A disadvantage with the new opening rules

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10 posts in this thread

Kristian Lindberg
#1 2008-10-25 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 its 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, its 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 Soosrv-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 Soosrv-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 dont need the part of the rule with five fifth moves. The black player has after whites fourth move the right to swap or play the fifth move anywhere on the board (I dont 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 dont need to worry or care about five fifth moves.

Of course my purpose is not to make a new opening rule. Its 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 doesnt 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 wont 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 dont 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

Ants Soosõrv
#2 2008-11-01 20:16:22

Hej Kristian!
Nice to see your ideas! Tunnet have mentioned me several times, that extrarule with 5 fifth moves is coming too usual, not only having purpose for what it was made. So defenetly your idea is interesting and we should test it. Hopefully we will meet in Swedish team championship and can discusse it?

Kristian Lindberg
#3 2008-11-02 03:52:53

Hej Ants!

Thank you for your answer!
Unfortunately I wont be able to come to Stockholm that weekend, it would have been nice to talk to you.
Interesting that you and Tunnet have talked about the 5 fifth moves. So hopefully the discussion about it will continue and as you wrote, we can test this idea and see if its worth fighting for.
I would appreciate if you were able to discuss my ideas with Tunnet and some other estonian players and we can be in touch again. Ive talked to Stefan about it and tried to convince him that its a great idea :-).
Take care!

#4 2008-11-05 18:13:06

It's really an interesting idea - to make forth move withing the square made by third.
But some examples of positions come into my head, which were played with RIF rules and are not possible with present proposal (notation with i and j):

orthodox 4th move in 8d: 1 h8, 2 h9, 3 h7, 4 h6
some more unusual 4th moves: 4 - i6 or 4 - j9

orthodox pattern in 6i: 1 h8, 2 i9, 3 i8, 4 j8

Kristian Lindberg
#5 2008-11-06 04:19:43

Hello Sushkov!

The sentence "If you are forced to play the fourth move within the same square as the third (5x5)" that I used in the blog wasnt so good. Its easy to misunderstand.

Instead I should have written "If you are forced to play the fourth move within a 5x5 central square..."

That was my purpose with the fourth move. Then this variants that you mention will be playable. Hope you think it sounds interesting anyway... :-)

Sergey Artemyev
#6 2008-11-07 10:56:11

Hi guys !
It's very interesting topic for me, because i have a strong feeling that many alternative 5th moves gives too unnatural game in the beginning, when they placed on the board at the same time. And tricks with removing some of them from the board and then placing again don't looks good for serious game.
I like Kristian's idea, it seems there are only few problems - in some variants of I1, D1 and D2 - but these are not key variants anyway.
Please check my idea with modification of Tarannikov rule:
First move played in center, second in 3x3.
Then, 3rd and 4th moves must be placed at distance not more than 2 stones from 1st or 2nd stone (in other words, in 5x5 of first stone or in 5x5 of second stone).
Fifth move can be placed anywhere.
This variant breaks tradition of 26 openings, but gives some more creativity. I checked some openings - for me it wasn't easy to get crazy 5-moves position, maybe there are just few such variants.
Please let me know if you see any serious flaw in these rules.

Yuriy Tarannikov
#7 2008-11-07 19:08:26

I have found the topic of this discussion as very unessential. In fact, we have many more important and dangerous problems now.

During some years we tried to find Renju opening rules which could be proper for different groups of players: for conservative and creative, for beginners and advanced. We had not success here after a huge number of attempts. Now we have some sets of opening rules. Such situation will be at least four next years and after that, truly speaking, we have small chances to accept only one set of rules. It is sufficient to mention that Japanese players continue to play Meijin-sen competitions according old classic RIF. So, some sets of rules will exist during some next years and players will be forced to study all of them. Any new propositions will not go to the immediate cancellation of already certified rules. So, for new propositions we must select something principally new and important.

The proposition of Kristian and its modification of Sergey differ from Tarannikov rules only by the changing of the zone for the 4th move. The question is: who wins from this change? For conservative players the difference is negligible since the crazy 4th moves will be possible in the reduced zone too by the big number of ways.

Yuriy Tarannikov
#8 2008-11-07 19:09:07

Creative players will not be satisfied since the space for creativity comparing with Tarannikov rules will be reduced significantly. For beginners there are no any difference between new propositions and Tarannikov rules. So, why we need to introduce new intermediate rules if it will not give any benefits to any group of players?

It is much more important to certify Sakata (and probably Tarannikov rules) since it will give new principal possibilities for the game. 1) Sakata rules will give a lot number of new variants. 2) Sakata rules are easy for beginners. 3) China delegations supported Sakata rules at some last GA RIF, so, now China side is not satisfied that their opinion was ignored. It can destroy the relation in the Renju world.

Concerning the question of convenience of beginners with alternative moves. Now beginners can play be free rules (without openings) and by classic RIF rules. I hope beginners will have the possibility to play by Sakata rules. Nevertheless, since Yamaguchi/Soosyrv/Taraguchi rules are certified, the players will be introduced to them. The easiest way (by my opinion) is to do it during the tournament by the rejection system. In some late Russian tournaments with the rejection system the players who have not the dan level yet have the possibility to demand the using of the classic RIF rules. So, beginners can play by familiar rules and to be introduced to new rules simply looking to the games at other boards.

Also I want to mention that alternative moves stimulate players (including beginners) to understand Renju deeper. The player is thinking which move is strongest, which is the second, which is the third, etc. In some other opening systems (without alternatives) they do not to think about it, so, the opening homework frequently is reduced to the preparation of particular variants without the understanding of the place of these variants in the whole opening theory.

Finally, for advanced players the most important problem now: do new certified rules allow to avoid some bore variants? The problem of D11 opening was solved in Soosyrv and Taraguchi rules but analogous problems can arise in some other openings like D9, D5 etc. So, the final decisions on opening rules it will be impossible to do without the analyses of these problems.

Sergey Artemyev
#9 2008-11-08 20:00:08

Hello Yuriy !
Position you showed is the strong argument agains area-based limits for 4th move. 5th move can be played almost everywhere and strongest 6th will be g9, which still leaves some chances for black even with 5th move in a corner. Too chaotic game.

Kristian Lindberg
#10 2008-11-09 21:36:10


If you dont see any problem with the 5 fifth moves in the Taraguchi-rule, then of course the discussion is very unessential, for others it isnt.

I agree that some crazy fourth moves can be made, but I think it is better than the existing rule with 5 fifth moves.

If you want to avoid that the fifth move is placed in the corner maybe a forbidden zone for this move also is a good idea (7x7 for example).

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