Alternating play in life and death

  Difficulty: Introductory   Keywords: Life & Death, Rules

Alternating play

A typical but unstated assumption when talking about the status of groups (alive or dead, connected or not, etc.) is that of local alternating play. It may be possible to construct contexts in which this assumption is invalid. However, given how humans used language, that this assumption is appropriate. In Combinatorial Game Theory terms, it amounts to the assumption of independence.

Kos have a way of destroying independence. For instance,

White can die  

Black can capture this White group while White takes and wins a two move approach ko.

But it is fine to say that the White group is alive. It's just not unconditionally alive. ;-)

Ignore two threats and live  

White has to ignore three Black moves to make this capture possible. Even ignoring two, she lives:

Miai for life  

Many otherwise live formations can be killed if the attacker gets one or more extra moves as an unanswered ko threat.

See also

Alternating play in life and death last edited by Dieter on November 30, 2011 - 19:34
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