Never upset your star-point stones

  Difficulty: Intermediate   Keywords: Opening, Strategy, Proverb

In his book, The Direction of Play, Kajiwara Takeo personifies the stones, describing the direction of play from a given stone in terms of the stone's desire to move in that direction.

The direction of play from a star-point (hoshi) stone is towards the middles of the adjacent sides. Allowing the opponent to play at those points makes your star point sad.

The meaning of this proverb is that, relative to other opening moves, the value of a hoshi stone is extremely contingent on how you develop it. What Kajiwara is trying to say is that if you choose hoshi in the opening, you should make the utmost strategic effort to get those critical points.

The position from the book that inspired this proverb is this:

Poor star-point :-(  

When Black approaches with B1, White makes a two space high pincer at W2. Black foolishly plays B3, sparking the joseki to W6. Black's marked hoshi really wanted to have a friend around W6. Letting White play there instead by choosing this joseki, Black makes his star-point upset. Poor star-point. :-(

According to Kajiwara, the correct direction of play would be to play the approach at B7 immediately, without B1-W6. If White then enclosed the lower right by playing at B1, then Black could take the mutually big point at W6 (or a) and his star point would smile.

Never upset your star-point stones last edited by AlexWeldon on February 3, 2004 - 23:54
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