Weekly Go problems: Week 13

Here are the weekly Go problems for week 13.

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

Easy Go problem


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Intermediate Go problem


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Hard Go problem


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. Nice Problems. I found the solution of the hard one although I cannot read it out. The other two are easy to me. Thanks David!

    • David Ormerod says:

      Even if you couldn’t read it out the first time, try again and imagine the solution and the variations on the board, now that you’ve seen it. It’s good practice.

  2. Thanks for the screenshots David! Awesome! I can easily get the first two, but the hard… That’s hard! I’ll have to borrow Yi Ch’ang-Ho’s Life and Death books!


    • David Ormerod says:

      No problem Ruben, thanks for the idea of adding the extra pictures. It didn’t take that much longer to do :). I hope to eventually have those Lee Changho life and death books in the book shop. We’ll be adding books gradually.

  3. Doug Melville says:

    Not sure what the problem with the Hard variation is, there are several different ways to kill the white group. I haven’t even bothered with the ‘correct’ variation. Push at R1 is quite adequate if followed up with P1? Looks like P2 kills as well (with Ko)

    • David Ormerod says:

      Doug, you’re right. There are a few ways to kill white with a ko. Can you find a sequence to kill white outright, without allowing a ko? That’s the challenge here.

      • Doug melville says:

        I reckon R1 unconditionally kills white. But P1 followed by N1 also should do it..?

        • David Ormerod says:


          What sequence do you think kills white?

          R1, Q1, P1, P2 – ko
          R1, Q1, P2, O2, M1, N1, M3 – ko
          P1… then any of R1, P2 or Q1 all lead to various sorts of ko at best. I’m not sure which move you expected for white’s response.

  4. Doug melville says:

    M1 followed by O1 (and then R1) is also unconditionally dead? There seem to be quite a few moves where white unconditionally dies…

    • David Ormerod says:

      Doug, it’s hard for me to follow your train of thought. If you could please say what the full sequence of moves you’re talking about is, it would be easier for me and other readers to understand.

      • Doug Melville says:

        I saw R1, then the response at Q1, P1 Atari, and extend to O1.

        But if you really want to kill then probably best sequence is N1, [M1] is forced, P1 [R1], M3, [N2], then join at O1, [Q1] is forced, then extend to P2 kills.

        • David Ormerod says:

          In your variation, how about white plays Q1 at P2 instead then? After that, if black plays Q1, it looks like a seki to me.

          • Doug Melville says:

            yep – but there are a lot of variations. consider R1 then P2. the extend then gives a dead three shape. O2, N2, M3 and throw back at O2 to kill.

  5. Problem 1 is easy, it is the textbook example of easy. The end positions of problems 2 and 3 are interesting when you compare them…

    There seem to be quite some possibilities in problem 3, but I had to infer they were wrong because the variation ended there and then. I rather see the refutation of these moves. The correct solution is really nice, but it seems a bit random when you think other moves do the job too.

    I think this problem section is wonderful, to encourage one to be active, not to just look. The hard ones are really nice.

    Kind regards,

    • David Ormerod says:

      Maybe I did need to add a few more variations this week Paul. I’m glad you’re still enjoying the problems anyway and staying involved with Go :).

  6. There are some very complex variations involved which make I could not read the problem fully. I saw the fact that moves on the xth line invite a ko, so the first move was not too difficult. Then based on problem 2 I could find the main line, but I thought another line worked too until playing it out proved to give damezumari. Interesting problem!

    • David Ormerod says:

      I’m glad the second problem helped you find the right idea :). I’d hoped it would be a subtle hint for some people. It always amazes me how there can be so much complexity in such a small space in Go. When you look at problem 3, your gut tells you it should be able to be killed, but proving it is something else.

  7. The hard is almost a variation of the intermediate. Working for the same dead shape.

  8. Hey! I’m kinda new to Go, in fact just started about a month ago. I was looking at the hard problem and doesn’t M1 kill? With what you have it goes M1 N1 M3 L1 R1 Q1 then I said M1 again to have ko, but even if black loses the ko white would fill in and black play O2 to kill?

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, like I said, I’m new to Go. If black has no ko threats it would play O2 O1 P2 and now white can never lose the ko or fill in or else it dies. This means that black kills white, even if not till endgame? If black wins initial ko (I don’t know why they would was the ko threats considering) then white plays O2 instead and black plays P1 which kills. With playing this, from what I can tell, this kills white while possibly tempting them to waste a ko threat. Is there anything wrong with what I’ve said?

    • David Ormerod says:

      Hi Aaron, in your variation above, after you recapture at M1, white would play P2 to live. Black could capture a stone but wouldn’t be able to kill the whole group.

      If black plays atari at P1 instead of your move at M1, white still plays P2 and it’s a direct ko. And if black tries playing P2 first instead, white plays O2 and it’s still ko.

      There’s a way to kill white outright without a ko.

  9. Hi David! rapid question: why the sequence N1 M1 N2 M3 Q1 R1 P1 is wrong? does not lead to a seki as well?
    best regards

    • David Ormerod says:

      Hi Braket,

      You’re right about the sequence you’ve given leading to seki. However, in the main solution black can actually kill white.

      It may look like a seki in the main solution too, but after black makes that triangle shape inside white’s group, he can play at P1 and then Q2 later to atari white. If white captures the five stones, black plays at P1 again and white’s still dead. White doesn’t have a way to stop black from doing that.

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