4-4 point inside contact

    Keywords: Joseki

The 3-4 contact play

What about the inside (3-4) contact play in the absence of an enclosure? (When there is an enclosure from the 4-4 point, this counts as joseki.).

Table of contents Table of diagrams
3-4 contact under a 4-4 stone
Transposition to 3-3 invasion
[Seo BongSoo] (W) vs. [Hane Naoki]
[Segoe] (W) vs [Kitani Minoru]
Segoe - Kitani (continued)
[Li Huasong] (W) - [Zhou Heyang] (B)
Li Huasong - Zhou Heyang continued

3-4 contact under a 4-4 stone  

This sometimes occurs in pro games, though until recently it was very rare compared to playing an approach or the 3-3 invasion.

The most common responses for black are the hane moves at a or b, but c and d are also played sometimes.

xela: Isn't this usually played as a ko threat or ladder breaker? Otherwise, I find it hard to imagine a full-board position where this wouldn't be worse than an approach move from the outside. (If I'm wrong, I'd love to see some examples!) Added June 2024: the previous comment was from the year 2008. Turns out that I'm wrong.

Transposition to 3-3 invasion  

If black choose B2, the situation may revert to the common 3-3 invasion like this.

So, what did White gain? Nothing, unless Black would prefer to block the other side after the 3-3 invasion. This naturally determines White's choice: 3-4 or 4-3? It should be such Black's resulting wall will be less useful.

xela: If black needs a wall facing the other way, won't B4 be played at W5 or at a? Updated June 2024: KataGo says yes, B4 at a is good. It transposes to a variation of the 3-3 point shoulder hit.

I play this one often in handicap games: Black normally plays B2 at W3 to take the corner, which allows a cross-cut.


Hane at 3-3

The hane at 3-3 takes the corner, allowing the opponent a group along the side.

Seo BongSoo (W) vs. Hane Naoki  

Had white invaded at 3-3 (B2), blocking at W1 with B2 would allow Black to make big territory on the top side.

Hane at 5-3, stretch, descent

Segoe (W) vs Kitani Minoru  

W2 blocks from the outside, but if Black had started on the 3-3, White would have blocked at 1.

Segoe - Kitani (continued)  

The fighting begins.

Hane at 5-3, stretch, reversal

Li Huasong (W) - Zhou Heyang (B)  

In this position, black has chosen to revert to the 3-3 invasion joseki. If the black wall were facing the other way, white+circle would be under attack, while this wall is facing a strong low white position along the upper side.

Li Huasong - Zhou Heyang continued  

In the continuation, white uses the aji left by the ladder in the lower left. After B20, the white atari at a is a ladder break. Black chose to take at b, allowing white to take at c.

See also

Why is this called inside contact instead of underneath contact?

4-4 point inside contact last edited by xela on June 3, 2024 - 11:04
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