5

In the 4-4 high approach joseki, why would black ever want to play the defensive - left variant?

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The result of the right variant looks much better! While the left variant leaves monkey jump opportunity for black, this only takes points from white, while in the right variant, black has already taken those points from white and established his own territory there, which is double points! Also, the 3-3 corner invasion is impossible!

The only thing which seems advantageous in the left variant is the black 6-4 stone on the 4th line - which is better for influence than the 6-3 stone in the right variant. But, black could play the last move at 6-4 in the right variant as well, correct? The 3-3 corner invasion is still impossible.

It seems that Josekipedia is preffering the left variant over the right one, which is very strange to me:

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Josekipedia mentions the aji in the final position with the 6-4 variant:

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but these are just aji's - it seems that all of these invasions can be killed if black responds right away, and this variant seems much better for black - much more points.

  • @Gregor, thanks, please edit (or delete & repost if you don't make it within 5 minutes) your comment, the part "but black's corner territory to bigger" has some english mistakes (I don't understand). I will delete my comment and respond afterwards. Thanks!! PS: "black seems very low" - you probably missed the 6-4 B's response I proposed. Look at my question. – Tomas Nov 9 '14 at 13:05
  • 1
    I believe it all depends on the other corners! (Yilun Yang 7p made 2 marvellous books (1 for the 4-4, the other for 3-4) showing how, between several possible local joseki, all depends on quite tiny differences in the other 3 corners! I ll add the titles when I get home, but its very recommended to read them both) – Olivier Dulac Nov 10 '14 at 22:20
  • @OlivierDulac thanks for recommendation! – Tomas Nov 14 '14 at 15:59
5

The main reason why I think you think this is good is because this joseki looks a lot like another familiar 3-4 joseki: http://josekipedia.com/#path:qdodocncpcndqfjd

$$ Good possibilities
$$ --------------|
$$ . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . |
$$ . X . X . . . |
$$ . . . , X . . |
$$ . . . O X . . |
$$ . a . O O . . |
$$ . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . c b . . |
$$ . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . O . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . |

But even though the difference between these two positions is only one line it cannot be overstated, black is good in that situation because he's closer to the corner, and it's secure, it's difficult to attack black. Because black is solid, he doesn't have to worry about follow up moves and he has nice follow up moves of his own against white. But in your right side variation, because it's one line farther out, there are too many weaknesses, black's corner is not secure. So he can't necessarily count on the same follow up moves.

$$ Maybe not an option
$$ --------------|
$$ . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . |
$$ . X . X . . . |
$$ . . . . X . . |
$$ . . . O X . . |
$$ . ? . O O . . |
$$ . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . ? ? . . |
$$ . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . O . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . |

So it's becomes a trade, you're getting a little more corner "territory" for massive weakspots in that territory. Later on white can even make an approach at the 8-3 point on the other side. Black would normally want to pincer such a close approach, but cannot because the aji in the corner would become a big problem. Black would need to play defensively, so white gets a free move, and black becomes overconcentrated and inefficient. But it's either that or lose the corner, but if you were planning on giving up the corner then other moves would have been better suited.

As you can see from the given diagrams, black gets a large chunk of the side on the left as well and is difficult to attack. On the right he's got a few more points in the corner, but because of the bad aji, he can't expect to get the side as well. Even if he already has a stone at the 10-3 or 10-4, white has enough potential here to invade or reduce easily given the correct whole board situation. There's not really an upside. On the other hand, white's shape is ideal in the right side variation.

$$ The stuff of nightmares
$$ ----------------------|
$$ . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . a c . . . |
$$ . X . O . . e . d . . |
$$ . , . . . X . X . . . |
$$ . . . b . . . . X . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O X . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O O . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . O . . . |
$$ . . . . . . . . . . . |

You pointed out the monkey jump. Generally, monkey jumps are 10-point sente moves. (But that, of course, depends on the exact situation.) Because it's normally sente for black, but gote for white, black is almost certainly going to get that move. Those 10 points are 10 points you can count on if you're playing endgame correctly, because it's bigger for you to play it than your opponent. If your opponent does get it that either means that you made a mistake and didn't play it early enough, or your opponent did and there's still larger points on the board. So you can count on those 10 points.

