Dropping back

  Difficulty: Beginner   Keywords: Shape, Tactics

Chinese: -
Japanese: 外す (hazusu)
Korean: -

Dropping back  

W2 is dropping back, yielding some ground to Black instead of making the obvious, but potentially heavy extension at a, or a hane at b which will encourge Black to keep on with c.

The English term dodge may also be used, but it has a wider range of meanings. Suggestion: perhaps the military term 'to fall back' i.e. a controlled retreat without panicking or entirely running away, might also be appropriate?

As it may be impractical to play right next to a very strong group, but possible to contain it an increased distance, this is an application of don't play near thickness.

Dropping back  

B1, W2, and B3 are one possible follow-up to White's dropping back move. White is treating white+circle lightly.

Example 1

A middlegame position  

This is from a game Qian Yuping-Nie Weiping (B) 1989-07-13.

How should White react to B1?

First jump back ...  

White concedes first with W1. Black's wedge B2 invites White a.

Then run along ...  

But White plays W1. After W5 Black has some sente profit. On the other hand White's shape is improved.

Bad style  

W1 here is quite a bad idea. Black's cut at B4 is strong, and suddenly Black can see some use for the black+square stone.

Example 2

Keima watari: Black 1?  

White connects underneath with white+circle, a keima watari.

How to answer B1 and preserve the connection?

Dropping back  

W2 is one form of dropping back. By conceding a little, White stays out of trouble.

Dropping back - Succeed in connecting  

B cannot continue on with B3.

Immediate cut is wrong  

W2 this way is a bad idea. After B3 White is in difficulties on the left side (reading problem).

Charles Matthews

From a 3-3 joseki - Is this dropping back?  

Dropping back last edited by Slarty on January 23, 2014 - 07:07
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