Weekly Go problems: Week 127

Here are the weekly Go problems for week 127.

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

Easy Go problem

When both players have weak stones, the best moves are usually those that combine attack and defense.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Intermediate Go problem

This shape is the result of a joseki. A lot of players don’t realize that Black can still live in the corner.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Hard Go problem

If you allow White to maximize her eyespace, she’ll live easily.


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. Thanks, David. Nice Problems. The second one was a suprise to me.

  2. First time i noticed. Why is white a “she”?

    • Younggil An says:

      I don’t know why exactly, but I heard that it was the custom in the Western countries?

      Hopefully, somebody will come and explain. 🙂

    • David Ormerod says:

      It’s just a convention. There’s a long debate about it here if you’re interested: http://senseis.xmp.net/?PlayerGender

      From my perspective, it’s helpful because it provides extra clues about which color we’re talking about. It also seems more natural to me. There will, of course, be people who disagree for all kinds of reasons 🙂

      We don’t use this convention when we’re talking about a game played by real players though. In that case we just refer to the players as he or she depending on whether they’re a man or a woman.

    • “She” is a pretty widely used convention in game theory when speaking of “player 2”. First time I encounter it in go but it seems smart to use it.

  3. Nice problems, the hard one in particular.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks Martin, glad to hear you like them. Black has some interesting tesujis in the hard problem.

  4. Which joseki is the Intermediate problem a result of?

    • Younggil An says:

      This joseki is hard to explain here, but Ill try.

      White had 4-4 and Black approaches at F3. W C6, B D2, W G3, B G2, W F2, B G4, W H3, B H2, W E3, B F4, W E2, and Black J3.
      This variation is also a joseki.

    • David Ormerod says:

      It’s this one.

      Black plays at 3-3 later on and this is one possible continuation. White could also play C4 at B4 or B2, but that doesn’t improve things for her (and it’s a whole new problem for another time maybe).

  5. Hard problem is cool. 🙂
    New one to me!

  6. Problem 2, I appreciate the second solution (empty triangle at D3), but (pedant mode on) I feel you left out the tricky variation where white plays at B3, and black needs to descend at D1 to survive without leaving ko aji.

    • David Ormerod says:

      I left it out in the end because it’s a very long digression (with lots of variations) for a first move which is second best anyway. Because of its open nature, this week’s intermediate problem already has way more variations than the hard problem and giving the ko sequence as a refutation would teach people to overplay.

      When I started making these weekly problems, I used to include things like that more often and make comments like ‘also correct’ or ‘almost correct’. However, if you look at some of the old comments on those posts, you’ll see that doing that really seemed to annoy some people. So these days I just write ‘correct’, even if I don’t really think a move is best – as long as it mostly works. I try to add the variations in order of how good they are for Black, so that people who care about small details (usually only stronger players like you anyway) can still think about those differences.

      In other words, the main variation is always composed of what I think are the best moves for Black and we can discuss the pros and cons of the other variations together in the comments 🙂

  7. In fact is it not still ko?

    D3, B3; D1, E4; B2, A2. Or

    D3, B3; B2, D1; C2, B1 and ko unavoidable (if A2, C1 kills).

    • D3, B3; D1, E4; B2, A2 black plays B4

    • Younggil An says:

      Yes, you’re right Hippo.

      The second option was not the best though it’s possible. White can make a ko as you mentioned above, but it’s a bit too extreme and White wouldn’t be able to play in the real game. It’s because White will lose more than White can gain when she wins the ko.

      Anyway, still, the empty triangle isn’t the best, and White can play like that if she has many ko threats. 🙂

  8. Yes, sorry, I should have continued further to be clear.

    D3, B3; D1, E4; B2, A2; B4, A4; B5, B1; C2, E1 with some ko threats interposed.

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks both for the good question and the further sequence.

      Yes right, White can do that only when she has many powerful ko threats.

  9. I found your Website a few weeks ago. Before that, I didn’t bother to find anything Go related on the web. But I have to say, this site really is a gem!
    Thank you so much for your time and work – and I hope to enjoy many more discussions about our shared passion : )