Middle game joseki are set patterns of play in the middle game, distinct from opening joseki. They include standard invasions, reduction plays, probing moves in an enclosure and sabaki techniques such as the crosscut.
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- Reduction joseki
- Invasion joseki
- Probe joseki
- Sabaki techniques
There is a problem with integrating knowledge of middlegame joseki with fighting, as represented by basic knowledge of attack and defence. This is the same type of difficulty as joseki choice, but much more serious. For example, ordinary corner openings classed as joseki rarely lead to a ko fight, while middlegame joseki often do. The evaluation of the latter may involve the consideration of major exchanges.
We add the idea of the two unacceptables. Fighting in the middle game is rather fluid, in the practice of strong players. Sacrifices and exchanges are common. It does however seem that all set sequences and trades should satisfy two criteria:
- nothing essential is lost;
- no friendly stones are made to look misplaced.
These are principles that are applied to the corner openings and their choice to fit in with the whole-board position and they are no less true in the application of middlegame joseki. These don't gain their reputation simply as templates but because they are useful for application in conformity with acceptable play. There may be templates for direction of play but those are more abstract.
Therefore a heavy burden is thrown on understanding acceptable, inessential loss - a paradigm for light play - but also on unacceptable collateral damage and poor organisation caused by developments provoked in one part of the board on one's formations elsewhere, for example loss of territory in sprawling fights.