Black to play


A problem from the British Go Journal issue 158. I don’t play Go any more, but I still like it. This problem is particularly pleasant. It is symmetrical, so there are only 6 possibilities. Black to play and live.

SGF visualised with GoRilla.


  1. #1 hibob

    f then b or b’ for the first eye?

  2. #2 Vinny Burgoo

    I’ll have an E please, Bob.

  3. #3 David B. Benson

    Think symmetry.

    [Yes. Unless it is a problem designed to break that rule. But this isn’t :-) -W]

  4. #4 bluegrue

    Long time no play. Hmm. I think I’ve got it.

    Black F, it’s the crucial place to form two eyes. White E would threaten to connect at A, but can be countered with D. The freedom above D is crucial to black’s survival.

    Playing E would have white press down at A and A’, which need to be countered by B and B’, respectively; then A takes F and Black dies.

    [Yes. And in a certain meta-way, its obvious: no other play is sufficiently counter-intuitive to be an interesting answer. I realised it eventually when I found, in all the other sequences, that white kept playing at “f” -W]

  5. #5 crandles

    OT – other fun.

    With AMSR down, what is now your favourite map/graph?

    [Ah, is that it? I’d noticed that IJIS wasn’t updated, but hadn’t been paying attention to why. I’ll need to think about that -W]

    There is quite a collection at


    is probably most similar to IJIS/JAXA one.

    There is a pool for the maximum at

    with my brief, but probably useless, pointers.

  6. #6 James Annan

    Hey I got that straight away, and I haven’t played in 20 years (and wasn’t any good then). If *white* plays f, then black can’t make two eyes. What do I win?

  7. #7 crandles

    AMSR2 is due for launch in a few days, but aneone got any ideas how long before information becomes available? Dr Spencer said they wanted a year of overlap between AMSR-E and AMSR2 so I am doubting calibration phase will be quick.

    News of end of AMSR-E was in update to

    The graph page does say “Sea-ice data update stops for a while due to the suspension of AMSR-E observation.” and graph even had an AMSR-E heading.

    [Interesting. Hopefully something obvious will be in place before the Spring for the bets. Either that, or the answer becomes obvious -W]

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