Home > Steve > Go > Problem of the month

February 2002's Go Answer of the Month

Dias 1 & 2 - In which Dia would you prefer to be Black?

Dia 1   Dia 2

A different approach this month. Here we have two silimar situations, with most of the outside stones alive. White can obviously easily capture the cutting stones. Which diagram would you rather play Black in?

In both situations, the 4 white stones have three liberties and the 2 black ones have only two. So unless Black can do something special, he'll lose this.

Let's start by looking at Dia 1 where the edge is more open.

Dias 3 & 4 - Black hanes to gain liberties.

Dia 3   Dia 4

After Dia 3, Black sacrifices one of 1 or 3 to gain the tempo to capture the white stones. Eg Dia 4.

Dia 5 - Hanes in Dia 2 have the same result.

Dia 5

So as far as it goes, there appears to be no relative benefit in either situation for Black. He wins in both with first play.

Dia 6 - But White has a tesuji after Dia 1.

Dia 6

Instead of blocking the hane of 1 with 2' at 3, the first line play of 2 - peeping towards 5 - is a tesuji.

Whatever Black does, he can never get his liberties up above 2.

Dias 7 & 8 - Other examples of failed wriggling by Black.

Dia 7   Dia 8

This tesuji doesn't work in Dia 2 since the hane is also an atari. Thus Black would prefer to play in Dia 2, even though Dia 1 has more apparent space.

Home > Steve > Go > Problem of the month
British Go Association
Last updated 2004-08-10
This page is part of http://www.stocton.org/
Email: webmaster@stocton.org