Why the upper right?


I recently played the game above. I’m only showing the first 10 moves to focus on my question. After winning the game (I’m white) I ran the game through an analysis with Leela and it says that move 10 at o17 is better than the move I made f3 by a full percentage point. Of course Leela can’t tell me why so I’m asking here.

Do you agree that o17 is better than f3? If so, why is it better?


From way down here in DDK land I can tell you this is one of the places Dwyrin’s basics series would have recommended, because that is the biggest side. He teaches us “play into the biggest side”. The bottom and right are the smallest sides.


I could be wrong but these are just some thoughts:

  1. As a general rule is best to approach open corners on the widest side of the board.

  2. Another general rule is to place stones across the board rather than concentrating them (this is not the same as to say create many weak groups).

  3. After following the standard joseki sequence, white’s group is settled and is not in immediate danger of being captured or surrounded. This makes the bottom side uninteresting because not only is smaller in size, but because white’s O3 is low (i.e.: played on the third line) thus making the bottom side harder to develop; F3 and O3 are not working well together.

  4. An approach to the bottom left corner should probably be played on the outside for a better result.

As I understand it, a percentage point is really not much. A deeper analysis might just flip the result, especially in the fuseki.

Who are we to disagree? Those programs are better than any of us here by a landslide.

I would agree that the lower right move at F3 is not ideal, as it gives black an easy splitting attack around K4. The lower right white group is not settled and needs another stone around L3.
So, just curious: what is Leela’s sequence after F3?

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Pretty much what you would expect:
W - f3, B - c6, W - d2, B - c3, W - j5, B - f17, W - f16

After the lower left joseki, I played at k4 so that was never analyzed.

Here’s the whole game: http://eidogo.com/#2qwuydo2a

I see that in the game variation, you actually did get to play O17, so things turned out fine for you. However, that was only because black spent a move playing R2/S2, which seems horribly slow. If black had instead taken sente and played on the upper side first (Leela’s suggested F17 is only one possibility) then I think black would be happy with how the fuseki was going and later be able to try to build on either the upper or right sides, depending on how the game progressed.

When deciding what points are important on the board it’s as important to ask what your opponent will do/get if you don’t play a certain point. It’s not that F3 is a bad place to play for you (although others have pointed out it does have issues), it’s that in doing so you’re allowing black the chance to take something else. I might even go so far as to say that if you just look at your own points/territory then F3 may well be the better move, but O17 (or something else on the upper side) is necessary to restrict black’s position/potential more.

Yes @Purble, I noticed that I was able to play in many of the positions that Leela suggested, but I tended to do it several moves after Leela said it should be done. I was only able to play them because my opponent was following my lead.
I need to find a way to gauge where those critical points are sooner than I currently do. I will work in your idea of paying more attention to what my opponent might want…