4-4 point one-space low pincer invasion, interception

  Difficulty: Intermediate   Keywords: Joseki

Table of contents Table of diagrams
Invasion, interception
The modern connection
Keima - honte answer
If White plays elsewhere
Pincer
Running into the center
Continuation
Overconcentrated
Hane at the head
Hane underneath
Clamp tesuji
Black resists
Continuation
Wrong
Countering the counter

Reference diagram

[Diagram]
Invasion, interception  

White's 3-3 invasion W1 in response to Black's pincer black+circle is usually intercepted at B2. Up to W7 this pattern has been standard [1] but Black's next move has changed from the solid connection a into the crawling move of B8. After W9 avoids being locked into the corner, Black usually plays elsewhere although local moves are available too, such as b or c.

B4 at d is an attractive looking hane at the head but is a mistake. [2]



Reasons for connecting underneath

[Diagram]
The modern connection  

After AlphaGo, the choice of B1 over a became the standard. The advantage is that White now cannot play at B1, either to connect her stone or cut off Black's wall from the rest of his position on the top, and the hane-connect of White b is not sente in the yose. The disadvantage is the possibility of the white cut at a.


Increasing influence & checking from the side

[Diagram]
Keima - honte answer  

With B1, Black extends his influence. Before the AI revolution W2 was considered honte. Nowadays, it is considered slow and White would rather play elsewhere.



[Diagram]
If White plays elsewhere  

If White does not answer B1, Black can exchange B3 for W4. Before it was considered painful for White to allow Black this exchange in sente, but still it was seen e.g. Cho Chikun (Black) against Kobayashi Koichi in the 1999 Kisei title match.

Nowadays, the exchange doesn't seem to outweigh White's extra move elsewhere.

[Diagram]
Pincer  

The tsume of B1 is rarely played immediately. Nevertheless, it is a common manoeuvre for Black, as a follow-up.



After W2 and B3, White has sente, but Black has confined her to the corner, and now has strength on both sides and towards the center.

[Diagram]
Running into the center  

The alternative for White is to run into the center with W2 and W4.



After W10...

[Diagram]
Continuation  

Black patches up his shape with B1. The continuation to W8 is one possibility.



White has set her sights on the black+circle stones, but B7 makes black thick in the center.

[Diagram]
Overconcentrated  

B1 is not a good move with the one-space low pincer. The black+circle stone is now too close to Black's wall.


Hane at the head

[2]

[Diagram]
Hane at the head  

The hane at the head B3 feels natural but it is generally a mistake when white+circle is in place. White's best next move is the hane at 'a'.

There is [ext] an article about this shape that analyses it in some depth.



Countermeasure

[Diagram]
Hane underneath  

B2 aims to link up with black+circle. If B2 connects solidly at B4, then W3 at W5 is probably even a better result for White.

White gets territory and sente. Black influence and cutting aji.

[Diagram]
Clamp tesuji  

If B2 and B4 insist on cutting off white+circle then White has the clamp tesuji of W5. If Black draws back at B6, White connects at W7. Compared to the normal joseki, Black has made the extra exchange of Bb for W7 - which is aji keshi.

[Diagram]
Black resists  

If Black tries to resist with B1, White cuts at W2. One possible follow-up is shown. If Black does not play at B7 (but for example at B9), White wins the semeai after White at B7-Black a - White b.

[Diagram]
Continuation  

Black has been forced into a clumsy shape, while black+circle has been cut off and blighted. The four white stones are far from captured yet.



Wrong countermeasure

[Diagram]
Wrong  

Many amateurs have learnt to answer B1 with W2 because if Black descends to B3, White fearlessly cuts at W4, either capturing three stones as in this diagram or capturing B1 and making territory at the 4th line.

[Diagram]
Countering the counter  

However Black can counter at B3 and gets superior shape up to B7, trumping White's corner territory. Compared to the proper countermeasure Black is much better off here.


[1] A less common variation is at 4-4 point one-space low pincer invasion, interception, hane underneath.


4-4 point one-space low pincer invasion, interception last edited by Malcolm on July 24, 2021 - 20:11
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