Category Archives: Problems

[problem] White to play and live… correctly this time…

So this is a little problem that came up in my game… it is actually really simple, but my opponent made a mistake; granted, I made a follow up mistake to his mistake, and he followed up with a mistake that ultimately let me kill it anyway. In the actual game it didn’t make a difference whether it lived or not, but it was an interesting review of our mutual stupidity.

Black to play and kill
White to play and live

[Problem] Black to save the day… and my game (in retrospect)

This is a problem that came up in a 9 stone handicap game I was playing on DGS. I ended up resigning after I misread this life and death situation, as ended up being behind by too much… But afterwards I looked it over again, I wonder if there is a way to save these stones. The situation is simple, save the square marked stones after white plays their marked stone (red triangle); it’s black’s move.

흑수활... Black to play and live
흑수활… Black to play and live

This actual problem looks simple to me… but somehow I just can’t figure it out… Where is Batman when you need him…

Note: at request, here is the sgf file of the actual game

[Problem] Black to play and… get a pae for mutual life

Update: the 2d in question who played this game with The Kibitzer informed me that some key information is missing… The stones to the left that I didn’t capture in my snapshot of the position are relevant, as the crux is that J1 and K2 would be seonsu [선수; sente]… I’ll admit that I have no clue what that entails, but there you have it… A DDK should not be trusted to take a picture of a local position on a board :p

Black to play… and barely save his stones

This problem was happened on the same day as the other one I posted a few days ago. This wasn’t in my game, but a game between The Kibitzer 3d and a 2d… At the review, we spent probably 40 minutes or so on this particular position. The question was whether Black could save the marked stones or not… In this particular case, we ended up spending a lot of time looking at the possibilities after White plays A.

If White doesn’t play A, and plays somewhere else, life should be possible (I think); yet the question whether life for Black  is possible after A is a debate that went way over my head – I know I’m kinda short, but still, that was some high flying baduk… After variation after variation after variation, the semi-conclusion was reached that Black could force a pae [패; ko] for mutual life… I have no clue how, as the variations went too fast for me, but in the end The Kibitzer said he’d stake his rank as a 3d on it – which prompted his opponent to remark that ad hoc demotions on the ranking system are possible… In the diagram above I didn’t include the rest of the board, as it should be possible locally…

So… Anyone want to try bump The Kibitzer down to 1d? Black to play and force a pae for mutual life

P.S.: I actually managed to make the Black stones live! After which the two dan players remarked, with smirks on their faces, that my solution was based on White making a dumb mistake.

[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 [빅; 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.