Where to Look for Good Moves


It's time for you to move up a level! Let's have a look at a difficult position and see how a strong player would work out what to do.

It's Black's turn. Take a moment and see if you can find something good for Black to do.

Don't worry if you find it difficult. In a few minutes you won't any more!

The 4 Projects

There are four things you want to do with your moves in Go. They are:

Attack your opponent's stones

Protect your own stones

Build some territory

Spoil your opponent's territory

The best moves of all are
moves that do as many of these things as possible.

Let's look at that position again. Can you see

  • Any White stones you could attack?
  • Any Black stones that need protecting?
  • Anywhere you could build territory?
  • Anywhere you could hinder White from making territory?

Let's look at these one by one.

Any white stones to attack?

Stone is a bit lonely, and there's a black stone nearby to help us. Maybe we could attack this one?

Stone is closer to other White stones, and there are no black stones nearby to help. Could be risky!

Stones are near a black stone, but they are helping each other and they are quite near to stone .

Any black stones we need to protect?

Stone is all by itself. Better keep an eye that one!

Stones are fairly close together and helping each other. They look all right for now.

Anywhere Black could build some territory?

Black has started to build fences on the left and lower sides. He could expand them into the corners by playing on one of the A points.

There's quite a big gap in the fence between the two stones. Perhaps we could strengthen it by playing somewhere around B.

Or maybe we could start fencing off the centre, with a move somewhere around C.

Anywhere we could spoil White's chances of territory?

White would like to spread into the corners too, by playing on one of the A points.

The biggest gap in White's fences is on the upper side. Maybe we could play there before he has time to reinforce it around B.

White would like to stretch into the centre too, by playing somewhere around C - unless Black gets there first!

It's up to you!

We've looked at a lot of possible ideas. Have you decided on your favourite one yet? Decide for yourself before reading on.

My favourite move is . It
  • attacks White's weakest stone
  • helps Black's weakest stone
  • starts fencing off territory in the centre
  • stops White getting too much territory on the upper side.

If you found any move near there you did excellently.

What will happen next? That's White's decision!

If White decides to defend his stone and make territory, it might go like this. But this is frightening for White. Black's territory is getting very big and strong. White will have to invade it, and it will be hard work!

So White may decide to fight back by pushing in and cutting off the black stone, like this.

Now all the stones in this corner are weak, so there's going to be a hard fight. But it's a fair one. It's better to fight like this than to get pushed around.

The most important Go Proverb

Here's a proverb is about making double-purpose moves.

Make territory while attacking!


Black to play!

get answer

Take a break!

Spike's trying to make territory by attacking the neighbours! Better go and sort it out.

When you're ready for more, click where you want to go.

Big moves and small moves table of contents How to play in the opening

UK Go Challenge home 19 November 2003