Thickness Example 1

  Difficulty: Intermediate   Keywords: Joseki, Shape, Strategy
Thickness arising from a sansan invasion  

In this familiar result of a 3-3 invasion White has taken territory in the corner and Black has created a group, consisting of a wall with an extension at black+circle plus an extra stone at black+square. The black configuration influences the center and the right side.

However, the configuration has two keima shapes which can be cut at a and b. Therefore ...

Takemiya's thick play  

... if White plays elsewhere, Black can remove the threat of a cut with B1. This creates a thick position, and is the kind of play seen in games of Takemiya.

Even so, White has a possible forcing move here, at a.

The typical cut  

Without the thick move, White can certainly cut bluntly with W1 and W3 here.

Black in fact normally reacts by running back at W3, instead of blocking at B2. Therefore it is quite usual, in this case, for White to be allowed to cut right through.

By the way, it would be more usual to see black+circle on the fourth line, as shown here. Otherwise Black's framework can be reduced quite easily, by a shoulderhit.

An attempt to force Black  

Another interesting way available here is the contact play W1.

White will only play this when a solid answer such as Black a looks passive: i.e., when White is happy as long as W1 is kikashi. This move has been used by top players.

It has been used as a ladder breaker. (cf. Go Seigen's book A way of play for the 21st century)


Now white+circle comes in handy. (white+circle might perhaps be played after W1.)

Thickness Example 1 last edited by Dieter on July 21, 2008 - 02:49
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