Weekly Go problems: Week 19

Here are the weekly Go problems for week 19.

Black plays first in all problems and all solutions are labeled ‘correct’. Have fun!

Easy Go problem

ggg easy 19 picture

Download the solutions to the easy problem as an SGF or PDF file.


Intermediate Go problem

ggg intermediate 19 picture

Download the solutions to the intermediate problem as an SGF or PDF file.


Hard Go problem

go problems 19 picture

Download the solutions to the hard problem as an SGF or PDF file.


Still want more Go problems?

You can find Go books packed full of life and death problems, tesuji problems and other valuable Go knowledge at the Go Game Shop.

Discuss other possible moves

If you have any questions or want to discuss any of these problems, please leave a comment below at any time. You can use the coordinates on the problem images to discuss a move or sequence of moves.

You can also download the solutions as a PDF or SGF file by clicking the links below each problem.

About David Ormerod

David likes teaching, learning, playing and writing about the game Go. He's taught hundreds of people to play Go, including many children at schools in Australia. In 2010 David was the Australian representative at the 31st World Amateur Go Championships. He's a 5 dan amateur Go player and is the editor of Go Game Guru. You can find David on Google+ and follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.


  1. LucNoSensei says:

    The hard problem is pretty elegant :)
    Not very hard but I wouldn’t swear I’d find it in a fast game

    • David Ormerod says:

      I agree Luc, and it’s unusual in the way black sets up white’s shortage of liberties to avoid ko.

  2. I’m realising lately how bad I do tsumego (in the sense of killing/living) compared to spotting tesuji. As always, a pleasure squeezing my mind with your weekly problems! I’d love if they appeared more often!


    • David Ormerod says:

      Ruben, I’m not sure about other people, but I certainly find tesuji problems much easier than life and death problems too. I think it’s because they rely a bit more on intuition and a bit less on reading.

      Once a week is about all I can manage at the moment, but there are almost 60 problems now, soon you’ll be able to start again from the beginning to make sure you learned what you needed to :).

  3. thanks for problems :D

  4. This is the first time the intermediate one was genuinely easier for me than the easy one, presumably since the first one requires a bit of reading. The hard one again reminded me of the Hikaru tesuji (the one where he spoils a game he observes by pointing out what Sai tells him) and therefore was not so hard, although I got ko first.

    Thanks again!

    • David Ormerod says:

      I’m not sure if you’ve noticed Dieter, but I try to choose intermediate problems that emphasize intuition more than reading, whereas the easy ones are mostly just make or prevent two eyes (with the occasional exceptions for variety).

      For the intermediate ones I try to ask myself what a low kyu/dan player should know by heart and teach those patterns. Because of that I’d expect a player of your level to solve most of them at a glance. This week’s 2nd problem is a good example of how sometimes knowing the correct move is easy (when you ‘know’ it) but knowing why all the other moves don’t work is a bit harder.

      For the ‘hard’ problems I try to choose something that will be a bit more interesting and challenging for most players.

      I’m wondering if I should continue with this theme or change tack after the first 20 problem sets. What do you think?

      What do other people think?

      • I’ve noticed but did not realize it was intentional. Quite a craftsman you are.

        I’d say: watch the stats for changing gear. Myself I am enjoying this series as it is. One challenging problem a week and two to polish the e-go suits me perfectly.

      • I like the current combination of problems. I can almost always read through the easy problems but once in a while need a second trial to solve the intermediate ones. For the hard ones, I have never read through any of them without trial but some took more trials than others. I do go back to the old problems a lot and each time I feel that I understand a little more. I cannot speak for people who are much stronger or weaker than myself, but I believe the difficulty of these problems are just right for me.

  5. LucNoSensei says:

    I’m perfectly happy with them as they are. I also like the idea of easy – basic reading, intermediate – some tesuji instinct and hard – combining both.

  6. MarcoRosso says:

    Nice problems. The hard one took a bit to solve, but the reading was fun.

  7. I think that the problems are good, sometimes I can solve all the three and sometimes no one. I almost never read out the hard one.
    you have made a good job David. I am waiting for the next set.

  8. just wondering why is ko not a good answer for the 3rd problem?

    • There is a way to do it without ko. In a real game, that means Black does not need to accept any compensation elsewhere for living. That’s the why. As for the how, I guess we shouldn’t spoil the fun here.

  9. never mine i undestand now since it is heavy for black to win the ko

  10. It took me an embarrassingly long time to get the easy one :-s

    • David Ormerod says:

      Actually, there is something weird about it. It’s easy, but it’s unusual. I remember doing a double take as well when I fist saw this problem.

    • Me too :-)

      • Spoiler alert: My blind spot (after capture and white pushes which was obvious) was to look at t3 to protect the eye in sente and see it failed, and although I also looked at s4 I missed white’s shortage of liberties which meant it worked for black. I think the fact s4 for black fills his own liberties made my intuition prefer t3. It’s a bit like those tricky problems that are artificially arranged such that the correct move is building a 2×2 square on dame to create a shortage of liberties inside the opponents shape, and therefore you reject it for being so stupid looking ;)

  11. David Ormerod says:

    Thanks for the feedback about the problems everyone. I’ve reread all your comments, along with some of the ones people left in earlier weeks and I think I’m going to follow the same basic format, but try to make the intermediate problems slightly more interesting. We’ll see how it goes.

  12. The Hard one had me struggling since it came out until just a minute ago. I kept going to ko. Thanks for the problems. Much appreciated.

  13. Dai Zhuo Jia says:

    I found the easy one harder than the intermediate one. Great job on the website. Wish we can play again. Hopefully by then I would have caught up in strength

  14. Hi, I’m new to Go and learning it. I’m going through the weekly problems from “Week 1″. Thank you for the great problems!

    In the Easy problem of Week 19, the white’s 4th move is T3 in the correct sequence, but what if white plays at Q1?

  15. David Ormerod says:

    Hi Yoshiki,

    If white plays atari at Q1 like you say, black has to ignore it and play at T3 himself. After that black has two eyes. White can capture two stones with R2 next, but black can recapture one stone with Q2 and is still alive.

    I hope that makes sense. Let me know if you have any other questions and I hope you keep enjoying the problems :)

Speak your mind