Easy way out of a double kakari

  Difficulty: Beginner   Keywords: Joseki, Tactics

This page refers to the 4-4 point, double low approach. For other forms of double kakari, see double approach.

Table of contents

Reference pattern

White's double kakari  

The sequence up to B5 is a common joseki when confronted with a double kakari. It is quite common in handicap games.

After B5 White usually plays an extension along the left side at W6 (or one point further away) in order to stabilize her group[1]. After this, the threat of White a remains. This is why many books for beginners suggest that Black plays at b after White has extended along the side. However, playing at b might be too submissive when taking sente is crucial.

White attacks  

So what should Black do when White plays W1?

If Black plays a, White almost invariably follows with b and a difficult battle ensues. In a high handicap game the most common outcome is that the black corner dies.

The easy way  

Actually there is an easy solution.

Black plays B2 and B4 in answer to W1 and W3: and sacrifices the black+circle stones. This is a alternative worth considering. Black makes territory at the top and the two black stones are no big loss.

However, the surrounding position has to be taken into account. While this line of play is viable for many positions it may be unsuitable for others. But if Black is unsure whether he will survive the battle in the corner, he should choose this variation.

In A Compendium of Trick Plays, Kageyama says that the "easy way" is correct, and the other line of play is unreasonable. (pushing through was the trick play) The corner shouldn't die, but Black won't get a good result anyway. As the peaceful variation gives a huge profit, it would indeed be strange to expect the fighting option is even better.

White resists

[1] However, White can resist the easy way and still make it more complicated:

White's diagonal  

Black now has to defend against the cut, usually at a here.

White's diagonal  

For reference, this is the canonical joseki after B2. Later, White can aim to enter the corner with the clamp of a. To prevent a, Black typically plays at b.

White's plays  

A database search (GoGod summer 2003 edition) gives these eight candidate pro moves here, after black+circle is played. The diagonal is the most common of those.

About the final stretch in the sequence


After W5, B6 must not play at a.

Suboptimal variation  

As B7 cannot block at W8, Black has suffered a loss while White retains sente.

Suboptimal variation  

The cut at W2 is a tesuji. Black suffers an even bigger loss.

Suboptimal variation (W6 at white+circle, B7 at white+square)  

B1 here is unreasonable. Black suffers a total loss in a similar fashion to the two stone edge squeeze.

Suboptimal variation  

The descent of B1 is another attempt, but W2 is a tesuji. With black+circle things are a little better, but without it the W2 tesuji is even more effective. Black still has a lot of aji in the corner.

See also:

Easy way out of a double kakari last edited by Dieter on September 21, 2011 - 18:21
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