Play Kikashi Before Living/ Old

kb: All old content moved here

TODO: Amend the example. See my comment at the bottom of the page.

Adapted from Gokyo Shumyo, Section 1, Problem 21 / Solution.


White can live with either a or b, but plays kikashi with W1 before living.

No kikashi  

If White immediately takes a vital point, she lives too, but now she has failed to force Black. If White plays W3 later in the game, the value of that move is reduced to 4+ [2] points, and Black can choose to ignore it. If White eventually captures the black+circle stones with W5 and W7, Black can make shape with B6 and B8. Also, W1 has now been turned into a superfluous move, a one-point loss.


The difference with the correct diagram is that, if Black ignores W1, then the capture of the black+circle stones yields not merely 4 points[2], but also life for the corner[1]. Now look again at the previous diagram, which is as if White plays at a here, in exchange for a black move elsewhere, really a ridiculous turn of events. --DieterVerhofstadt

aLegendWai: I have more ideas relating to the gain of capturing 2 black+circle. Click on [3] for details.

aLegendWai: I am not in a good position to raise argument because I am a very weak player. Anyway, I just try to express my hesitation. You may disagree with it entirely.

Takemiya Masaki-Kato Masao, moves 112 to 116  

In this example white adds some valueable stones to his framework before making life with W5. If black tries to kill, white gets out using snapback. --ekberg

[1] "life for the corner" is not a gain

aLegendWai: As you said in the previous diagram, W can live by playing either "a" and "b". So I feel W is alive already.

TDerz: White would be dead after B1.
So the initial statement above could be rephrased "White plays kikashi before living with with either a or b."

kevinwm: Here's another way to think of it: w needs to move in order to live (eye space is a bulky-5). But instead, white can play a move that makes miai for life, by adding a new opportunity to make an eye. This is superior, because 1) b should respond now, rather than letting w live in sente, and 2) it threatens to make life with extra points. Given the choice between just living, or guaranteeing life by threatening to make another eye and extending - the latter is always better.

White needs to play  

In this case, I don't feel the capture of 2 black+circle stones yields the gain of "life for the corner". W is already alive, so this gain is not a gain at all. Rather "the capture of 2 black+circle stones" saves 1 stone at "a".

What do you think?

Rich: What happens if black plays b first? The point is, W must play to live.

aLegendWai: But in the diagram, W plays first. If the above is going to compare the difference between playing elsewhere or not, my humble opinion is it will be a valid point.


This move is worth 10/11 points (deiri counting)

aLegendWai: Try to compare 2 cases.

If B responds  
If B plays elsewhere  

W doesn't need to play at "a" and "b". W gains 2 more points.
W captured 2 black+circle. It gets 4 points (2 prisoner + 2 territories).
B has to play B4, B6. B loses 2 points.
There is an endgame move at "c,d,e". B has already lost 2 points at "c/d". And the endgame values 1-point. If W plays first, B will lose 1 more point.
By the way, B always gets sente in this endgame if both parties completes the endgame.

Thus the value of playing W1 is 10(+1) points.

Any idea is welcome.


Setting yourself up as an authority again.

This is probably the last time I am going to say that.


Gain of capturing 2 black+circle

aLegendWai: Here is what I feel about the gain of capturing 2 black+circle:

  • This move is worth 10/11 points (Click on [2] for details)
  • It eliminates some potential ko threat
  • It creates some minor weaknesses to B


Comment: Depending on the situation, if White plays at W1 alone, then later the peep at W3 may turn out useful. --unkx80

Alex Weldon: I'm moving a section of the conversation here to Do Not Peep at Cutting Points/Discussion, as it has little to do with "play kikashi before living."

kb: This page could use a WME.

Bill: This page could use a complete rewrite. It is a go proverb, and all we have is an example or two, on of which sparked debate.

Is this really a proverb?

See /Discussion.

Play Kikashi Before Living/ Old last edited by kb on May 13, 2008 - 21:32
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