[Problem] Black to play and win

Yesterday’s club evening produced two very interesting problems, they went way over my head at first, but the discussion was really interesting; we went over them both for a very long time. The first one was essentially black to play and win; in the second black could not live, but could force a pae [패; ko] for bik [λΉ…; seki]. I still have to wrap my head around the latter, so I’ll post it some other time.

So the first one, while locally only problem for life, was essentially a problem that would decided the board. This came up in a teaching game I played with a 3d at the club, I had some additional advice from a 2d and a 3d (the latter one being “The Kibitzer“) through the game, which was really beneficial. Then this came up…

After white plays E2; Black to play and win.
Black to play and win

I could not for the life of me see how to make this work… Black looked very dead after White played the marked stone at E2. And essentially, while White is behind, if that entire Black group is dead, White would take the game, while if Black kept it alive, White would be seriously behind… But when I looked at it, E2 turned D3 into a false eye, and to make two eyes in the corner, I needed two moves; but if I played one, white would play the other… I was about to give up, but The Kibitzer would have non of it! He kept insisting there is a way for Black to live, and he needed to drop a few more hints before I managed to even grasp where the solution is. Even then, it took me a long time to find the right sequence of moves (all the while the dan players around me had smirks on their faces). But in the end I made the right moves… So… Black to play and win… I don’t have a price for the right solution, but give it a go – and if dan players would kindly refrain from kibitzing, I’m sure they would see it immediately.


6 thoughts on “[Problem] Black to play and win”

    1. BG2 WG3 then BE1/D1 can’t see any significant difference. Either way W either chooses the capturing race she can’t win, or lets white get eyes in the corner. I guess D1 first is a clever way of “trapping” white into making the wrong move on instinct.


  1. It looks pretty dead to me – the only thing I can see is the placement tesuji at G2 but I don’t think that’s enough to live. I’ll be interested in hearing the solution! πŸ™‚


    1. Middle SDK here chiming in. The G2 placement from flakeman2 looks critical, but it can’t do the job on its own. The combination with descending to D1 (one of the two moves needed for life) is the key. Either move first is sente. White must respond to keep his 2 stone group from being cut off. D1 is better because if you lead with G2 it has to be sacrificed.

      If White is greedy and ignores the first move to try and deny Black eyes in the corner the combination of D1 and G2 will leave White with one eye on the right and no way to win the semai with black’s group – epic fail.


      1. Yes! by decending to D1, either White allows Black to live in the corner, or lose their own group… Either way Black lives, and maintains the lead on the board… The proper sequence is B D1, W B1, B G2, W G3, then it becomes a capture race…


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