Sunday Problem #1

Published 7 Jun 2020 by antti (last edited 3 Sep 2020)

Solving problems is a great way to improve one’s go skills, and is usually one of the most recommended activities to players who want to become strong. Playing many games is of course also important, but solving problems teaches you to analyse positions systematically. Additionally, you can solve problems whenever and wherever, while playing always requires an opponent – or at least an ai.

Unfortunately, good problem collections are few and far between. By ‘good problem collections’ I mean collections that:

  1. consist of problems and shapes that appear in actual games,
  2. consist of problems that match the intended difficulty level, and
  3. have little or no errors in the solution diagrams.

Fulfilling these criteria takes a lot of work, so most collections either are not free or unavoidably contain mistakes. Nevertheless, there do exist go problem websites that strive to include many interesting problems and with as few mistakes as possible; Black To Play, which I have linked on this website, is one of these.

Most of the problems I have solved on Black To Play have had correct solutions, but just the other day I happened to find one with an error. The correct solution includes a fascinating resistance by White, so I thought to introduce the problem here on ngd.

Black to play. Enjoy!

White 2 is a non-obvious key point. After 2, the best Black can do is start a kō fight.

Comments (3)

Tanukki wrote 2 years, 2 months ago:

After seeing the tsumego website's solution and being told that there is another white resistance, it wasn't too hard to find. :D
But now I feel like I've cheated too much by meta-gaming it

antti wrote 2 years, 2 months ago:

Therein lies the main challenge with tsumego practice, I think.

If you know that there is a solution, or that the result should for example be a ‘ko’, that motivates your reading in the right direction. But during a game (or in a ‘blind problem’ like this) you are never told what you should do, and therefore you need to create your own motivation. This causes ‘katteyomi’, or ‘wishful reading’, which misses the opponent’s unlikely good moves.

antti wrote 2 years, 2 months ago:

Solution added.