Loony Moves - Answer

British Go Journal No. 66. November 1985. Page 31a.

Brian Chandler

This is the answer to the problem posed on page 21.

Diagram 1

Black must resist the temptation to throw in at 2, a move that "looks natural". Of course this move "works" - White cannot make an eye and the seki is maintained. But now count the points again. White has gained an extra prisoner (the stone at 2), so wins by one point!

This is something of a trick question, because there are actually two loony moves. If Black tries to be too clever, he will say: "Ah, but White needs two more moves for an eye, so I shall pass".

Diagram 2

Black 2 passes.

Unfortunately, when White plays 3, black now has no choice but to throw in at 4, so once more white has an extra prisoner and wins by a point.

Black's only correct response to White's original move 1 is to play from the outside at 3 in Dia 2, spoiling the eye in the most trivial manner possible.

The moral of this problem is that Go is won by the player with the most points at the end of the game, not the player who makes the cleverest moves.

The problem is unusual in another way: The loony move was played by a computer program (Alan Scarff's MicroGo1). For a computer it was a very high calibre blunder indeed.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 66
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.