Studies in Tsume-Go

British Go Journal No. 18. October 1972. Page 8.

This series consists of a number of extracts from the series of the same name first published in Go Review in 1963-4. They have been edited, and expanded in parts, by John Diamond.

If you want to make progress in your skill at playing Go, first you have to try and make each of your moves have some meaning; in other words, before you make your move you must make sure of its adequacy.

Just as all the people of the first rank must have endured many hardships, so those who wish to give their closest Go rivals a crushing defeat must prosecute more studies than their opponents. Experiences in actual games and studies of books combine to improve your skill.

Moves to be chosen in "tsume-go" contrast with those that will be made during the opening or middle game manoeuvers because most of the tsume-go moves are of such a character that they prohibit a free choice in a limited area of the board.

The problem of life and death of stones dealt with in tsume-go studies is one of the fundamentals of Go. When you have become well versed in these problems you will enjoy the game to its fullest extent.

How to live

Question 1

Black to play.

Answer 1

First of all, you have to enlarge your area until it is large enough to make two eyes inside to live.Black 1 is just the point. White 2 is an attempt to make Black one-eyed; this is the "eye-stealing tesuji". Black 3 ia a must, White 4 is another eye-stealing move and Black must now reply with 5. Black is now alive since, if white connects at A, black will capture the 3 stones to make his second eye.

If, instead of Black 1, you play A, capturing white's one stone, then white 1 is just the point. Black plays B, white 5, Black takes at 4,and then white plays at 3 to kill the black group.

Question 2

White to play.

Answer 2

Reference 2

Black's descending move at the triangle stone creates a mischief in white's formation. White, therefore, should try to make a sound eye first as shown in Answer 2.

In Reference 2 you can see that when white tries to expand his area as in Answer 1, the black triangle stone proves fatal for white.
Black plays 2, the hane move, to which white has to reply with 3. then black plays 4 at the "1-2" point in the corner, white 5 is forced and now black 6 destroys white's second eye as he cannot play at A because of the damezumari caused by black triangle. White takes 6 and then black can play A to make white's second eye false.

Question 3

White to play.

Answer 3

Remember that, when you want to keep your beloved stones alive, you must first solidify the weaker part of your stones and this maxim is true of this problem.

Follow closely both player's moves. If, after black 2, White plays atari at A, Black will surely play his death-blow at 3. White must answer this and then black can take away white's second eye by playing two points to the left of 1.

After white 3 the two points A and that two to the left of 1 are miai, that is, if Black plays one then White must play at the other.

Reference 3

This diagram shows what happens if White makes his mistake in placing 1 at the wrong eye-making point. the sequence up to 6 is forced and Black has succeeded in destroying white's second eye with 6.

White could also play 6 of this diagram with his first move, then black 2' at 1 would show him the error of his ways. White 3, black 4, white 5 and black one point to the left of 4. Now white cannot gain a second eye at 2 any longer.

A white play at 5 would be answered by black 3 and a white play at 2 by a black one at 1. Both of these are the usual eye-stealing moves most of you will be familiar with.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 18
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

Last updated Thu May 04 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.