.

I think you'll be familiar with this attachment now.

After this exchange, white blocks here.

Black pushes, and white extends. This is the most common sequence when black approaches closely in the top right.

Here's another variation.

White can also approach like this.

If black secures the corner, white defends with a knight's move.

Now white's position is solid and ideal.

Now this stone looks too close to white. It should be around here.

However, since black approached closely, this invasion is possible.

As we saw earlier, this combination is good for white.

Then black ataris twice to break out.

Compared to the Mini Chinese Opening, this stone is closer to white's position.

If white plays here, this kosumi is very powerful.

Because of that, white has to defend like this.

After that, black pushes here.

This progression can be expected.

Black developed a good moyo on the right.

On the other hand, this stone is too close to white.

If black had a stone here instead, he wouldn't have to defend now.

However, this one is just too close.

Therefore, the attachment and crosscut is a good combination for white.

This attachment is quite nice, but there's another option.

Attaching here is also possible.

If black hanes here, white will cut.

After this atari, white counter-ataris.

If black looks after his corner, white cuts here.

After black captures this stone, white ataris and a ko begins.

By the way, there's still some aji in the corner. This peep can be quite nasty.

We see this kind of shape in other josekis.

In this case too, connecting here is a normal move.

This extension isn't good because white can capture this black stone in sente.

And if black captures white's stone, this hane is too painful.

That's why black should connect here.

After that, white attaches.

If black descends, white hanes, and a battle will begin.

If black extends, white will connect and take the corner.

This is a joseki.

If black hanes here, white will cut.

If black hanes on this side, white will attach to the corner.

Let's compare this to the earlier variation.

Now white needs to kosumi here.

After pushing, black has to make some more exchanges here.

This atari is important.

Then black sacrifices his two stones.

If black doesn't exchange the atari, white's group will be completely alive.

In terms of territory, this exchange is profitable.

Later this hane will be sente.

Defending here is essential.

Black plays here to stabilize his position at the bottom.

As we can see, this exchange is the only difference.

However, the exchange is profitable for white.

If white attaches here later, black will hane like this, or bump.

But because white exchanged these moves earlier, she can cut here later.

White can play many forcing moves.

As a result, white's position becomes stronger. Now white can fight here.

If white attaches here, black won't respond as before.

Instead, he'll try to keep white weak.

Every move has its own meaning and intention, though it's sometimes hard to understand.

To counter-attack in the corner, this attachment is necessary, and this exchange is plausible.

So what's the conclusion?

If black approaches here, the two space extension isn't the best response.

The long knight's move is better.

Black will play a knight's move, and white should attach here.

After black answers, white pushes.

If black blocks here, white extends.

When black approaches closely, white needs to get a solid position.

The knight's move in the top right is more common.

Now this black stone is far away from white.

In this case, white doesn't need to establish a solid position.

If white plays like this, she can't aim at the invasion anymore.

So this isn't a good idea.

How about the long knight's move?

Before blocking here, white should exchange this attachment.

For black, this knight's move is better, because he has no weaknesses in the top right.

Therefore, this variation isn't ideal for white.

In response to black's knight's move, this extension is most common for white.

Even though this move looks normal, the variations are complicated.

This knight's move is a normal answer for black.

Or, he can also defend the corner like this.

This is playable for black, but now white's group is very safe.

Therefore, black can't expect to attack it anymore.

I'd say that this strategy is territory oriented.

However, the intention of the Micro Chinese Opening is to pressure white.

In doing so, black can take the initiative.

Regardless of whether this move is good or not, it's not in keeping with black's original plan.

Because of that, this move is hardly ever played.

In contrast, this knight's move is very common.

In this case, sliding here is normal.

Black pushes here, and white makes this exchange before defending.

After black blocks, white pushes again.

Black extends, then white plays here.

Since this area is settled, black tenukis and enlarges his moyo.

This move prevents white's invasion at the bottom.

At this point, perhaps white could start erasing black's moyo immediately.

After peeping here, white can cap like this.

And then black invades at 3-3.

This variation can be expected. For starters, black gained the corner.

Even though this variation has been played in several pro games, most players choose another approach.

Many people secure the corner, to prevent black's invasion at 3-3.

There are several advantages to this. Firstly, white can complete the corner.

Secondly, it prevents black's group from becoming strong, after taking the corner.

It's good, both in terms of territory and thickness.

So, after this, black's area has become a bit weaker.

As we saw earlier, white can peep and cap like this.

In addition, white can also invade here.

As you can see, the right side is stronger than the lower left.

Therefore, instead of a one space jump, black should play a knight's move like this.

In this way, black can create balance on both sides.

White will extend at the top, or enclose the top left corner.

Next, black peeps here.

If white tenukis, black can push into white's position.

After that, there's a cutting point here.

It's a big problem for white.

Therefore, this kosumi is the proper response.

With that exchange, black reinforces his moyo.

And prevents white's reduction.

After that, this shoulder hit is normal.

If white pushes, black extends.

Later on, black can push here in sente. Then his moyo looks nice.

If white pushes here, black has two options.

This jump is safer and thicker.

However, blocking here won't be as powerful in this case.

That's because of white's wedge.

If black extends here, this move is great.

Therefore, white will usually respond here.

After that, white can push and cut, so black needs to be careful.

Nevertheless, both moves are possible.

After this jump, it's hard for black to play here.

But if you choose this move, you need to keep an eye on the weakness here.

It's hard to say which one is better. You need to choose based on the overall situation.

The moves up to here are a common development from the Micro Chinese Opening.

As we've seen, black normally plays a knight's move here.

After white slides, black pushes here.

And white normally pushes in here as well.

Sometimes people just push here though.

In that case, you need to be prepared for this hane.

If white had exchanged this move earlier, the hane wouldn't work well.

But now white can atari here, and this exchange is profitable for white.

However, white can't atari now, she can only hane.

Therefore, black can counter-hane like this.

If white ataris, black counter ataris.

Previously, black had a stone here. But that's unnecessary now.

Black can descend or connect here.

Descending can get very complicated, so connecting here is normal.

So, pushing here is another option for white.

And if you don't want to fight, you can simply extend here.

After white extends, black jumps here.

Later on, white can push and peep to reduce black's moyo.

If you don't like this as black, you can also jump here.

If white pushes, black can still block like this.

Let's see that again.

After this knight's move, white slides here.

After black pushes, white exchanges this move.

Black extends, and so does white.

Black expands his moyo, then white secures the corner.

Up to here, it's a common opening.

After this push, white can also choose this move.

But then black might resist with this hane. Extending here is also possible, of course.

However, black can separate white like this.

In response to white's hane, black counter-hanes.

When white cuts here, black shouldn't rescue this stone.

Up to here, we have another joseki.

Since this white stone is isolated, black's position is thicker.

On the other hand, white took the corner.

We've reviewed several patterns related to white's two space extension today.

Next time, we'll look at white's push here. After white peeps, a battle can be expected!

Thank you!

Baduk TV English at GoGameGuru.com