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  Ando Meritee's Blog
The history of d11 opening - past 20 years2008-02-20 22:23:19
Ever since I started to play renju 20 years ago, most renju openings have been very stable - they have always been either black advantage or white advantage, rarely changing from one side to another.

However, d11 opening is unique. It has switched from nearly white win to nearly black win, ...
Owen2008-03-02 05:39:36
Nice review, Ando. But the modern situation seems to be a bit different.

It seems to me that now 11d gives a significant advantage to a white player because of 12-K8. This 12th move is quite old, and for a long while it was only a trap, but now black has nothing to offer against white development there. For some years it was considered that black has advantage after 13 J9 14 G6 15 K7, but now theory knows that white has extremely compicated win there.

Other 15th moves seemed to be weaker than 15 K7. Now it is time for black to show the way to balance the whole opening.

Moreover, there is a number of 12th moves where white can gain fine position.

Best regards, Epifanov Dm.
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Ando Meritee2008-03-02 14:39:03
Actually black can play much stronger moves than in given diagram that can bring better result for black, but since the Team WC is coming up soon, it is probably not wise to disclose proper black development here. Perhaps I will add some diagrams into comments after TWC.
Ando Meritee2008-03-02 14:59:11
But you are right about the 12th move being considered as a kind of trap move until 2006 Team WC - then our team started to use this 12th move seriously during the tournament and soon that move became popular everywhere.

At that TWC, I played all my white d11 games with this 12th move: with Stefan Karlsson, Chen Wei and Hiroshi Okabe, and I won them all. So the 12th move seemed rather good for white, encouraging more people to use it.

Modern renju is typically following recent popular result in big title competition. Since that 15th move on your diagram that appeared later in the same TWC was not clearly destroyed by white, on the contrary, black was rather successful, so the 15th move became a kind of "default 15th move". The silent periods between big title competitions like TWC and WC AT do not usually change the "default" moves even if there are signs of significant changes. That is how the modern renju world handles the recent theories.
Owen2008-03-05 04:19:15
Sorry, Ando, but it seems that you don't watch for correspondence tournaments. But correspondence analyses are deeper and stronger even than WC AT and TWC analyses. And it is very significant in 11d. So 2006 wasn't an invention year for this 15th.
I'll try to post some history from correspondence tournaments concerning this matter.

The first time this 15 was offered is in 2003, seems that it was just an experiment, see diagram.
But the experiment succeeded, so in 2004 there were several games and black took 100% in this variant with this 15th, thus showing its power. In 2005 black took 100% too. In 2006 there were only one draw (Bai Shi - Epifanov), and a lot of black wins. Most of the top correspondence players was sure that this 15th is winning.
As to me, I thought this 15th is the best since 2004 till the 2006 autumn.

And in 2007 this 16th was played with terrible effect - white were overwhelming. Feel free to try it in TWC, but remember that Russian team may have my analysis. (-;
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Ando Meritee2008-03-05 14:40:09
You wrote so excitedly about the year numbers here, while missing the point that I was telling - it is about when something becomes popular in renju world. I never said 12th move or 15th move were invented in WC or TWC, I said it is WHEN such moves become POPULAR among the players of the world (because it was played in a serious title competition by serious players).

My article in general was based on the tournament experience and tournament results, where people have to rely on their reading skills during games, their emotional readiness, their perception about the current status of the opening, the influence of other games, etc. It was about how the trends of using d11 and choosing sides has changed in past 20 years in tournaments. Somehow you turned my article's meaning into and issue of absolute truth about d11 based on offline deepest analyses. It means you did not understand the purpose of my article at all.

Speaking of another issue that you unexpectedly brought up (and has no relation to this article): "correspondence analyses are much stronger than AT analyses." I absolutely agree. It is impossible to do as much analyses within 2.5 hours of thinking time without using stones compared to staying home and having months of time to analyse the progress of the game using board and stones. But the tone of bringing it up was somewhat arrogant, implying that the history of d11 should be re-written based on "stronger" analyses. Maybe some masters would be offended by such tone because by this tone you are also implying that correspondence players are stronger than AT players (even if you did not mean that).

Once again, the idea of writing the history of d11 was to show how the popularity and trends of d11 have changed among world players. I am sure, an individual offline analyses trends of d11 in past 20 years may have been totally different from the real life tournament trends.

If you feel sensitive about my evaluation of "latest situation of d11" then the same way you could critisise the whole past of 20 years in my article - I am sure it does not match with the belief of many correspondence players and analysts.
Owen2008-03-06 06:15:18
Sorry, I didn't have in mind to blame you or your issue, it is very interesting and informative! I've just pointed out that renju theory must be based not only on real tournaments but on correspondence games too, that's all. In my humble opinion, renju theory is not the set of the positions that a lot of people know or a lot of people play, that is a set of position with proven results.
Ando Meritee2008-05-06 13:21:59
TWC 2008 gave us pretty clear idea of the current balance of d11 today:

There were 32 games of d11 played in TWC 2008 by the strongest players of the world, which accounts for 23.5% of all the played openings.

Black won 12 games (win rate 37.5%)
White won 13 games (win rate 40.6%)

There were also 7 draws (draw rate 21.9%)

So, to sum on the results of 32 games of d11, black side earned 48.44% of points and white side earned 51.56% of points.

Lets see how d11 will change in coming years.
ReX 2008-08-17 22:55:50
U know wat,when i used to played d11 with my friends,they were seemly feared to play this opening because of the delicate opening theory.and one of my freinds,an 4dan ,once he gott used to escape from playing d11 as possible as he could,by transfering to other opennings,and for me ,albeit i d memorized many of the opening materials, i gotta say that  yet i m not that clear about the variants myself.

Ur fans -_-!
Ando Meritee2008-09-03 14:15:22
Don't worry, d11 is difficult not only for you, but also for top players. Sometimes, when I have like one year break between tournaments, I feel that I have forgotten everything about the opening. :P

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