Weekly Go problems: Week 3

Here are the weekly Go problems for week 03.

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. I’m having trouble with the intermediate one… XD

  2. Like week 2, the “hard problem” is more of a “big situation” where the idea is clear but the execution requires 1 specific technical insight. The “intermediate problem” is more of a typical tsumego where you must explore a number of seemingly equivalent options.


    • David Ormerod says:

      Glad you liked them Dieter. How are you finding the different difficulties?

      • Well, I think it’s simply great you go through such effort to publish these problems. They’re spot on. But since you ask:

        Easy: seeing a vital spot + miai. Depth=1, Width=1.
        Intermediate: Checking 3 starting moves and 2 forks. Depth=3, Width=5
        Hard: seeing a vital spot + reading through and overcoming a blind spot. Depth=8. Width=3.

        Based on these parameters the categories are correct. From a 2d perspective the problems are “trivial”, “routine” and “easy”, respectively.

  3. Thanks again for the problems. The number one is not so easy to me. I think it’s a problem from Cho chikun collection right?

    • David Ormerod says:

      That’s right Jangalf. It’s actually quite hard for me to find easy problems without making them myself. I’ve used some from the Cho Chikun collection on Tasuki’s site and added the solutions myself (there aren’t any provided).

      Do you think those problems are too hard?

  4. By the way, what’s the point of calling one of two easy problems “intermediate”? It’s clear that you try to make them a bit different, but to me they feel almost equally easy. It’d be nice if one of them actually required some reading.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Well to me they both seem very easy too, but the easy ones are only supposed to require basic techniques and a little reading. The intermediate ones require a bit more tactical skill. Am I wrong about that? I’m still learning to choose good ones :).

      • I think something like these would be nice as intermediate problem: http://s1.ipicture.ru/uploads/20110915/E9Budp5o.jpg (from Gokyo Shumyo)
        These problems require a bit of reading and a bit of imagination, good contrast with simple L&D in easy problem. And not as hard as last one.

        • David Ormerod says:

          Hmm, I see your point. Maybe the problem is that the easy ones are too hard though? It’s difficult to please everyone with just three problems…

          • Yeah, I understand that you spend a lot of time trying to find fitting problems for site. But if people want to do a lot of easy problems, they can download, say, Cho Chikun’s enc., and go through it repeatedly. I believe there’s not much point to publish boring problems, better find something interesting, tricky, something that requires imagination and delights you when you find the feat. Then people will get interested and start to do some problems themselves more often, and that will be real help in their improvement.
            By the way, I can share with you my problems folder via dropbox ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dropbox_%28service%29 ), if you send me your email. I have a bit of rare problems which may be interesting.

            • David Ormerod says:

              Yes, though I can imagine people putting that argument the other way round too. Strong players can buy Go books and usually already do problems regularly.

              I’ll email you about the problems. Thanks Flandre.

  5. David, The problems are very good and interesting, and the level is good too. I only mentioned the Cho chikun because I was not sure the problem’s origin. More problems!

  6. Thanks again.

    These give me good practice in counting liberties while reading x_x (and capturing stones in my reading. Not doing so somehow left me puzzled at the intermediate one longer than the hard one xD)

    To me there is a significant difference between the intermediate and the easy one. I do the easy one in a matter of seconds, and the past intermediate ones took a bit of reading :S

  7. Gotta love double damezumari ;-). You don’t often see them in games, so I was chuffed when I managed to create one here: http://www.online-go.com/games/board.php?boardID=271718. After t10 black can make an eye at t11 so you might think he’s alive, but he’s in double damezumari so can’t atari from either side, so is dead.

  8. Very nice problems, quite entertaining, as even the easy one makes you look for a short while. The hard problem is always very interesting, the end result of this one is quite cute.

  9. You were right about different blind spots David.

    The first problem took me longer than byo-yomi time to solve.
    The second problem I screwed up terribly. When something is presented as a go problem I look for a trick, but for that problem playing naturally was sufficient.
    The third problem I got right after a good deal of thinking, but not the variation that was coded in. I played G2 F2 G3 G4 G1 which is a different move order that’s also correct.

    • No, your last move is mistake. W cuts H5 and kills 5 stones. Hane is important here.

      • Oh no! I completely missed that. You’re right. The H5 cut should be coded in though.

        • David Ormerod says:

          Thanks, I added some more variations to the hard problem. Up until now I’ve actually been putting a lot more variations in the easier problems, because I thought the people doing the hard ones wouldn’t need as much feedback.

          I’ve realized now that that wasn’t a great assumption though, because it seems like everyone wants to try all of them and the problems are there to teach :).

          • Honestly, I missed this variation because the solution was such a 1-way street. The variation shows how well this problem is crafted.

    • First thought is
      B G2, W G3, B F2, W takes sente
      White has already lost the three stones, why give the other two?

  10. Keep up the good work. Don’t try to please everyone, stay true to your original intention. It’s never easy to put an objective difficulty level on a go-problem without a large statistical sample. But even that can’t change the fact that terms like “easy” are subjective.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks for the good advice Charlie. I think you’re right and it reminds me of Aesop’s fable about the man, the boy and the donkey.

  11. For me I find intermediate problem a little bit too easy: i didn’t think a single moment about rescuing the stone at the left side, and with that assumption the correct variation is clear enough to see.

    Hard problem was fun (as always). Thank you very much.

  12. Had a little trouble with Hard, but after solving realized -how simple-.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Hi Michael, I haven’t seen you for awhile. It’s one of those problems that’s simple after you’ve found the solution and not before ;).

  13. Since white can not save all the stones, why not just connect the upper 2 above B1? Save the rest for ko threat?

    • David Ormerod says:

      Hi Larry, you’re right of course. In a real game white would definitely not play that way and lose all those stones :). The solution’s given in the way it is just to make sure people have read the problem out completely. If people are strong enough to read the whole problem and know how white should play, then I think they shouldn’t need my solutions anyway.

  14. Nice problems for a kyu player. I made a mistake in the easy problem, and then solved the next two problems. I guess I was just lazy with the first one. I really like the third problem.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Good job getting the third one Rodney. See what happens when you start paying attention? I like that problem too, it’s the sort of stylish manoeuvre that calls to mind the phrase “Bond, James Bond” ;).

  15. Nguyen Le Anh Duc says:

    Hard: G2 F2 G3 G4 F1 H2 G1 😀