Weekly Go problems: Week 34

Here are the weekly Go problems for week 34.

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

Easy Go problem

It’s important to take care of your own shape when attacking.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Intermediate Go problem

Black is on the verge of collapse. The first move is crucial.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Hard Go problem

This is a cake that Jing made. Can you eat all the white stones? And more importantly, do you like white chocolate?

Go problem cake that Jing made.


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. Sorry, I cannot eat the whole cake : (

    Can you David? : )

  2. I remember the hard one from, I think, Cho’s tsumego encyclopedia. First time I ever solved it in a few seconds 😀 The others were easy this time, too \o/

  3. I had no clue for the hard one this time 🙁
    All three problems are brilliant. Thanks!

    • David Ormerod says:

      The second move isn’t easy to see, because it looks a bit stupid. Glad you enjoyed them A.L.

  4. Hey!!!!!!!! I could resolve it all! The intermediate is realy great. I found two alternative solutions before the best one.

    Thanks a lot!

  5. I don’t know why, but I see these problems as intricate little machines. After solving them, most of the time, and sometimes after some trial an error, the real joy is to find out why the right moves work in the correct solution, and don’t in the incorrect variations. The subtle differences, like filled in liberties or space, or lack of liberties, make it small, elegant masterpieces to me. Thank you for these special moments.

    Kind regards,

    • David Ormerod says:

      You’re welcome Paul. There’s so much subtlety in Go and it’s something I enjoy too. Sometimes I think whole books could be written about things like ‘how to connect’.

  6. Vladimir Levin says:

    The second problem is Janice Kim’s “Alien Symbol.” 🙂 I knew that must be the answer even without being able to read out the whole sequence. The last problem is a very interesting an unusual shape! It was nice to see a difficult problem that wasn’t about being able to read out lengthy sequences but rather one which tested one’s ability to understand eye shape. It certainly looked unsolvable to me at first blush, what with 2 eyes basically right there!

    • David Ormerod says:

      I guess it does resemble the ‘alien symbol’, though I didn’t think of it like that. It’s good to be able to sense the vital point like that.

      And regarding the third problem, yes, Go isn’t all about reading ;).

  7. Haha! The third problem is definitely one of those mind blowers again. And yet it’s all in the proverb!

    • David Ormerod says:

      Which proverb were you thinking of Dieter?

      – First reduce eyespace from the outside?
      – Strange things happen at the 1-2 point?
      – Go is move order?
      – Or the one about eating cake? 😉

      Hmm, maybe some Go proverbs are too generally applicable…

  8. Leonid Entin says:

    Couldn’t solve the hard problem in a reasonably short time, which didn’t happen to me for quite a while, but was really enthralled by the winning move. In the intermediate problem the solution labeled “almost correct” seems to be considerably worse than the best one. B still doesn’t have two firm eyes and are prone to attack at C-1 if W gets stronger on the outside.

    • David Ormerod says:

      You’re right Leonid, the other variation doesn’t leave black with very good eyeshape. I decided to mark it as ‘mostly correct’ anyway because most important thing is to find the tesuji on move 1 and 3. Maybe I’m being too soft on people ;)?

  9. balakirev says:

    Wow, first time I solved any problem other than the easy ones… and I solved the hard one. I don’t understand how it seems some people actually had trouble with this week’s hard problem… it seems so much easier than the normal hard problems, or even the intermediate ones.

    But maybe i just hate problems with a lot of whitespace, too many choices which makes my head big.

    However, I have to admit I would never be able to solve it in an actual game or something… The reason i could solve this was because I knew there was an answer, and that all white stones could be eaten, so all I had to do was to break two eyes at all cost. But normally I’ll probably think it’s alive and won’t do anymore.

    • The hard problem was hard for me because move 3 doesn’t seem to immediately reduce the eyes. It’s a very counter-intuitive move (to me).

    • David Ormerod says:

      Well done balakirev!

      I agree with Dieter, the difficulty comes from the fact that move 3 looks like a bad move, but it’s actually an asking move (to see how white will answer before choosing your next move.