Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Care and Survival of Pincers

"Must ... keep ... SENTE!"

Back in December, I had written about pincers launched in your opponent's area of influence. I play pincers a lot because merely forming a shimari (corner enclosure) in response to a kakari (corner approach) feels too passive. I expect to become less aggressive as I mature in this game as even Cho HunHyun wrote:
In every Go player's life, early in one's career, youthful exuberance propels one into stirring fights. But as one gets stronger, one tends to go for solid profit. I am no exception to the rule.

But, as most of you know, I'm still in the (irrational) "exuberance" stage.

Lately, I've been wrestling with the dilemma of how manage my pincer stones when they come under attack.

As shown in the above diagram, the most common response to a pincer is a leap into the corner at the 3-3 point. White gets territory while Black gets outside influence and some thickness. Most would say that's fair dinkum.

Black usually chooses 4 at Q3 as his blocking move unless he has a stone at A. Otherwise, he chooses R4 so that he can build a moyo.

The pincer stone starts getting isolated

Other times however, White finds it in her interest to hang tough on the outside and duke it out with the pincer stone. This initial sequence to 5 is very common. Black must now decide how to proceed.

Sure the corner is defended, but ...

As a lower-level kyu, I've often followed this common pattern to 6 or to 8 in order to protect the corner. But most of you can see what is happening. With each move, White is getting stronger and forming an anvil against which the pincer stone of M4 will be smashed against with a counter-pincer. White can also slide to M2 but that seems a little slack to me.

In past reviews with GW (4D) and Zero9090 (3k), I was shown that the Black defensive moves at R3 and S3 can sometimes be superceded by other local moves which can yield more profit or pose a greater threat to your opponent.

Not responding to the Q2 slide however, gives White an opportunity to inflict much damage upon Black's shimari. So the key is to find a move that is big enough that White will reconsider, for the time being, continuing with her encroachment into the corner. The move must draw White into another battle in order to keep the balance.

Kick the kakari!

Here's one model suggested by The Nihon Ki-in Handbook of Star Point Joseki.

Black probes White's preference.

In this sequence, rather than Black responding with 6 at R3, he attaches to the kakari stone with N3. This move is actually a probe to see if White is prepared to continue the outside fight or to take the corner.

Fight on the outside!

The sequence shown above is a joseki that results if White prefers to fight on the outside. Black is ultimately able to protect the corner with 10. This is judged by Kawamoto Noboru to be an equal result albeit somewhat slack for Black.

The corner is mine!

This alternate sequence is a joseki that forms if White prefers to take the corner with move 9. Black's hane at 10 and atari at 12 aim to spoil White's shape but her counter-atari with 15 keeps all of her stones connected.

For me, when comparing the two sequences, Black seems to still wind-up with one group which is not perfectly settled. He has territory potential; but it has yet to be realized. White may or may not get much territory, but her stones are settled and stable.

Understanding these possible sequences is helpful; but as always, they still don't provide easy answers for what may follow next.

Chiyo-Chan's Gallery and the animation of Adam Philips

Hikaru from Angelic Layer

Chiyo-Chan has been continuing her experiments with Flash animation. Here's a trio of her tests:
These are her scraps. You can find her public-presentation gallery here.

Bitey of Brackenwood

In the course of her search for tips and techniques, she stumbled-upon a site by Adam Philips down in New South Wales, Australia. Adam once worked as an animation director for Disney.

The following links are his award-winning shorts about his characters from mystical Brackenwood. I've listed them in the order that they are best viewed.
You can find more of his shorts (thirty of them) which will launch from the buttons on the top of this page. Some of these could be rated PG-13 for ... grossness.


At 4:06 AM, January 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to be pedantic but...

Adam Philips is from *New* South Wales, which is an Aussie State.

Saying South Wales is like referring to the US States of York, Hampshire and Mexico.

At 7:38 AM, January 17, 2007, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Ah! Sorry for that. I should know better given that I actually spent time in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle.

At 8:01 PM, January 17, 2007, Blogger chluaid said...

hey chiyodad! Thanks for the mention and links.. and the comment on my blog :)

At 7:00 AM, January 18, 2007, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Hello chluaid! I know that I and your many fans will be looking forward to seeing Waterlollies.

At 3:32 PM, January 18, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the variation that is supposed to protect the corner black needs to play 8 at S2 instead of S3. However, even though S2 is several magnitudes better than S3, it is even better to just play tenuki somewhere else. White 7 is way too small move to play in fuseki stage. -GammaTau, KGS 1d

At 1:46 PM, January 19, 2007, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Hello GammaTau! You're the third person to tell me that (the first two were in reviews).

I think I learned S3 from an old book and it just stuck in my head as a solid way to play (few complications). I'll probably try S2 more often from now.

At 7:04 PM, January 21, 2007, Anonymous bitti said...

GammaTau is right. To answer Wr7 is bad, white just gets profit in sente this way (and to answer by yielding at S3 instead of blocking at S2 is even worse).

But Wr7 is really just an endgame move (Wm2 is Joseki), so answering this at n3 is fine.


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