4-4 point low approach one-space low pincer, low double approach

  Difficulty: Advanced   Keywords: Joseki
Double approach  

The double approach W1 is an alternative here for White to invading the corner at a.

The presence of black+circle makes a big difference to later play.

The common answer  

The answer at B1 is now standard.

Black at a is the main other choice; Black at b is occasionally played.

Immediate invasion  

Now White's main option is to invade with W1. White also can try playing out at a first, but the timing involved isn't easy to grasp.

After W1, Black has to choose on which side to block. In the past few years both the circle point and square point have been common in pro games.

Block on the inside  

After B1 and W2, B3 is an essential bulge point, and too good to allow to the opponent.

W4 and B5 are normal (W4 at a is possible, instead). B5 is a thick play, but Black could also choose to play tenuki.

Outer block  

If Black blocks at B1, the variation to W6 is to be expected.

After this, Black has to deal with the white stone on the left; B7 is one possibility. White is aiming at the cut at a, and might well play there immediately.

The joseki is slightly off, which professional players might translate into an immediate win or loss.

Alex Weldon: Slightly off in whose favour?

Charles The evidence from recent pro games is that Black is still experimenting with B7 (also played at a or the circled point). Therefore assume Black is somewhat dissatisified here.

Korean joseki variation  

The purpose of B5 is to protect against the hane at B7; White is not really alive yet, so she plays at W6 to live in sente.

The white+circle stone near the black wall is considered to be quite light and therefore the next move here is usually White's three-space extension from it.


Black's third possibility is the quiet move of B1 here.


A second possibility for White is the hane at W1 followed by W3. Now B4 is the simplest answer. Black has sente. This is a good joseki for White if Black is trying to make a framework on the left.

A fight  

B4 here leads to a complicated fight.


We will show one continuation, from a professional game. W3 creates aji.


Black gets a large wall, White the corner territory. White has the aji of pulling out? at a.

3-3 invasion  

White could also invade at the 3-3 point after the exchange of W1 for B2. If Black answers at B4 or some such point, we get a transposition to the joseki above.

Block (9 connects)  

Alternatively, Black can answer by blocking on the outside with B1. After W10, White's territory is bigger, but so is Black's thickness. In the rare case that Black can successfully challenge White to a ko fight, White can omit the W8-B9 exchange.

Left attachment (Black 11 at a, White 12 at b)  

The attachment on the other side with B1 is rare. With this move Black is trying to build a wall facing the top, but he runs a serious risk that the original pincer (the marked stone) will turn out to be too close to it.

Here is one possible variation. Other moves, like B1 at c or B9, are even more rare with this pincer.

See also

Andre Engels, Charles Matthews

4-4 point low approach one-space low pincer, low double approach last edited by Dieter on May 13, 2012 - 12:16
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