Weekly Go problems: Week 119

Here are the weekly Go problems for week 119.

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

Easy Go problem

Simple moves are often best in Go.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Intermediate Go problem

When neither player’s group is in immediate danger, the contest revolves around shape, potential and sente.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Hard Go problem

Sometimes very quiet moves can be deadly.


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. scrwbll19 says:

    The easy problem is good to know for lower ranked players. It is a common situation that I run into frequently.

    The intermediate problem I actually thought was harder than the hard problem.

    The hard problem was really nice. The first step is really key to solving it, but the second to last step had a nice twist to it that was somewhat counter-intuitive. All-in-all, they were really good and beautiful problems. Thank you!

    • David Ormerod says:

      Yes, eventually you get used those common (dead) shapes in the corner, like the one near the end of the hard problem. I agree that they’re counter-intuitive though.

      It’s worth remembering is that, even though the eyespace looks bigger, having a kind of false eye in your shape is usually worse than having a stone where the false eye is. The Go Seigen and Kitani game that Younggil commented last week had a good example of that in the top right: http://gogameguru.com/go-seigen-turns-100-today/

      The intermediate problem is based on a joseki, so some players would have solved it instantly, but maybe it’s not that easy if you’ve never seen the situation before.

      I’ve found that solving joseki like problems can be good, because when the situation comes up in a game you might suddenly recognize it and understand how to play.

  2. jangalf says:

    Thanks for the Problems, David. The hard one is very instructive. How simple moves are often mortals.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks jangalf,

      If you watch people play online, this is exactly the kind of move that people miss all the time. Even strong players (including me sometimes).

      Sometimes you don’t have enough time to read, so you end up making a ko when you could have just captured the corner. This is why I don’t find the fast games that are everywhere online these days very satisfying… 🙂

  3. David do you still teach? I am really new, under 3 weeks.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Hi Aaron,

      Welcome to the world of Go!

      I don’t give one on one lessons, because most of my free time these days is taken up by this website 🙂

      When I was teaching before, it was mostly going to schools and teaching groups (we might do that again one day), or teaching new players at the local Go club.

      What I’d recommend is that you have a look online to see if there are any clubs near you. One starting point would be to find your local Go Association on this page: http://gogameguru.com/links/ and see if they have a list of clubs.

      That page also has a list of Go servers (places where you can play Go online). If you visit one of them and ask for advice in the chat (tell them you’re new) then you might find people who are willing to teach you for free or other beginners you can play games with.

      Depending on where you live, your local club might not have many beginners, so it’s important to play online too and have fun – you don’t want to be losing to very experienced players all the time. However, a local club can be nice because you can learn about the game in person and make new friends.

      If you have trouble finding local players, feel free to email us and we’ll do our best to help you find your nearest club.

  4. Charlie H (2D) says:

    Nice problems! For the hard one, I saw the shape after b5, and after that, the way to kill is natural, but I spent ages with the move order of the first moves trying to force white into it. Very interesting problem.
    For the intermediate one, I solved the problem but have never seen the joseki, nor can I figure out an obvious way to get to that position off hand as there are so many possibilities. Does anyone know the sequence of moves up to that point?

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks Charlie, here’s a link to the joseki (it seems like it might take a little while to load).

      I haven’t seen this pattern in any recent pro games, but I remember seeing it in a few games from the 90s at least.

      Plenty of amateurs might play like this against you too, and this development is mostly the choice of White (in the problem above – colors are reversed in the link). To me, at least, Black gets there by just playing moves that will be logical in most circumstances.

      • Charlie H (2D) says:

        Many thanks, it seems much more intuitive when you see it, I’m actually surprised I hadn’t encountered it before. Another knowledge gap filled thanks to GGG!

  5. hi david, i love this site.

  6. Not casting a single doubt on their honesty, I’m astonished that some people find the hard problem easier than the intermediate one. The depth of my reading is 11 in both cases. However, in the intermediate one the width is 4, while in the hard problem I have 5 alternatives for move 1 already and will easily end up with a width of 20. That’s too hard for me to keep track of, so I had to click and try.

    Perhaps this indicates that I’m a bit stronger in conceptual shapes that involve lightness, initiative and overconcentration, which allows me to prune more aggressively, while I need to read all those J-like shapes and possible sacrifice tactics in the corner with brute force.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Can’t say I disagree with you Dieter, though at this point it’s ceased to surprise me. No matter how hard the problem we post is – even if it’s from Igo Hatsuyoron – someone usually says it’s too easy (I have tested this).

      For a while I was surprised by the number of apparently 7d and pro level players who bothered to read GGG 😉 but now I’ve come to accept that everyone is different. I just do my best to make the problems helpful and don’t worry about it anymore if someone says they’re too easy.

  7. BTW, wouldn’t it be best for White in the intermediate problem to extend at move 4 and then after move 7 (which is labeled as the end of this variation and “correct”) squeeze in sente?

    • Younggil An says:

      That’s a very good idea Dieter. Extending at 4 and squeezing is also possible, and it’s sometimes better than the main sequence. It depends on the situations. 🙂

  8. Hi, I have a question about the second problem. What is the difference between black to play S2 and R2 at the end? Thanks Daniel

    • Younggil An says:

      That’s a good question Daniel.
      If black plays at R2 instead of S2, he’ll lose a couple of points when White plays at S7 later.
      The double tiger’s mouth at S2 is a better shape.