Korean fuseki - it does exist

We are used to hearing about the Korean style of play - vicious tactics, startling joseki innovations. Little is heard of Korean fuseki. The usual assumption is that there is no room for it in the modern bloodthirsty arena.

Actually it does exist, though we may be the first to grace it with the name. What is characteristic of it is precisely the modern, ruthless, fighting style of play. It centres on the super-aggressive one-space pincer.

The high one-space pincer against the low approach stone has been around since the 1930s. The first person to play it in open field, that is without the influence of stones nearby, was Kitani Minoru in 1937. Remarkably, there are well over a dozen ways of answering it locally (in the more than 900 examples we have). It has remained in constant use, but has seen a particular surge over the last year or so. This is the central feature of what we dare to call the Korean fuseki.

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