Baduk TV English: Level Up to 3 Kyu: Lesson 4

Level Up to 3 Kyu is a Baduk TV series designed to fast track single digit kyu players to 3 kyu. The presenter, Lee Jihyun, is a 3 dan professional Go player. This is lesson 4.

Lesson 4

Video: Level Up to 3 Kyu: Lesson 4

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Transcript of the video

Translated by Oh Chimin 7d for

Edited by David Ormerod 5d

Episode 4: Fuseki - Sanrensei Part I

Hello everyone, welcome back to 'Level Up to 3 Kyu'. I'm Lee Jihyun 3p.

We've investigated various fuseki patterns.

In the previous lessons, you learned how to choose appropriate josekis.

Did you use what you'd learned in actual games?

The fuseki rarely proceeds the way we want it to.

Nevertheless, it's important to see and think about many fuseki patterns.

Today, we're going to explore the sanrensei.

It's an opening that can lead to the development of large frameworks and thickness.

We'll study both of these aspects, as well as the ideas behind sanrensei.

Fuseki - Why we build up thickness.

We often talk about frameworks and thickness when playing games.

In previous lessons, we talked about what thickness is.

Can you differentiate between a framework and thickness?

We'll consider the value of both large frameworks and thickness from now on.

Do you remember this joseki? I explained that it leads to a division of territory and thickness.

Even if black makes this exchange, it's hard to say that black's local moyo is a framework on its own.

But look at the right hand side. What do you think of the whole moyo?

In this case, we can say black has a large framework.

In general, thickness is solid, and has potential.

If it's accumulated, it becomes a framework.

What's good about a framework?

First of all, you can gain profit by attacking.

When black has a large framework, white might reduce like this, or invade like this.

If white invades, black should take away white's eye space.

After that, it's important to block off white's escape route.

White still has to run away.

This is the point at which many amateurs make a mistake.

They often try to turn their framework into territory, like this.

But a large framework shouldn't be used to make points in this way.

It's better to attack white more severely.

What do you think? It seems like black's territory has been destroyed.

But this group is really suffering.

As a result, white has to beg for life, making lots of bad exchanges.

On the other hand, black's built an enormous moyo on the outside.

Thanks to white's exchanges, he can harass the corner like this.

You can take profit as you attack. This is the first merit of a large framework.

Secondly, you can take advantage of your opponent's thinness.

Look at the position at the top. We often see it in actual games.

If black has a solid moyo at the bottom, he can invade and fight freely.

If white jumps out, black can easily settle at the top.

Therefore, white would approach here and take away black's eye space.

Then black kosumis and accompanies this white group as it moves out.

Black can easily escape.

When black has a large framework, he can pressure white more forcefully than usual.

Look at this moyo. It's becoming larger and more solid.

If black plays one move around here, this moyo will become a huge territory.

Without the framework, white would push and cut.

If the ladder favors white, she can attach and cut like this.

But in this case, black can fight back, since he's got many supporting stones.

The reasons why we build large frameworks:

1. We can acquire points through attacking.

2. It's easy to attack the opponent's thinness.

Next, we'll examine thickness.

Thickness is different to a framework.

Thickness isn't always turned into a framework.

To manage large moyos, you have to understand thickness.

Let's see these two variations.

I think you've already learned that these two points are thick and urgent.

Therefore, white must extend here!

However, anyone can understand that these points are important.

So no one will miss such points.

But sometimes thickness is invisible.

Let's look at the bottom right corner.

This shape can arise when white plays to reduce black's lower right area.

White attached, extended, and played a knight's move.

There's a key point for thickness here. Can you guess it?

It's this very point.

You may question how many points it's worth.

If black tenukis, white will attach here.

After this atari, he will extend like this.

White's original intention was to reduce black's moyo.

You can see that white settles down fairly easily.

He can approach here later, aiming at this point.

And this knight's move is another option.

Therefore, this point is essential.

White shouldn't tenuki.

Now if black approaches here, this group will be attacked for a long time.

So white needs to look after his group.

Even so, white's position isn't completely stable.

This is the true value of thickness.

Let's look at the top left.

Even though black's position is thick, he needs one more move.

I've seen many players push here.

If there was a stone around here, some people played a knight's move, to expand their moyo.

If there's no stone here, they'd extend here.

However, white will be happy with these pushes.

