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In a game earlier today I encountered a deviation from the Magic Sword pattern that I haven't been able to find anywhere. Instead of cutting, White seemed to offer a peaceful trade of influence for territory (see the first diagram). I wonder if, as Black, I could have gotten a significantly better outcome.

$$W 7 deviates from the usual Magic Sword
$$ ------------
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .....b7c...-
$$ ...3.a251..-
$$ .......64..-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .......,...-
$$ ...........-

I considered playing aggressively at a or b, but couldn't find an outcome I was very happy with. (White had the upper left corner, and I had star point stones in both of the bottom corners.)

Cutting at c, I found a way to get the corner, but it strengthened white on the top and also gave him a strong attack on the right. The double hane at b looked more promising, but I couldn't find a way to kill the corner, and while it looks like it results in complicated fighting. In the game I didn't cut and this is how things played out:

$$B Actual game
$$ ------------
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ....42O....-
$$ 6..O31XOO..-
$$ .......XX..-
$$ .....5.....-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .......,...-
$$ .......7...-

White 6 seemed slow to me, and I'm surprised she didn't take the opportunity to play somewhere on the right to negate the wall; I was very happy to play at 7. But if after 5 White had played on the wide-open right side, I would have felt behind after the corner exchange.

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4 Answers 4

Anyway, the 3-4 exchange is damezumari, and should be left unplayed, If w doesn't protect, b can later cut at 4, then at c...

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but if B leaves out the 3-4 exchange and plays elsewhere wouldn't W cut immediately? I do like the idea of cutting at 4, then c. –  Gregor Aug 23 '12 at 14:32
    
@shujaa: If you're going to play black 5 anyway to protect the cut, why would you exchange 3 for 4 first? Certainly better to play 1-2-5 and let white fix at 3 in gote so black gets to play on the right side. –  mafutrct Aug 30 '12 at 12:10

This is a really tough question, the situation is super complex.

I would certainly omit the 3:4 exchange, not only is it against proverb (hane at the head of 3 stones) but it appears to be a major aji keshi in combination with the cut in the corner.

$$B Aji
$$ ------------
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ....32Oa...-
$$ ...O.1XOO..-
$$ .......XX..-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .......,...-
$$ ...........-

After 6, that cut seems to exist still, so maybe white should have played one space closer to the edge, or fixed in a different way e.g. like this:

$$W Fix the cut
$$ ------------
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ....OOOc...-
$$ a..OXXXOO3.-
$$ .......XX1.-
$$ .....X...2.-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .......,...-
$$ ...........-

Regarding the suggested moves b and c your original diagram, I believe both of them are thinkable. Refuting any of them is probably impossible unless you are high dan. In an amateur game, I think you should be able to get a reasonable result with any of them.

By the way, my first idea was to play like this:

$$B Simple
$$ ------------
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .....2O....-
$$ ...O..XOO..-
$$ ......1XX..-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .......,3..-
$$ ...........-

I think that way is okay-ish. Locally it appears to be good for white, but we have to consider that white had 1 more stone there to begin with. Also, we must compare this result with the usual joseki results - in this variation, white does not use her stone to attack black, but simply takes territory. Also, maybe the white pincer stone is in an uninteresting place and thus a bit of a waste.

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@shujaa ok let me try... btw, how to mark steps larger than 9?

The idea of hane is to exposure white's vulnerable parts:

$$W Separate black's corner and pincer
$$ ------------
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .....87....-
$$ ...3..251..-
$$ .......64..-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .......,...-
$$ ...........-

Now white cannot cover the cut at A and capture black 1 at the same time:

$$B Black in good shape: thick.
$$ ------------
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .....1Oa...-
$$ ...O.2XOO..-
$$ ......3XX..-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .......,...-
$$ ...........-

This is of course inferior:

$$W black gets a big corner
$$ ------------
$$ ...........-
$$ .....1.....-
$$ ....3XO24..-
$$ ...O.OXOO..-
$$ ......XXX..-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .......,...-
$$ ...........-

A possible sequence:

$$W White's pincer is already hurt
$$ ------------
$$ ...........-
$$ ......1....-
$$ ....6XO....-
$$ ...O2OXOO..-
$$ ....43XXX..-
$$ .....5.....-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ ...........-
$$ .......,...-
$$ ...........-

... to continue:

$$W Black escaped at the side
$$ ------------
$$ ...........-
$$ ......O.5a.-
$$ ....XXO..3.-
$$ ...OXOXOO2.-
$$ ....XOXXX4.-
$$ .....O.....-
$$ .......1...-
$$ ........6..-
$$ ...........-
$$ .......,...-
$$ ...........-

notice here white 5 is a must otherwise black attack at "a".

Now white still need sort out the center group. This result favors black.

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Great! Unfortunately, we're limited to numbers less than 10, at least for now. –  Gregor Aug 26 '13 at 16:49

If White plays 7 before 6, you'd probably counterpincer one or two spaces below. Then take 6. In playing as she did, she was adopting a "live and let live" policy, instead of heading for complications.

Of course, the wisdom of this policy depends on what you have below 7 and what White has left of 6.

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