Weekly Go problems: Week 56

Here are the weekly Go problems for week 56.

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

Easy Go problem

Often you have to sacrifice something to gain more.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Intermediate Go problem

These two black stones have just been jumped by four thugs in a back alley. Look for flexible moves that aim to settle things quickly.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Hard Go problem

This is from a pro pair Go game. In the game, black made a misplayed here and resigned. Will you?


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. Um. I think in the easy problem white needs another liberty. As it is, taking an outside liberty works for black.

    • I was considering the first problem and thinking “why we need to sacrifice ?”
      Seems there’s a liberty issue 🙂

    • Maybe it is subtle, about the amount of ko threats?

      • David Ormerod says:

        Thanks for always giving me the benefit of the doubt Paul :).

        The truth is I was just tired and I moved some stones around after making the variations. I was thinking I didn’t want to add the same variations for every liberty filling move on the outside, so I took them away :|.

        Usually when it’s late, I make the hard problem first and the easy one last, because it usually seems to avoid mistakes, but not this time…

  2. Thanks for these beautiful problems David. One question: is There only one correct answer to the intermediate problem? I found the correct very fast but I thought about others that are not level correct. for example: B d4, W f3 and B c6. Why this is bad?

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks Jangalf,

      Your suggested sequence isn’t really bad, it’s just not quite as good.

      After black attaches at C6 in your example, white C7 is good enough. Next if black C5, white B7 and it’s better for white than in the problem.

      Instead of C5, if black B6, white might just tenuki, but there’s also a weakness in black’s shape so white can cut off some stones with D5 later.

      The main variation I showed makes a solid base for black and also maintains some connection to the center.

  3. Easy problem: if B plays T4 S1 T1, W can’t play T2, it’s self atari and Black kills him immediately. So there are 3 possible answers – T4, P1 and S1, and last one is worst for case when speed of removing dead group from the board is important, though it’s better in case of ko fight (2 less ko threats for white).
    I suggest removing Q4 stone, so there will be only 1 answer.
    Intermediate and hard ones are simple but nice.

    • David Ormerod says:

      Yes, I shouldn’t mess around with the initial position after making the variations :(. I’ve fixed it now.

  4. Pros got the last one wrong? In byoyomi? I got that one really quickly this week!

    • David Ormerod says:

      Yes, here’s the game record. It stood out to me because of that, so I filed it away to use as an interesting problem sometime :).

      I think there was a little more to it though. Probably it was during byoyomi, and black was thinking too much about a way to resist white’s plans, but I’m not sure.

      Black might have been concerned about white’s hane at R8 (some time in the future after bT6 in the solution) and the subsequent forcing moves in the center. Since white can cut at H8 in sente, there’s the possibility of an attack later on.

      Also, maybe black was just looking for a place to resign, but I think black could have kept playing.

      • Strange. For me this sort of problem is not really testing reading, it’s just shape/tesuji recognition as once you’ve seen this sort of shape before it’s just a narrow path of standard tesujis. Whereas I actually found the intermediate one harder with its greater number of branches.

  5. Thanks for the hard problem. I like original problems!

  6. Hey David. Fantastic problems as usual, I truly had a tougher time with both the intermediates and harder problems this week, but I just had a simple request of maybe posting why the answer is correct. I sometimes look at the PDF or just think about it and go “That’s not what I would do truly!” Is it possible for you, or someone that knows this well, to write a why. I’m starting to get the how…

    • David Ormerod says:

      Ok, thanks for the suggestion AJ. I’ll try to write a brief note about why it’s correct from now on.

      I’m glad to hear you’re improving :).

  7. The hard one was hard for me and I got it through some T&E.

    The description of the hard problem is probably written even after the easy problem was compiled 😉

    • David Ormerod says:

      In fact it was Dieter :).

      I guess I wanted to emphasize that it was a problem that should be taken seriously. I sometimes get the feeling that many people just click, and if they click right, they tell me it’s too easy. There’s always a lot under the surface though.

      Anyway, I agree that it wasn’t particularly helpful as a clue…

  8. I completely missed the intermediate problem. But it seems to have shifted the gears of my thinking about go significantly.

    • I know what you mean. When trying to solve it I thought: let’s try to be Lee Sedol. Dont’t defend but be flexible, push here and there trying to keep sente, give away stones lightly while leaving aji, and so on. To my surprise, because of it, I had this problem at the first go. It made my moment.

      Kind regards,

      • David Ormerod says:

        Well done Paul. Perhaps you’ll be like Lee Sedol yet ;).

        In seriousness, I’ve found that thinking “what would Lee Sedol do here?” (or any other pro) can help a lot when you’ve played through enough of their games.

        Perhaps there’s a mantra there: WWSD (what would Shusaku do).

    • David Ormerod says:

      I’m glad to hear that Vlad! Thanks :).