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2011-03-12 Expert: DanielTom Rate: (5)  5 ratings

The Chinese Opening... again.


   It is safe to say that "chenns", ranked 9-dan on KGS, really likes the Chinese Opening (he is always trying it when he takes Black). This time he had a chance to test it against "bin7674" (Cho Seokbin, one of the strongest amateurs living in Europe).

   You can find a nice interview with Cho Seokbin at http://361points.com/choseokbin/ (by Sorin Gherman).

  The game was peaceful and so it was decided in the endgame. Cho Seokbin's endgame was superior so eventually White won the game by half a point. (Thus bin7674 managed to stop chenns' 7-game winning streak.)

   I hope the reader will allow me to digress a bit here. I always believed that the true spirit of the Chinese Opening was to make a big framework (and force White to invade so that the attack could commence) so, to me, the standard answer at Q5 (move 7) feels very passive. Please note that I am not saying it is bad - it certainly is not, you can find it in top pro's games - but it does seem to me to contradict the "spirit" of the opening.

   Whenever I make this comment, someone always complains that if Black plays the pincer instead, the game becomes too complicated (I added a small variation in the game file to illustrate this point). However, Black does not need to pincer. Many have suggested P4 (after White N4) to be at least more active for Black. Personally, I like P4 very much, and it seems to keep the "spirit" of the opening alive (you can check the variations in the game file to see the continuation).

   In any event, it seems that more and more strong players are using the Chinese Opening as a territory-oriented pattern (just like chenns did in this game). For professionals, it must be easier to play for territory (playing for a moyo can be seen as a risk, almost a gamble), so this plan is not new.

   In the game, B7 (move 13) is usually played at D7 (again, I added the basic variations here in the game file). I do not think that B7 was a good idea. After the joseki, White got a nice corner plus the O17 kakari in sente... I think that after that White's position is superior.



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DanielTom
( PT ) 2011-04-18 12:04
Howard, I am not sure what you mean.
White usually starts with O17 (kakari) or N4 (as in the game).
Howard
2011-04-16 04:04
What is the best defense for the Chinese opening?


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