Baduk TV English: Level Up to 3 Kyu: Lesson 21

Level Up to 3 Kyu is a Baduk TV series designed to fast track single digit kyu players to 3 kyu. The presenter, Lee Jihyun, is a 3 dan professional Go player. This is lesson 21.

Lesson 21

Video: Level Up to 3 Kyu: Lesson 21

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Transcript of the video

Translated by Oh Chimin 7d for

Edited by David Ormerod 5d

Episode 21: Tesuji - Sacrifice

Hello everyone, welcome back to 'Level Up to 3 Kyu'. I'm Lee Jihyun 3p.

From today on, we'll explore tesuji!

Along with life and death problems, tesuji help you to improve your reading skills.

The topic of tesuji has a greater breadth than that of life and death problems.

It includes attacking, defending, sabaki and so on.

There are many types of tesuji, but we'll focus on practicality throughout this series.

Let's begin today's lesson!

How would you define the term 'tesuji'?

According to the Go dictionary, it's a move which plays a pivotal role in a specific plan.

For example, when your group is being attacked, you need to manage your stones lightly.

In that case, running away blindly won't be good.

If you know tesuji, you can manage your group more effectively.

Today you'll encounter various tesuji.

To begin with, we'll look at vital points.

Vital points are closely related to tesuji.

Look at this position. How would you defend black's group with one move?

This move is the answer.

After this, black can move out with as much freedom as possible.

Next, let's look at this one.

When you have three stones in a row, the one space jump from the center is a vital point.

What if it's white's turn to play?

If white plays here, black needs to defend his cutting point.

Black's forced to make an empty triangle, which is a bad shape.

So black's shape collapses.

Because of that, this point is vital.

This situation is quite similar. The vital point is here.

After this move, the cutting point is exposed.

To connect his groups, black has to make a bad exchange, like this.

His group is floating without any eye shape.

Therefore, black has to play at the center of three stones.

Let's look at another example.

This black stone is in atari.

Even if the ladder favors white, this ponnuki should be played as quickly as possible.

After this, black can't exploit his cutting stone anymore.

If white omits this move, black could play a ladder breaker later.

If white captures now, she doesn't need to worry about fighting in the center later on.

With the ponnuki, white's group is stable.

Let's look at the last one.

If you were black, you'd want to strengthen this group.

Where would the vital point be?

As you can see, this tiger's mouth is the answer.

This move weakens white's stone, while defending the group.

What if white plays here?

This stone becomes stronger, and white can connect with this hane later.

What about black's group?

It became a lot weaker. If black pushes, white can hane without reservations.

Black will have to spend several moves to rescue this group.

Therefore, this move is essential in this position.

We've just looked at some common vital points.

This kind of jump can be a vital point.

Or this ponnuki can be one too.

And the tiger's mouth is often a vital point.

I hope you'll keep such patterns in mind while studying tesuji!

Now let's explore other tesuji.

We're going to learn about 'sacrifice' today.

Sacrificing stones is very important in Go.

However, many people are reluctant to give up stones, and fail as a result.

Today we'll learn how to sacrifice stones effectively.

Here are some examples.

Let's look at the bottom right first. White cut here, to capture black's two stones.

How about playing here to save them?

To save them, black has to keep pushing like this.

Black has to play on second line, while white jumps out, isolating this group.

A fight will begin now.

However, you need to be aware of how weak black's groups are.

You shouldn't complicate the situation by saving these stones.

Instead, sacrificing is important in this case.

After this atari, black's next move is crucial.

This atari isn't good.

Instead, you need to sacrifice one more stone like this.

You have to remember this move, because it's very useful.

How should white capture these stones?

If white pushes here, black will hane.

White has to cut, then black can counter-atari and fight in some cases.

In the previous variation, black's groups were weak.

But, in this case, white's group looks very heavy.

Because of that, pushing isn't a good idea.

If white captures like this, black can squeeze white.

So white should kosumi here instead.

Then black attaches and squeezes like this.

By capturing these three stones, white gets some points.

On the other hand, black gains influence sacrificing.

This is a good example of sacrificing.

Let's look at another one.

Black cut here, to split white into two groups.

How should white manage this situation?

This atari is what black wants.

After this push, white has to jump here, to rescue her other group.

Since black successfully separated white, he can connect here.

Or, capturing this stone is also good.

So black can fight effectively with white's two groups.

That's the main intention of the cut.

Have you ever heard the Go term 'empty ladder'?

Because of this black stone, the ladder doesn't work for white.

