3-3 invasion joseki used to be so simple

And then AI had to go and make it complicated.

Now - just look at this mess!

I mean - I get it - the purpose of these more complicated joseki is to introduce more un-settled groups early in the game. But yeah, for a struggling DDK like me, it’s a definite stumbling block / You Must Be This Tall To Ride This Ride kinda thing…


I haven’t watched it yet but I just had this pop up


My two-diagram guide to keeping 3-3 simple.


As both colours, follow this variation as long as possible. If you are Black:

  • If White plays (6) at A, play B; he will respond at (6) and you can play (7)
  • If White plays (6) at B, play A; push and cut at (6); he will play C and allow you to take the corner

If you are White:

  • If Black plays (5) at A, push three times on the second line and then tenuki
  • If Black plays (5) at B, play A; he will cover at (5) and you can play (6)
  • If Black plays (7) at B, play C


  • If you are White, play A; Black will play B. Capture (7) and allow Black the corner.
  • If you are Black and White plays (8) at C, connect at B – it’s not the best move but it’s simple.

Honestly, the variation on bottom right (I like to call it the “flying knife”) is actually pretty easily avoided with either the 3-stone-wall variation or with one of the double hane variations, or even just covering when most players would stand up to revert to double hane. It should really only show up if both players want it.


Yeah, I don’t play 4-4 any more because of this.


Keep in mind, you’re playing other DDK… they’re not going to be playing anything crazy… and even if they memorise some crazy sequence in this one situation you can likely find a weakness elsewhere on the board.


@mark5000 @aesalon Is there some way we can capture this sense of “how basic play ideally might work” in Joseki Dictionary?

I guess “Basic” tag is the perfect tool for us.


I’m not sure this is the case any more, since OGS actively promotes its joseki dictionary and provides users with an easy-to-use interface for getting these difficult joseki even as a 25k. No memorization is needed.

I also know it’s “against the rules”, but theres no way to know if someone spent the time learning the joseki or just followed the dictionary, especially when the other player doesn’t know it and breaks the sequence.

This should be the basic joseki, as RoyalMinigo in move20 suggested.

I agree with @bugcat 's approach. The double hane variation is the go-to basic one that will rarely be a minor mistake. (Yeonwoo really likes it)

The other diagram is nice too, nice recommendations.


Can you do a demonstration board of all possibility you mention ?

Here you are! I added some more detail whilst still trying to keep it simple.


Was always complicated, the variations were never new. AI only reintroduced the fad.

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A clear analysis comparing the differences between the old 3-3 invasion joseki and the joseki after the emergence of AI.

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An old 3-3 invasion joseki that can be forgotten (except for double hane).

@tonybe I read this, the introduction to Peter Mioch’s Daigo series (discussing Gentle Joseki) and thought you’d be interested:

When writing “Gentle Joseki”, I often felt I was running down a summery field full of breathtaking butterflies of all shapes and sizes. Blundering through knee-high grass, tightly holding my net with both hands, I was trying to catch as many of the winged creatures as possible. After every attempt I would find out that I only caught some lesser species, although these had nice colors too.

At times I caught a satisfying quantity, but was unable to describe them in proper language; at other times, I only caught one or two, but I could explain them better, even if I did worry about boring the reader.

Whether or not I caught all this go-wisdom fluttering and flying around my head, I would always, eventually, end up alone again; between truckloads of weeds and just a few flowers. The thing to do was to search the horizon for a “butterfly nest” and kick it a bit to see if any new butterflies would emerge.