American Go E-Journal


Thursday August 5, 2010

An alternative to making an invasion at the 3-3 point — the subject of Tuesday’s lecture — is the attachment to the 4-4 stone, which was the topic for Thursday’s U.S. Go Congress lecture by Ryo Maeda 6P (r).  He started out by sheepishly admitting that he had made an attachment to a 4-4 stone in a simul on Tuesday and the stone got killed.  Maeda went on to demonstrate various positions where the attachment works, and how to use it effectively.  The positions all had black on the 4-4 and side star point, with a black stone in between, either a one-point jump from the 4-4 on the fourth line or the knight’s move on the third.  In those cases, white can attach in line with the black stones and black will hane.  The inside hane is “peaceful”, as black is trying to preserve the corner.  In that case, white should just extend unless there are black stones near the star point in that direction.  “You can’t make six points there (for eyespace), so you have to do something else,” he said.  If you can’t do the normal extension, you must make a diagonal move to the 3-2 point.  “If you have less than six points, you must work on two eyes,” Maeda said, and diagonal moves have more eye potential than straight extensions.  He showed how to use the four formations for capturing third line stones from Sunday’s lecture, and noted that invading is fairly risk-free, “as long as black answers, it costs nothing — good things may happen.”  There were several positions that required sacrificing stones and it is important to recognize those, because if “you don’t want to sacrifice three stones, then you may lose the whole thing.”  When a stone or group is captured, “you start fighting nearby — you may be able to live.”  He also pointed out that if there are a lot of black stones on the outside that loosely surround the corner, it may be better to invade at the 3-3 point, rather than attach, which is the mistake he made in the simul. In answer to audience questions, he also talked about the endgame.  Once you start the endgame, “the second line is the most important line in the game,” Maeda said.  That prompted a question about when to start the endgame, which Maeda said was an “easy question.”  One of the principles of the “Maeda method” is “when you have a weak stone, protect it,” so don’t start the endgame until every group is protected.  Then either try to kill your opponent’s weak groups or invade.  Once those opportunities are gone, you can start the endgame.  Maeda and translator Yoshi Sawada 6D (l in photo) will continue looking at 4-4 attachments in a bonus fifth round of the lecture series on Friday afternoon.
- report/photo by Jake Edge