Baduk TV English: Level Up to 5 Dan: Lesson 15

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 15.

Lesson 15

Video: Level Up to 5 Dan: Lesson 15

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Transcript of the video

Translated by Oh Chimin 7d

Edited by David Ormerod 5d

Episode 15: Understanding the Parallel Fuseki III

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

To become a strong player, you need a good understanding of the opening, middle game and endgame.

A failure in the fuseki will make it hard for you to win the game.

To improve your middle game and endgame, you need to play as many games as possible.

On the other hand, you can improve your fuseki skills by learning about Go theory.

Today we're going to continue our study of the parallel fuseki.

Last time, we investigated this splitting play.

But recently, this approach is preferred.

To review, that's because black's approach from the top can be a powerful move later.

To avoid that, white plays here.

In response, these pincers are conceivable.

If black plays the low pincer, white normally invades at 3-3.

It's an unusual move, but this one space jump is sometimes played too.

If black responds here, white plays a shoulder hit.

If black attaches after the knight's move, white should descend here.

Blocking here is also possible.

However, black will hane. The moves up to here form one possible joseki.

If black's enclosure is high, white can peep or approach like this.

Because of this aji, these moves are playable for white.

But, in this case, there's no such aji, and black's territory is quite satisfying.

So white should avoid this variation if possible.

Because of that, white should descend here.

Then black pushes here.

Black needs a row of three before he can jump out.

Up to here, it's joseki.

Later on, black can peep and cut.

And connecting here is too slow.

So, in this case, white attaches here instead.

After that, playing at 3-3 is a good idea.

Black can't separate white, because this wedge is powerful.

It's a disaster for black.

If black separates white with an empty triangle, white will cut.

But this battle is unfavorable for black.

If black connects, white wedges here.

There's no point in cutting here, because white's groups are all safe.

Therefore, this atari is the best response for black.

After the atari, this hane is also sente.

This is the expected sequence.

This wall might be useful in the future, but without a base, it could also be attacked.

However, this white group is already settled in the corner.

And since this wall will probably be useful later, white is OK.

In response to this jump, black should answer here. The one space jump is also fine.

Let's have a look at one more thing.

How about pushing and cutting like this?

Now the ladder matters.

Black can approach here, as a ladder breaker. After that, he can double approach the corner.

This is one possible option for black.

Let's see how the ladder occurs.

After black cuts, white ataris here.

Black should extend, and white pushes.

If he wants to capture white's stones, black should atari here.

After black blocks here, white cuts and ataris.

Now this atari is sente, so it's a ladder.

If there's a black stone here, the ladder favors black.

Therefore, you have to be aware of this ladder when playing this joseki.

Otherwise you might end up in big trouble.

What if black has already made this exchange?

How would you play after black pushes here?

If you block, you'll collapse.

Here's an alternative. You can block here instead.

It's an unavoidable choice, so the result won't be ideal.

But white can't block here in this case.

When the ladder is unfavorable, this move is useful.

Then black hanes, and white connects here.

After black extends, white jumps here.

It's complicated, but it looks like white played a bit submissively.

Therefore, I'd say that it's slightly better for black.

However, you may find this variation useful in an emergency.

Now let's look at the one space jump.

White plays a shoulder hit again.

As I said, white can block here now.

That's because there's some aji in the corner.

But white can also descend here.

If black jumps out, white connects. The result is even.

However, black can push once more in this case.

After that, this empty triangle is very powerful.

If white connects, black pushes and cuts.

After the atari, black pushes again.

Now white should block here. This atari is pleasant for black.

And, after black attaches here, it's a capturing race. Black will win by one liberty.

The race will begin after white hanes and connects, and black blocks here.

Indeed, it's a very powerful strategy for black.

Therefore, white will be in trouble if she connects here.

So invading at 3-3 is one solution, sacrificing these two stones.

But this variation is a bit difficult for white to manage.

Another option is this double approach, but it isn't played very often in this opening.

In the past, it was played from time to time.

Black will attach here now. This is a bit different to other pincers.

In this case, white can fight by playing a hane like this.

But now it's hard to hane, because black can cut and capture this white stone.

There are some josekis starting from this position though.

As we know, this is (locally speaking) a joseki.

