White To Play And Live?

British Go Journal No. 20. July 1973. Page 6.

David Mitchell

The problem below appears in Go Letter No 4 of the Matsuda Go Letters. The answer is in Go Letter No 5 and is wrong.

Diagram 1

The answer given is white A, black E and white B. This way the group lives, but only by an error on the part of black. When white has played A, black should reply at B and then the best that white can gain is seki. White has three choices as to his next move: C, D or E.

C - This secures one eye, but black can escape by playing at E and then a double atari at D would result in damezumari.

D - This move puts the two white stones into atari, but this does not work because black simple palys at E and connects his stones leaving white to take the two stones, only to have his stone taken back and lose his group, once again by damezumari.

E - This is the better of the three moves available to white, but this results in a seki. Black plays at C putting the three white stones into atari, white must connect. Then black plays at H and the result is seki.

It is not correct to play A as the first move, the vital point is elesewhere. In fact at the same point that black takes to kill the white group.

At the point of B then, no matter how hard black tries, the white group is alive. This shows how just a miscalculation in the order of moves can lead to total disaser.

[Start] The moves discussed as a game-file in SGF format.

This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 20
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

Last updated Fri Jan 04 2013. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.