4-4 point, double low approach, outside diagonal

  Difficulty: Intermediate   Keywords: Joseki
Diagonal answer  

Charles Matthews This diagonal play has experienced a revival in pro games, associated with new thinking about central influence and possible tenuki variations.

After B1 here, W2 at the 3-3 point is normal; and now Black plays a, b, or tenuki allowing White at a.

The problem with this joseki for a weaker player is that Black at a can leave a black wall, but without a pincer attacking white+circle and also with some potential shape problems. Clearly this isn't troubling at pro level, but amateurs can come to grief here.

Black's answer a  

After W2 Black's main options are at e, f and g. Playing g, which is a move useful in handicap games when Black has a stone already at the circled point to attack white+circle, isn't very forceful here. Black at e is only seen in old games.

Black cannot tenuki  

After B1, black cannot tenuki. White's shape is too good after W4, W6. If black wants to tenuki, it should be before B1, not after.

Black presses  

Probably B1 is the best idea here, but the bulge play W2 gives Black some shape difficulties.

Black presses  

In games of Hane Yasumasa based on the Chinese opening B1, W2, B3 was used to build influence for Black on a large scale, treating the cutting point at a as secondary.

White's mistake  

This W1 would be a big mistake as it doesn't take advantage of Black's shape problems.


When black+square is present, this is played in many pro games.

firstian As a beginner, I'm always looking for the "meaning" of a move, so I can think about whether a move makes sense or not, and also how to respond when my opponent doesn't play a book move. I think I understand that either a or c are meant to separate the two stones and develop on one side. What about the meaning of b? For example, in one of my 9-stone handi game, W played:


I think the correct response to W2 is a. But not knowing what B1 is suppose to do, I have no clue how to develop my corner group. (My guess is that B1 helps B runs out to the center, but is that it?)

20k guess: B1 leaves two possibilities - live in the corner, bigger than if B1 hadn't been played (eg with 3-3), or run into the center (eg with b). In a nine handicap game, black probably isn't clever enough to tell which is better. Therefore, treat them as miai and play somewhere else.

4-4 point, double low approach, outside diagonal last edited by Unkx80 on April 18, 2009 - 21:24
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