Monday, January 29, 2007

Furikawari and the "Why" behind it

Yeah, I was busy
A handful of you know that the third to fifth weeks of the beginning of the quarter is when I coordinate a small global conference. There were no posts to my blog last week.

Trading Places: Furikawari

I (Black) expected to take the left but was happy
to take the corner and bottom.

In a recent game, one of White's moves in a corner battle (number 8 in the image above) made me (Black) consider taking an opportunity for furikawari; that is, an exchange of potential territory.

In the opening of this game, White seemed to be mimicking my High Chinese Opening. This fuseki shares some of the potential of the sanrensei (stones on the star-points of one side) in developing a center-facing territorial framework. The challenge for the opponent would then become the task of invading or reducing the framework.

With my stone at D10 and the approach at D6, I had generally expected White to give me the left side so that she could build a right-facing wall and a moyo that I would have to later reduce.

However, the atari of move 8 seemed to suggest that White wanted to take the side, so I obliged with the sequence shown above to take the corner, and eventually, the bottom.

White got an upward-facing wall on the left; but it's potential was somewhat blunted by my stone at D10.

In the course of this game, the exchange favored Black.

Applying a sanrensei guideline
I can't say that the territorial exchange that took place in that game was fundamentally advantageous or disadvantageous. After all, White could still push my D10 stone against her wall with a pincer in either C12 or D12.

My decision to play for the exchange was influenced by a guideline for using the sanrensei fuseki that Shukaku Takagawa provided in the first chapter of The Power of The Star-Point.

The diagram above shows a possible outcome after White's approach and Black's pincer. If White jumps into the corner, then Black makes good use of his sanrensei by blocking in the direction of the center stone (Q10).

The result yields a large zone of influence from the stone on O16 to Q10. Ideally (but very unlikely), Black may be able to turn this zone into solid territory. The more likely outcome is that White will be forced to invade or reduce that zone; and Black's massive wall will give him the upper hand.

Blocking toward the left makes less effective use of the sanrensei. Although Black takes the top, White undermines the potential of using the sanrensei to build a large framework on the right.

In my game, given that a successful furikawari could have allowed me to deny White a similar framework from her opposing Chinese Opening, it seemed to make sense to play for the exchange.

For now, it's NO to Vista

These days, I tend to run our house's IT maintenance and upgrades the same way that most corporations run theirs; conservatively and only when the technology has matured or become acceptably stable.

Windows Vista is due to release in late January and I've already decided that we will not be upgrading for 1-2 years; and then only when we need to replace our hardware.

Back on January 18th, Walter Mossberg, Personal Technology editor for the Wall Street Journal wrote:
After months of testing Vista on multiple computers, new and old, I believe it is the best version of Windows that Microsoft has produced. However, while navigation has been improved, Vista isn't a breakthrough in ease of use. Overall, it works pretty much the same way as Windows XP.

He goes on to write:
For most users who want Vista, I strongly recommend buying a new PC with the new operating system preloaded. I wouldn't even consider trying to upgrade a computer older than 18 months, and even some of them may be unsuitable candidates.

Clearly, Walter is not being effusive in his recommendation to upgrade. I believe my desktop and ChiyoMama's laptop may be candidates for upgrading but Chiyo-Chan's desktop, top-of-the-line powerhouse that it was two years ago, might struggle somewhat.

We ran Microsoft's Vista Upgrade Advisor on all three and these were the discouraging results.
  • Her Nero CD burning software will need to be upgraded. The current version will not run on Vista.
  • Full compatibility with our networked HP Officejet 7310xi is not guaranteed.
  • Compatibility with proprietary media-enhancement software (from Sony and HP) is not guaranteed.
  • Each computer also had 7-20 applications or peripherals for which compatibility was not guaranteed.
Upgrading all three of our XP-based computers to Vista would cost our household between $300 to $450 for the operating system alone. Add to that the lost time and additional costs of software and/or peripheral upgrades, and our household has many a good reason to just stick with Windows XP SP2.


At 2:00 PM, January 30, 2007, Blogger thrashor said...

It is interesting that vista requires a nero upgrade. I suppose it is for DRM enforcement purposes?

BTW, I finally gave the go aggregator site ( a much needed facelift.


At 2:05 PM, January 30, 2007, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Very likely. Of course, I don't expect Microsoft to give me a refund for the upgrade.

The GA looks much better and easier to scan!

At 12:59 AM, February 03, 2007, Blogger Alejo said...

Windows Vista always makes me smile...Their brand new "wow" visual environment is outdated for most linux users as these graphical tools have been on Unix systems for a long while... (I'm referring to beryl and compiz, for those who know what I'm talking about)... But it requires a much more powerfull machine to run Windows.

On a test I did, I tried to emulate a Windows program from Linux (so I emulated Windows and the program itself) and almost get it to work: the interface loaded, the menus and most things, but a quite important part in the center of the program...
When I tried windows on the same computer (both are installed), the program failed to load (nothing appeared, just loads of errors).

Conclusion: Windows... well, I'll leave it up to you.

So, I don't think I'm moving to Vista till I buy a newer machine... And whenever my computer starts to feel "slow" in Vista, I'll move to linux...


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