How To Play Along The Sides - Part 4

British Go Journal No. 10. December 1969. Page 11.

Kaku Takagawa, 9p

Continued from part 3b, BGJ 9 page 10.

IX. Pressing or Hemming in the Third Line

Diagram 55

With the stones placed as shown in Dia 55, Black plays 1 on the right. After 2, Black can press in whites formation from A. Black can take the same action in the upper left hand corner as well. The result of this would be that the white formation would be badly placed along the third line.

Diagram 56

This is one of the reasons why Black chooses the high 3-5 play, planning to check Whites attack by pressing him in. He hopes that this possibility will force White to make a high attack as shown in Dia 56.

A high attack is, considered by itself, inferior to a low attack, because it does not make as direct a claim on territory. But even if white plays high, if he extends to 6, blindly following joseki, Black can then press the 4 position by 7. If, instead of playing 6 as shown, White occupies 7 and then tries to extend, Black will place a stone between the formations.

Diagram 57

Therefore, as in Dia 57, White may allow Black to close the right corner in order to occupy 2 and 4 to the left.

Diagram 58

When there is a formation in the lower area as shown in Dia 58, black can occupy 1 in an attempt to press the white groups as in 3 to 7.

Diagram 59

Diagram 60

If white occupies a high position instead, as in Dia 59, 7 will still press the white stones into a low position. Therefore, instead of attacking the upper corner, white may follow the joseki as shown in Dia 60.

In the next two examples, we will see exceptions to the idea of pressing in an opponent.

Diagram 61

Diagram 62

In Dia 61, 1 is in itself a good point regardless of the attack on the corner. If white should try to press in starting at the corner, black may obligingly comply by following white along the side. Although this would be a passive defence for black, it may gain actual benefits, due to the narrow two point extension of white. Since white would not be able to utilise his wall, 1 for black would be recognised as a proper step to take.

In Dia 62, White satisfies himself with a low position, allowing black to extend to 10 or even further. This will utilise the large wall to advantage but there are times when this position is not good for black. This would be true if the arrangement in the lower right were such that 10 itself would become pressed; in such a case 1 would be very worthwhile for white.

Diagram 63

In Dia 63, not considering any possible arrangements that may be present in the upper left, white 1 is very much needed. It threatens to extend to A and menace Blacks corner at its basic weak point B. Also if black fails to respond to 1, white will occupy the point that black should have taken - that is C, the press position, leaving white with an excellent formation. Therefore black must press immediately. Let us then assume that the subsequent development takes the form of the previous Dia. Then it will be blacks turn to play along the side with D. White will then be able to press black from the upper right corner, which will result in a low formation for black.

Thus black must abandon in this case the extension after the press and make some other move. This example is taken from a master game, where Black then played E and White cut Blacks formation by playing D. The cases where the pressing down of a side is not desirable are, however, rare. They result from cases where the extension after the press is difficult or where the influence gained is small.

Diagram 64

Diagram 65

In the situation of Dia 64, 4 threatens to press down on black at A, and black therefore replies at that point. The further developments are shown in Dia 65.

Black now has the double threat of pressing down on whites formation from both left and right. If white stands idle, he will find himself at a disadvantage. In order to prevent this and because being down from the 3-5 position is more threatening, white may place 1 on the right. On the other side, after black begins to press down with 2, white will answer with 3. Now white is threatening to press down on black towards the right from 1.

If White would have extended with 1 to A, then after Black begins to press to the left with 1, a low position along the whole side will develop for White.

In opening strategy, pressing down an opponents stone is given great importance. In order to prevent an opponents press or to minimise its effects we arrive at some of the complexities of opening strategy.

Diagram 66a

In Dia 66a, White would like to play 1, to check blacks extension from the upper left. If he does this, however, he will be subject to the press at A. If he protects himself from this by playing at A, then black will occupy 1. In such a position as this, is there anything that white can do to protect himself? Let us look at this problem again as it is shown in Dia 66b.

Diagram 66b

Here he plays 1, a pincer attack against the black stone. He might have played a low pincer at A, but both are of the same idea. These pincer attacks are chosen on the assumption that Black must answer them. If this is so, then black will not have time to play at B. In both pincer attacks, 2 is a necessary reply. After 3, black will find that B will lose its effectiveness. Thus the effect of whites attacking the black stones should be studied.

The idea of the press can be extended to the fourth and fifth lines, instead of the third and fourth; however, the press on these lines is disadvantageous to the player who makes it.

Diagram 67a

Diagram 67b

In Dia 67a we have a position given In books on joseki. White 3 is incorrect and should be played at A instead. By playing as white does, he forces black to play 4 and 6; Black is satisfied to extend indefinitely.

In Dia 67b, we have a position which is often found in match games. The usual move In this position is 1 as shown. After 2, should white follow by playing to the left of 2, black will extend. As these exchanges increase, white will lose from each one. The idea of a loss in pressing from the fifth line may be considered as an axiom.

[Start] Continued in part 5 on BGJ 11 page 8.

This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 10
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

Last updated Thu May 04 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.