Sunday Problem #80

Published 12 Dec 2021 by antti (last edited 15 Feb 2022)

This is an endgame problem composed from one of Lukaš’s games.

Black to play.

Failure (1)
If this were a life-and-death problem, Black’s simple hanging connection of 1 would be enough.
Black 1 is however suboptimal because White can keep attacking Black with 2 and 4. Black 5 is sufficient to form two eyes, but White gets to make the throw-in of 6 while threatening the Black group, therefore getting to fix the cutting point at ‘a’.
Black can improve her result considerably with 5–8, as shown here. This time the corner outcome is a gote seki for White, and Black has preserved the cutting point in the white shape. This result is already quite acceptable, but Black can do even better.
Directly resisting with black 1 is best, although White then gets to complicate matters with 2.
Following, Black further increases the size of his eye shape with 3. White keeps on attacking with 4 and on, but, ultimately, up to 11 Black lives with territory thanks to a double ko. The cutting point at ‘a’ is also preserved, so this way Black gets maximal territory and strategical value.

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