The Japanese Chinese, Part 3

We hadn't planned to continue our coverage of the new "micro-Chinese" opening currently being discussed by Kono Rin in Gekkan Go World, but a chance discovery by GoGoD's T Mark Hall suddenly made it worthwhile.

You may recall that in the position below, which shows the sideways version of the micro-Chinese (a Sensei's Library name), six conceivable responses for White were mentioned. Probably only four are practical, but we only looked briefly at three of the remaining four. The last one (F below) was left over for issue 2009/5 and we planned to ignore it.

Actually it gets only cursory coverage in GGW before Kono moves on to the micro-Chinese by White, but we may as well touch on it here before we move on to our own main concern.

The ideal development for Black would be the one shown above. White's modest play with 1 clearly allows Black to think expansively, and if White continues in like vein, Black will end up very happily dominating most of the board.

However, implicit in White's modest play 1 in the upper left is an intent to play Jekyll and Hyde. This variation by White is the one that most of all aims to crack the bunker-like formation in the upper right - the formation is impervious to the sort of tricks White uses in the ordinary Chinese.

Specifically, White plans to answer Black's expansive move 1 with an immediate parachute drop into the corner at 2, below.

Kono discusses several corner variations after this. We will give just one, for flavour, but in general it can be said that White naturally faces a tough time in the corner as he is outnumbered, but if he does achieve any kind of sabaki Black is likely to end up feeling very frustrated indeed. Kono seems to suggest that White has such good chances of doing this that the White move in the upper left is maybe the most powerful way to answer this version of the micro-Chinese. White's tight position there is unlikely to be affected by anything happening in the upper right.

Indeed, Black may feel so uncomfortable with the possible consequences, that there is a good chance he will abandon his expansive strategy from the outset, and limit himself to Black 1 below, expecting White to play 2.

As usual, we refer you to GGW for the details and for the further discussion of the micro-Chinese for White. Here we will turn next to the English Chinese.


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