Simple 3-3 Invasion Slide Joseki, Attach

  Difficulty: Intermediate   Keywords: Opening, Joseki

Return to parent joseki article: 4-4 Point 3-3 Invasion, Extend, Small Knight

The Simple 3-3 Invasion Slide Joseki, Attach is one of the most common continuations of the simple 3-3 invasion joseki. It is most frequently played when Black aims to gain strength or build a wall in sente, particularly when the three-stone wall comes under attack. It can also occur as a sequence transposition when Black would like to avoid the flying knife joseki.

In response to the diagonal attachment, White has several options to choose from depending on the (A) their desired direction of play and (B) how much thickness they are willing to concede to Black.

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Moves are listed by frequency in professional games[1], which is sensitive to whole-board position. Bolded moves are commonly considered joseki.

Black to Play  
  • a, Simple 3-3 Invasion Slide Joseki, Attach, Extend - (joseki) (common) (intermediate) (AI favorite)
  • b, Simple 3-3 Invasion Slide Joseki, Attach, Bump - (joseki) (beginner)
  • c, Simple 3-3 Invasion Slide Joseki, Attach, Hane - (joseki) (intermediate) (situational)

Overview of Joseki

Maintaining the Attack

Extend Variations
Extend, Hane-Connect  
Extend, Hane-Cut  
Extend, Jump  

  • White's most common response is to the simple extension with W2. The purpose of this move is to avoid giving Black any forcing moves that Black could use to strengthen themselves. As such, extending is an attacking move that works well in conjunction with a pincer stone, and it maximizes the amount of pressure on Black's wall. Additionally, it maintains access to the left side of the board and affords a balance of territory and potential.
  • It is common for Black to tenuki after exchanging B1-W2.
  • In the future, Black can hane underneath in sente (Diagram 2).
  • White's position is thin. It is possible for Black to hane underneath and then cut. This is splits White's group into two pieces. However, this is typically good for White on an empty board because White's two stones on the left side retain a lot of vitality and aji. Some professionals play W8 at a instead of extending out on the top side (Diagram 3).
  • Black can also jump out to escape (Diagram 4). White can tenuki instead of playing W4.

Territorial Response

See main article: Three-Stone Hane

Bump Variations
Worse for White  
  • It is possible to revert to the three-stone hane shape with the bump at W2. This move is territorial, and White plays this way if they are willing to be sealed in on both sides.
  • If White wishes to have access to the left side or top side, often times the extend at a is better. The reason for this is that if Black plays the hane at z hoping to switch sides (Diagram 2), the final outcome is better for White when White has extended at a.
  • In general, the three-stone hane shape is slightly favorable for Black, since the first player to resume the joseki has a better outcome. In most circumstances, particularly on an empty board, it is better for White to extend, since this makes Black's local follow-ups comparatively uninteresting.

Outside Prioritization

Hane Wall Variations
Cover Var.  
Nose Attach Var.  
  • The hane with W2 is an uncommon move that can be good in special circumstances. The hane emphasizes the left side for White at the cost of allowing Black to gain thickness. White is also willing to cede the corner territory to Black, if Black wants to claim it.
  • The simplest variation is the hane-connect (Diagram 1). Which strengthens both players. Compared to the simple extend, Black is thicker than before, which means that it is harder for White to attack Black's wall. If White hopes to pincer Black's wall at some point, it is better if White does not hane.
  • A similar variation is the hane-extend (Diagram 2), which allows Black even more thickness in exchange for territory. By sacrificing a stone (Diagram 3), Black can gain many forcing moving to build an enormous wall. There is also a nose attach tesuji variation (Diagram 4).
Ladder Variations
Hane, Cut  
Bad Ladder  
Hane, Hane  
Bad Ladder  
  • There are also some ladder-sensitive variations that may occur. In general, Black would like the ladder in order to cut at B3 (Diagram 1-2) or hane at B3 (Diagram 3-4). It is still playable for Black even if Black lacks the ladder at a, but it can turn into a fight after Black pulls out their stone with b.
  • If Black possesses the ladder, the B3 cut allows Black to take the corner territory (Diagram 1).
  • Alternatively, the B3 hane allows Black to capture the corner in principle (Diagram 3). It is generally best for White to create the tiger mouth to develop the outside instead of blocking for reasons discussed below. Black can capture the corner with a in gote, but often times both players will tenuki because it is too slow for either player to accept gote.


When to play the hane?

Although it is an uncommon move in professional games, the hane with B1 is best understood as a move that recognizes and allows White to get thick. An example of this is seen in Choi Cheol-han vs. Paek Hong-seok, whereby Black chose the hane because there is clearly little chance that Black will be able to pincer or attack White's wall in the future.

In this board position, there is not much of a cost to giving White free thickness, and it could be argued that White is a bit overconcentrated, since white will not be able to use their wall effectively to attack any weak groups.

Note that the ladder is good for White, so White does have the option to hane below or to cut inside to claim the corner territory. However, in this board position, the left side is wide open, and Black has declared that that they believe the left side of the board is more valuable than the corner. Do you agree with this assessment? Sometimes it can be difficult to make this judgement.

On a wide open board, strong AI programs typically do not criticize the hane.

Can Black cut on the outside after the hane?

push down  

It is possible for Black to cut on the outside with B3 after the W2 hane. This reverts to the double hane joseki from the three-stone wall, which Black often plays as a form of kikashi to strengthen themselves in sente.

yuzukitea: However, this move is rarely seen in professional games. It seems that Black has much better methods to obtain a wall than the variation depicted here. Notably, by tewari analysis, here we see that Black did not gain very much compared to the normal joseki with B3 at B7.

Why doesn't White block the hane and switch sides?

Switch sides  

If White blocks the hane with W4 and Black cuts with B5, taking the top side is not very appealing for White. The reason for this is that once White comes out with W8, the B9 atari greatly damages the vitality of White's two stones on the left side, turning them into trash stones.

It would have been much better if White played the extend instead of the hane, so this result is unacceptable for White.

White should choose a joseki more consistent with their goals at the very start.


A similar principle seems to be applicable when Black "captures" the corner with B3 in gote.

Professionals almost never respond to B3 and instead tenuki.

But technically, the corner is not fully captured. If White resists with W4, White can take back the corner, but then White loses the left side with the B9 atari, which also has the potential to turn into a ko. This is inconsistent with White's desire to develop a position on the left side. Clearly, if White wanted the corner, they should have chosen a joseki more amenable to their goals, as white can get a more comfortable corner with a different variation.


Simple 3-3 Invasion Slide Joseki, Attach last edited by yuzukitea on August 16, 2022 - 20:31
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