Aji Example 2

    Keywords: Joseki, Strategy

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Bad aji for Black  

The exchange of W1 for B2, then W3, leaves Black with a position which has bad aji with respect to the corner territory and the side.

If White later approaches from a, Black would maybe like to attack from the direction of b, but he cannot, since a white play at c makes it difficult for Black to get anything in the corner. If Black defends against White a in the corner, White can settle with b and later erode the corner from her stone at W1. For this particular example, see also do not defend territories open on two sides.


Bill Spight: As I understand the term, aji has to do with flaws left behind in an established position. Perhaps a good translation is "aftertaste". Here Black's base doesn't really have defects. If Black does not extend along the left side, White can attack the two stones. I would not use aji to refer to this situation.

Dieter (2k) says

Good development for Black  

After the last diagram, it is not bad for Black to play tsuke at B1, at which White must answer at W2. This gives a slightly overconcentrated position for White, since she would have preferred white+circle be at a now, but she mustn't be dissatisfied.

After this exchange, Black can best extend to B3, in order to turn the upper left into a moyo that is almost territory.

Charles Actually B1 is questionable here, if the centre matters in the game.

togo: There indeed is a problem with the assumption about White's answer: White could answer at c instead of W2 (and Black would have to answer that) or tenuki. Both would make B1 gote and B1 in itself does not gain much. Further into the play it could force White to decide between base and corner aspects; right now even corner invasion is still possible.

White exploits the aji  

Black can also leave the position as it is, and play elsewhere. White can attack with W5, and Black escapes into the center with B6.
Without the exchange of Black a for White b, B6 has more effect on the white stones at the top.

There are many examples of aji including captured stones that still have their effect on the global position. I'll give a few of those shortly.

--Dieter Verhofstadt

Hi Dieter, I see what you're saying, and I agree. My initial argument was that if Black left the position alone after W3, he also left the corner and side open.

You suggest that the black tsuke, white nobi and black extension to B3 are a good development for Black and I agree. But the fact that Black has to play this (and loses sente) shows that the initial position had bad aji for him, no? I notice that b on your diagram had no comment in the text... I think that b here is still invadable, after Black 3, no? And, in my experience, so is san-san.

Another point is that with the hoshi-tobi position, Black clearly leaves the corner open in exchange for influence - it is not necessarily bad aji, but his fuseki strategy.


Aji Example 2 last edited by togo on December 15, 2012 - 19:06
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