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  Kristian Lindberg's Blog
  http://www.renju.net/blog/index.php?showtopic=1383  
A disadvantage with the new opening rules2008-10-25 03:36:59
(Of course) I think the new rules are better than the RIF-rule. It gives more playable variants. Many players have done a great job to make this change possible. The new opening rules will be tested until year 2012 but it’s interesting to start discussing the positive and negative things with the new rules that we have noticed so far. Small changes in an existing opening rule can make a good rule even better.

I will focus on what I think is a negative thing that all the three rules have in common, it’s about all the fifth moves (I will later on concentrate on the Taraguchi-rule).

In some openings that are played with the Yamaguchi-rule it can in theory become at least 6 fifth moves! If so many fifth moves are placed on the board the position looks rather absurd. Choose the worst one from here is a tough task.
In the Soosõrv-rule it can become maximum 4 fifth moves. This is of course easier to handle than all fifth moves that can appear in the Yamaguchi-rule, anyway there are many fifth moves. Some openings will even with 4 fifth moves be sure win or very good for black (D4, I4, I7 etc.).

The Taraguchi-rule is the rule that gives the most balanced game. The white player will put the fourth move within a 7x7 central square. The black player has now three options; either swap, play one fifth move anywhere on the board (within a 9x9 central square) or make five fifth moves. The last option is to force white to play a fourth move that is not to far away from the center.
With this part of the rule, five fifth moves, some openings are not good for white (see example from the Soosõrv-rule) and in some opening(s) only a few fourth moves will be ok. I think that this part of the rule will be important in the game and hard to see for beginners for example. It can be difficult to put the best fifth stones on the board but even more difficult to find the four best ones. I think that the idea with five fifth moves is not the best way to avoid “far away moves”, I think there is a better way.

If you are forced to play the fourth move within the same square as the third (5x5), I think that you don’t need the part of the rule with five fifth moves. The black player has after white’s fourth move the right to swap or play the fifth move anywhere on the board (I don’t think a forbidden zone is needed here). The white player has the right to swap or put the sixth move. All you want to achieve is an even position after five moves but you don’t need to worry or care about five fifth moves.

Of course my purpose is not to make a new opening rule. It’s just a small change of an existing one. You make a good rule even better.

Here are a few things that may seem negative about the suggestion.
The fourth move can be put in fewer places (for example it should effect an opening like I1). But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you get less playable variants.    
Maybe it will be more difficult to analyze. The three new opening rules follow the same pattern according to the fifth moves. For example, if you studied opening I7 and you noticed that you need sixth fifth moves for an equal game, you get this “for free” in the other opening rules. In this change you won’t get that effect in the same way.
Some positions could appear to look rather abstract (diagram 1). This position  is not so interesting with the present rule because you just put five winning fifth moves on the board.
You could maybe find some positions with the present Taraguchi-rule that looks a bit abstract as well, less of course, but anyway I don’t see this as a problem with any of the “rules”.

It would be interesting to hear others opinions about the fourth move within a 5x5 square as a replacement to the five fifth moves.
“Am I out biking” (as you say in Swedish when something is totally wrong), or is it a good idea….?

Best regards

Kristian Lindberg  
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