Query On Maintaining Influence
My question is this: Is there any alternative to Black 11 at the area around a? The connection at , while necessary, feels very small for the ninth move of the game. Since it serves to primarily build influence, it feels like a white play at a would crush the power of those three stones (and make it imperative for Black to start running).
I haven't played this exact sequence, but I've had a number of similar scenarios, and after White a, I'm stuck for a response. Thanks in advance for any feedback you can offer.
Bill: First, is not necessary. Your instincts are good. Even though this is joseki, it favors White on an empty board.
However, on this board I think it would be unwise to allow W a - B b.
Charles Matthews Once you connect solidly, you really have to stabilise a group on the left side. If you're unwilling to spend that time, better to omit in the previous diagram.
One can extend to here for greater efficiency: the other plays at a, b and c are good too. It is also possible to play in the direction of d and then extend back next play. Any of Black a to f seems reasonable.
Stefan: This is not exactly an answer to your question, but one thing you could consider is going for a nadare variation with instead. This joseki fits well in the overall context: Black has something working with the - nirensei, and the low position of makes any white or black play around a less interesting.