Catenaccio joseki

    Keywords: Joseki
Catenaccio joseki  

This is the so-called catenaccio joseki, referring to the defensive football style of the Italian national team in the 80s [1].

This joseki used to be more popular than it is now. In itself it is considered too low for White, having W5 and W7 on the second line, by a.o. Alexandre Dinerchtein but these lines have survived as niche joseki, for some special contexts. White may answer the pincer with a double kakari instead (see 4-4 point low approach, two-space high pincer, without side stone).

Alternative for B6


(colors are reversed) There is also the possibility of Black playing the peep B1, seen in catenaccio joseki follow-up here earlier, as soon as White slides into the corner.

Later when White's corner is surrounded Black has a trick, see /Variant Life And Death

Alternatives for W5

Kitani's idea  

Kitani Minoru invented (or borrowed) [2] a joseki in which he played W5 at the 3-3 point. It appeared in Kitani-Shimamura, 1956 2nd Top Position Tournament league. After B10, White plays at the circled point.

The effect of White's three stones that include W9 is to create bad aji for Black's stones on both sides. Black cannot attach immediately at a and there are other dangers if black tries too hard to capture White's stones.

It had some popularity in the 1970s; much less fashionable now. A likely reason why this "joseki" is rarely played out is because the one-space jump followed by the 3-3 invasion is not really following the flow in most cases - the feeling is that White wants to make moves both outside and inside the corner, which appears somewhat greedy. (Compared to the usual joseki where White directly enters the 3-3, White sacrifices the outside for a fairly large corner.) This results in a smaller corner, while the outside stones are somewhat heavy and subject to attack.

Bad shape  

white+square is supposed quite generally to be bad shape, once white+circle is played.

Indeed, Yang Yilun teaches that either white+square should be at a or white+circle should be at b. a and b together are also bad shape.

There was an old Go World article about this by Kato Masao.

Bad shape?  
Black is happy  

B5 is blighting white+circle.


See Catenaccio joseki - follow up

[1] It is not widely accepted as a name and seems to be introduced to SL by Stefan. Catenaccio, for those who do not speak Italian, means lock


Jin Yaxian - Guo Tisheng 1952-03-29  

Evaluation using LZ-Katago

Is the catenaccio joseki still joseki  

When W1 approaches with the idea of breaking up Black's side framework, KataGo (like other bots) puts White at 55%, slightly more than 1 point ahead. The preferred answer for Black is to back off at a or b.

Black's pincer B2 is slightly inferior. White's chances grow to 57% and with half a point. Next, White should invade the corner at B6. However, the jump of W3 is the big thing in this pattern evaluation. It loses more than a point and drops White back to 54%.

All the remaining moves don't change much about how KataGo evaluates this pattern. It likes the 3-3 invasion still better than the slide of W5, but marginally so. And it hardly objects against White's slide at W7, even if it's on the second line.

After the pattern, KataGo still finds White ahead by 53% and half a point.

Dieter's interpretation is that, given the fact that bots like early corner invasions, a pincer makes the corner invasion even more attractive and so loses points over extending the other side of the corner, and the jump makes it much less appealing to jump into the corner, because White has already commmitted to the approach stone, so it loses points over the direct invasion. Once that commitment has been made, sliding to make a base is not bad per se.

Catenaccio joseki last edited by Dieter on April 27, 2020 - 09:41
RecentChanges · StartingPoints · About
Edit page ·Search · Related · Page info · Latest diff
[Welcome to Sensei's Library!]
Search position
Page history
Latest page diff
Partner sites:
Go Teaching Ladder
Login / Prefs
Sensei's Library