Keywords: Tactics

Chinese: -
Japanese: モタレ (motare)
Korean: -

Leaning is a Go technique, involving contact plays. Leaning moves work because the person being leaned on must respond or suffer a loss. In the process both groups involved in the leaning will be strengthened, but it is another group of the person being leaned on, which is the actual aim of the leaning procedure.

A good metaphor for leaning: To take a step with your right foot, put your weight on your left foot first.

A few examples:

In this first example Black leans on a stone, making it stronger in the process. However this shifts the balance of power between the Black corner stones and the single White stone at the top of the board in Black's favour. Black can then proceed to attack the weak white stone at the top of the board.

Defense against a pincer  

White has played a pincer against the lone black stone. Black leans against the white group in the corner, solidifying his position. Now he is aiming at white+circle.

An example from a real game, Sakata (Black) vs.Kitani (White):

Sakata - Kitani  

B1 and B3 threaten to slice up the bottom side.

Sakata - Kitani (ii)  

White resists staunchly, but Black builds up thickness in sente. Now B6 attacks White's central group, driving it towards Black's new strength. White will have a difficult time of it. (In fact, White resigned without making a second eye.)

Common leaning attack situation  

B6 is the key move here, leaning on White to prepare the attack on White's other group.


BobMcGuigan: A beautiful example of a leaning move is W5 in the second diagram in Favorite Moment 1, a game between Takemiya and O Rissei.

See also: Make a Feint to the East while Attacking in the West

Leaning last edited by on January 24, 2022 - 00:53
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