In the game of Go (Wei Qi/Badouk), fuseki has approximately the same meaning as the term "opening" has in the game of chess. It refers to the first few moves of the game, when each player sketches out a vague framework, deciding on where they plan to generate influence, and where they plan to take territory. Like in chess, certain opening patterns are more common than others, and some are common enough that they earn a name of their own. Fuseki is one of the hardest things for amateur players to grasp, so many amateurs choose one or more of these well-known fusekis and use them continuously.

A fairly effective and simple way to play for Black is what the people of Sensei's Library have dubbed the orthodox fuseki. This pattern, consisting of three stones, is shown by the black (X) stones in the diagram below. For comparaison, the two white (O) stones are in ni-ren-sei, probably the most common two-stone opening pattern for White.

   a b c d e f g h j k l m n o p q r s t 
19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
17 . . . . . e . . . f . . . . . . . . . 17
16 . . . O . . . . . + . . . . . X . . . 16
15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . c . . 11
10 . . f + . . . . . + . . . . . d a . . 10
09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . b . . 09
08 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 08
07 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07
06 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 06
05 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 05
04 . . . O . . . . . + . . . . . + X . . 04
03 . . . . . . . . . f . . . . X . . . . 03
02 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 02
01 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01
   a b c d e f g h j k l m n o p q r s t 
Black will begin by playing the hoshi stone in the top-right. Indeed, whenever one is planning on playing any fuseki involving a hoshi stone, it is the first one to be played because it allows the most flexibility. Black then continues by playing the komoku stone (R4) in the lower right, then makes a keima shimari with P3. At this point, a Black stone at the point "d" coordinates amazingly well with both the enclosure in the lower right and with the hoshi stone in the upper right. This is too good to allow, so White will almost invariably play at "a" to prevent this. "b" is also playable, but "c" is too far as Black will be happy to make a checking extension to "b" himself.

Extention from a hoshi stone is generally not urgent early in the game, and because White is essentially compelled to play at "a" or "b," Black gets his lower right corner enclosure in sente (initiative), if one wants to think about it that way. Approaching the White stone on the right from above or from below are miai (equivalent) so it is not urgent to do so. Black is now free to do something about whatever White is up to on the other side of the board, generally by playing a kakari (approach) against one of White's corners. Against the ni-ren-sei formation pictured above, a keima kakari at "e" would probably be the most common move for Black after White plays at "a" or "b".

This fuseki helps to keep the game simple for Black. Black has a reasonable amount of secure territory from his shimari in the lower right. The hoshi stone can be left along for the time being and can be used for influence or converted into territory later on as the situation dictates. The whole right side of the board is relatively stable for the time being, so Black can take the fight to White's stronghold without worrying about his own corners. There are three big points left (in the vicinity of the points marked "f") and players will spend a lot of time thinking about how they can be the one to get two out of the three.

Because this fuseki tends to simplify the game somewhat, it's good for players with a calm, steady way of playing, like myself (and indeed, I play this fuseki fairly often). For those that like more chaotic games, with complicated fighting, a better choice would be something like the facing komoku fuseki.

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