Ko Fights

Black to play!

There's a semeai going on at the bottom. If White can play at x, he'll win it. Black must be quick!

Black plays atari, but White gets out of it by capturing a stone.

Now Black can't play at and recapture the stone, because it's ko.

Black looks all round the board and finds a move that threatens something. This is called a ko threat.

If White answers the threat, like this, ...

... then Black is now allowed to recapture the ko, and it will be White's turn to look for a ko threat.

But if White decides to win the ko, Black gets to carry out his threat to kill the White group!

If your opponent has more ko threats than you, you'll lose the ko. But never mind! There's still something you can get out of it.

Even if Black has no ko threats, he should still start this ko. Then, instead of a ko threat, he just plays the biggest move he can find on the board! When White wins the ko, Black gets the next biggest move on the board as well! Getting two moves in a row elsewhere helps to make up for losing the ko.


Can you find where a ko is happening in this game? How many ko threats can you find for each side? Be careful! There's one thing that looks like a ko threat but isn't one.

get answer


Well, that's all in this set of tips. The next page gives you some ideas about how to get even stronger, but you know the most important one, don't you? Play lots of games!

How to play in the opening table of contents How to get still stronger

UK Go Challenge home 12 November 2003