Why don't we see "footsweep" response to small knight 4-4 approach more?

I was reviewing a game recently where very early in the opening black "footsweep"ed (*) the small knight approach to 4-4, like this.

Although josekipedia says “Situational move”, all the variants I followed in josekipedia seemed really quite good for black.

I looked at waltheri’s, and saw that pros do this footsweep response when the top already has black development of some sort (so backing off in the traditional joseki doesn’t work very well), but I’m really interested in why we prefer the standard 4-4 small knight approach joseki even when there aren’t black stones at the top?

  • originally I said “armpit hit” smurph corrected this.

It’s the footsweep. ;D

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Ah - thanks for that pointer. A low armpit hit is a footsweep. That makes sense :smiley:

The answer to my question is pretty much this sentence, on that page:

“Without black+circle in place, B2 can be played to deprive White of a base on the top in the case where White’s position there is cramped, but contrary to what beginners might believe is not effective at making territory. In fact, it’s a bit of an overplay, leaving vulnerabilities at the 3-3 point, and the Cut across”

Nobody actually calls it armpit hit, it’s just a bad joke.

I call a third line move diagonally under an opponents stone on the fourth line an “armpit hit”, because I read that it is called that on senseis.

Today’s joke becomes tomorrow’s vernacular, so be careful what you joke about :stuck_out_tongue:


I, too, like “armpit hit,” because it’s an appropriate complement to “shoulder hit.” As it happens, your point here is a major theme in G. K. Chesterton’s first novel, The Napoleon of Notting Hill. At the end, the protagonist says, “…it was done as a joke.” The antagonist gives “the answer that shatters even a laugh.” In other words, he took it seriously, which led to the whole series of extraordinary events.


Isn’t this a second line move though?

Yes I wrongly named the move I asked about in this thread - that’s what smurph corrected.

2nd line: foot
3rd line: armpit.



Wouldn’t 1st line be foot, making 2nd line something like a knee? :stuck_out_tongue:


With that logic a third line becomes more of a kick in the crotch really, or should that be reserved for a second line killing peep?


I think “kick in the crotch” should exclusively be reserved for a surviving 2-2 invasion of a 3-3 stone :smiley:

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LOL very visual! :smiley:

based on what I was told it is awkward in empty board situation and allows white to box black into corner or get solid group too easily.

Also in general hoshi is not a move you use to make territorry fast directly. If you wanted that, why don’t you just play 3-4 or 3-3 instead.

I actually did have short period of infatuation with this move playing it every other chance I got. I can say from firsthand experience, that more often than not, result was less than pleasing,


That’s really fascinating to know - thanks. I was possibly just about to have the same experience :smiley:

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