Weekly Go problems: Week 113

Here are the weekly Go problems for week 113.

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

Easy Go problem

It’s easy to trap stones near the edge of the board, but you need to watch your own liberties too.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Intermediate Go problem

Capturing races play a role in life and death problems too.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Hard Go problem

Once upon a time, I showed this problem to a 7d who was sharing accommodation with me at a Go tournament. He lay awake all night, confounded by it.

The next morning, he burst out of the door jubilantly (still half dressed) announcing “I’ve fixed the problem.” Indeed he had, but he didn’t play as well as usual in the tournament that day…

You can solve this problem too, if you avoid jumping to conclusions.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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 is a Go enthusiast who’s played the game for more than a decade. He likes learning, teaching, playing and writing about the game Go. He's taught thousands of people to play Go, both online and in person at schools, public Go demonstrations and Go clubs. David is a 5 dan amateur Go player who competed in the World Amateur Go Championships prior to starting Go Game Guru. He's also the editor of Go Game Guru.

You can follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.


  1. Hi David,
    i liked the hard problem! and the hidden tournament trick also πŸ™‚

  2. Guillaume says:

    The hard one is nice, I like the intermediate one too!
    Never thought this weekly go problems would go on for so long at the begining!
    So many thanks to you!

    • David Ormerod says:

      Neither did we Guillaume, to begin with it was just a suggestion from a reader which we decided to try.

  3. Hi David,

    Your anecdote raises an interesting question, namely how much are strong players able to think about a complex Go problem without a board or image in front of them? Any comments? Thanks for the problems!

    • David Ormerod says:

      Hi Andy,

      It depends a bit on the size and complexity of the position you’re trying to picture. However, speaking for myself, it’s not that hard to picture a position that’s isolated to one corner or edge of the board and work through it in your head. I know other players can do this too.

      For me, I sometimes replay pro games, or review games I’ve played, in my head when I can’t sleep at night. However, sometimes after the game becomes too complicated I lose focus on the whole board. It doesn’t really help with sleep either :).

      There’s a Chinese pro called Bao Yun who’s famous for being able to play Go blindfolded. On a 9×9 board, I guess it’s similar to playing chess blindfolded, but Bao Yun can play blind on 19×19 and still beat reasonably strong players.

      There are also special Go sets for blind people. There’s a blind player called Pierre Audouard in France and I heard he’s about 5 dan.

      Younggil played against a strong amateur blind player from Japan on one of those special boards. when the person who makes them and his blind friend visited a couple of years ago. Younggil was blindfolded too. I couldn’t be there at the time, but I remember Younggil mentioned that he lost at least one of those games because he got distracted and forgot where his stones were :).

  4. and once again the immediate problem is harder than the “hard” problem.

    • David Ormerod says:

      That’s strange. The hard problem is very difficult for most players. I’ve even shown it to pros who had to think about it for minutes.

      In contrast, the intermediate problem seems to me to be something that a strong amateur player would solve in about 5-10 seconds (or even less).

  5. thanks for the problems David!

  6. Perhaps the hard one is easier to solve by “trial and error” but the intermediate one is quite solvable by reading alone, because the first two moves by Black are ordinary and the third one can be found by looking at White’s response to the more ordinary attempts. So it’s all common sense and reading.

    The hard problem is difficult to solve by reading alone, because you need to visualize moves “under the stones” and then understand the reason why the first move would be that awkward move you’d never think of intuitively.

    So I fully agree with the choice of complexity here.

    • bobiscool says:

      This is the second time where I’ve been stuck on the intermediate problem for a long time, and so I read the comments, and BAM dieter’s comments help me solve the problem immediately. thanks.

  7. Simon Van Bockstal says:

    I really liked this week’s intermediate problem. Thanks for the problems πŸ™‚

  8. This week’s Intermediate/Hard problems are some of my all-time favorites.

    • David Ormerod says:

      I’m glad you liked it Henry. It’s not to hard to memorize the shape, so hopefully you can have fun puzzling other players with it from time to time too πŸ˜‰

  9. 6kyu here: I got the first one and the second first try. The hard one totally stumped me, (so after ten minutes I downloaded the SGF – without which I would be even more insane.) Thank you for these puzzles.

  10. Approximately how many times have you showed complex go problems to tournament competitors like that, David? he he

  11. Anonymous says:

    I found the easy problem the hardest!!

    All right, I am being a bit less than honest: the issue was the last move – should it be at q6 or P1? They are both marked correct, but one is surely better.

    In the end I think Q6 is better because although it leaves one more ko threat it is points losing, while assuming black tenukis a ko threat here but then takes sente after finishing the ko (i.e. black just gets 2 moves in a row here), the connection at O6 is much better with Q6 on the board – while if white gets 3 moves here the black’s position is such a mess that the damezumari created by Q6 after white cuts at o6 seems a minor consideration.

    Maybe this seems a small detail, but I have seen a pro title match won on the basis of a slightly smaller ko threat being left (Iyama) precisely because of accurate play in this kind of position.

    I hope that makes some kind of sense! πŸ™‚

  12. Oops, not logged in. That last comment was me.

    I think those kind of details could make quite good problems, if people don’t find them too dull…