Joseki in Context

  Difficulty: Intermediate   Keywords: Joseki
Center stretch  

W1 is a stretch towards the center, ceding a large corner to Black.

Joseki produce a fair or even result. This line of play does not split the corner between the two players. Black's gain is clear. White's position must work well from a whole board perspective for this to be playable by White. W1 is a situational play.

Pro game 1

Cho Chikun (W) vs. Ishida Yoshio (1978)  

Cho Chikun uses White's thickness to attack black+circle. W9 is a dual purpose move that serves as both a pincer and an extension from the White position in the lower right. This is a common reason to choose this joseki.

Note that if Black cuts at a White can play a ladder with b.

Pro game 2

Takagi Shoichi (W) vs. Takemiya (1986 NHK Cup)  

Takemiya uses B1 - B3 to form a framework on the left side. This is another common reason to choose this joseki.

Note that W6 breaks the ladder, and B7 protects against the cut.

Pro game 3

Otake Hideo (W) vs. Hashimoto Utaro (1976)  

In this case the ladder does not work, and Otake plays W1. Otake has chosen a miai strategy, carrying a double threat. When Hashimoto prevents a White framework on the left side with B2 - B4, W5 attacks the black+circle stones on the bottom side.

Pro game 4

Sakata vs. Rin Kaiho (1965 Meijin game 4)  

In this game Rin's strategy is quite subtle, related to sente. B1 threatens a pincer, and Sakata protects with W2. Having kept sente, Rin makes the final enclosure with B3, getting the last big play of the opening. W6 starts the middle game fighting.

Also, one reason for playing black+circle is to keep White from forming a large framework on the top side.

Note: Because W2 reduces Black's influence on the left side, many amateurs would consider it to refute Black's strategy.


At the end of the battle on the bottom side, Rin uses his central stones (black+circle) in the top left to support an attack on White stones (white+circle) in the top right.

Pro Game 5

Rui Naiwei vs. Jiang Zhujiu (1989)  

Rui's strategy here is also far from obvious. Black's stones in the top left are secure, and the ladder does not work. W1 is a dual purpose play, allowing the ladder while approaching Black's corner. With B2 Jiang secures his weak stones (black+circle) on the bottom. How can White utilize her stones in the bottom left?

Large framework  

With W1 - W7, Rui builds a huge central framework.

Desperate invasion  

Through W4 White's valley has become deep. B5 is a desperate invasion. (Black resigned at move 133).

See Also: BQM 309

Bill, would you add dates to the games shown please. Could we call Lin, Rin Kaiho ? The game between Sakata and Rin was played in a Japanese context. Similarly, we talk of Shusai vs Go Seigen rather than Wu Qingyuan in that context. Other examples: the Go Seigen jubangos, or Cho U rather than Zhang Xu.

Bill: Dates added. :-)

The Japanese pronunciation of the name, 林, is Hayashi. りん is the best the Japanese can do to pronounce Lin. That's why I prefer Lin. (If the Japanese called Go Seigen U, I would prefer Wu.)

Velobici: Bill, the purpose of Sensei's Library is communication. If folks know a person as Rin Kaiho, calling him Lin, even if it is more correct, sacrifices some amount of communicativity...the very purpose of Sensei's Library.

LukeNine45: Thanks for adding this page, I think I now have a decent idea of how to use the joseki!

Bill: Thank you, Luke. Doing the research was both fun and instructive. :-)

And thank you, Velobici, for your edits and questions. :-) I did not sign anything in the main text -- maybe I shoud have -- so if you want to change Lin to Rin, go right ahead. But people can click on the name if they don't know who it is. (A little later: I have added Rin in parentheses. How's that?)

Velobici: That's great! Folks will immediately understand that "Lin" may also be known as "Rin" and ask themselves "Who's this Rin that Sakata is playing against in the Meijin...ah, must be Rin Kaiho!"

Bootmii: Changed to Rin Kaiho.

Joseki in Context last edited by bootmii on January 26, 2014 - 01:17
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