Spot The Move - Answers

British Go Journal No. 67. April 1986. Page 11.

Richard Granville

The problems for these solutions are on page 5 of BGJ 66.
This month's problems are on page 3.
The answer to problem 1 may be found on page 10.

The original article used coordinates (such as K10) for most of this article. It has been altered to use marked up diagrams for the EBGJ.

The answers in BGJ 67 are numbered differently to the problems in BGJ 66. This second answer here relates to question 3!

You might wish to open a second window beside the first one to view Dia X4 whilst reading the text in the first window.


Problem 3 - Marks

Marks for various black moves.

Diagram 4


















Problem 3 - Commentary

Diagram X4


















Panelists replies:

  • A - Matthew Macfadyen 6d
  • J - Toby Manning 2d
  • K - Francis Roads 3d
  • J - Piers Shepperson 3d
  • N - John Smith 3d
  • C - Alastair Thompson 1d
  • E - Brian Timmins 3k

Shepperson summarises the position: "The main problem seems to be Black's three stones at the top, which could end up awkwardly placed if white plays here first. Some reinforcement is advisable, therefore. J seems to leave the least bad aji in the area."

But although the panel agrees on the problem, there is a variety of opinions about the solution.

Timmins: "How should Black strengthen the top group? E looks best, since it is good shape, and presses white's top left group. If white answers, black can later play at H."

RG: I cannot agree with Brian's suggestion of E. White will play at A, and Black's group remains unstable; better to simply head for the centre.

Smith: "N seems natural, bringing B out towards the centre and ensuring he is not sealed in. Although this leaves a gap between Black's groups, white will not find it productive to play there at the moment."

Roads: "A and E are big local yose, as well as attacking the white corner, but now is not the moment for either. I recommend the shape move at K, which is where white would attack if black tenukis. If white defends at A, black gladly extends to Q or R."

RG: This is better than E, but cannot be described as good shape. White will play A, and can later splir black by playing L or J.

Thompson: "Black should play a probing move at C: if white D, black B, white F, then black can afford to tenuki the top side and play at Q. If however, white plays B, black will turn at N to strengthen his stones. B leaves white with bad aji - eg black P is now sente."

"Simply reinforcing the top group without playing a probe is wrong, because if black later plays C, white will not answer at B. Hence the timing of C is just right."

RG: An interesting idea, which could have helped in the actual game. The problem with such moves is that they tend to strengthen the opponent; in this position black may well want to invade around H some time in the future.

Macfadyen: "A grabs a big yose point and attacks white's eyes. White E seems almost forced, after which black can playsome kikashi around H before making thickness with J."

RG: Yes, A must be the key point, even as yose it is worth 15points. Unfortunately, when I played this move my opponent replied differently. Our final panelist explains why.

Manning: "The key to this problem is 'where would white play if it were his move?' In particular can he kill black's stones (with eg M) without weakening his own corner. The answer is difficult, but seems to be, yes (even if black scrapes life, it is a small life in gote). Accordingly Black should play at J to save his stones and put pressure on white's corner."

"Should Black play at A first (kikashi before life)? The answeris no, as White will stillrespond at M, putting black in trouble.&

Diagram 5 (1-43)


















RG: Dia 5 shows the first 43 moves of the game and is available, uncommented, in SGF format. Up to 14 seems unexceptional; but for 15' I should have made a pincer-extension to 38. White's connection at 24 gives the problem.

White did indeed counter A with M, and after the sequence to 43 Black is losing. However this is not the fault of the move at A; if Black plays 27' at J he can obtain a satisfactory result.



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