BGJ60: Go Paradoxes

British Go Journal No. 60. September 1983. Page 12.

Andrew Grant

Torazu San Moku

This superb term means 'three points without capturing' and refers to the position in the lower left of Dia 1, where four white stones and one black one are in atari.

Dia 1

As a problem, try working out the final score in the game in Dia 1 if White plays first. No prisoners have been taken, but to make the problem more interesting, give White 5½ points komi. Next, try working out the score if Black plays first in Dia 1 - with no prisoners and with 5½ points komi as before.

Dia 2

Dia 3

7 at 2.

Done that? Well if White starts, you should have read out the sequence in Dias 2 and 3; after white 7, Black has captured five stones to White's two, so Black has gained three points. In the game in Dia 1, this means Black has won by ½ point.

Dia 4

Dia 5

Dia 6

9 at triangle

With Black starting, the sequence in Dias 4 - 6 should result. (Note Black's tesuji at 3, which gains one more point than playing at 4 or 5 instead.) After black 9, White has captured three stones and Black 5; thus Black has gained only two points, and this time it is White who wins by ½ point.

So: whoever plays first in Dia 1 loses the game. Neither player wishes to play so both pass and the game is over. Who wins?

The Nihon Ki-in has come to the rescue in this position with a ruling which states that the player in a position to capture the four stone dango (Black) may claim three points without capturing. By this rule, the game in Dia 1 is over, and Black has won by ½ point.

Dia 8

The Nihon Ki-in has a similar ruling in the case of the related position in Dia7 ('torazu go moku'). This time five points may be claimed without capturing - the analysis is left to the reader.


This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 60
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.

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