4-4 point staircase joseki

  Difficulty: Expert   Keywords: Joseki
[Diagram]
A staircase joseki  

W7 here, giving an example of the staircase shape, is one of the most surprising joseki plays. It is seen also when B2 is played at a.

Table of contents Table of diagrams
A staircase joseki
From pro play
W10 here is also played
Another joseki
Avoiding tricks
New variation
The ladder
I guess ...
One continuation
One continuation (corrected from above)
This is the ladder ?
Another variation
In a [jeongseok] book as a punishing move
In a jeongseok book
The follow up


Pro Play

[Diagram]
From pro play  

There are many possible lines in the books, but in this case a standard continuation seems to be current, as shown here. W10 is to avoid being shut in. In this case playing atari in the staircase formation turns out better for Black than connecting solidly at 4.

[Diagram]
W10 here is also played  

Black a after W10, see bottom of this page.

[Diagram]
Another joseki  
[Diagram]
Avoiding tricks  

With black+circle on the fourth line, there are some trick plays possible if Black connects. Top players have continued as shown with Black, playing for central influence.

Charles Matthews (with some edits by emeraldemon)


A New Variation

Lee Sedol showed off a new variation in the 8th Chunlan Cup final versus Xie He :

[Diagram]
New variation  

W7 is the new move. Comments here: [ext] http://gogameguru.com/commentary-xie-he-lee-sedol-8th-chunlan-cup/


Ladder

HolIgor: One should remember that W7 is ladder dependent. If Black has a ladder breaker in the opposite corner, White could end up with a very bad result.

Han: According to Get Strong at Joseki 3, page 42, white can play W7 regardless of the ladder. (jan 2013)


[Diagram]
The ladder  

SnotNose Let's be explicit. Black to play. Where is the ladder?



Charles:

[Diagram]
I guess ...  

Han Hi Charles, if the ladder starting with W4 does not work for white, white can play as shown in the first diagram from krit below



SnotNose

[Diagram]
One continuation  

Black needs another protective play in the corner. White might sneak a ladder break in at some point along the way before black can play a, b, or c. The corner is large for Black and White has played somewhat inconsistently, first diving into the corner and then sacrificing a lot to get a wall on the outside. White's outside wall is not so thick, black+circle along with a black play at c might give white some things to worry about later.


[Diagram]
One continuation (corrected from above)  

krit I believe white plays at 1 first, then black 2 white 3 then black can choose between a or b.

[Diagram]
This is the ladder ?  

so IMHO if White still insists on having the corner, by playing 1 in place of W3 in the previous diagram, Black can cut at 2. If ladder is good for White, the Black cut of B2 is not possible; White gets both outside and corner which is very good. When the ladder is not good for White, white is split into two groups in the centre. Are marked Black stones in danger? I think not if one of the White groups is captured first so both sides need to be careful in the fight. Maybe a stronger player would like to comment on my variation.

[Diagram]
Another variation  

Han Hi krit, I am not a stronger player but I would like to comment on your first diagram by giving this variation where black plays B2 to the right of W1. B8 connects, W11 at a.


Sazn: Sometimes following what a pro does is not good, since you may not know why or the basics of it.

[Diagram]
In a jeongseok book as a punishing move  

This will make White run, since he/she lacks a base.

[Diagram]
In a jeongseok book  

Black a after W10.

Charles The number of examples in pro games is small - this way might be suitable for kyu players. But the previous line is more common, it seems.

Sazn I believe there is a follow up dealing with sacrificing stones...

[Diagram]
The follow up  

Han This is the follow up. Black sacrifies his stones on the left and gets thickness. For another follow-up, see 4-4 point low approach low extension, slide, pincer, 3-3.


4-4 point staircase joseki last edited by Blitzcrank on January 7, 2013 - 20:08
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