Welcome to my Fundamental Go Lessons series.  In this lessons  I'll be covering the use of the pincer, focusing on understanding when to pincer in our go games and, just as importantly, when not to pincer.  Some players play one to be aggressive, others do it in an attempt to wreck possible expansion, and a few do it just because they can and have no idea when to pincer.  But, believe it or not, there is a right time and a wrong time to pincer.  And as a game progresses, it gets easier and easier to tell which of those times you and your opponent are in.

The aim of this lecture is to understand when it's good to pincer and when it is not.  Playing a pincer when you shouldn't can just about ruin a game before it has really begun, making this lesson extremely important to learn for players of all levels.  However, since pincering is a rather broad topic, this lecture covers the following;

  • The dangers of double pincering.
  • Avoiding the pincer when there is territory to be gained otherwise.
  • Avoiding the pincer when it goes against the flow of our stones.
  • Pincering to develop territory.
  • Keeping weak groups in mind when pincering.

These five points are the most common areas where people go wrong when deciding to play the pincer.  The examples used in the lecture are ones that you see them at all stages of the game and most frequently played incorrectly.  If you're looking to better understand the pincer and bring that knowledge to your own games, this lecture is probably one you will want to pay special attention to as not to fall into the more common traps when playing the pincer.

As always, if you have any questions about the lesson, feel free to leave a comment below!