Small Avalanche Exercise 1

    Keywords: Joseki, Tactics, Problem
The small nadare  

If black+circle is present, it is very dangerous for White to mindlessly play the small nadare. What can Black do now?


Bill: Is there any version of the small nadare White should play in this situation?

Charles You mean any version of the nadare, period?

Bill: I would not be inclined to play nadare, myself. But the text, by its specificity, suggests that there is a version of the small nadare that is OK. I doubt it, but I do not keep up with joseki.

Charles But Bill, the small nadare is Black's option.

Bill: Not if White starts with a hiki. ;-)

Charles That's what I'm saying. You don't mean White shouldn't play the konadare, you mean White shouldn't play nadare.

Bill: I am asking a question, Charles, not making a statement. (OC, the question carries a suggestion.) It is true that I would not think of playing nadare here. However, the original author specified a particular variation of the small nadare. How come? Would another variation of it be OK? Anyway, I am altering the diagram to show the large nadare.

Hiki, large avalanche.  
Don't play nadare  

unkx80: Why should White play nadare in the first place?

Charles I assumed that was the question. We can also look at this:

A (click to return)

White to play  

And ask here what White's best play is. This is a reasonable sabaki exercise. I suppose Bill may be asking whether White's best play is a recognised joseki variation, or whether it deviates. For example, White at a might be good here, but not a real joseki.

dnerra: In my mind, White has already lost when he followed up to this diagram. This is really bad shape for White, and the only excuse for allowing this bad shape in the usual small nadare is the fact that the cut at b works so well tactically (basically it either captures the black stone at the top or the two stones on the left). Here, when this doesn't work, there is no escape from bad shape. If this happened because I was drunk during the previous two moves, I would prefer tenuki or resign to any rescue attempt that will just lead to bad damezumari-like shape with a heavy group -- I would hate it.


Charles Really that bad? W1 is shape, B2 can take the bulge point. But now White can find something?


For example, W3 here, with three aims.

Bill: This is developing into a very interesting discussion. :-)

dnerra: W3 here is really nice, yes, and it's not as bad as I made it above. Even so, I doubt it can be considered a success for White after Black descends to a. It depends on the full board position, of course, but while White will do damage to the top, the black corner has become really huge.

Further, while B2 above is the shape point, I don't think it is mandatory. Black does not mind letting White play there, and I think it is better to descend to a or connect at b in that diagram:

White still heavy?  

Black has a huge corner already, and White' group still looks heavy to me.

Charles Yes, Black has other ways to play with B2.

Bill: White is heavy. The exchange of the white+circle and black+circle stones is not good for White.


Charles I suppose White makes the most of it with W1. Then Black a, White b is Black's prerogative, and prevents White c. This and subsequent play will depend on the top side, and how much trouble black+square gets into. Black p looks premature while White q is effective. So White might manage to treat the white+circle stones lightly.

On the other hand the clamp at the circle point remains for Black and is quite serious.

Keep White heavy  

Bill: Hmmm. I think that B2 is the reply that keeps White heavy. If White saves both the white+circle stones and the white+square stone, sooner or later she will have to fill at a and b, making a nice dumpling.

Charles Bill's play is severe. Fighting spirit seems to say White answers at c, hoping for the best and a good ladder.

Ian: Surely if c then d when a is now double atari, looks miserable to me anyway. :-)

Charles Black should probably answer e, if the ladder is good for White. White is happy to give up the rubbishy shape of the white+circle stones, for the outside.


This is what I'm on about.

But ... is it a ladder? (Net example 12.)


dnerra: W1 may look like fighting spirit, but I think it is just bad. I still stand by my original assessment that White has no good play after offering the small nadare. (It would be quite shocking to me if White could bump into the hane at the head of two stones without penalty when he has no tactical compensation.)


B6 fills at white+circle.

Bill: Black's previous play (black+circle) and B2 give White a chance to sacrifice some stones. White has come out of this pretty well, I think.

Ko lock suji  

Charles This white+circle is a very good example of ko lock. I basically agree with dnerra that White's position is bad. But, look at how far you get in this case with the refuse to play bad moves? principle. (Perhaps this page of comment should now be edited and go under that as title.)

Bill: I agree that most of this discussion deserves its own page, but there are a number of lessons to be drawn from it. Mostly it is about a particular difficult situation for White, how White can make the best of it and how Black can exploit it.

Charles I made five points on The Basics Of Fuseki/ Discussion, which were immediately rubbished. This position seems to cover in some way much of what I said there. So, yes, more than one point to draw out.

Bill: One piece of advice you give there is Don't play any substandard plays. One source of substandard play illustrated here, I think, is getting drawn into small-scale fights over a few stones. If Black attacks too closely, White gets the chance to recover via sacrifice. Several variations illustrate that.

Much of this discussion fits the BQM format. For instance, we might have this BQM:

Difficult for White  

In this small avalanche position the black+circle stone gives White difficulties. In addition, the white+circle stones are heavy.

How can White handle this situation? How should Black attack?

With minor edits, the material between A and B could go on that page nicely.

Projecting the play forward a bit, we may get the next diagram.


Let's suppose we get the exchanges, B1 - W2 and then W4 - B5.

White has sacrificed 5 stones, so let's do a tewari and remove corresponding stones.


This looks like a pretty reasonable exchange. Black has a huge corner, but Black has invested 2 more stones than White. In addition, maybe Black is even a little overconcentrated.

OC, this tewari is far from exact, but I think that it is clear that White should be thrilled to get the chance to sacrifice her heavy stones.

Satisfaction plus  

Bill: I think that Black can be more than satisfied with B2 - B4. Black started off with the two black+circle stones. What has White accomplished? Indeed, Black is better off now.

White is in no hurry to save his heavy stones and needs to tend to his central group.


Bill: So I think that maybe W1 is the shape play here.

Severe yet so far?  

Ian: I was wondering if Black 2 could just be like this? Or is this nice enough for white because he just lives outside as it where.

Modified ...  

Charles White is quite keen to get this sort of result, with black+square a blighted stone. Black has played himself into a driving tesuji.

Modified ...  

This end result is fine for White. White at p or q later sets up the two marked cutting points again. Black has lost it.

B (Click to return.)

Pro game  

This is from a pro game, with white+square and black+square to add in. After B1, White did go for the nadare.

Bill: Thank you, Charles, for this wonderful pro example. :-) As always, the surroundings matter.

Pro game  

Thus. This at W10 is the other major variation of small nadare; see small avalanche.

Pro game  

And they fought in the centre (Zhang Wendong 9d (W)- Wang Qun, 8d, 10th Mingren League, 1997-08-04)

Small Avalanche Exercise 1 last edited by tapir on July 30, 2015 - 11:45
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