|Fast is very popular|
Black 4,4 (hoshi, star) is a fast
and center oriented move, very popular in
recent professional Go. The 4,4 move leads to
simple and easy to understand joseki
variations which also makes it a
popular move amongst amateurs.
If black wants to develop the 4,4 stone
he can play large scale with A or tight
with B or C.
White usually approaches the
stone with C. When approaching from the side is not
interesting white can take the corner by
invading at D.
|The left side is interesting|
White approaches with 2 and black
3 prevents that white attacks the
corner from two sides (with either
3 or A). If white wants to settle
a group immediately he will slide
with 4 and extend with 6.
|The lower side is interesting|
When the lower side of the board
is interesting for black to develop
he will answer white 2 with the
higher move at 3. Since the corner
is still open for invasion (at A)
white usually will not slide to B
(as in the previous diagram) but
play any of the points C to settle
the situation on the left side of the board.
This is a typical fast-paced development
|The left side is interesting|
When the left side is interesting for black
(the upper-left corner is black for example)
he can choose to attack white from that
direction with black 3. White will usually
settle his stone by invading the corner and
take some territory in the process.
|A wall for corner territory|
When black has a stone around A
black can build the wall in the
other direction with 5 as in this
diagram. Please note that white
ends up with
|White's flexible attitude|
One of the nice things about Go
is that things are never that
simple. For example, when black
plays 3 hoping that white will
invade the corner and black can build
a wall as in the previous diagram
white can frustrate black's plans
Black 5 is the natural move and
white manages to settle a group
along the lower side of the board.
By the way, this is one of the more
complicated 4,4 joseki. You don't
need to study this joseki if you
feel you're not ready yet.
|Seeking overall efficiency|
For balance with the upper-left
position black can choose the
higher pincer of 3 as well.
As with the low pincer white can play
simple and invade the corner leading
to exactly the same sequence as before.
|Stay alert when choosing a joseki |
When white doesn't like that
black closes off the left side
as in the previous diagram he can
play as in this variation.
White settles his group by sliding
twice with 6 and 8.
This variation shows that white
has more options compared to the variation
in diagram 4,4-31. That's why the one-point
low pincer (3 at A) is gaining popularity
|Settling along the lower side|
As with the one-point low pincer
it is possible for white to decide
to settle along the lower part of
the board by playing
with 4. Black 5 is a natural response
and the variation proceeds almost
identical as in diagram 4,4-33.
White settles along the bottom and
black becomes strong on the left side.
This variation is reasonable for white
since he ends up with
|Attacking hoshi from two sides|
It is possible for black to ignore (for all kinds of
legitimate reasons) white's approach move at 2.
The natural continuation for white is to
play another attack on the corner with 4.
Black 5 is essential: split 2 and 4.
The moves proceed naturally up to 15.
Black is thick and white is settled along the bottom.
Black can also look forward to a nice
at either A (white will answer B) or C (white
will connect). Which
is best can be decided
at an appropriate moment later on in the game.