British Go Journal No. 54. October 1981. Page 7.

Matthew Macfadyen

In this issue we consider a pattern in which many players make the worst possible move and feel pleased with themselves.

Dia 1

In Dia 1 White has correctly decided to sacrifice his stone triangle and take a position on the outside. He plays atari at 1, and the problem is what to do next.

Dia 2

Dia 3

All too often, we see Dia 2 appearing. (One of our stronger 2 dans did it twice in a recent tournament game, which is what prompted this article). The player with the white stones feels pleased to have got in a good kikashi with 1. Actually, though, white 1 is awful - he should just play 1 in Dia 3. This is not sente - If he tries to save the corner stone Dia 4 is the best bet but it leaves White with two eyeless groups which will be difficult to look after.

Dia 4

Black 8 connects.

Where, then, is white's gain?

Dia 5

Firstly, consider the case where Black plays elsewhere - White can choose Dia 5, in which White 1 is clearly better placed than in Dia 2 but the result is otherwise the same, or, depending upon the circumstances, he could play 1 at A, B, C or D - now you begin to see the virtues of leaving the aji alone - the choice of so many plays all of which are sente gives white enormous power in the area.

Dia 6

Next, consider the case where Black decides to answer White after Dia 3 - Dia 6 seems to be about all he has, but after exchanging 1 for 2 he is pretty well forced to play 3 as well (as a general rule, when pushing along the second line you should not stop as soon as your stones are alive, but add one more to stop the opponent from blocking in sente). The result of Dia 6 is a disaster for Black. White's cutting stone is still causing trouble - White can play A in sente - and Black's gain in the corner is negligible beside the growth of White's wall.

Dia 7

Dia 8

This position is an example of a pattern which arises quite frequently. Dias 7 and 8 show two examples from joseki (in Dia 7, Black 1 is necessary to gain time - White could play A if Black started with 3). In each case note how Black's initial atari stone is treated lightly, and how difficult it is for White to deal efficiently with the resulting position.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 54
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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