Ten basic points about threats
Go is no different from other strategic games, in that one must learn initially to recognise and employ threats. After that one must reconcile oneself with the idea that Go is an indirect game.
- A threat to capture next turn is called atari. If you always respond to atari you will fall into ladders.
- A threat to cut is called a peep. It is often very important to answer appropriately.
- A move that simply creates a cutting point is less likely to be effective than a peep.
- Watch out for any play that threatens to break into a big territory.
- One can use threats as forcing moves to build up one's position, provided they qualify as kikashi.
- This is fraught with danger, though, since such plays may be thank you moves instead.
- Playing threats just to get an answer is often a way to get into shortage of liberties.
- Pushing from behind isn't so smart, even though the opponent probably answers for the sake of influence.
- Plays in capturing races are very often threats, because there is a big difference between one ahead and one behind.
- Keep some threats to use later as ko threats.