Attack and Defence

    Keywords: MiddleGame

Chinese: 攻守 (gong1 shou3)
Japanese: 攻防 (kōbō)
Korean: -

For the book with this title, see Attack And Defense The Book

During the middle game, groups come under attack. See weak group. Note that attacking is very different from killing. So attacking techniques are not the same as techniques for cutting and placement. You may need those techniques in order to set up an attack; but the question is then how to conduct an attack if you cannot kill.

In go it is easier to defend than to attack. A common advice is to defend before you attack.

Table of contents

Types of fights

Fighting objectives

  • Attack to create thickness
  • Capture
  • Creating aji
  • Defending life
  • Defending stability
  • Eliminating aji
  • Exchange
  • Exploiting aji
  • Go all out for the kill (only) if the opponent ignores the attack
  • Making influence
  • Making territory
  • Offering a strategic choice
  • Playing elsewhere
  • Preventing capture of a group or part of a group
  • Preventing opposing territory
  • Preventing or restricting opposing influence
  • Sacrifice
  • Shifting the territory balance
  • Strengthening one's own influence
  • Strengthening one's own territory
  • Threatening capture of a group or part of a group
  • Threatening stability


Overall concepts

  • Attack and defense can also be combined.
  • efficiency
  • flexibility
  • forcing
  • interruption of a fight
  • reading
  • sacrifice
  • strategy
  • thickness
  • timing
  • honte or defend before you attack

Basic tactics

Further study

Books on this subject are:


Attack and Defence last edited by Dieter on September 4, 2019 - 17:16
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