Avalanche - connection

  Difficulty: Advanced   Keywords: Joseki
The connection  

The connection of B7 in the avalanche joseki is advised to players who prefer to avoid the complexities of the large and small avalanche josekis.

It is, however, also an excellent joseki in its own right. Players of any level of knowledge can play this move whenever they feel that taking territory in the corner in exchange for giving White influence in the center is not disadvantageous.

A normal continuation  

W1 is more or less the only move, and B2 is the most usual continuation [1]. After that, White will usually fix up her shape with a. Other plays for White are: lengthen the wall with b, play tenuki, or play at c to try to force Black.

Going for the corner  

W1 is not absolutely sente, but if black does not answer, white forces with W3 to B10 to take control of the corner.

A variation  

An important variation in this joseki is B2 here. In this diagram, Black takes even more territory and gives White even more thickness.

If Black omits B8, White might play there, and Black is more or less obliged to play a, which is painful. W5 can also be played at b.

Tenuki (B11 at b, W12 at c)  

If white plays tenuki, B1 is a tasking move. It is not the most common one, but we are going to gloss over B1 at a, which leads to complicated fighting needing many diagrams and B2, which reverts to the joseki shown above. White keeps black separated, then pushes against the black corner group. This gives black territory, but white makes strength, thus weakening the B1-B3-B5 stones. A white counterattack against these is likely to follow soon.

Katago evaluation of this variation

KataGo's standard variation  

Rather than playing B1 at a, Katago wants to hane on the second line and crawl again with B3. W4 jumps to invite the wedge B5 and the variation ends with the firm connection at W8.

Black has territory and sente. White has influence towards top (albeit with an open skirt) and centre, plus the potential to turn and build influence to the left side with b. This move is gote for both.

It's interesting to note that Black can next cut at c but White needn't respond. It seems that the W4-W6-W8 structure is already good enough to allow for two Black moves, also given B1-B3-B7 being low.

White is stronger  

If B1, then W2 gives White strong influence. This result is slightly inferior for Black, compared to the above variation.

However, if the left side has a particular interest, then B1 can be preferred. Then again, White would probably not have played the avalanche in the first place, if she wanted to influence the left side, rather than the top.

Avalanche - connection last edited by Dieter on December 7, 2022 - 13:49
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