Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk Go, Igo, Weiqi, Baduk. Kaz's original Igo-advice & fundamentals of Igo: You don’t have to learn the latest joseki or the latest fuseki (opening).


You don’t have to learn the latest joseki or the latest fuseki (opening).

You don’t have to learn the latest joseki or the latest fuseki (opening).



You don't have to learn the latest joseki or a newly
developed opening (fuseki). If you like to learn them more than
three meals, then please do so.
But you don't have to.

Your goal is to become a strong Go player,
not a master of a new joseki or a new opening.

Do you know that Cho U 9dan (張栩 九段), who achieved the grand slam has
gotten more titles than most top Japanese pros,

never studied some opening variations, which would not
appear in his games since he was an insei.

He only kept examining his favorite fuseki and tried
to be a master of it.

Amateur players don't have time to study all kinds
of joseki and opening variations. When your opponent
tries a new joseki or fuseki, almost always you have
a way to avoid it.

Otake Hideo 9 dan (大竹英雄) doesn’t like an
"avalanche" joseki and almost always avoids it; he has still
won many games.

I always think that new joseki and new opening variations
are like fashion. They can come and go. Keep in mind
that pros come up with a new joseki every day.

Even pros in Japan have a hard time keeping up with new
josekis in South Korea and China. Japanese top pros once
avoided playing an "avalanche" joseki with Korean and
Chinese pros. When it comes to an "avalanche", if when
you make one mistake, you lose a game immediately.

I recommend that you learn basic josekis, which have been
around for the 30 or 40 years. You could find them in
my website ( http://www.kazsensei.com/ ).

For example the attach-and-extend joseki has been around
more than 50 year, and is likely to remain as joseki for
the next 30, 40 or more years.

The attach-and-extend joseki is good because it is applicable
to so many situations. That's because it's so basic and
important.

That's a classic example of a basic joseki, and I think that's
what you should learn.

One of the reasons you should learn joseki is to acquire
basic tesuji and good shape, so you can apply to ohter
situations.

Also if you learn the meaning of each move of a joseki,
you can remember the joseki for a long time. (my website
explains the meaning of each move, tesuji, and shape of
some basic josekis as well as how you can apply them
to other situations.)

I also have to mention that a new joseki or a new opening
may not exist in the next decade. No one really knows
which new joseki and opening are going to stay for the next 10 years.

Another important thing is that many amateur Go players may not
be able to study Go continuously.

When you get maried and have a child or children, and / or when you
get promoted in a higher position in company, you will probably
have no time to play Go for some years.

After a few years, you will find time to play Go again.
But some joseki and some opening that were once the most popular
may not be played anymore.

So your effort to learn new joseki or new opening may not
be paid off. Thus unless you're a pro or a top amateur,
you don't have to study the latest joseki or fuseki.

Instead you should learn basic stuff such as life-and-death,
tesuji, and shape because they have never changed for a few
hundred years, so they will very likely remain for the next
a few hundred yeras.

Moreover, they will also help you face a new joseki or a new opening.

It's because whether you know new joseki or new fuseki variations,
you always have to face a new fight. And when it comes to fight,
the more you know tesuji and shape, the better you can fight.
And the more you know life-and-death problems, the more likely
you make life or kill the enemy groups.

Learning or memorizing a new joseki or a new opening, on the
other hand, may not help you fight well if you encounter a
completely new joseki or a new opening.

When I get to 6dan, I could understand the meaning of each move
in josekis.

This is why I state that unless you're a pro or a top amateur,
you don't have to learn them.

To conclude I recommend learning the most basic joseki, which
have been around for many years.

I’d like to tell you my experience, too.

I went to America to go to university. I stayed in the US
more than 5 years and never studied or played go seriously.

After I went back to Japan, I played the 4 major amateur
Tokyo tournaments, and without knowing the most fashionable
josekis, I could still get about 85% winning ratio.

When my opponent tried a new joseki, I just avoided it.
When my opponent tried to make the Chinese fuseki or the
Kobayashi fuseki
, I played White 4 approaching Black 3
to avoid it. After that, my opponent and I had to face a new
situation, and whoever stronger was going to win.
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