Lesson 145: Patterns with Double-Approach 1
Star-point joseki variations are becoming more and more diverse in their development. One reason for that, among many, is the increasing number of pincer-joseki variations now being played. In the past, most pincer-joseki variations involved the 3-4 point, and it was considered possible only when there was an ally to play a pincer in conjunction with a star-point.
Black's pincer with 2 is what initiated this pincer boom for the star-point joseki. As I have mentioned numerous times, Baduk of today is more center-focused, and influence is more important than ever. Therefore, the result up to 11 is regarded as being favorable to Black.
So, instead of coming into the corner with A, White chooses the double-approach with 3. The variations we're going to study are the ones that start with this second approach. The most popular answer by Black to this approach is Black 4 here.
After Black 4 in Diag.2, White exchanges 1 with 2 in order to make the deal in the corner more favorable to him, and then attaches at 3. Black 4 is one possible answer against this attachment. Then White takes up the corner with 5 and Black moves elsewhere. This is the most peaceful outcome, of course, but not the most desirable for Black because he didn't get the influence attempted by the pincer. The sequence A~D that starts with White A helps White to have power in the center, so is also a bonus for White.
White can come in at the 3-3 point instead of the attachment at 3. Again, Black 2 is the easiest way to finish the corner and the result is exactly the same as the one in Diag.3.
The sequence in Diag.4 was considered a joseki even until just several years ago, but no longer so. Players found that it is not difficult for Black to get a better result by blocking with 2. The sequence up to White 11 is inevitable and Black's influence toward center, powered up by the capture with 6 and 8, is quite satisfactory for Black. If White omits 11, the sequence A~E, starting with Black A, will be very painful for White. Even after White 11, Black still has a gratifying follow-up with Black A, White B, and then Black F.
Therefore, White has to give up coming into the corner with the 3-3 point, and attach at 1 as shown here. Against this attachment, Black 2 is a more proactive move than Black 4 in Diag.3. Once again, the sequence up to White 15 is inevitable, mostly composed of ataris and answers.
If White doesn't attach at 15 in Diag.6 but draws back to the corner with 1 and 3, Black will welcome it happily since he can lock up White's corner territory with 4 to 10 in sente and take the influence in the center with 12.
If you worry about Black 1 here being like 15 in Diag.6, don't. Owing to the brilliant attachment of White 4, it is not White but the △-marked black stones that are captured.
You already know why the sequence shown in Diag.6 is inevitable. Let's study the following sequences in the next lesson.
The writer is a baduk professor at Myongji University and a professional player of the game.