Kikashi

British Go Journal No. 66. November 1985. Page 16.

Matthew Macfadyen

In this issue we concentrate on using kikashis for speed - either to slow the opponent down or to accelerate your own progress (often these come to the same thing).

Diagram 1








Dias 1 and 2 show a couple of examples from joseki. In Dia 1 the two black stones in the corner are going to be captured, and there is only one way to use the potential remaining in them. Black should play the 1- 2 exchange as soon as possible - if he fails to do so, White may embarass him by playing A.

Althought the 1-2 exchange does not stop white A, it put an obstacle in White's path. With black 1 in position, he can answer A at B and force White to reply. The effect of the 1-2 exchange is to slow white A down by a whole move, and this makes the difference between a move White may well play in the opening and one which he should certainly leave until the endgame.

Diagram 2









Dia 2 shows another example, White has good moves at C and D, and Black plays the 1-2 exchange to reduce their effectiveness. White can still play C after this exchange, but in that case he would prefer to have answered 1 at F. Black 1 does not discourage whcit C as absolutely as the plays in Dia 1, but it still helps a bit.

Incidently, White might choose to answer black 1 at F and then tenuki after black C, but then Black can be satisfied with his secure corner. White G is definitely bad, since the marked stone is left on a silly point (though G is exactly where White would play in the absense of the marked stone).

Diagram 3







Dia 3 shows a less clear cut example, Black has a large territory on the right, and White is about to play H to reduce it.

The effect of the 1-2 exchange here is not so much to slow white down as to reduce his options. Dia 4 shows a possible continuation - if white obediently plays 5' at J, then the kikashi does not do much. But there is a danger that he will play as shown, and trade the corner for the side. It is to remove this option that Black may consider the kikashi in Dia 3.

Diagram 4







When a weak group is struggling to survive in the opponent's sphere of influence, it is common for most of the plays to be kikashis, with both players struggling for extra speed. We conclude with two examples, one of a successful attack, and one of a successful defence.

Diagram 5










Dia 5 comes from the game which took Michael Redmond to 2dan professional. His opponent had incorrectly played the marked stone (it should be at K), and the string of kikashis from 1 to 7 more or less wrapped up the game. Black's group is heavy, eyeless, and surrounded.

Diagram 6








Dia 6 is somewhat artificial, but shows the effects of the defender* being too slow footed. Note how White happily discards the stones 1, 3, 5, 7 as soon as each has done its job of slowing Black down. After 24, White's group is quite close to being alive, and since he still has the option of playing X in the corner, Black has a lot less than his money's worth from the nine stone advantage with which he started in this area.
* BGJ had 'attacker'.

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This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 66
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.



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