Difficulty: Beginner   Keywords: Shape, Tactics

Chinese: 断 (duan4); 切断 (qie4 duan4)
Japanese: キリ (kiri)
Korean: -


A cut is a move preventing a connection, or an existing situation where stones are prevented from connecting. Usually the term applies to stones which are in direct contact.

Table of contents Table of diagrams
A cut
Solid cut

Types and purposes of cutting

[1] To divide an opponent's piece into two is called splitting (分断); to cut off the retreat of an opponent's intruding piece is called covering (遮断). Although the names are different, the idea is to gain an advantage by cutting off the contact of the opponent's pieces.

Cutting is a basic tactical tool and in many cases does not require a subtle sequence of moves but can be done directly. In a narrow sense, a cut is a method of cutting off what appears to be a solid contact by means of a well thought out sequence. There are many ways to cut off weak, widely spaced links, but the problem is to choose the method of cutting according to the surrounding conditions. There is a difference between a clever and a clumsy cut, and the cut should be judged according to the overall situation.

Basic shapes



In the left part of this diagram, Black can connect his two stones at the marked point. In the right part it is shown how White cuts the stones, at W1. The Black stones will only be able to connect again if the cutting stone is captured.


In this situation we will rather say that B1 separates the white stones. The implication on a strategic level is the same (the stones will not easily connect). On a tactical level, B1 needs not be captured for the white stones to connect .


A cut  

Because of the two black+circle stones, the white+square stones are cut off from the living white stones on the top edge. Since they have no eyes, they will very probably die.


Cutting and connecting is a central concept in Go. You are normally well advised to keep your own groups connected and cut your opponent's groups apart.

(See: Divide and conquer)

There is, however, little benefit in connecting two groups that are alive independently, though in the endgame a connection may be save a few points by avoiding false eyes.

Solid cuts and crosscuts

It is worth noting that cutting stones are often themselves separated from their group, so if you are cutting two groups to capture one of them, you must make sure that your cutting stones will not get captured first.

Solid cut  

In a solid cut, Black cuts the White stones while connecting his own, resulting in a very favourable position where only White has the burden of being cut.


Here, B1, the cutting stone, is itself cut from friendly stones. This more balanced kind of cut is called a crosscut.

See also



  1. Cut problem 1
  2. Kosumi Cut


[1] Original addition, retained here until someone can check the translation for errors and omissions: (First sentence translated as “A move that cuts off a connection between the opponent's pieces”, and therefore redundant.) 切断对方棋子联絡的手筋。將对方的棋分割成两块,叫分断;切断对方侵入棋子的退路,叫遮断。名称虽然不同,但要领都在于通过切断对方棋子的联络,来获取利益。 切断是基本的战术手段,在很多时候,并不需要手筋的微妙次序而可以直接切断。 从狭义上讲,切断的手筋就是通过周密的次序达到切断对方以尖、飞、一间跳等见似坚固联络形的方法。对薄弱、间隔更大的联络,切断的方法有很多,问题就在于根据周围的状况来选择切断的方法。切断有巧拙之分,要根据全局的形势来判断切断后的好坏。

Cut last edited by Dieter on August 4, 2023 - 13:46
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