BQM 41

    Keywords: Joseki, Question
Not joseki?  

ChessWhiz: B2 is not joseki, as far as I can tell. How does White punish this move?

HolIgor: Let us see if Black did not punish himself already.

The purpose of W1 is usually a sacrifice in order to get a corner with an exit to one of the sides. So, let us see what happens if White enters at san-san.

Usual continuation  

The question is now whether black+circle is well positioned.

In the usual joseki it is at a or b. In the latter case Black needs one more move to cap the white stone. black+circle does not seem to be placed very well as the eye making potential of the group would be, probably better with a.

Another usual sequence  

Now black+circle does not stop White's propagation along the top, compared to a stone at a.

Alex: Yeah, but black+circle is part of Black's wall (albeit with a cutting point), whereas a would not be. I'd be happy with this diagram as B, so I'm not sure White's immediate san-san invasion is good. After all, if Black plays at b now, the result is not too different from if White invades san-san after a one-space high pincer, which we all know is not recommended, because the result is so much better for Black than with the low pincer.

It seems that a stone at a is placed more efficiently. Of course, if this is not the first corner, joseki interaction with other stones might change everyting.

dnerra: Hmm, that got me interested. HolIgor, maybe Black would deviate from the second joseki as below?

Black deviates from joseki  

Despite the two weaknesses in his wall (a and b), I'd think this is good for Black.

Evil fighting  

Of course, White might not co-operate, and then I will have a hard time showing that B1 was not an overplay...


I would start by claiming that I of course checked all ladders before playing black+circle (2 in the top diagram), and then see whether B1 here might be a tesuji.

And the fight continues beyond the scope of both this diagram and this analysis :-)

And another joseki deviation  

Black could also play B1 here. I don't see a good move for B5 to fix the shape, however. Any shape guru to comment?

Still, under special circumstances, this could still be good for Black.

Create the shape defect immediately.  

To come back to the original question: It looks very natural for me to start with W1 and W3. How should Black continue?

Charles Cutting immediately at x is better for White. This is a case of the one-two-three principle.

Nando: I've never seen this move before, so I checked [ext] and, while it's rare, it doesn't seem to be unheard of, the professional practice. For instance :

Yu Ch'ang-hyeok 9 dan (B) vs. Mok Chin-seok 5 dan  

To me, it looks like a more forceful move than the pincers a or b, and possibly making a better use of Black's wall in the bottom right.

Yu Ch'ang-hyeok 9-dan (B) vs. Mok Chin-seok 5-dan  

White chose this sequence.

For the record, Black won by more than ten points (the center moyo remained almost untouched, solidifying in a single huge territory).

I'd conclude that this move is playable under specific circumstances (looking at a couple other games with this pattern, I suspect that the plan is to emphasize an existing strength/influence on the side where the second stone is played and in the center).

(For those with access to Jansteen's site (not everyone?) the [ext] link to the game)

DaveSigaty: The Nihon Kiin's Igo Daijiten includes this move. The 1980 edition covers it with a total of 65(!) diagrams. A few of the key findings are shown below.

This is a non-standard move in modern go but it is not a trick play. It is obviously outside oriented so if Black can get extra value from a wall facing along the right or toward the bottom, it can be a viable choice. It appears in older Chinese games dating back to at least the 12th century AD.

Sort of joseki  

Pulling back at B4 after White pushes through and cuts is one basic idea. However, it is too tame after challenging White with the fierce shoulder hit to start with.

The result to W8 is judged better for White who has sente.

Quick but thin  

B1 and B3 here are a special strategy to keep sente in order to play down the left side.

However, Black is clearly thin and White is threatening to start something with White a, Black b, White c later.

Slow for White, interesting for Black  

If White switches to W7 here, it stops Black from forcing White down as in the previous diagram; but it is a slower approach for White.

When Black pushes at B8, White is unsatisfied after W9 because of Black's good move at B10. However, if White plays at B10 herself instead of W9, Black will cut immediately at a and has interesting chances.

The center  

Black can try moving B4 to here but after W5 and W7 White is set to make a lot of territory in the corner.

In the local situation White is better. However, as mentioned above, the original shoulder hit is usually based on the overall position so this may still work for Black.

The top side  

This B4 is more oriented specifically toward the top.

Again however, Black is going to have to cede the corner to White so locally this is going to hurt.


Locally the question seems to be what happens after Black plays this combination of B4 and B6.

The ladders toward the lower right need to favor Black but if they do, this can lead to some heavy fighting that favors Black at least as much as White.

Entering the corner 1  

Playing into the corner is considered uninteresting.

Black's outside influence is too great after B8.

Entering the corner 2a  

If W3 here, Black will probably reply at B4. I

If W5 and B6 are exchanged, Black will end with B10.

Entering the corner 2b  

If W5 is here instead, Black plays B8 and waits for the opportunity to play around a, forcing White to respond in the corner.

ChessWhiz: Thank you, all, for your contributions.

Hunz: I can't find what's the best continuation for this:

Best continuation?  

xela: This looks complicated! I wonder what happens if white plays W7 at either a or ''b'.

An option?  

fractic: This should still work. Black probably has to give in at 6. And in the end black+circle is still not well placed and Black has played the bad exchange of B6-W7.

BQM 41 last edited by AlexWeldon on March 3, 2007 - 00:37
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