I'm talking about opening with the "high point" of a "shimari, such as the 3-5 or 4-5 point. The disadvantage is that it allows the opponent to enter near the corner, such as the corresponding 3-4 point. But having an "extra" move in the corner should compensate for that fact.

One thing I've noticed is that "high" and "low" playing styles alternates every decade or so. That is, "low" is all the rage for about ten years, until everyone knows how to play low, then "high" is rediscovered (after having been neglected).

Could "high" be about to be rediscovered after a period of neglect, and would this mean that we'll soon see more "high" openings, particularly by White.

2 Answers 2


I don't have a database at my disposal so I can't provide hard numbers over time to confirm this, but I believe one of the reasons high point openings saw emerging popularity was that white was attempting to play quickly in order to overcome the lack of komi. There was also the "threat" of playing extremely complicated joseki such as the taisha, which would provide more opportunities for black to squander his first move advantage by making a mistake in fighting. As the "New Fuseki" movement took hold, high openings continued to see play because of experiments using more influence-oriented openings, but over time things settled down and now with the extra handful of points white is not under pressure to play so severely.

That said, 3-5 point, etc, openings are perhaps uncommon relative to 4-4 or 4-3, but I would still not consider them rare. They are even more common if you include an approach to a corner that is ignored, and the attacker is first to continue locally - this is effectively the same things as playing a 3-5 or a 4-5 opening with a 3-4 "invasion"


Looking through my database (about 71,000+ games), it becomes clear that the high openings have always had a smaller than usual incidence than the 3-4 and later the 4-4. However, it never really fell out of use by professionals.

If you are thinking about amateur play, that could be possible. I have no data on amateur games in my database. I think that it has always been desired by the player at an initial disadvantage (White before komi, both with komi), favored by aggressive players, and favored by those who prefer to make shimari backwards to prevent the east approach.

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