Weekly Go problems: Week 77

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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This problem is heavily based on a similar one that was originally composed by Nakayama Noriyuki 6p – a master of ladder problems.

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


Easy Go problem

This is a situation which occurs very often in real games. You need to find a way to reduce white’s liberties in sente.


Download SGF File (Go Game Record)


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


Intermediate Go problem

Usually black would create a ladder in this sort of situation, but even if the standard ladder doesn’t work, there are other possibilities.


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


Hard Go problem

It might seem like all roads lead to ko, but what you’d really like to do is capture white’s corner…


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. Hello, I saw a variation on the hard problem, i think it works for black but i’m not sure : S3, T4, then white’s only move seems to be S2,and i think black T2 kills next ; if W Q1, B R2,R1,P1 and white can approach,
    if W R1, then B P1 makes R2 a false eye
    In the such a long sequence i may have a mistake ^^

    • David Ormerod says:

      Good question Pok,

      Please correct me if I’ve misunderstood, but I think you’re referring to a variation which I also read, but didn’t end up putting into the solution diagrams.

      Black S3, white S4, bT2, wS2, bS3, wQ1, bE2, wR1. After that, it looks like white could have a shortage of liberties problem, but my conclusion was that T1 and T4 are miai for white.

      In other words, if black plays P1 next (after the sequence above), white can atari with T4 and still has two liberties at R2 and T5. If black plays T5 instead, white can atari at T1 and still has two liberties at P1 and R2.

      Please let me know if that’s not what you meant.

      • Arf im really sorry, the first white move inmy sequence is T3, not S3, that’s change every thing … T_T
        so instead i asked about T3, T4 follow up :/ But …
        I look at what you said too and and actually that is very near the idea : the result is that the white S4 stone you have if blackS3 first is now at T4, so there is the shortage of lib now !
        Finally i see : T3, T4, S3, S2, T2, then it seems white is dead

        Also I am a regular reader of your blog and as it is the 1st time I participate to the forum I just want to thank you for this blog every one can enjoy 🙂

        • David Ormerod says:

          I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying the site Pok 🙂

          In the sequence T3, T4, S3, S2, T2 – white can still play Q1 next, then bR2, wR1, bP1 and I think white can still atari at S4 (liberties at R2 and T5) to live.

  2. Sorry for double-post, i meant w ”cant” approach

  3. I believe I see a variation in the easy problem actually, show me if I’m wrong: Black’s moves: 5A, 3A, E2, and follow up with E1 since white’s stone are possibly dead. White would follow as such: B2 (auto), D2, and tries to get away. Is this possible?

  4. David Ormerod says:

    Hi AJ,

    Sometimes white can escape (or partially escape) with a move along the bottom like you’ve said.

    In this case though, if black starts with A5, after white B2, white can’t lose the capturing race locally. If bA5, wB2, bA3 – white would just take one of black’s liberties (B6 or C6) and white’s winning the capturing race 3 liberties – 2.

    So B2 is the key point in this shape, and black should sacrifice a stone there first. White’s in atari and the only good move for white is capturing B1, but white’s effectively lost a liberty after that, so black A5 next will work.

    After black B2, wB1, bA5, white will lose if she plays A3, as you can see in the solution. However, white can sometimes escape along the edge, like you’ve suggested, with a move like F2 or sometimes E2.

    In that case, black can still atari at A3 next and, because white doesn’t have enough liberties to connect, black will at least capture white’s three cutting stones (B3, B4 and C4). Capturing those three is enough to save black’s isolated stones, so it would still be a good result for black.

    Sometimes white can get a reasonable result by escaping in that way, but I’ve deliberately set this problem up so that that’s not the case here (it keeps things simple).

    That’s kind of a long explanation so let me know whether that answers your question or not 🙂

  5. Intermediate problem is something I occasionally dream about. Somehow I like this belly attachment + loose ladder combination very much, thinking about it whenever I see similar shape. Sadly, it’s not really used much =(
    Hard problem is nice, though I’ve already seen it somewhere, probably in Cho’s Encyclopedia vol.3.

    • David Ormerod says:

      The hard problem is a ‘basic’ corner shape that would likely appear in many problem collections. It can happen after white invades black’s (star point based) knight’s move enclosure at 3-3. White S1 at S2 is the best move (as you likely know Flandre), but S1 is trickier. I think the oldest set of problems it appears in is the Xuanxuan Qijing.

  6. Yo David!
    Do you have the valentine’s day problem for a 19×19 board?

    • David Ormerod says:

      Sorry, I don’t have it so I’d have to make it.

      You should be able to make it on a larger board pretty quickly if you want to. There are only a few variations for that problem. Let me know if you need help.