  • Thanks! 1) But the attack at 8-3 would be easily defended by kick at 7-3, right? 2) The problem with monkey jump is that black will only reduce points of white, and will not gain anything. In the right variant black gains some surplus territory on the white side. – Tomas Nov 14 '14 at 15:56
  • After the kick you can take the 5-3 point (e) and if you play a few variations out you can see that white can profit from the situation. As for #2, a move that reduces white by 10 points is still worth 10 points. The territory black is "gaining" is bigger, but only if white doesn't bother exploiting the aji in the position. It's smaller if he does. That's what makes it an overplay. – OmnipotentEntity Nov 14 '14 at 16:45
  • What if the position is changed to match the question's position, with the 6-4 black stone on 6-3 instead? – Teofrostus Feb 10 '15 at 11:42
  • It's better from the side, but worse from the bottom. For instance, the attachment at the 5-4 point (keima cut) is problematic because the shape of black's three stones is rather poor (which is why the 3-4 variation plays only the one space jump). So still way more aji than the standard joseki variation in the OP. – OmnipotentEntity Feb 11 '15 at 8:41
1

As always it's difficult to give a categorical answer (to say the least), but here are some aspects which I think are relevant. (By the way I am not a strong player so there probably is a better answer)

First, contact moves reinforce the adversary and this is exactly what happens in the variation you prefer: white makes good shape with the tiger mouth and he gets a rather stable group, even though his approach was high (which in principle should make it a bit more difficult for him in terms of secured space).

By contrast, in the other variation, black does not do anything to reinforce white. On the contrary it is white who strengthens black's corner. The possibility of a monkey jump is not only about yose and points: it also reduces white's space and (to some extent) stability.

Another aspect is related to influence towards the center (and not only towards the side). In the variation you prefer black, although starting on the 4-4 star, gives up a bit too easily influece towards the center (it seems not so easy for black to extend towards the center in good shape, especially in the low extension on 6-3). In the other variation, at least, the situation looks more balanced on that respect.

  • thanks Nicolas, but what about the right variant with the 6-4 black extension at the end? – Tomas Nov 12 '14 at 10:15
  • The problem with the bad aji is not about immediate invasions. The problem is that this aji is something black will have to keep constantly in mind. Even if immediate invasions don't work, white can at least use the aji to reduce/constrict black's corner (M17 etc.) Also since black's shape is not very good and has aji, black is at a disadvantage in terms of moving towards the center and moyo boundaries (around O14 etc). This is more a question of efficiency for future development than points. Too difficult for my level alas, I can't give a better answer. – Nicolas Nov 14 '14 at 12:42
1

If the pros tell you both are joseki... trust them!

Your analysis is only based on corner points. To get a better picture, factor in:

  • territory on the sides (depends on the presence of other stones on the board)
  • initiative, for example the ability to interrupt the sequence and play elsewhere
  • aji: whether white can live in the corner is only part of the equation, aji should eventually translate into points (support for a side invasion or ko threat for example)
  • influence, etc.
0

In a normal joseki, with the stone on the third line, Black would just want to play the attachment, and that's it.

In the above (handicap) joseki, the stone is on the 4-4 point, on the fourth line, which is to say that it is further from the side, and actually a bit WEAKER than in the other case.

So in this case, Black doesn't mind "retreating," and possibly playing an extra move on the 3-2 point to stabilize his corner position (the 3-3 point is best, with the 3-2 being a close second).

Otherwise, there is plenty of "aji" for White. That might not be so bad in an even game, but a lot of the time that the 4-4 point joseki is played this way, it's a handicap game with White two, three, or even more stones stronger than Black. If so, the aji gives White a major advantage in such situations.

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