3-4 point distant low approach, one-space low pincer

    Keywords: Joseki

Suppose B2 plays a pincer. White has prepared for that - W1 is played to have a good option towards the corner in this case. Nevertheless, if Black wants to build influence towards the upper side, B2 is a very good option.[1]

There are a few cases (3-4 point distant low approach, one-space low pincer, tenuki) of White playing tenuki after B2.

Standard follow-up  

The sequence from W3 to B10 is standard.

A mistake in order of play (B7 connects)  

The order of B6 and B8 in the previous diagram is important. If Black plays the atari at B1 here first, White has the option of answering B3 with the counteratari at W4 and capture B1. Usually this is better for White than the joseki. If Black chooses the correct line of play, White has no alternative.

xela writing in early 2024: This is another urban myth that AI has dispelled. Even before AI, there's a small number of pro games on record with this "wrong" move order. And what happens? White just plays W4 at B5 and it transposes into the usual joseki. The order doesn't matter. Asking KataGo (with star points in the other corners), B1 in this diagram and B1 at B3 as per the usual joseki are equally good and should give the same result with best play. The W4 shown here is a small mistake. The difference is small enough that you could maybe call this an alternative joseki, but you can't really call it a mistake by black.


The standard variation continues with W1 here. Up to B6, White gets a solid group and Black builds thickness. B6 can be played at a instead, but that does leave bad aji and is now infrequent in pro games.

A different continuation  

SnotNose Here is another possibility, though I'm not sure what the proper continuation is.

The purpose of B2 is to induce W3, making B4 natural. It looks like white has bad aji here unless he plays at or around a next. Perhaps I haven't got W3 quite right (???).

Yup ...  

Charles From the point of view of basic suji, W3 is the previous diagram is worse than W1 here, in reply to black+circle.

SnotNose It still seems that white has bad aji at a and, so, may need a protective move at or around b or c at some point.

Local continuation  

Charles This is the most usual finish to the joseki.

One should consider that B2 (of the Yup diagram) will probably be played, anyway.

Having written that, I then found that the first diagram line is known in pro games - even recently - when White wants to push on up into the centre. So, it could be joseki, too: but less common.

Impossible (7 connects)  

Playing W1 instead of W5 looks logical, but in the sequence to B10, White collapses. After B10, killing the corner with a and attacking in the center with b are miai for Black.

White's alternative  

If White is willing to give something up in the corner, so as notto be enclosed, she can play at W1. Black can exchange Black a for White b in sente, but usually he will not do so, because the marked stone still has a lot of aji (Black b creates a ko, for example). More usually, Black either plays tenuki or pushes up with B2.

Another move  

Alternatively, White can play at W2 instead of W4. Pressing against the black stone in the corner, she strengthens it, but also strengthens her own stones. After B9, the joseki continues with White a or b. Compared to the previous joseki, we get a reversal, with White facing the top and Black the left side.

Another move  

Black can also play B3 here. Black now takes the corner, giving White the outside.

White can also cut, with W4 at B5: this leads to a transposition to the joseki above.

AI Joseki  

[1] An example is at enclosure opening distant low approach, pincer.

3-4 point distant low approach, one-space low pincer last edited by xela on February 4, 2024 - 06:38
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