More thoughts about joseki

    Keywords: Joseki

Here are some more elaborate thoughts on the meaning, the virtues and dangers of joseki.

Ishida Yoshio in the foreword to the Dictionary of Basic Joseki wrote:

Joseki are model sequences in the corners and, sometimes, on the sides. Sequences consisting of rational moves and giving an equal or near equal result are recognized as joseki and thus become the possession of all Go players.
Joseki are born, not made. A sequence only becomes joseki when it is played in actual games, is subjected to opposition and is able to stand up to all criticism. A sequence which contains irrational or unnatural elements or which gives an inferior result for one side will hardly meet with universal approval.

On the other hand the modern world of professional go is spread over China, Japan, Korea (see jungsuk) and Taiwan. It is not true to say that a sequence recognised in one group of pros will have the same status in another country. Probably on a time scale of a decade opinions do come closer together, but matters are more complicated now than for Ishida, writing in the early 1970s.

Although the most commonly understood meaning is a standard way of playing in a corner, there are also joseki for side patterns, enclosures, invasions and so on.

Another, more technological way of talking about joseki is as well-tested 'modules' (see modular thinking). This has the advantage of getting away from corner sequences, as such, and of raising the issue of how joseki fit in with the whole board position and your direction of play.

Before assuming that intense study of joseki will improve your level, please note the proverb learning joseki loses two stones strength.

A Meijin needs no joseki -- proverb

Here is a random idea: The Joseki Project

More thoughts about joseki last edited by velobici on October 6, 2011 - 20:13
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