Saturday, February 03, 2007

A White Facing Komoku

Safe and super-timid.

In a recent game, White played a facing komoku (3-4 Point) fuseki; something I don't encounter very frequently. I had started with a hoshi (4-4) and a komoku.

That's a pretty wide space between those two White stones and I wasn't quite sure what a good response might be. I knew it wasn't optimal, but I chose to just jump into the center with an invasion on the third line. It was safe, but rather uninspiring and somewhat timid.

White gets the corners easy.

I felt it wasn't optimal because White would, and did, approach my invasion from both sides and force me to defend. As White does so, she forms two corner enclosures albeit the last one in gote. I guessed that I would at least be able to blunt an extension from one of those on either the left or right side.

But, all's well that ends well.

The end result was alright. Both sides mapped out large territories and Black won by a little over twenty points (White was 7k and I was 8k).

Misreading the invitation
The Nihon Ki-in Small Encyclopedia of Fuseki explains that the facing komoku fuseki, as played by White, is an invitation for Black to make an approach at either corner. White expects to pincer the approach, making good use of the opposite corner stone.

Black must start a fight that frustrates this objective.

What White really wants

A low approach to either of the 3-4 points plays into White's hands. This allows her to make a very effective pincer in sente.

The above diagram show one possible forced sequence which puts Black at a disadvantage.

A better approach for Black
Pincers tend to be less effective against high approaches and Black can therefore get a better result.

This diagram suggests a possible sequence which would work very well with a Black nirensei (two star-points). Rather than finishing the joseki, Black could tenuki and approach the other White Corner. If White opts to cut the hane at A, Black gets to do a double-approach to the neglected corner at B.

If White responds to 5 with an attachment at P3, Black can play out the joseki at both corners and claim the bottom.


At 2:42 PM, February 05, 2007, Blogger Alejo said...

First, I'm about 9-10k, so my opinion isn't really valuable. Now, let's continue.

What about white 6? I think that if white plays on p3 he lets black create that huge moyo on the center-bottom.
But what if white played a pincer, not a narrow pincer, but a wide one, like M3 or L3? I know that would lead to an early fight, but I don't like my opponent to start building huge moyos on the center.

Well, just my point of view.

Ah, by the way, I've added a link to your blog on mine.

See ya!


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