Unortodox openings

I’m not sure this should really go here, but I think it merits some discussion. I’d certainly be interested to hear the views of more experienced players.

So. recently I’ve played games where my opponent has pretty much ignored the corners in the opening, allowing me to play in more than two, while they do something else. In one case it was build a diagonal wall of ponnuki, in the other it was to build a more conventional wall across the centre of the board. Neither of these tactics worked well. I admit when I saw what they were doing I thought “What do they know that I don’t?” But my thinking was that just because a tactic is well known, doesn’t make it less effective. Infantry have been occupying high ground since fighting was invented and it’s no less effective for being a cliche.

Anyway, I can see the advantage to unsettling an opponent and maybe getting them second guessing themselves - but apart from that, is there anything about non-standard openings that negates the disadvantage of giving the corners away from the word go?

For those who are interested this is one of the games I’m thinking of. - I can’t find the other one :frowning:

Obvious advantages of new openings:

Training: You are training your flexibility and do not get stuck with 2 joseki for your favourite openings.

Fun: It is fun to try something different.

1 Like

Well - I think I agree up to a point, but it didn’t seem to me that there was actually any advantage to giving up the corners. Still I guess if you have an idea you have to try it out.

The opening from the OP game resembles the Great Wall Fuseki, a ‘common’ experimental pattern (as in, it has a name and an idea behind it). This and other unconventional fuseki are often aiming for a whole-board strategy of some sort, like wielding the central influence in aggressive tactics on both sides for a maximum-scale double attack.

If you see that your opponent is planning such a scheme, you may consider to interrupt them by taking the last point of symmetry in their center pattern for yourself, showing proper fighting spirit. Don’t underestimate these strategies - remember that they are merely unproven, not proven wrong.

The great wall page on Sensei’s Library links to FusekiExperiments, where you can find even more examples of unorthodox fuseki :)

1 Like

See also the Shin Fuseki movement, a deliberate exploration of such unorthodox openings by Japanese professional players that took place in the 1930s. Some games from this era are pure craziness :slight_smile:

Interesting. Thanks for the links - I can see the Great Wall deserves some study, since I doubt I have the ability to follow the advice about dealing with it just yet.

Just a quick word of thanks for the pointer to the Great Wall, and the associated advice for dealing with it. I will admit that I’m not yet at the level needed to fully comprehend it, but the thing that stuck was the injunction to not let the wall be completed. I still didn’t avoid a complex fight and I don’t think my play was particularly thick, but I’ll take a narrow win over a loss any day :slight_smile:

In the unlikely event that you’re interested, this is the game…