The Japanese Chinese, Part 2

Our piece in Item 68 apparently caused a frisson of interest in the new opening featured there, and since we now have the latest Gekkan Go World to hand, we thought we would add an update.

The opening does not have an accepted name in the pro world yet, but it has already attracted a plausible name in English on Sensei's Library. It is the "micro-Chinese".

The reference is to the Black formation in the upper right. In the #68 article we looked at the case where Black rotated this shape so that he had his three stones down the right-hand side of the board. The present sideways version has its analogue in the main Chinese fuseki (that is, where Black extends as far as A). In that case Black often follows up with a play at B, and it is this three-stone formation that is most usually called the "mini-Chinese", though the term can also be used of the two-stone formation even in Japanese. What's next - the nano-Chinese?

Anyway, we are not here to debate the name but to look at the interesting ideas this opening throws up.

Kono says there are six candidate moves for White on move 6. At first blush, a database search contradicts him slightly. His candidates are:

But he shoots down A and B straightaway, so that he is really only offering four candidates.

The GoGoD database suggests this opening has been played since 2002, mainly by Chinese pros, and we have 36 examples. The White moves actually played so far are A to H (eight nominations) as below, in that order of frequency, but E to H have only single examples and D only two. So, taking those out, Kono and the database actually agree.

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