joseki moves discarded by AI

  Difficulty: Advanced   Keywords: Opening, Joseki

The AI revolution has brought about new insights in especially the opening, as documented at Leela Zeros opening gospel or openings reviewed with AI. Some former joseki moves have received such low marks by AI that they have since been discarded by (most?) professionals.

The connection

Black's connection  

When White connects at W9, Black traditionally did likewise at B10 and White finishes the pattern at a.


Later, White can exploit the aji in this position by dropping down at a leaving all marked points as possible escape routes. This unsettles the Black group.


Instead of B10 in the first diagram, AI wants Black to connect under at B1 here. This leaves aji, in terms of the cutting point at a but this latent vulnerability seems less severe than the one in the previous diagram.

As a consequence, pros and strong amateurs usually don't play the connection but have adapted to cross under.

The drop down

Drop down W7  

When Black blocks at B4, due to the presence of a stone on the side, this is the traditional pattern. W7 is a stylish way to prevent a placement, which also makes miai of a and b to live.

However, the side is quite large and so b will soon become a big move for both.

The other drop down  

AI favor W1 here instead. Black now has an open skirt. Defending against it is gote. Not defending against it leaves Black vulnerable to an invasion which doesn't so much scoop out his potential territory as it unsettles the wall.

White's territory is bigger too than in previous diagram. Even if Black may take sente now, these advantages seem enough for AI to discard the traditional joseki.

The slide


One of the most commonly played joseki of the last decades is also disappearing from the scene. This time the slide of W3 is the culprit. It's not sufficiently active in the battle for sente:


Instead AI want to attach at W1 here. This diagram shows one of the variations for B6, which can also be played at W7 or B8. In this variation, Black may take sente but this leaves a big corner capture at a. If Black defends at b, White will take sente


In general, AI play 3-3 invasions earlier than what was customary, leaving out the turn that makes Black thick. Also, pincers and early side plays have fallen out of grace, in favor of corner reinforcements, as is mentioned in Leela Zeros opening gospel.

joseki moves discarded by AI last edited by Dieter on June 29, 2020 - 11:02
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