All you need to know about Carpenter's Square - 34


Diagram 34.1: White to play

The corner is much stronger with the first-line hane at *bs*. Can white do anything?


Diagram 34.2: White fails

Because of *bs*, the solution for Shape 33 stops working. If white continues to play 'a', black is able to use 'oshi-tsubushi' to kill white.


Diagram 34.3: White fails

If White 5 occupies this key point first, Black 10 is a good move.


Diagram 34.4: Seki

To continue from the previous diagram, the only thing white can do is to make *w11*/*b12* exchange. Please confirm the corner is a seki.


Diagram 34.5: Can white form a ko?

Since white cannot kill the corner, an outcome of ko would be the next best. White hopes black to play 'a' so that Diagram 33.3 applies; or if black playes 'b', white can choose one of the ko options in Shape 7. However, black has better defence.


Diagram 34.6: Black alive

Black 2 is a famous tesuji! If *w3*, black occupies the second 1-2 point and there is just enough room to make two eyes.


Diagram 34.7: Black alive

If White 3 occupies another 1-2 point, Black 4 is good, recovering Diagram 34.2.


Diagram 34.8: Black alive

If *w3*, Black 4 is good. Black makes the first eye in the corner, leaving miai point 'a' and 'b' for the second eye.


Diagram 34.9: Black alive

If *w1*, Black 2 is the correct move, ensuring to recover Diagram 34.2 again.


Diagram 34.10: Black alive

If white makes *w1*/*b2* exchange first before blocking at *w3*, Black 4 is still the tesuji, leaving 'a' and 'b' miai points to live.


Diagram 34.11: Black alive

To reply *w5*, Black 6 is still the best move. White has a number of options. Clear 'a' and 'b' are miai points.


Diagram 34.12: Black alive

To reply *w7*, Black 8 is calm, still leaving 'a' and 'b' as miai.


Diagram 34.13: Black alive

Finally, White 7 results in a double-ko. In most cases, black would be unconditionally alive.


To summarise: with the first-line hane, black corner is very safe. The best white can get is seki in Diagram 34.3 and 34.4. Black needs to know the 1-2 point tesuji. In very rare cases, white may consider Diagram 34.13 (see how a double-ko may be exploited in this pro game ).


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