Keywords: Go term

Chinese: 轻棋 (qīng qī); 轻 (qing1)
Japanese: 軽い (karui)
Korean: 가벼움

A light shape is a shape that is not solid or strong, but cannot easily be attacked because one is able to sacrifice a part of it, thus using the opponent's attack to strengthen oneself. Apart from the willingness to sacrifice, there should also be an element of flexibility - depending on where the opponent attacks, either one part gets sacrificed and the other strengthened, or the other way around.

A light stone is one that is easily sacrificed, because the opponent will not have gained much when he captures it. This is for example the case if the opponent has already answered the stone - if he next captures it, it means he has answered the stone two or three times. To try to save a stone that is light, is a heavy way of playing.

Light play is:

  1. Probably unnatural for almost everyone, initially;
  2. Hard to learn until you are convinced it is necessary;[1]
  3. Immensely important in fighting.

Therefore understanding it ought to be a long run objective for anyone who wants to become strong.

The most basic point is quite simple: don't connect two stones solidly until you are confident that you won't want to sacrifice just one of them. Unfortunately this is hard to put into practice ...


See also


Bill: IMO, light play is not particularly hard to learn. The main bar is psychological. It can be hard to do. Attitude is important.

Charles Actually I think many club-level players struggle to get it technically.

Bill: Well, since light play often leads to positions with many variations, it can be technically challenging. Maybe one bar is fear of positions that are difficult to read.

Charles You might just admit that it is hard to learn.

Light last edited by Dieter on June 18, 2014 - 13:55
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