Question about a professional counter-kick probe

What do you think of this move? OGS Joseki doesn’t cite it.

It came up when I was reviewing the opening.


I played a lot of games with low Chinese, I already expected the upper right corner not to be territory, but a flexible between territory and influence. And the peep, 3-3, or 2-5, 2-6 are all possible moves for white to take or reduce the corner.

The timing is the unusual part. Although not so much with this opening where white has 3-3 and an upper left enclose getting two corners. And since lower right is black 3-4, The contention is the remaining corner. And black probably should tenuki, like in this game, better shift the focus to elsewhere on the board. (taking the extension spot O16, most likely would ensure a fight, which might not be a good idea at this point for black)


Similar idea to this peep Josekipedia which Go Seigen recommends in his book “A way to play for 21st century”. White wants to treat the approach stone lightly, but before doing so get the peep for solid connection exchange (to create easier living aji in the corner/side later) because after you treated it lightly you can no longer expect black to simply connect but he can reasonably consider blocking on the outside. However, if black does that now White has the combo of the second line hane, atari, and then break through.

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This is what I was talking about the timing for white to do this is usually after some kind of pressure from the outside already existed for that black group, and white can use this peep to force black to make a hard choice, give up the corner and connect, or take the corner and suffer cuts or pushes. At this current position, this peep is more of a probe and see what direction black wants to play.

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I quickly checked with KataGo.

Initially it prefers white S14 and it doesn’t really like that peep.

But after more thought, it comes up with a nice sequence that makes the peep just as playable as S14: w R15, b O16, w O15!, b N15, w N16, b P16, w M16.

For that reason it then decided to ignore the peep altogether with black: w R15, B Q5, w K3, b K4 leaving the fight in the upper right for later.

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That’s a very dangerous running fight for black I feel, even I wouldn’t dare to try, at least not at the moment, and the direction feels wrong.

Q5 that is a very odd gote timing for black this early, personally feel a bit too passive, but cannot say there is a fault, getting one stronger on the side and wait for the timing to counter-attack is the spirit of low Chinese. But K3 feels a bit odd direction-wise for white, normally a low corner wouldn’t pair with a low side. And black just attach with bK4 is crazy to start a fight this early (although I like it, as a way to punish white’s odd side extension. Keep it low, and build influence out of a fight)

KataGo seems to lose interest as black to continue in the upper right at this point. I think I saw it wanting to attach at D16 in the upper left to fight for the upper side.

Keep pushing and gives opponent 4th line and a big fat corner is never a good idea. Black D16 is a nice attacking attachment for large knight, however, black would need to prepare for a contact fight, and it might spread to the whole upper side.

I remember the o15 tesuji is buried somewhere in the AlphaGo Teaching Tool.

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Q5 is normal for bots in the Chinese opening. They see it as fairly urgent to correct the mistake of playing the side move at r9 before closing the corner. Corners before sides, as we have been saying for centuries.

Ya, so I said couldn’t find anything wrong about it. It just feels too passive for me to give up sente so early when the board is still so empty and wide open, giving the opponent to dictate the direction of the game. Although I think this has more to do with my style.

And it is to be expected to be attacked at the lower right corner with a low Chinese, sort of like a trap waiting for a fighting to happen and than close in on both sides, at least that’s how I see it.