Which Board Position Is Better?

This post is for everyone to discuss positions which you can’t tell immediately which side is better. I do hope this can be a long term discussion : P

I’ll go first: In this position, black gets the corner and white gets influence. White gets sente. Which is better? The position comes from Game 36954315

Second one: Which Is Better or Which is Better, which is better?

Third one: you can’t tell immediately or you cant immediately tell?


I don’t know which is better, but I do prefer Black, especially in the context of the whole board. That is a lot of territory, and White doesn’t even have a decent wall.

As for the English style questions (an odd mixture of subjects, but okay…): “Which Is Better” is correct for a formal title. Many people, even editors, don’t know that all verbs, including “is,” are supposed to be capitalized in titles; the logic for this is that verbs are important words, even when they are short. However, the Forums often uses a newspaper style of punctuating a topic title as if it were a sentence.

Standard English style is to put the modifier first. However, this is not written in stone. One may want to reverse the order for the sake of rhythm or emphasis.


I can’ t tell because assuming that the corner will stay black or stay full size is bit rushed idea.
If the aji is mostly an illusion, or if white influence is negated by the not visible part of the board then black as the better here as it’s pretty big.

In the game white has sente to approach the 4x4 on the lower side which works well with the influence.

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White is better. White can invade at 3-3, sacrifice the invading stone and in doing so reduce black a lot with a further end game reduction to look forward to. So black corner is not as big as it looks. And if the ladder works for white, then white can block at c8 and black is closed in - even better for white.


Black is slightly better IMO, particularly how early it happened in the game (corners before sides before centre), though both players made mistakes in the sequence. As a static analysis, we can compare with the modern AI joseki of approach 4-4, knight move, then shoulder hit, kick, stand, push up, extend. Then black may cut through or slide, but here turned, a tad slow but good enough for Kitani I imagine, and white played a loose connection rather than the thick turn which should be better. But not major mistakes and all stones look reasonably sensibly placed. Black should have played f4 for move 3 though, then White’s weird centre stone would end up misplaced rather than sensible.