Weekly Go problems: Week 29

Here are the weekly Go problems for week 29.

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

Easy Go problem

You need to watch your liberties when playing near the corner.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Intermediate Go problem

Similar to last week’s problem, but the roles are now reversed. Note that the ladder favors black.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Hard Go problem

You need an eye and you can’t afford to give white any leeway here.


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.

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  1. Interesting: the less interesting idea turns out to be more promising.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Yes, my feelings were the same, the solution to the third problem looks so pedestrian, but it’s the only move.

  2. The second problem is “inspiring” beacouse leeds you to think correctly.

    About the third one, it’s very difficult for me to realize when a ko is a good result.

    Thanks a lot.

    • David Ormerod says:

      I think you’re not alone in that Damián. I know when I’m playing and I find a ko, I always look for something better and it’s often hard to be completely sure that you haven’t missed something. With problems it’s a little bit easier, but you can still overlook things. Still, ko is better than nothing and all you can do is keep practicing with problems and become more confident in your reading as it improves.

  3. It took me just a matter of seconds to figure out the easy and hard one but I had to download the PDF for the intermediate one after numerous trials. It is amazing how sometimes we are just blind to some obvious moves…

    • David Ormerod says:

      That’s interesting, I guess most of the problems I post here are more contrived, so that everything can be narrowed down to a small number of possible moves and illustrate one or two techniques clearly.

      In real game situations like the second problem though, you have many more choices.

  4. I like this kind of problems, although I not always get the solution in the first try. The hard one solution is surprising. Thanks David.

  5. I understand the easy and the hard problems, but when I went back to medium, I cannot solve it! I thought it would be a regular ladder problem, but I guess not.

    Also, for the hard problem I understand why ko works and everything (got it first try and proud of it), but I more of wondering why it works… It seems to me that sooner or later, white could dominate that area, no matter what.

    • Maybe you can go back to previous week’s medium problem and relate it to this one.

      Black needs to generate enough liberties to capture the corner. The ladder allows him to keep up the pressure while generating those liberties.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Well done AJ :). The ko works because black is also threatening to make a second eye if white prevents the ko. I’m not sure if that was your question though. Have a look at the PDF solution to see some of the other possible variations and let me know if you still have questions. Maybe you’ve thought of another way to play?

  6. Well, first I went R-4, Q-5, O-4, P-6, etc to follow a ladder where white would eventually become tangled up and has no escape, plus loses a lot of stones. I know that only a novice would do that as white, but hey, it works…. kind of.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Generally you don’t want to play out a ladder like sequence unless you know it actually captures the stones, because otherwise you leave a lot of cutting points in your shape. In your sequence for example (I’ve assumed you only wrote the black moves?), white can still cut at R5 or Q6 and black won’t have time to play both, so white will capture some stones in the end.

      In the intermediate problem, black uses the ladder as a threat, that white has to defend against, in order to get as much profit as possible. ‘Real game’ like situations usually aren’t as clear cut as normal problem positions, so it can be confusing.

  7. why does white 8n1 not kill black?