Showing posts tagged: sunday-problem


Sunday Problem #19

The carpenter’s square or ichigō-masu (, meaning a small wooden container with a volume of 0.1804 litres) is one of the more dreaded tsumego shapes, especially by kyū players, which makes it an excellent topic for a Sunday Problem.

Should Black go for the carpenter’s square, or is there a better option available?

Black to play.

Solution
Standard …

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Sunday Problem #18

This shape appeared in one of Oscar’s games.

Black’s task, of course, is to live, but there are several ways to do so. The real problem is in finding the best way to live.

Black to play.

Solution
Failure 1
Even when the task is to live, you want to live with as much territory as possible. Therefore, in …

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Sunday Problem #17

This problem is also from Xuanxuan Qijing, or ‘The Gateway to All Marvels’. This problem is titled , or the ‘Fox-Catching Arrow’, apparently because the shape ‘looks like the arrow’s head’ – personally, however, I fail to see the resemblance.

While its name may be dubious, the problem itself is one of the most ingenious I have seen.

Black …

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Sunday Problem #16

This problem is from Xuanxuan Qijing, a Chinese tsumego collection classic from the 14th century; its English translation is named ‘Gateway to All Marvels’. This collection, along with Gokyō Shumyō, forms a set of tsumego books that all aspiring professional players learn by heart.

All problems in Xuanxuan Qijing have a title; this problem is called or ‘An Old …

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Sunday Problem #15

This problem is from a classic tsumego collection by Hon’inbō Shūsai called or Shikatsu Myōki. This name is notoriously difficult to translate into English: while shikatsu means life-and-death, myōki is a Buddhist term referring to excellent adhering to Buddhist teachings. Presumably this is meant in the sense that ‘if you manage to solve all these problems, your reading will …

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Sunday Problem #14

This problem is from my recent teaching game against Daniel Hu 5d in the bga Strong Player Development Programme. A review of the teaching game can be watched here.

Black to play.

Solution
Slightly suboptimal solution
Black’s hane of combined with the placement of 3 is a strong combination – however, Black has to be wary of White’s resistance …

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Sunday Problem #13

This problem is from the Japanese tsumego collection, or ‘Collection of Shūkō’s tsumego masterpieces’ by Fujisawa Hideyuki (whose first name can also be read as ‘Shūkō’).

I have received some feedback that the Sunday problems have been too difficult, so this week I tried to pick a slightly easier problem. Still, in my opinion it is not fun if …

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Sunday Problem #12

This problem is from another of my favorite tsumego collections, or ‘Collection of tsumego masterpieces’ by Sekiyama Riichi, Sekiyama Toshio, and Sekiyama Toshimichi.

Sekiyama Riichi is famous for winning the first Hon’inbō tournament in 1941; Sekiyama Toshio is his son; and Sekiyama Toshimichi is Toshio’s son. As a fun trivia, the ‘Ri’ in Riichi is written with the same …

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Sunday Problem #11

This is a slightly modified version of a problem that came up in the league game between bellicose and yosai.

Black to play.

Solution
Solution
Black 1 is the key point. White 2 is forced, but Black can then form the necessary eye space with the descent of 3. After 4–5, white 2 is captured in an oiotoshi, …

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Sunday Problem #10

This is the cover problem of Mateusz Surma’s tsumego book series You won’t get dumber while thinking.

Composing go problems is tough work. It can take hours just to come up with one good problem and, once you publish it, the problems themselves are not even copyright-protected – only the problem collection and the answers. This is why I …

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