However, because black's position is thick, it isn't played very often, especially in this fuseki.

This joseki is possible in other cases, but right now it isn't appropriate for white.

Instead of capturing a white stone, this hane is a strong move.

If white invades at 3-3, blocking here is nice.

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

If black attaches, white invades at 3-3.

After this exchange, black tenukis and approaches the bottom left corner.

There will be some aji here later on. White can move her stone out and connect.

Black can still get a decent position with tiger's mouth,

But this aji is a burden for black.

After the double approach, invading at 3-3 is a good continuation.

With the two space high pincer, it's often played.

Recently, the two space low pincer has also been played frequently.

If black blocks here, white will connect.

After this, black wedges and connects.

White should play a tiger's mouth or connect.

Up to here, it's a joseki. Now black wants to pincer white's stone.

But with the one space low pincer, this stone is here, so it's better for black than this shape.

In this case, this atari is nasty.

Let's review what we've just seen.

In response to the low pincer, white can invade at 3-3 or jump out.

But after these distant pincers, white normally double approaches. Please understand the difference.

This one space jump also appears in joseki books.

However, it's an inappropriate move now.

In my opinion, you should avoid this move, except in special circumstances.

Black will jump and secure the corner like this.

In the past, black played a long extension now.

But this extension is preferred today. This is a joseki.

However, we need to analyze this variation by comparison.

Here's a basic joseki. We all know it.

However, white's position became flat, because of this move.

Even though white jumped out, this exchange is profitable for black. It's unpleasant for white.

In addition, there's some aji here.

After peeping, black can attach here.

Up to here, black can develop the right side. This aji is annoying for white.

Moreover, there's something even more irritating.

Surprisingly, this kosumi can be nasty.

White should block here, then black extends.

White should push again, for safety.

If white responds here, the exchange is unprofitable for white.

In the process of these exchanges, black's built influence on the outside.

If white tenukis, black will kosumi again.

Then bumping here is a good continuation.

After that, clamping here is excellent! White doesn't have a good response.

If white connects here, this white stone will automatically be captured.

If white extends here, black will push.

Now the entire group is unsettled.

It's an extremely unpleasant situation for white.

Because of this aji, it's hard to call this variation 'a joseki'.

So, in response to the distant pincers, white can double approach.

Many complicated variations are possible.

And today we're looking at some essential variations.

Recently, pincer attacks have been played rarely.

Usually this knight's move has been played.

If black answers at 3-3, white will extend along the right side.

Black can still check white like this later.

It's hard to say it's bad for black.

Black still has some aji here.

After this exchange, the diagonal attachment is a strong move.

If white tries to connect, black clamps like this.

If White extends, black can split white by pushing here.

Once divided, managing both groups will be very difficult.

It's a disaster for white.

Therefore, white should extend here instead.

After sacrificing a stone, white should jump out.

So the aji is quite strong indeed.

However, black shouldn't let white settle so easily.

Instead, black wants to find a way to expand his moyo.

Because of that, black doesn't usually follow this strategy.

Instead, the attachment and pincer are more common.

To avoid that, some players extended here first. That's a good strategy.

How about the two space extension? I suppose you know how to respond.

With this diagonal attachment, black wants to make white's position over-concentrated.

After that, black checks white here.

If white tenukis, this knight's move is a severe attack.

But in this case, the diagonal attachment is a thank you move.

White's position is ideal. If black approaches, white jumps out here.

The difference between these two variations is huge.

In recent games, some players still attached like this.

Previously, this kind of attachment was considered to be taboo.

But in some situations, this diagonal attachment can be played to take territory.

After invading, black hanes and connects.

This sacrifice strategy is sometimes employed.

But it isn't played at such an early stage in the game.

Instead, some players choose to play like this to focus on territory before getting into the middle game.

Normally, black tenukis and approaches, for speed.

If black wants to continue in the top right, he can secure the corner with a one space jump.

If white defends here, black approaches.

There's some aji here later on.

If white extends here, black can invade and fight later.

Anyway, sliding here is more common.

We'll look at these two moves in the next lesson.

If you're not confident about fighting, this extension is an appropriate move for you.

If black invades, white can attach and connect.

We've been learning about the parallel fuseki.

Next time, we'll investigate the attachment and the pincer.

Thank you!

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