Because this area will be completed.

Therefore, there's no need to push and help white.

This extension is a thick move.

If black doesn't play there, this jump is a nice move for white.

If white ataris here, black's moyo will collapse.

So black has to push.

Before white ataris, black has to play here first.

If black cuts and fights, white doesn't need to save this stone.

Since these stones have already been used up, white can sacrifice them.

How about this? White's moyo is a lot better than in the previous variation.

In contrast, black's moyo doesn't have a lot of potential.

So that's a key move.

Later on, this push is very big, and it's sente.

And this approach is also possible.

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

As we've just seen, thickness can't always be seen clearly.

But thick moves nip your opponent's aims in the bud, while also creating good followups for you.

Next, we'll look at how to utilize thickness!

Fuseki - Utilization of Thickness

Let's look at this area.

Even though white extended on the right side, this group is still very weak.

Black can take advantage of white's thinness.

The bottom side has more potential, so this shoulder hit is a good move.

In order to develop the lower side, black should play a shoulder hit from above first.

If white answers here, this attachment is a good combination!

Normally white wedges and connects like this.

Then he captures this stone.

If black extends here, this moyo becomes far bigger.

So black's plan succeeded.

If white doesn't play here, black will atari.

White is forced to make two eyes on the right side. It's no good.

That's a good punishment if white tenukis.

Instead of the wedge, white could bump here.

After white's hane, this double hane is a nice move.

Due to the weakness here, white can't cut and capture this black stone.

Because then white's stones will be separated.

If white plays here, black connects.

This group is still unstable, while black has already gained a thick moyo on the outside.

So white has to jump here, before black plays a shoulder hit.

We've looked at how to build a thick position, making use of the opponent's thinness.

Now we'll look at how to attack using thickness.

We just learned that this point is essential.

And this position is derived from the previous position.

Since black's very thick, white has to jump and defend his group.

How can black attack this group if white tenukis?

In this case, this move is very severe.

If white tries to connect, black can push through white's shape.

White's group will suffer a lot. Even if it lives, white will lose many points.

If white plays here, black can separate and capture this stone.

White has to escape, but black's gained many points by capturing this stone.

In addition, white's group is floating, with no territory.

This is a good example of using thickness.

With thickness, you can attack your opponent's groups, and gain profit from it.

Now, we're going to look at the sanrensei.

Fuseki - Fundamental Concepts of the Sanrensei

The ideas behind this position were largely developed by Takemiya Masaki 9p.

He investigated it and showed us many new variations in his games.

The sanrensei was popular not only in Japan, but also in Korea.

Many amateur players loved this formation.

We often call it 'cosmic style'.

That's because this formation is based on the center, rather than the corners and sides.

Look at the board. Black spreads out with the sanrensei.

It's like a declaration that you're playing a center oriented game.

In fact, it's not that easy for white to respond.

White could enclose the corner, to gain some points.

But then black would take another star point.

If white sticks to territory like this, black will play at the tengen.

What do you think of black's formation?

Even though they're only five stones, this moyo looks massive!

This moyo will get better with every single move.

How about spreading out with another sanrensei formation?

White intends to compete with her own framework.

After this exchange, where would black play?

Black would take the only star point left, at tengen.

As a result, black will start with a bigger moyo.

At this point, white has to invade black's moyo.

In response, black will attack, and white will have to manage her group.

Therefore, the sanrensei aims to make thickness and attack.

1 Minute Summary

We've investigated large frameworks and thickness, and the fundamental ideas behind the sanrensei.

I think you should have some ideas about these three concepts now.

What I want you to remember from today's lesson is this variation.

Though invisible, this move is very thick and important.

Because it prevents white's good followups, while aiming at a severe attack later on.

This is the fundamental idea behind the concept of thickness.

You should also remember the basic ideas behind the sanrensei.

1 Minute Summary - The sanrensei is based on thickness. It's an attacking oriented formation.

Please remember these two things!

Frameworks and thickness are two different concepts.

But when combined effectively, they become very powerful.

That brings us to the end of today's lesson.

Next time, we'll look at some variations of the sanrensei in more detail.

Since the formation requires perfect and delicate moves, it's rarely played by most pros.

But it used to be very popular among amateurs.

That's because the formation leads to many opportunities for attacking.

We'll explore the sanrensei in more detail next time!

Thank you!

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