Catenaccio joseki - follow up

  Difficulty: Advanced   Keywords: Joseki
Starting position  

This position is the result of what has been coined as the Catenaccio joseki. The follow-up plays have been posted here in a separate page, because the most likely move for Black is now to play elsewhere. We will consider black follow-ups first and briefly investigate how White can act upon Black's tenuki

Black's follow-ups

Small scale follow up  

Black sacrifices a stone at B3 here to take up a strong position towards the right with the hanging connection of B5-B7-B9. The final move has been played elsewhere too, to cover the cutting point in a looser way. Of 24 games starting with B1, 3 end in this position. Tenuki has been found at W2, B3, B7 and B9.


In an interesting variant, Black offers to sacrifices B3 at the other side. White can accept the offer, as here, or decline it and live inside with W4 at B7. These are single instances of such pro games.

To play this line black need some backup around or else white may chose to play 4 instead of 5 and cut if black blocks.

Large scale follow up  

Fare more often than the small scale follow-up, Black will further pressure White on a larger scale with the capping play of B1. However, since White is both low and light, she doesn't need to react and will probably deal with the whole board implications of B1. Her response is not urgent. If she moves out, a has been seen in pro play, a case of your opponent's good move is your good move.

Crude play  

Amateurs will often play the crude move of B1, leading to bad shape. However, Cho Hun-hyeon tried this in 1996 too, against Seo Mu-sang (colours reversed). The black+square stone was present. This went to the B5/W6 exchange and White gave up white+circle.

Crude play - Continuation  

Black then pulled out the cutting stones, but in very poor shape. Obviously White needs to come back at a. In fact Cho won this game, despite some serious dangosity.

Similar crude play  

Similar crude diagonal moves of W1 and W3 here, if answered submissively, can trick Black into this painfully low position.


Black should resist with this B6

Resistance - continued  

It is not clear who's being attacked now. B4 is probably the reason why Cho could afford the "crude variation" above with a white supporting stone there instead.

Grabbing the corner  

This B1 is an astute move to grab the corner, if Black becomes interested in those points. white+circle becomes rather redundant with the ponnuki.

White's follow-up

Attack the corner  

The natural thing to do here is attack Black's open skirt. Black's natural response is B2, moving out. He could also attach to the strong stone in order to leverage some power against W1.

Attack the pincer stone  

Far less natural is for White to attack black+circle with W1 here. This stone is already light due to the presence of white+circle. Such an attack will usually only be carried out in a much later stage of the game.

WME notes: I removed all diagrams that were not quite follow-ups of the catenaccio joseki but rather variations of it and move these back into the said joseki. I removed redundancy and tagged comments. Last but not least, I added my gobased analysis of pro games.

Catenaccio joseki - follow up last edited by on October 29, 2018 - 18:06
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