Shaydwyrm: I have recently begun teaching an older gentleman to play go, and I have run into a bit of a brick wall - my student has developed the most severe, almost comical case of atari blindness I have ever encountered. He is already grasping the basics of more advanced concepts such as eyes, territory, and ko, but I fear that I may have gone a bit too fast. Now he rarely sees his own stones in atari, and I don't believe I've ever lost a stone against him except in ko - he simply doesn't consider the possiblility of capture. I am somewhat at a loss as to how to repair this defect in my teaching. Does anyone have a suggestion for me?
Heresiarch: Perhaps you should send him to Oliver Sachs. I hear his next book is titled "The Man Who Mistook His Stones For Alive." He is likely missing some crucial part of his brain that allows him to recognize atari and is thus otherwise good at the game, except for that glaring common mistake. Maybe you can found an entire new arena of experimental neurology using the Goban as an experimental tool!
cliftut: I realize this difficulty has been most likely resolved as it has been several years since this question was posed, but this may benefit someone else who finds this page; I think example is key. When teaching a new player about atari and capture, it is useful (and necessary) to set up simple capture situations on the board. Do not assume too quickly that your student understands; have them display their knowledge. If they really know it, this will be reflected on the board.
Also, a concept that may help some beginning students with similar difficulties: Ask that they always consider why their opponent has made a specific move - before they play their own; if you know why your opponent played the move they did, you can respond in a way that better suits your goals.