For many, fuseki is the hardest part of Go
) to learn, because it is not at all obvious what effect a stone placed at the beginning of the game will have a hundred or two hundred moves later. Nonetheless, it is a critical part of the game, because a strong fuseki will carry its strength through later stages.
It is, as I said, impossible to know exactly what the effect of a given stone will be, since the game is so unpredictable, but there are some general guidelines one can follow:
#1: In Go, it is easiest to take territory in the corners of the board. The sides are a little harder than that, and the centre is the hardest of all. So generally, players play their first stones in the corners of the goban, on or around the corner hoshi (star points), and then extend up along the sides.
#2: Early moves usually take place on the third or fourth line from the edges of the board.
#3: The third line is the line of territory. A stone placed there will usually claim some firm territory in the vicinity.
#4: The fourth line is the line of influence. A stone placed there is too far from the edge to claim firm territory, but exerts more influence on the rest of the board.
#5: Different players value territory and influence differently, but it is usually not a good idea to go too far to one extreme or the other. A mix of stones on the third and fourth lines is a good idea.
#6: It's best to play away from thickness, both your own and your opponent's. If one player has a strong position in one area of the board, neither player should play too close to it during the early stages of the game. It's better to take a big point in an open area, strengthen a weak group of your own, or attack one of the opponent's weak groups.
Various professional Go players have signature fusekis that they enjoy playing (and have thoroughly researched). Some fusekis are so common that they have special names, much like chess openings. The Chinese fuseki (4-4 + 10-4/10-3 + 17-4) is a good example of this.