# Why is this NOT joseki?

Why is white 4 in this diagram not joseki? How can it be punished by black and how bad is it compared to standard joseki play?

``````\$\$ ----------
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ ..3.2.....|
\$\$ ...4..1...|
\$\$ ..........|
``````

A partial answer is probably: "Because this variation is joseki and it looks more forcing":

``````\$\$ ----------
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ ..3.2.....|
\$\$ ..4...1...|
\$\$ ..........|
``````
• I thought the whole idea behind joseki was that they've been studied and considered to be the best option at that point. If a different move for a given position provided a better "return on investment" wouldn't it be the joseki move instead? Feb 26 '15 at 18:59

I don't think it's that the joseki move is forcing, it's more that the joseki move is better. 5 here is pretty sad for White. For 4 to be joseki, you would need a response to this move that turns out better than the accepted sequence for White.

``````\$\$ ----------
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ ..3.2.....|
\$\$ ..54..1...|
\$\$ ..........|
``````
• Isn't black 5 "pushing from behind"? I think, it is natural for white to put its head in front with white 6 below white 4. This way white builds up pressure against the right margin. Mar 2 '15 at 15:54
• I don't think it's really worth your time trying to figure out the details of joseki unless you're very strong. My ranking is 2d, and I certainly don't feel comfortable doing that. If you like this sequence better, play it in your games. Either it will work out, or you will learn why it's not as good :)
– TimK
Mar 3 '15 at 16:17
• @jknappen And it's not pushing from behind. That is usually used when both players have full connections (no diagonals), and usually it's not used for. In this pattern white's diagonal is very weak, as mentioned in the first diagram here. Mar 25 '15 at 2:42
• I would agree with @jknappen. White can play 6 below 4 (one space jump), making miai of pressing 1 or the 3-5 group. If the top side is important, then white 4 is bad in the first place, in both diagrams showed by the OP (I mean even the one considered as joseki). Dec 17 '15 at 18:37

NOTE: I am stupid and misread your diagram as komoko (3-4) instead of hoshi (4-4) in the corner. The following applies to komoku only! I was going to delete this answer, but then decided to leave it up, because the question would probably be interesting for komoku, too.

W4 is actually joseki, but it is very, very rarely played. I have never witnessed it in high level matches, and I would not at all be surprised if dan players do not know it (the opposite, rather).

I learned it in a book by Yilun Yang (Whole Board Thinking in Joseki). Basically, it is a move that moves white out very steadily (i.e. slowly). Sadly, I do not have the book with me for an extended period of time, but maybe someone else can jump in an add a more detailed explanation of the move.

Either way you don't have to worry about it, really - if your opponent plays W4, deal with it as you would anyway (remember that a non-joseki move can be good sometimes, and also that a joseki move can be bad sometimes, too). If you feel that W4 is a good move on a certain board, don't be afraid to try and play it. You'll see how it turns out!

White 4 gives black another chance to reinforce the corner (at a or b), as it doesn't put much pressure on 3:

``````\$\$ ----------
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ ..3.2.....|
\$\$ ...4..1...|
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ ......ab..|
``````

For example:

``````\$\$ ----------
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ 7.3.2.....|
\$\$ ..64..1...|
\$\$ ..........|
\$\$ ......5...|
``````

The problem with W4 is that it is a "slow," non-forcing move that gives Black many options. Some of those have been covered by other answers, but one good move is P17 (one right of 2) that gives Black the corner, while leaving White very cramped.

If you play a sequence that gives your opponent so many good options, the sequence is probably to your opponent's advantage.

• P16??? Maybe a diagram would help. Dec 17 '15 at 17:58
• @Christophe:"One right of (White) 2." Here's a case where the board has the appropriate co-ordinates. boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/22627/joseki-question Dec 17 '15 at 18:02
• P16 is not one right of 2... Dec 17 '15 at 18:09
• @Christophe: Sorry, make that P17, which has been fixed. Thanks for pointing out the error. Dec 17 '15 at 21:43
• ok. The risk of a contact move is to lead to mutual reinforcement (similar to the M16 answer), against the original intent of a close pincer. P17 leaves opportunities for white around S15-S16, making it a small corner. Dec 17 '15 at 22:22