# L+1 group

Difficulty: Intermediate   Keywords: Life & Death

An L+1 group is an L group with a leg. The leg can be at the short side or the long side of the L shape. In both cases the group lives or dies according to who plays first.

 Table of contentsFirst L+1 group Living Killing First L+1 group, hane on one side First L+1 group, hane on both sides Second L+1 group Living Killing Second L+1-group, hane one side Second L+1-group, hane on both sides Second L+1 group, weak leg

## First L+1 group

First L+1 group

The first L+1 group lives or dies according to who plays first.

### Living

Black lives

Black should live by playing on the 1-2 point as shown.

Black also lives, but white's got better prospects

Black could also live by playing at the 2-1 point, but white could then hane at a in sente. Plus, if white needed to play b, this would be sente as it threatens to turn the corner into a ko.

Seki. Black can play 'a' to get a ko.

Other possible defenses end up in ko or seki, depending on black's choice, as the next two diagrams show.

Same result.

White 2 is the only move. White 2 at the vital point fails to Black 2 at 4.

### Killing

White kills 1

White can kill by playing hane at . This reduces the shape to the standard L group, which we already know is dead.

White kills 2

also kills. After , a and b are miai. However in practice, White's outside wall is often weaker than the diagram (for example the circled White stone is missing) and Black may later choose a or b and exploit outside aji around c or d. In life and death situations in general, attacks from outside should be considered first, inside plays last.

White kills 3

What happens if White plays on Black's vital point? "Your opponent's good move is your good move" does apply here as well? Yes, white still can kill. After , it is a Bent four in the corner. But this method is generally inferior because if White's outside wall have lost eyes, he must start the ko in the corner.

## First L+1 group, hane on one side

First L+1 group, hane on one side

The extra hane gives a sense of security.

White cannot kill this way

The throw-in at no longer works: jumps and lives. If makes a placement, connects, and White cannot connect at a due to shortage of liberties, otherwise Black captures three to make an eye.

White kills

However, White can kill by the hane at followed by the placement at . tries to live, but forces , so makes a throw in and kills. Note the importance of the stone.

## First L+1 group, hane on both sides

First L+1 group, hane on both sides

The first L+1 group with hane on both sides is alive if it has an external liberty. However, when the group has no external liberties, White can turn it into a ten-thousand year ko.

Patrick Traill: According to Guo Juan in this lesson in her Internet Go School, the attacker has these options:

Main line

The key tesuji here is .

Main line

This sequence leads to a ten-thousand year ko, however white can do better by getting a multi-step ko as shown below.

Main line

Black can also get a multi step ko (for white) sequence, which should be better than ten-thousand year ko.

Main line

White must first win this ko in the corner...

Main line

Black can get rid of ko threats before continuing. If white wants to continue, he must play yet another ko to force the atari.

Main line

Only now does the real ko for the life of the corner start. Black usually should be able to win this or receive ample compensation elsewhere in the steps white took.

## Second L+1 group

Second L+1 group

If the leg is on the other side, again the position depends on who plays first.

### Living

Black lives

Now the 2-2 point is the vital point for Black.

Black can also live with at , but if white plays both a and b later (perhaps as a result of fighting on the outside) then Black will need an extra defensive move, or else white can kill.

White can kill

Black can't play a because of shortage of liberties. If at , then at is atari.

Black also lives, but smaller

As for the first L+1 group, black could live like this, but then white a is sente, so black's corner is only worth four points instead of six points in the first diagram above.

### Killing

White kills

Again, reducing Black to a basic L group by a hane, kills the corner.

## Second L+1-group, hane one side

Second L+1-group, hane one side

The hane at may seem to give some help in living.

White cannot kill this way

The throw-in at doesn't work anymore. Black lives with : White can not connect at a because Black can capture three to make an eye.

White kills

To kill, can go straight to the 2-2 point. After , Black is dead. See the addendum of the rectangular six in the corner page. Study: Would the marked White stone still be needed if the Black hane was at the top?

## Second L+1-group, hane on both sides

Problem

The two hane stones give some degree of security.

Solution

The attachment at leads to ko.

## Second L+1 group, weak leg

Second L+1 group

The second L+1 group with a weak leg is also unsettled. White can kill at a or Black can live by playing at a.

Defend here ?

Timm (10k) Isn't this unconditionally alive ? I can't kill it. And if it's alive, is it inferior to 'a' ?
Andy W plays at a. The points b are then miai to kill.

fractic: That's not correct Andy.

a doesn't kill

fractic: Black lives like this. However is inferior to the other 1-2 point. After white can play hane at in sente reducing Black's territory to at most 4 points. Whereas with the other 1-2 point White needs to play 2 gote hanes to reduce Black to 4 points. So is worse pointwise. Also White playing at threatens ko but there are no such sente moves with the other 1-2 point.

Sente decent ( tenuki)

fractic: This ko is what happens if Black ignores the descent of . So all in all does live but it has two downsides.

Timm: Thanks for the explanations ! I am still unconfident reading these subtle issues. I've seen it now ! I've added the diagram along with the reason why it's incorrect.