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  Difficulty: Introductory   Keywords: Tactics, Go term

Chinese: 倒扑 (dao4 pu1)
Japanese: 打手返し, ウッテガエシ (utte-gaeshi)
Korean: 환격/還擊 (hwangyok)

Table of contents

A snapback (or snap-back[1]) is the position created by playing a single stone with the intent of being captured because the reply to the capture is a larger capture. 所谓倒扑就是把自己的棋子送入对方虎口,通过牺牲自己来吃掉对方更多棋子的方法。



The black+circle stones are caught in snapback, a tactical situation beginners will learn to recognize early in their study.

Black can capture, but...  

Black can capture white+circle with B1. (In practice, he would never do this except possibly as a ko threat.)

The resulting position has only one liberty  

But that leaves the black+circle stones with only one liberty, so...

So Black will immediately be retaken  

W2 can immediately capture the three Black stones.

Setting up a snapback

Throwing in to create a snapback  

It's common for a throw-in to be used to create a snapback position.

Another way to create a snapback  

But it could just as easily be created by a move such as W1 here.

More applications


B1 here forces White to capture at a, after which playing at B1 again captures.

A common joseki  

Threatening to capture stones in a snapback (or threatening to threaten to) can be powerful, as seen in this joseki. This diagram shows the result of a common joseki (for the 4473 enclosure) where White invaded at the 3-3 point under Black's 4-4 point. B2 can hardly be omitted.

Threatening to threaten a snapback  

If Black tenukis, W3 threatens to play at W4, which would threaten a snapback, forcing Black to connect cravenly at a. Thus, it is best for Black to play at B4 himself, creating a bamboo joint shape. But now White can move out with his cutting stones, starting a fight. (Of course, if Black is already strong on the top or left, playing tenuki might be possible and has been seen in professional games.)

A variation  

In some professional games, White has made the stand at W1 before living. In this situation too it is best for Black to play B2, but now White will need to return to play W3. Black may then surround at B4, but the White stones retain troublesome potential.

See also


[1] The term is hyphenated in Tesuji by James Davies (1977 printing).

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Snapback last edited by on April 18, 2023 - 14:43
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