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November 2004's Go Answer of the Month

Dia 1 Black to play.

Dia 1

This problem is from a position which occurred in a game at the 13*13 small board championship this month. In the game Black died in the corner. Can he live - in seki, ko or directly? Can he kill the white top edge group?

This problem is typical of the sort of mess I end up with in my games.

I am not certain of the completeness of this answer, but all I can find for black is kos and sekis. If anyone knows of a living with territory sequence, please let me know. There are many sequences for Black to die!

Dia 2 White must respond on the left.

Dia 2

As Dia 2 shows, A Black descent on the left to 1 requires a response on the left - White 2' at 3 being the move. It makes an eye and requires black to make approach moves to capture the white stones.

Dia 3 White must respond on the right.

Dia 3

Again the other white stones get capture when Black bends to the right with 1 here, requiring a reply such as 2' at 3.

Dia 4 Black can make a ko.

Dia 4

Black 3 and 5 easily make a ko. White 6 takes the ko the first time round and, if the threat is ignored, can play 8 at A to make Black's life worse. If playing at 8 isn't good for White then he can just atari the four black stones.

Dia 5 Black can make a seki.

Dia 5

If Black is short of ko threats then he can play for a seki. Not that this gives Black a ko threat for another fight - capturing 6 & 10 requires white to throw in again there to maintain the seki.

Dia 6 Black can live.

Dia 6

Kefeng Chu pointed out Black 1 here which lets Black capture the top white stones and live with his corner ones. The white stones on the right then have the option of running away.

Why didn't I see this when writing this up? Or better yet in the game?

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