The Strong Player Plays Straight The Weak Plays Diagonal/ Discussion

Calvin (11k): To me, this example doesn't add much and is quite confusing. W2 in the original example, pushing into the diagonal, is a bad move. I think you need more than one diagonal to say something interesting.

white spoils black's shape  

Consider this.


White has this follow-up, which creates two cutting points at a and b.

what about this shape?  

It's harder for me to think of an example showing the problem with this shape. Maybe more stones have to be added than in the above example, but this is the thing I would be trying to understand by reading Minue's page.

unkx80: I suspect one of the reasons is this:


B2 or a is good. It applies pressure on the W1 stone.


B2, a or b is weak. It hardly applies any pressure on the W1 stone. Both B2 and a make W1 a play on a compromised diagonal. Try not to make plays that improve the status of stones your opponent has already played.


Velobici: Diagonals have cutting points. Cutting points make the position more complicated and plant the seeds of future reading errors. Diagonals seem to add two liberties (labeled a in the diagram), but W2 threatening to cut removes two liberties. Black can restore the prior number of liberties (labeled b) by playing B3 which makes a straight shape from the marked black stone.

By contrast, playing B3, W2, B1 is a turn; straight shape from B3 to B1. A turn is often powerful and show why pushing from behind can be so bad. White has induced Black to play the turn. If cut, each group must live independently or kill the cutting stones. Assuming the attack is launched from/to strength, then one of the attackers two groups is already strong, while both of the defenders are weak.

Straight shape does not have cutting points and adds two liberties per move (labeled c). Yang Yilun emphasizes the usefulness of straight shape in defense.

Diagonals (hane and keima) are good for attacking. Straight shape is good for defense. To attack successfully, one must start from an advantageous position. For each move played the weaker party can gain strength faster for the weaker party must start with fewer stones, or fewer useful, effective stones. Straight shape helps to create such positions (wall).

kb: This page needs to be clarified and renamed. Consider the following joseki:

white spoils black's shape  

The diagonal play W10 aims for both a and b (joseki is Ba, Wb).

This joseki is clearly not what the intent of this page is (straight shapes are stronger than diagonals), but the page title is certainly misleading. It is important to note the play W10 would not be joseki if it was not setting up miai (e.g. without the W8/B9 exchange it is not), but these are completely different principles.

The Strong Player Plays Straight The Weak Plays Diagonal/ Discussion last edited by kb on September 16, 2008 - 15:56
RecentChanges · StartingPoints · About
Edit page ·Search · Related · Page info · Latest diff
[Welcome to Sensei's Library!]
Search position
Page history
Latest page diff
Partner sites:
Go Teaching Ladder
Login / Prefs
Sensei's Library