Lesson 128: Opening Evolution (4)
All the moves in an opening have specific meaning, but some of them are more important than others. Perhaps we can say that these moves express the principle of the opening. The underlying principles of already-existing openings often serve as hints for generating new openings. The relationship between the Chinese Opening and the Mini Chinese Opening shows how the former served as an inspiration to the latter.
Diagram 1 Black 1 to 5 is the famous Chinese Opening (high). Its main idea is to make it difficult for White to approach at A or B. Because these approaches are quite dangerous, it is more common for White to approach with 6, and develop the upper and the left sides first.
Diagram 2 However, Black's framework on the right and the lower sides is too huge to be ignored, and there is nowhere White can build a framework as big as Black's with a single move. Even though approaching toward the lower right corner has the risk of attack, it would be too late if White loses the chance to approach now. The question is how to approach, and White 1 here is the wrong answer. Because of the position of the ¡a-marked black stone, the two white stones will be severely attacked.
Diagram 3 It is correct for White to approach high in this situation. Black 2 was the most often played move in the old days, seducing White to answer with A. If White blocks with A, the situation will become the same as in Dia.2. However, White can become much more flexible by ignoring the right side and jumping out toward the center with 3 to 7.
Diagram 4 Therefore, Black prefers the knight's move with 2 to the diagonal in Dia.3. Still, Black can attack the White group, and make bigger and more secure territories both on the lower and the right sides while attacking it.
As seen above, the main idea of the Chinese Opening is to force White to approach to the corner, where the surroundings are quite harsh against him. If he doesn't dare, then Black can occupy a huge framework.
The Mini Chinese Opening follows the same rationale.
Diagram 5 Black 1 to 7 is the well-known Mini Chinese Opening formation. It is obviously bad for White to approach with either A or C. If A, Black will attach at B, and if C, Black will play D. The following results are already given in detail in the previous diagrams.
Diagram 6 As a result, White will avoid the approaches as long as he can, and White 1 here is the most frequently played move in this situation. It is correct for Black to come close from the top with 2, and White extension with 3 is also normal. The problem is Black's next move. It may look good enough for Black to enclose the lower right corner with A. Remembering the main concept of the Mini Chinese Opening, however, it would be too meek to enclose the corner where the opponent hesitates to approach himself. Then what can be the answer?
The writer is a baduk professor at Myongji University and a professional player of the game.