Remove the ladder after the ascent
Remove the ladder after the ascent - Lure the enemy into a trap then cut off his escape route. Different adversaries can be lured in different ways (the greedy enemy with the promise of gain; the arrogant enemy with the sign of weakness; the inflexible enemy with a ruse). This stratagem may also mean plunging one's own supporters or potential allies into a crisis situation that forces them to come up with with novel solutions to problems.
tapir: Why can't this also mean removing the ladder literally (by capturing) to remove bad aji?
xela: In that case, what does the "ascent" refer to? In any case, I think this series of pages describe generic war strategems; as go players we're supposed to be creative in interpreting these sayings metaphorically.
tapir: Well, making the ladder? What I would like to know is, whether Lure the enemy into a trap... is part of the stratagem or not. While reading the comments of Ma Xiaochun i got the impression that while these detailed game discussions were very interesting, they are sometimes not related at all to the stratagem. What does this mean to you? I feel I can't relate to the stratagem presented here as a sort of insight/proverb.
fractic: To me the stratagem means that you should play solidly when ahead, not giving your opponent a chance to complicate things and catch up.