Earlier today, I was reading Otake’s Secrets of Strategy by Hideo Otake 9P when I stumbled upon an interesting quote:
In the opening there are no predetermined shapes. - Otake 9P
I know that it might seem terribly obvious to some of you, but it struck me as rather profound when I read it.
Otake was discussing the fact that many amateur players play joseki faithfully believing that since they are joseki it can’t be that bad. He considers this a huge flaw with our rationale because joseki are only as good as the position it was meant to be used in. So when he said that “there are no predetermined shapes” in the opening, it opened my eyes as to how unimaginative I have been with my openings lately.
Perhaps this quote will cause me to start playing some very odd experimental games where I lose and drop rank; but if it means that I’m developing my own creative style as I play, I have a feeling it will be an enjoyable journey: win or lose.