Unusual openings

A thread for proposing and discussing unusual openings.

See also Unique professional openings and Playing "Sino-Tibetan formations" ("1-3-5s")

Last night I was in BenKyo’s “fun fuseki” stream, in which he was taking coordinate suggestions for where to play his first few moves.

It happened that in one of these cases they fell into a structure that I said looked like a greyhound.

To make a “greyhound opening” I suggest:

  1. Two stones on the Q file. These are the greyhound’s feet.

  2. Two stones on the P file, between the Q-file stones. These are the greyhound’s body.

  3. A stone placed an ogeima outward from one of the P-file stones, onto the M file. This is its head.



In the chess community, there is the famous bongcloud opening that has gained significant notoriety as a sort of joke opening, which has even led to some use by grandmasters.


Is there a similarly ridiculous opening in Go?

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For uselessness, I think basically anything on the second or first line. For humour / internet go culture, tengen? Although tengen has never been useful for me.

Or you can do both! :slight_smile:

Tengen2222: EidoGo - Go Games, Pattern Search, Joseki Tutor, SGF Editor

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Does this count as an unusual opening?


A classic Great Wall.


bugcat—bani, W+8 / 9

Variants of this “diamond opening” with the stones on the A or B line also seem interesting.

The two tighter diamonds than the game feel too overconcentrated, and the two looser ones than at B are possible but lose the opening’s character. Second- and first-line diamonds are simply bad.



Kuksu 7th Cycle Title Match, Board 5 was an interesting mirror go opening I played in a title match here some years ago against vitality. I was inspired by studying Fujisawa Hosai’s use of mirror Go, there are some nice articles in GoGoD. I think this game might even had started the same as one of his for a while.

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There seems to be a strange logic in that opening. You get all the influence from the start so you will win any fight by jumping out into the center. And you will also get the territory when you invade. Every game is a huge fight, though. You win big or lose big. This player has almost played 1000 great wall games: GREAT WALL


This thread seems like the perfect place to yet again mention my good old kobafuseki ^^

It is actually really flexible, it can either turn quickly into very nice moyo or black can make easy profit along the sides. The only real downside of it is that you kinda need white to agree with it, it doesnt quite work that well if white decides to say, invade Q17 instead answering at 6 >___>


As anyone who has learnt the Leela Zero opening gospel will know to do, as entering a 5-3 corner is bigger than answering approach to 4-4.

This is a correspondence game that is still ongoing so don’t comment too much (although we are on move 71 now so comments probably won’t make too much difference).

So, this is more of an unusual joseki (or noseki?) rather than an unusual opening. In fact, I’d say the opening was fairly normal… until move 10, when I (black, 6 kyu) was very surprised that my opponent (7 kyu) responded to my 3-3 invasion with a 2-2 counter invasion!

I will review properly when the game is finished but in the end I killed the 2-2 stone and I lived in the corner but got sealed in and white was super thick outside so I was actually not very pleased with the outcome :crying_cat_face:


@stone_defender discussed losing to this move before.

My two current openings:

Tengen, then 5-5 or shoulder hit

3-4 in each corner:

idea of the second one is power of determinism - I can play same joseki again and again and try to ignore what is in other corners. After each bot review, I able to play longer and longer joseki in next game.

Tengen fuseki was planned to use against lower ranked opponents. But, I got almost 100% winrate with it, while 3-4 fuseki continued to decrease my rank.
So I think to combine them into united fuseki - getting free corners with 3-4 and attacking normal stones with shoulder hit. Instead of giving handicap to lower ranked, I would allow analyze mode and don’t use it myself.

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There’s a set of “diagonal” opening systems which are made from two diagonally opposite corners and a stone on tengen. There are something like forty variants based on the “five standard corner points”, depending on the rotation maths that I can’t be bothered to work out on this device.

The most common is probably the diagonal sanrensei (4-4, T, 4-4). There’s also the famous fuseki employed by Go Seigen in the Game of the Century against Shusai (4-4, T, 3-3).

In my fifth-round game at Durham I tried a “classical Go Seigen opening”: 5-4, T, 3-4. Since the 5-4 and 3-4 are assymetric points there are several varieties of even this type of diagonal formation. This particular one, according to the bot, loses two or perhaps three points.

I saw this “squished sanrensei” at the 10k level. It’s a sanrensei but with one of the corners on a 5-4, pointing into the hoshi.

It looks especially squished with white on the side 3-4!

Note also, white (8k) beats black (10k) by resignation.

The benzene opening, inspired by Uberdude and his post Feel-good moves - #20 by Uberdude

Requiring six stones, it’s less efficient than most diamond openings, including – probably – the “tengen ponnuki” (which is not, pedantically, a ponnuki).

It’s much more efficient, though, than the famous ten-stone HI formation.

Also, like with the diamond formation there are a whole series of progressively looser benzene / hexagon openings possible. Consider this one, a couple of lines out:

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