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 Post subject: Pincer response fundamentals
Post #1 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:30 am 
Oza
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So for a while now, I've been improving. Most of this has been because I've been looking more after my group health in the opening. I may be taking it too far, however. Yesterday, I realized that when my opponent pincers a stone of mine, I'm hesitant to run. Too often I just jump into the corner for safety. When is running worth the cash your opponent gets from pushing you?

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm1
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . W . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . X . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


When should white run here? Black will get several stones loosely aiming towards fourth-line territory on the right and often a stable group on the bottom, how can white best compensate? I know I can look at joseki for pincers, but they show how to continue, instead of when to jump in the first place. Also, when should white run after approaching a 4-4, versus the same question approaching a 3-4?

I just realized I was scared of a whole type of opening move, and that this is not okay. I want to start running when it's proper, but I want to only do it when it's a good idea. I've learned recently that white in a big handicap game often has to run, because taking the corner just gives black too much thickness to bear.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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 Post subject: Re: Pincer response fundamentals
Post #2 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:48 am 
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In the position you give, both jumping and switching to 3-3 are possible. I'm sure you've seen the plain old joseki many times before:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm1
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . 8 . W . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . 6 4 2 7 . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . 9 . 5 3 X . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


Of course there are quite a lot of variations here. But the point is that (in this situation) white intends to push his opponent down after jumping out - then your stones will become a "wall" exerting power to the outside. So the stones have a function. This function could also be something entirely different, for example:

- use your stones to fight back:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm1
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . 4 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . X . O . . X . , 5 . . . . O . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . 2 . 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |[/go]


- make a light thing to reduce your opponents moyo:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm1
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . O . . . . . O . . X . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . , . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . . O . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . X . . . . . , 1 . . |
$$ | . . . . . X . . . . . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


- etcetera; all good, as long as there is a reason to jump out :)

If the outside is somehow unimportant, sliding to the corner might be best. The same might apply if your opponent is very strong and you really don't want to fight in that area. Or if you need the points in the corner to win the game. And in some positions, taking the corner is just a logical move. But you cannot generalise this without specific examples... jumping out and fighting is good just as often - and as long as you haven't invested more than one stone in the area, tenuki is always an option :)

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 Post subject: Re: Pincer response fundamentals
Post #3 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:56 am 
Gosei
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This probably doesn't help answer your question, but you can also consider a double approach to change direction:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Wcm1
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . 3 2 . X 5 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . X 4 O 6 . 7 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

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 Post subject: Re: Pincer response fundamentals
Post #4 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:00 am 
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I would jump here like you put in your diagram.
Keep in mind that it is a black corner to begin with.

I would not mind playing like below
though it might not be pro-play, I think the result is even.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm1
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . W . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . 3 . . . . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . X . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


A possible joseki variation is shown below. here white can still invade the corner,
but this again allows black to get strong and build the right.
instead of inmediately jumping to the corner I would look ar a to use the center influence,
or to something on the right like b to limit the right and prepare the corner invasion.
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm1
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . a . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . b . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . O O . . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . O . . . . O X O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . O O O X X X . X . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . X . X X X . O . . W . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]


If white jumps to the corner instead, black will build a wall, nicely facing the corner enclosure in the top right.
white will be forced to invade the right side and black can attack the marked white stone while taking points.
I would not want to be white in this case.
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm1
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , W . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . X X X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . X . O . O O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]



The short and simple answer to your question is to look if you want to give your opponent a wall or not.
jumping to the corner gives away huge thickness in the form of a solid wall, but you get a stable corner and sente.
jumping to the center does not allow black to build a lot of thickness. black does get two stable groups but the corner will be open for a possible invasion later. white gets outside influence. If the outside influence is not worth anything white lost out on this exchange. It's much harder to judge what you are going to get with this compared to the very easy and clear jump to the corner like in the last diagram.

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 Post subject: Re: Pincer response fundamentals
Post #5 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:09 am 
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Chew Terr wrote:
So for a while now, I've been improving. Most of this has been because I've been looking more after my group health in the opening. I may be taking it too far, however. Yesterday, I realized that when my opponent pincers a stone of mine, I'm hesitant to run. Too often I just jump into the corner for safety. When is running worth the cash your opponent gets from pushing you?


Jowa says, Don't run. :)

As with virtually all go advice, there are exceptions, OC, but the basic idea is sound. If all you are doing is running, your opponent can make hay by attacking you. As against that, Wilcox say, Break sector lines. (And I say, the shorter the line, the better to break it.) Why the apparent contradiction?

Breaking sector lines is often a divide and conquer strategy, or sometimes a don't fence me in strategy. In the opening, getting fenced in is almost always bad. Divide and conquer means that you break a sector line with an eye to playing against whichever side the opponent does not protect.

