term from the game of Go
). It refers to specific kind of move, best described in English
by the phrase
." A move is called niken tobi if it the stone is placed in the same row
as another friendly stone, with two empty points in between. If either intervening point contained a stone, it would not be niken tobi. If one of them contained an enemy stone, it would be a contact play
or some sort of pincer
, whereas if one contained a friendly stone, it would be building a wall
. In the diagram below, playing at any of the four points marked * would be a niken tobi move, from the stone marked "o". Note that the points marked with a "," instead of a "." must be empty, or the corresponding "*" would not be a niken tobi move (stones at any of the "." points would not change the name of the move, although they might change its purpose or value
Niken tobi is a rather fast move, meant to expand one's influence, enlarge a moyo, or attack a group of the opponent's. It is generally not advisable to play this move in a defensive situation, as it is too easy to cut, or at the very least leaves the opponent with some kikashi (forcing moves - moves that you must answer, lest you lose the whole group).
Perhaps one of the most common occurences of niken tobi is as a response to an approach to a third line wedge stone. In this situation, it is usually referred to as "building a base", since a niken tobi formation (with a little open space around it) on the third line is almost guaranteed to live, even if the opponent is strong in the vicinity. See the wedge node for a more detailed explanation and a diagram.
Niken tobi also appears occasionally as a jump towards the center of the board, if the group doing the jumping is already strong, or not under immediate attack. A weak group under attack should generally opt for ikken tobi instead.