Openings can be classified as weak, strong, or fair. As we discussed previously, the first move of the game should be as close to fair as possible. If your opening is strong, your opponent can swap it and you’ll be starting from a weak position. If it’s weak then they won’t swap it, and you’ll be stuck with it. So the best you can do is play a fair move.
Corner patterns are not always played out as soon as a corner is taken. Some players will attack corners as soon as they are occupied while other players prefer to move into other corners first and then challenge corners their opponents have taken later, often after the major corners have been claimed. The example lines in this chapter follow the second approach, mainly to reduce complexity.
Generally you’ll want to claim at least one corner on both of your edges early in the game. Avoid taking both corners on the same edge if you still have the option to take a corner on the other edge. For example, say you’re Black and you have a stone in the north corner, and White has a stone in the east corner. In this situation it would be better to play a stone in the south corner (leaving you with a stone near each edge) rather than the west corner (which would leave you with two stones along the northwest edge and none along the southeast edge).
For simplicity, the discussion of opening sequences below are presented for the case where the opening move is not swapped. Also, since the board is symmetrical, there are two versions of each opening; I only show one. Naturally there are equivalents of these sequences when the opening move is swapped or in the other orientation (or both).