Problems Making Eye Potential
I'm still a beginner at the game of Go (although I seem to be getting better, could just be my imagination), but I've noticed that lots of beginners (myself included) seem to be having problems in making eye potential.
I can do most of the life and death problems (tsumego) in Graded Go Problems For Beginners Vol. 2, etc. in a glance. If any of those problems ever came up in my games I would know what to do, but the difficulty is not that I can't solve life and death problems, it's the fact that I can't even give my groups a chance at life before my opponent destroys their eyespace/shape. When my group is just starting to be formed it is hard for me to see where I should play to secure myself some eye potential. I used to think it was just me, but I have also noticed some other beginners with the same problems. All our life and death study seems to be going to waste if we can't even get as far as the problems in the book before being hopelessly killed :(.
Any advice on how to help us newbies solve this dilemma would be very helpful.
See also the Eyes Collection of pages.
Karl Knechtel: This is definitely a big stumbling block for beginners. I still have trouble with it at mid-kyu range. All I can think of offhand is to have a look at the page on shape. The basic principle is that good extensions and formations are subsets of good shapes - ones where an eye is virtually guaranteed. You can work backwards from a solid eye - the play before gives you miai for making an eye, the play before that gives you miai for such second-last plays, etc.
... If you're not challenged by most of Graded Go Problems for Beginners Vol. 2, why not start working on Vol. 3? :)