Why are you making the play? If it is just to run, you probably shouldn't. If is to divide and conquer, it's a good play. If it is to prevent outside strength, that's a good reason, too. :)

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm1 Joseki
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . 3 . . 2 . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , 1 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |[/go]


These considerations can sometimes be obscured. For instance, here is a pincer joseki. You can think of :w4: as divide-and-conquer, but often White does not immediately play a counter-pincer, but plays elsewhere. And sometimes Black attacks White here later. So you may think that White is running. That is the wrong way to think about it. If White were just running, this would not be joseki. Basically :w4: is reducing the severity of a Black attack and threatening a counter-attack. What happens later is the result of trade-offs over the whole board.

So to address your question, when should you run? Never. When should you break sector lines? Often. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Pincer response fundamentals
Post #6 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:20 am 
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@ Bill Spight
nice explanation. running and jumping (which often is breaking sector lines though i'm not too familiar with the concept) are indeed different.

running is indeed something you do out of desperation after something went wrong.

jumping is something you do to accomplish a valuable goal.

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Post #7 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:24 am 
Oza
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Thanks, ya'all. I know that this topic is very fundamental, but I had realized that I was doing it wrong, so I really appreciate the advice. So, I should jump into the corner if the wall won't help my opponent. If the wall will help, I should consider the reasons to run that you listed, and see if any are applicable...

Gaius: In your second diagram, is 3 intended to reduce black's ability to connect underneath?

Fwiffo: Yeah, that's an important reminder. I've been starting to see the double approach response lately, and it seems interesting. I need to start remembering to use it where it's applicable.

Freegame: Thanks, that's an interesting diagram I never would have considered. Also, I often forget your second diagram, in which white runs and gets a wall, but still has an option to invade the corner or side later. When I make the wall shown by you and Gaius (the two-three times I have), I think I tend to write off the corner as being beyond my reach.

Bill: I guess I need to work on planning ahead. I need to figure out WHY to make a divide and conquer strategy, so that I do it when useful and not when it won't help. Thanks, putting things in terms of sector lines tends to make them more intuitive to me, but I don't always think to do it myself.

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Post #8 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:29 am 
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freegame wrote:
If White jumps to the corner instead, Black will build a wall, nicely facing the corner enclosure in the top right.
White will be forced to invade the right side and black can attack the marked white stone while taking points.
I would not want to be White in this case.
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm1
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , . . . . . , W . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . X X X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . X . O . O O . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . O . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]



Huhwhat? I am quite confident that this is good for White, although I would perhaps play the wedge on the right side one point closer to the shimari. Blocking this way in the lower right corner is a mistake if you do not have the extension on the side in place already.

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Post #9 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:37 am 
Gosei

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Chew Terr wrote:
Thanks, ya'all. I know that this topic is very fundamental, but I had realized that I was doing it wrong, so I really appreciate the advice. So, I should jump into the corner if the wall won't help my opponent. If the wall will help, I should consider the reasons to run that you listed, and see if any are applicable...

Gaius: In your second diagram, is 3 intended to reduce black's ability to connect underneath?

Fwiffo: Yeah, that's an important reminder. I've been starting to see the double approach response lately, and it seems interesting. I need to start remembering to use it where it's applicable.

Freegame: Thanks, that's an interesting diagram I never would have considered. Also, I often forget your second diagram, in which white runs and gets a wall, but still has an option to invade the corner or side later. When I make the wall shown by you and Gaius (the two-three times I have), I think I tend to write off the corner as being beyond my reach.

Bill: I guess I need to work on planning ahead. I need to figure out WHY to make a divide and conquer strategy, so that I do it when useful and not when it won't help. Thanks, putting things in terms of sector lines tends to make them more intuitive to me, but I don't always think to do it myself.


There are so many things to think about in the opening. One important point is to do your best to make all your stones work together. If you play the corners as isolated, independent mini-games then you don't have an over-all plan. You might be getting in trouble with pincers because you are playing inappropriate approach moves which make the pincer more severe and leave you with few options after being pincered. Also, it seems to me you are at a level where you can make good use of yang's Whole Board Thinking in Joseki. This will show you a lot of different responses to pincers and how to choose the right one. Unfortunately it's all in relation to approaches to a 3-4 point stone.


Last edited by gowan on Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #10 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:46 am 
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@ Harleqin

I looked it up and there are only 8 games in my database where white jumps in the corner and in all cases black indeed played Q3.
However, my reasoning was that black would get his extension anyway because it's an attacking move. I was thinking allong the lines of this variation.
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$Bcm1
$$ ---------------------------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . X . . . . |
$$ | . . . O . . . . . , . . . . . , X . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . . |
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$$ ---------------------------------------[/go]

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Laurens
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Author of: The Next Move a book for 15-3kyu players.

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 Post subject: Re: Pincer response fundamentals
Post #11 Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:46 am 
Oza
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Bill Spight wrote:
Jowa says, Don't run. :)

(snip)

So to address your question, when should you run? Never. When should you break sector lines? Often. :)


Thank you, Bill, I think I finally have a clue why Jowa says that.

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