Question for experienced players: Is this a thing? (Sideseki?)

It is getting close now and I think I am winning for a few points and that there aren’t many big endgame mistakes left on the board. Is sideseki going to land me a rare (for me) victory against a 1-dan player? :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Well, predictably I lost:

But it was a very interesting game. (the AI review upload is courtesy of the opponent in this game)

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That was a fun game. Interesting to find out I was used as a guinea pig :slight_smile:

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more like a guinea bear, since I needed to test this against stronger players than me :slight_smile:

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The final (for the time being) sideseki game is completed and I have to say that I enjoyed it a lot :smiley: :

Another fun game, though this time I lost for a few points. Very fun :slight_smile:

I’ve started using sideseki in tournaments and I have to say that I am very happy with the games. In this case, I even tried it as White:

Full game:

Cool !!

I sometimes play the two black hole (?) variants below, and a Go player who was 9d on Fox won 60%+ of their games with the small variant of the opening.

Even though the AI may not prefer it, they said they think it is good against human players.


It works well for fighting and moyos.

The 4 stones function as somewhat global ladder breakers, which allows much more fighting and unusual sequences which would typically require more stones in the area.

The 9d on Fox also mentioned that the large version may be perhaps more suited to beginners new to the opening, though either are playable.

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I want to try those one day, as well. It seems to me that once those stones are down, Black has a huge potential in the center (which cannot be easily or typically be reduced or invaded), while White has all the corners, which are widely studied and there is a plethora of joseki, even if you play second in the corners.

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Yes, one of the interesting things about the openings is that things like immediate invasions, or pincers/further double-/triple-approaches post-joseki (or ‘follow-up joseki’ variations) become much more playable.

Cut/fighting variations can often work well for Black as well, thanks to the centre stones.

For example, this type of complicated inside cut.

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As for the centre potential, Black’s centre can become invaded or reduced during fights, but Black can also use the stones there to gain an advantage elsewhere, for example via fights or constructing moyos on the side.

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Oh, I found an example of this I was searching for from a game! ^^

Now the C3 and C5 aji is more severe for Black to play with, thanks to the stones in the centre.

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Maybe White D6 was a mistake given the surrounding Black stones, and White should have played C6 instead?

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Yes, or responding to the first approach at F3 with moves like F5, or even E5, can be a good way to handle the opening for White. ^^

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E3 kick is dodgy, just simple c6 is fine. Even though AI likes to kick approaches on open board it’s still following the old logic of making approach stone heavy with a pincer threatened if they don’t take gote to extend after (AI highly values sente in opening), but with that centre support a white pincer is not such a threat.

Another way I like to handle these kind of centre-oriented openings is the f4 attachment. That used to be a no-no generally pre-AI as we didn’t like to strengthen the approach stone so lose options to attack with pincer if approacher takes gote, though AI has lessened that, but in this situation a pincer attack is unlikely given blacks centre support, so the idea is to strengthen both players and settle early whilst maintaining access to the centre. It avoids things like f3 c6 o3 r6 and then greedy f5 jump and black claiming the lower side is his territory on large scale, invade and fight if you dare.

Another idea is to tenuki and o3, then the lower side is reduced and you deal with the double approach on the corner with attach out, no big deal.

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hahaha I am sometimes pompous like the first panel, so this is way funnier than you’d think :smiley:

Lately we tried to change things up and have me play against the sideseki. I can’t say I did well against it and I DID try.

Very interesting games non-the-less. :slight_smile:

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the ultimate sideseki ranked battle vs a stranger without prior agreement

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That’s amazing. I’ll try to review it when I return home.

Edit: I see now that I am home that it was the “attach on everything” tactic, so if you play on the sides, they just have to follow … quite fascinating!