Class C, second week; insei-level opening theory, part 2

To confuse all the readers who got in the habit of reading new blog posts here on Gooften about once a week — or even a bit less often than that during Christmas — here’s a surprise update! Finnish readers may be interested in knowing that there is also a new update at Insei Japanissa, posted yesterday.

Today was this month’s second week, and this time I got a clean result, getting wins against the insei number #5-7. Of these, only the last game was relatively difficult; the first two against 齋藤 and 新井 were relatively easy, me killing some larger groups from the opponent in both games. Here’s most of the current results in jpg format:

Note the winning streak of my nemesis: #12 藤原 (Fujiwara)!

Today, Yoda Norimoto sensei was also present and doing some game commentaries. My games were taking too long for me to get him review any of my games, unfortunately.

This time I won’t be posting a game record, but instead some more insight into specific joseki along with explanations. No, we’re still not getting out from the 3-4 point with a one-space high approach and a one-space low pincer!

We’ve seen this before, right? I got some more answers to this from the professionals at our weekly English class, and am now updating the blog respectively. My fellow insei like to play this joseki from black’s side all the time, and as I quite like white’s results from whatever follows here next, I completely dont mind that.

If the ladder works for white, he can play the keima of white 1 as in figure 2. If the ladder didn’t work for white and he tried to play this way anyway, instead of black 8, black would play to the left of white 5. That way, the white stones at 3 and 5 would die hopelessly. Up to black 12, white’s result is not bad: he gets a strong group and sente, while black’s positions are low all over.

To the keima of white 1, we also saw earlier black’s answer of the iron pillar of black 2. Black then proceeds to play black 8 as here in figure 3, contrary to playing instead at white 9’s intersection as in figure 2. However, for the cut of black 10, white has a fine answer of 11 and 13. After black 16, white can omit the atari to the left of black 16, and instead play the hanging connection of 17 directly. If black took the corner with A after this, white would play at black 22 and get a good result. Black is usually more interested in moving out with his stone, as seen here with black 18-22.

If white has some stones on the lower side already, he could next make a pincer attack to the black lower-side group. In addition to that, white may consider living in the corner with A, which leaves white a possibility to connect his stones on the first line (by playing under black 6), thanks to white having omitted the atari (to the left of black 16) earlier. This result is somewhat preferable for white.

Since the earlier sequence has been deemed better for white, black might also consider playing the counter atari of black 12, as here in figure 4. Then white 13 follows, and after white 17, black really has to go back to defend with 18 — otherwise black’s shape would have a gaping cutting point left. As white now gets to play a big move on the lower side, this result is probably better for white as well.

Inferring from these two previous diagrams, the iron pillar of black 1 here in figure 5 appears a bit dubious. It may not be possible to conclusively call it bad, but at least the two results shown are preferable for white, and it’s not easy to find a better way for black to play. Even just instinctively, this kind of a contact play mostly feels like it simply helps white.

If the ladder doesn’t work for white, and also sometimes when it does work, white may be interested to play like in figure 6, with the contact play of white 2. After black answers with the hane of 2, we go back to the vital point of white 3. The extension of white 9 is a fairly modern move. Up to 13, the result appears to be equal. Note that the extension of black 12 really is extremely big. This joseki really comes up often in insei games nowadays.

If the right side is of interest to black, when white scoops black’s shape point with white 1 in figure 7, black also has the option of playing atari with black 2. Up to 4, locally the result may be better for white, but this could be an effective line of play for black in some games.

Some readers may be more familiar with the complicated joseki shown here, where white plays the “pseudo net” of white 9. While the sequence may seem really obscure, there is surprisingly little room for variations. By white 31, white has gained some good influence white black has gotten a very solid profit in the corner. Note that white doesn’t need the ladder to keep the two black stones at 16 dead — if black comes out, white plays another net. Since black gets sente from this joseki, he may next move to make sure that white doesn’t get too much on the right side. It’s difficult to say for sure, but black’s profit in the corner might be just a bit too big compared to what white gains.

While I say “older joseki”, it’s likely that this joseki has still been invented only in the 21st century! I’m not (yet) a joseki historian however, so don’t take that for granted.




8 thoughts on “Class C, second week; insei-level opening theory, part 2”

    1. At least as of now it would seem possible — I’m ranked second in wins now that #1 lost to #10 on the latest round (which wasn’t recorded yet in the results when I took the picture). Losing is easier than winning, however, so we never know what will happen. I’m intending to concentrate on the games and forgo speculating about who gets promoted and who not until the month is over.

    1. I guess we have slightly different usage for the word new here. The 21st Century New Openings Vol. 2 was published in 2010, which means that the joseki might not be more than a few years old. Compared to some other joseki, I’d call this one a relatively new one.

  1. Hi!

    keep on the good work :)

    In the previous post where you wrote about the iron pilar variation (number 5) I made some commentaries with another variation someone told me and I like most. I get not an answer as I commented long after you posted it. Maybe you can have a look and tell em your opinion.

    1. I believe that would mean Figure 4 in the current post? What I heard from the professionals was that black’s result is still unsatisfactory, as white gets a mighty strong wall and sente.

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