In this case, white should play here, as if making a net.

If black cuts like this, white can capture black's stones in a ladder.

So black has to move out here, to rescue his stone.

Even though it's not a ladder, white can drive black like this.

Because of the ladder, black still can't play here.

This is the only way to escape for black.

After that, white can keep pushing.

Black can't separate white anyway.

Inevitably, black has to capture these two stones.

After this atari, white can defend her cutting point.

Black's initial plan was to fight.

However, he only gained a few points by capturing two stones.

In contrast, white developed solid influence on the outside.

White's stones were well sacrificed.

Let's look at the move again.

In this situation, this move is a wonderful sacrifice tesuji!

Look at the top left corner.

Do you remember this shape?

This shape arises from a 3-4 point one space low pincer.

White's supposed to connect after cutting black.

But she ataried and blocked.

White might also extend here instead.

How would you respond?

Do you remember this cut and atari?

What if white extends like this?

The answer is the same. Black has to cut here first.

With this combination, black can manage his other group effectively.

After white captures this stone, black can play a tiger's mouth.

If white tenukis, black will exchange this move and extend here.

After that, this throw-in is a tesuji, so it's a two stage ko.

Therefore, white needs to spend another move here.

Up to here, black's managed his group very effectively in sente.

Instead of sacrificing, how about capturing this stone?

Black can survive in the corner.

He's made a few points there, but these two cutting stones will die.

Some people might ask whether these stones can't be saved.

If black plays like this, he can escape.

Then black can rescue his stones with this atari.

But black's made several bad exchanges.

So white will sacrifice her stones instead.

What's the best way of sacrificing these stones?

Well, to be honest, this is good enough.

However, there's a better move here.

How about this hane?

Let me highlight this move, because it's a good one.

If black just captures, white can enclose this area perfectly.

Compared to the previous variation, it's better for white.

This whole area is blocked off.

How about coming out like this then?

Black can capture one more stone like this.

But, after these exchanges, white can defend here.

Since black doesn't have a good way to escape, white should choose this variation.

Saving the corner isn't good, because white will enclose the cutting stones.

Therefore, black has to atari and sacrifice his stones instead.

By giving up those stones, black can get a better position.

Let's look at the last example.

Black has a weakness here.

After white defends herself, some cutting points are exposed.

How should black remove that weakness?

You might consider this connection on first inspection.

How do you like this? Is it good enough?

No, there's a better move.

In this case, you need to make good use of this stone.

To do this, you should move this stone out, like this.

White has no choice but to come out too. Then black has a nice move.

With these moves, black can block off the corner more effectively.

Black sacrificed one more stone.

But the corner has been arranged very neatly.

This is another example of sacrifice.

This example is similar.

By enclosing here, white can sacrifice her two stones.

By exploiting this cutting point, black can get a good position on the outside.

These are all good sacrifice strategies.

Let's investigate other examples!

This time, we'll look at a more advanced sacrifice.

These two stones are dead now.

If black cuts and extends, white will push here.

This atari is of no use because of this counter-atari.

Black can't capture this stone.

So black has to extend here.

After that, white can capture these two stones.

However, by fully exploiting these stones, black can harass white.

Where's the tesuji in this situation?

It's here.

After this move, white's in trouble.

If white connects here, black cuts and captures white in a ladder.

Even if the ladder favors white, black can use a ladder breaker instead.

If white answers here, then push.

White has no choice but to capture these two stones.

If white tries to get out, black will connect and rescue his two stones.

So capturing these stones is inevitable.

By capturing white's stone, black got many points on the outside.

With this sort of tesuji, you can exploit your dead stones!

Can white resist somehow?

This attachment is a bit tricky.

If you cut immediately, it will be the same as if you cut here at the beginning.

In this case, you need to push here.

White is forced to capture these two stones.

If white doesn't kill these stones, black will connect and rescue them.

So white has to atari here.

Then black ataris.

This is even better than the previous variation!

Let's look at that tesuji again.

It's in the middle of white's position.

By exploiting white's weaknesses, you can gain a lot of profit!

1 Minute Summary

We've been looking at sacrifice tesuji today.

Good sacrifices will trouble your opponents.

If you only focus on saving your stones, you'll need to work hard.

In contrast, sacrificing is often simple and easy.

Therefore, sacrificing is just as important as rescuing your groups!

Generally speaking, tesuji are helpful for you and troublesome for your opponents.

I hope you'll remember the basic tesuji patterns we learned today.

I'll be back next time with more interesting tesujis!

Thank you!

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