4-4 point low approach low extension, contact

    Keywords: Opening, Joseki
[Diagram]
Contact  

White plays W1 in order to strengthen her approach stone. Black's outside hane at a is locally the only move.

Since the AI revolution this move has replaced the slide at b as the standard move for White after the white+circle-black+circle exchange.



Table of contents

[Diagram]
Continuation  

After the outside hane B1, the counter hane W2 is natural. Next, Black can connect at a (passive), atari at b (active and current standard) or double haneat c (rare).



Solid connection

[Diagram]
Continuation  

The solid connection of W3 is a way to cool down the local situation rapidly. According to current (2021) understanding of AI evaluation, White settles (too) easily and has many good options later, with a powerful shape at a and territory at b.

Still this is playable for Black, as he gets sente, and can be suitable depending on the context.



Atari

[Diagram]
Atari  

The more active answer and current standard is to atari at B3. After W4 Black plays a or b to keep White pressed down to the top side, or c to take positions on both sides at the expense of the corner.

[Diagram]
A - Influence and sente  

The hanging connection of B1 aims for influence and sente. It leaves the corner for White to take sente once more:

[Diagram]
A - Influence follow-up  

White gets a nice corner but Black got 2 moves elsewhere.

[Diagram]
B - stressing the corner  

When Black holds back to this solid connection, he can revert to the previous variation, but also decide to take the corner with B3. Next White usually continues at W4 and Black can exploit the aji at a, which leads to a longer fighting variation.

[Diagram]
C - developing on both sides  

Black can push through at B1 if there's support on the upper side for the fighting that will occur due to White's cutting stones.

[Diagram]
C - White sente  

White can also choose to capture the corner directly at W2. This gives Black a thicker influence but after W4-B5, White can take sente.



Double hane

[Diagram]
Double hane  

Black's double hane is not frequently seen but playable. White needs another move.



Stretch

[Diagram]
Stretch  

Similarly, the stretch B1 is rarely seen but playable. Again, White takes a position along the side with ajiat a and b.



Bulge play

[Diagram]
Bulge play for ko  

Playing the bulge for ko is locally bad for White. Black will take and it will require a good ko threat to get advantage out of it. As this is an early corner pattern, such big ko threats are rather rare.



Atari the other way

[Diagram]
Other atari  

The other atari is also rarely seen but again playable. There is a ladder but regardless of whether it works, Black should (according to KataGo) not move out with that stone. KataGo recommends B7 and W8 next (high or low depending on the context)


4-4 point low approach low extension, contact last edited by Dieter on February 26, 2021 - 21:01
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