3-5 point low approach, press, attachment

    Keywords: Joseki, Life & Death

When the 3-5 Point Low Approach Press joseki comes to a halt, Black can play B1 here. It is tempting (for the amateur) to break Black's loose connection by playing at a.



However, it can be a costly mistake. After B3, White has not increased his liberties and must continue with W4 cutting off B1 to make any sense.

After B7, she will either lose all corner stones, or lose the marked stone in a ladder (which is assumed to work).

Continuation 1: ladder  

Clearly, even with the ladder aji, Black's outward thickness outweighs White's corner position, which incidentally has some bad aji as well. Note that White can cut at b, but that it will not lead to immediate success.

Continuation 2: corner captured  

If W1 captures the cutting stone, Black takes the corner. W5-B6 shows how White remains short of liberties.


Standard way  

In the vast majority of pro games, White plays W2 to foil the ladder upon which Black connects at B3. White takes up an influential position to the side, while Black takes the corner in gote.

W2 has been recommended in Ishida's joseki dictionary. W4 is more consistent than a hane at B7 would be, but it is perfectly possible to play there too (see below). Occasionally Black plays B3 directly at B5 or B7.

Taking sente  

Sacrificing a stone with W11 prevents Black from proceeding to the corner with a.

Pushing battle  

If W1 fights for the corner, B2 takes advantage of the cutting points which become a burden for White in the pushing battle. After B8 White has to defend at a or b.


This is also seen.

A submissive response  

This hane has a submissive feel. Black can now push again at B3 and come back at a.

W2 has only occurred in a pro game when White had an stone at b, negating Black's influence. Black would then rarely press in the first place, so we can think of this as not joseki.

b (black eyeing at x)  

This variation is played when the peep at a has a good relation with a pincer stone already at place at one of the circled points. With a stone at b however it isn't played at all because of the bad relation between x and b

No ladder

The ladder doesn't work  

If the above mentioned ladder does not work, there is no definite joseki, but different lines have been tried by professionals. Below there are two of them, which were played repeatedly.

Black c, White d - possible outcome  
Black c, White e - possible outcome  
Black c, White e - possible outcome continuation  

Both Black and White can vary. White will get an outside ponnuki either way and is satisfied. The black corner after e is smaller than it may look at first sight.

Ignoring the attachment


If Black ignores the attachment, White can take a big corner. (Usually played when the outside ladder would work for White.)

3-5 point low approach, press, attachment last edited by Dieter on December 10, 2012 - 21:19
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