4-4 point low approach low extension, contact

    Keywords: Joseki

White plays W1 in order to strengthen the lone stone. Of course Black will expect to become stronger here too: Black at a is probably automatic unless W1 is played as a ko threat.

Main variation  

This variation is normal in contemporary pro games. Next White plays a or b, depending on the position on the upper side and the need to protect her shape.

Black can also play B5 at W6 to trade the corner for a position on the upper side.


There can be a number of ways to play this variant, but this is a representative sequence, with White alive in the corner.

In recent years White has tried the immediate cross-cut at W4, raher than the staircase, presumably to avoid this development.


Locally this is considered better for Black: White can't push through at a, because of b.

Solid connection  

It is also possible for Black to connect solidly with B1 (according to the advice about the staircase). Both groups then have good shape, and Black may want to make a flanking extension immediately on the left side.

Double hane is rare  

With the knight's move extension, the double hane (osae) B1 is a rare play in pro games (differing from the case of black+circle at a). There is probably more than one reason for that: White at b can be helpful if White is looking for sabaki here; there is feeling that Black is being forced into Overconcentrated shape, too.

Bulge play for ko  

White's other idea is to play W1 here for a bulge formation. Black probably takes up the challenge of a ko after B2 and W3. The steady play of B2 at a is also seen: White can still provoke a ko with White at b, B2, W3, but this ko is a little better for Black.

Charles Matthews


The crosscut doesn't seem to be mentioned at all here. Is it horrible? If so, what is white hoping to do to black? I suspect white at "a," after connecting, to make sabaki as above, but I'm not really sure how that would go. In fact, the only variations I can come up with seem really good for black. -jettero


(4k): White connects out of the atari. Black picks which stone to worry about, black+circle or black+square.

jettero (10k): Yeah, that is more or less what I came up with. But the very strong player at my go club sometimes uses this patern (to come up with the shape shown in the figure marked "solid connetion") in handicap games. He says it gives him something solid he doesn't have to worry about.

The problem I'm having is that your square stone is not in trouble in a handicap game because the ladder is broken. Now I can't help but wonder what wonderful sabaki he would come up with if I crosscut -- which means I'll probably try it the next time I play him...

b overconcentrated  

This looks awful for black. black+circle is too close to black's other stones. black+square is a donation. White is comfortably settled.

b fight  

Here black+circle has been cut off. W6 threatens to capture black+square in a net at a. B7 is one way to escape, but white has made black induce W8 which is a nice play for white. White's danger level on the top looks manageable. This looks ok for white to me anyway, but I'd be happy to have my misimpressions corrected. :)


Dieter: First of all there is the chance of a ladder at a.

Loose ladder  

If the ladder does not work, there is this loose ladder. After B9, White can force at a or perhaps extend immediately to b. Let's visualize both moves in succession:

Superior influence  

The black corner is small and there is not too much potential at the left side. White has higher influence towards centre and top side. The result looks better for White. Perhaps W3 can be as far a.

4-4 point low approach low extension, contact last edited by xela on April 21, 2020 - 00:09
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