3-4 point distant high approach from the wrong direction

    Keywords: Joseki
The wrong direction  

W1 is considered to be 'from the wrong direction'. However, when a stone like black+circle is present, it is a common joseki move.

DaveSigaty: This is not the wrong direction because this is not a 3-4 point :-) [1]

Peaceful play  

Charles Matthews According to conventional ideas, the exchange B1/W2 should be quite good enough for Black. You can read about subsequent plays in this area at plays against low Chinese - follow-ups.

In the case of the theory of the Chinese opening, this conventional wisdom was been questioned and modified. That was recognised in the 1996 Japanese edition of Ishida.


B2 seems to be the oldest answer to W1. With W3, the joseki ends. White can follow up with an invasion at a (answered at b), Black can strengthen his left-side framework with Black c-White d-Black e. But usually in this position, the next move has to do with some position nearing the corner from the right or the bottom.

Two-space pincer - keima  

Nowadays, a pincer is more usual. There are two usual pincers. The first is the two-space pincer at B2.

W3 is a quiet answer, forcing B4 (although Black might play B4 at a instead, settling the shape more). Next White plays some kind of counterpincer, for example W5. This diagram shows one possible continuation.

Two-space pincer - ogeima (White 11 at a, Black 12 at b)  

W1 is a second possibility. Black naturally tries to cut White with B2 and B4, white fights this with W3 and W5. After Black 12, White defends at c or d, or plays tenuki.

Discussion moved to joseki context - different pincers: external link

[ext] http://gobase.org/studying/articles/matthews/fuseki/11/ .

Two-space pincer - attachment (White 11 to Black 17 at a to f)  

The third possibility is the attachment of W1, usually followed by the cut of W3. White attaches against the black stones to make shape for her own stones. I don't know whether there is any standard variation, but this one seems rather typical.

Two-space pincer - attachment (2)  

A second possibility is W5, usually with the intention of creating a group in the corner.


White gets a group in the corner, but her other group is weakened.

One-space pincer - keima  

After W2, the same answers are common as after the the two-space pincer. The keima has the same type of follow-up as before.

One-space pincer - ogeima (white 11 at a, Black 12 at b)  

After the ogeima at W1, the same variation follows again. Just as with the two-space pincer, this is the most common variation, but variations, especially W5 at W7, are again possible.

Two-space pincer - attachment  

After the attachment of W1, there are two main variations. The first is similar to the one before.


White again strengthens her group, giving up the corner.

attachment - hane  

The hane of W3 is a recent invention (the oldest game I found it in is from 1999). After B6, white continues with a, b or c.

attachment - hane from the other side  

iopq: From Cho Chikun - Yashimoto Yujiro in 1996 White continued at a.


DaveSigaty: When is a 3-4 point a 3-4 point? This is not a pointless question :-) If we examine professional practice it appears reasonable to say...

A 3-4 point  

When the marked Black stone is at least this far away or is missing we have a basic 3-4 point where the most common follow up by White is an approach move either at W1 or the other points a.

An enclosure  

When the marked Black stone is at least this close or any of the other points b, we have an enclosure where White most often approaches only to the midpoint of the side around W1 as a next step.

A Special case  

Where the marked stone is exactly here we have what amounts to a special case. Most often this is part of the Chinese fuseki and the most common approach in current professional practice is W1. This situation came about through a lot of trial and error that has taught White that W1 is more attractive at this point than either going all the way in to c or holding back to d.

Referring to this W1 as the "wrong" direction is dangerous in my opinion. It threatens to give us too narrow a view of the situation :-)

Bill: Thanks, Dave! I have been puzzled by that wrong direction phrase. I supposed it reflected professional opinion or terminology, but maybe not. In any event, you are right that it is the wrong way to look at this position. I would go further and say that with any of these extensions we should properly talk about an uchikomi rather than a kakari.

What about the close high approach? Here's an example from game between two 7 kyu players.

GregoryWonderwheel: Without having studied this joseki at all I approached at W1 and Black seemed to let me off the hook of my own ignorance with the response of B2:

A Game Example  

Here's how it continued:

A Game Example continued  
A Game Example continued  

As I look at this aferwards I feel I got very lucky with this attack, probably because my opponant had never seen it before either. I don't say this is an example of good play, but after this game I came here to see if the close high approach move of W1 at the 4-6 point was mentioned and see that it is not, just distant high approach of the 4-7.

Does anyone know why the close high approach at the 4-6 point of W1 is not mentioned?

Better answer  

AndreEngels: I think the better answer for black would have been B2 here. After this, W1 is much more bothered by being in the sphere of influence of the black shimari than the more usual moves at a, b or c would be.

Better answer, white follow up  

Uberdude: Agreed B2 is much better here than the 2nd line slide. However I would add that this approach should not be dismissed as nonsense as it is sometimes played against the chinese opening. White exchanges W3 for B4, and then either extends to a (this is common if it serves a double purpose as a pincer to a black approach move to a white stone at the upper right corner) or jumps to b if white is building a moyo. After the jump to b white is also aiming at an invasion with the aji of c and d. With the tight approach of W1 black is locally doing better on territory, but white may choose this as part of a whole board strategy.

This shape appeared in a pro game [ext] MilanMilan vs BenHu on KGS (with the chinese opening) and demonstrates the various ideas I mentioned: white does get the jump to b and invasion at d. In the fighting that develops later black ignores a move on the corner and it becomes a ko. I noted that in the commentary smartrobot 9d (and 2p) said the initial approach W1 is favoured by Wu Qingyuan aka Go Seigen.

3-4 point distant high approach from the wrong direction last edited by on February 27, 2011 - 15:14
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