Weekly Go problems: Week 128

Here are the weekly Go problems for week 128.

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

Easy Go problem

This week’s problems are all about shortage of liberties.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Intermediate Go problem

We looked at this tesuji once before. Capturing White requires a delicate move order.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Hard Go problem

Sometimes I feel guilty because I don’t care whether my stones live or die, only that I’ve made them all work hard beforehand!


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. Hard problem another nice one. I got ko first time 🙁
    …but I learned something 🙂

  2. For the hard problem, would m1, m2, n1 also work? The problem says wrong, but I found it to be a clean kill.

    • M1 then N1

      • Younggil An says:

        Yes, right. Black M1, W M2, B N1 is a very good moves, and White is dead.

        White should play at N1 instead of M2, and the result would be a ko. Thanks for the quick answer Mark, and we’ll correct the variation.

  3. Noam Taich says:

    Very nice problems.
    I think leaving out the variation where white tries for J1 after blacks H3 is a bit of a loss. (Intermediate problem),
    In my opinion its a nice variation on the same theme.

    Very nice problems. But I always liked liberty shortages…

    • Younggil An says:

      That’s a very good idea of White J1 after Black H3. I didn’t think about that, but that move seems to be trickier than the main variation of the problem.

      • Noam Taich says:

        It definitely seems more difficult than the main line, but still works for black, and using the same theme… (unless my reading is wrong, which is quite possible… According to my reading black has to jump to the first line as well there)

        But I wonder, shouldn’t the main variation of a problem include the toughest resistance by the opponent to be considered the main variation?

        I mean, this is more of a terminology question, since all variations need to be checked, of course, but could a weaker resistance be called a main variation of a problem? doesn’t that make the whole concept of “main variation” a bit less meaningful if it contains weaker moves?

        • Younggil An says:

          Yes, I agree that it should contain the tough variations like that.

          White’s responses in the problem are common, but J1 is exceptional.

          As you mentioned, the result would be similar to the original variation, but I can still say J1 was very nice!

      • Well J1 is indeed a tough resistance, and I for one could not see how to deal with it

        Finally the best solution to I could find to J1 and is B J2 , as I managed to refute H2 and B H1 transpose to the same sequence below. However in the end I could only reach a Ko as follows:

        My reading of one sequence after B J2 is W H2 B H1 W J3 B K1 W F1 B G3 W K2 B C1 and ko with white taking first …

        Strangely my refutation for B H2 as response to J1 involved a sequence where B cuts L3 later in the sequence to no avail after W sacrifices the K3 stone but H2 could work for B if there was a black stone at p3 or whereabouts …

        • Younggil An says:

          Thanks Gil for the further sequence.

          If White plays J1, Black will attach at J2, W H2, B F1, W G1, B C1 to capture White’s four stones. Actually, F1 is easy to miss out, so this variation is quite tough for Black to manage.

          As you researched, Black H2 as response to J1 doesn’t work well, so the best solution for Black is to capture White’s four stones as I said above.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yeah, I certainly missed B F1, after W H2 , my bad, and thanks for your replies, it only helps to be enlightened …
            What is interesting, and also the reason I missed F1, is that when checking the W responses To B J2, I saw that if that if W K1 then B H1 is good for B but F1 Fails, and if W H1 then B K1 (or B C1) are good for B but F1 fails . Again move order rules !
            Anyway I definitely could not have read those variations in a game situation, but I enjoy exploring them offline and I feel the whole W J1 variations tree discussed above certainly upgrades this to the hard problems level, very nice 🙂

            • Younggil An says:

              No worries Gil.

              As I said before, it’s tricky to find that move because of the move order is confusing and distracting.

              I agree that the variations from White J1 would upgrade to the hard problem. 🙂

        • Noam Taich says:

          First of all, disregarding transpositions, in your line – B J2 W H2 B F1 (instead of H1) and white is captured in continuous atari 🙂

          • Younggil An says:

            Yes, that’s not easy to see quickly, but the variations from White J1 is interesting, isn’t it? 🙂

  4. M1 N1 O1… White still dies.

    • Younggil An says:

      Thanks for your opinion Daurak.

      After Black M1, W N1, B O1, White will play at M2, B N2, W L1 and the result would be a ko.

      By the way, Black N1 was very good after Black M1 for White M2.

  5. That is a practical intermediate problem – especially you show even difference between playing E4 instead of F4 (the first move to connect black stones). Thx!


    • Younggil An says:

      Yes, that was a nice problem. The sequence of the intermediate problem is instructive I think.

  6. Well,in order to become proficent you have to become a devious thinker,steal the eyes,then kill the group as soon as you can.If you think to hard of the different ways you could get caught up in complicating the goal.Steal then kill,sounds gruesome.Once I played a high level master and all he would do was laugh and yell at me”you die” “you die”.In then end it was seriously funny,he was a grand master.

  7. Michael Sullivan says:

    The intermediate problem is very instructive, but I am not sure the line given works. At 8, you have white playing h1 and being captured by a nice throw-in and shortage sequence, and above there is discussion about j1 leading to more difficult variations. My instinct as white in looking at this variation was to play j2, and I cannot as black figure out how to prevent white from connecting after j2. What is the correct line for black after white plays j2 instead of h2 in the correct sequence?

    • Noam Taich says:

      That just fails instantly to the simplest reply – B h2, W h1, B c1, and you can verify that white is captured in continuous atari 🙂
      no tricks, no throw ins…

      but the j1 variations probably, as was mentioned above, make it a hard problem 🙂

  8. Michael Sullivan says:

    I am also struggling to find the correct response in the j1 tree to b j2, w h1. Another commenter suggested that either c1 or k1 works, but I am not finding it the continuation. In each case I try white has just enough liberties to connect and escapes. The best I’ve been able to do after a white connect at f1 is to force an escape from white’s net with the floating black stones after white connects out.

  9. Michael Sullivan says:

    Noam: obvious to you and others I guess, but my head kept wanting the throw-in at f1 which turns out to help connect instead of hurt in that variation.

    For my second question, now I see the shortage of liberties after c1, f1, k1, k2, g2!

    This is a very hard line to read, i strongly doubt I would find this at the board.

    • Noam Taich says:

      Clarification – by “obvious” I mean no special tactics (throw ins, other sacrifices, under the stones or any other special tactics).
      Not that it’s super-easy for everyone 🙂 I’m quite sure it is not, and I might often miss those, usually because I can sometimes get too focused on “special” moves 🙂 )

    • Noam Taich says:

      Also – the j1 line in the intermediate problem would indeed, as some others here mentioned, make it a hard problem.

      I would definitely miss it over the board.
      Most of the time.
      The main reason is that I might actually not assume there could be a way to capture white there… So I wouldn’t try too hard.

      • Younggil An says:

        That’s a nice to see the discussions with questions and answers.

        I agree to Noam that it’s hard to see in the real game because you wouldn’t try very hard to find the right move.

        In your own game, you might wonder if there’s a very good move or not, and many cases, there’re no good moves because you already missed out something nice. And also, the position of stones are different from the books or in the problems and your previous thinking and reading can distract you to read the new lines.

        That’s why even top players make simple mistakes I guess. 🙂