TheArtOf9x9Go/game 4

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Accompanying materials of The Art of 9x9 Go: Game 4


Black wins 6 points, komi 7.

Early attack  

If you are Black, attack as early as you can, such as B3. Attack any W2 if it is weak and near to B1. A good attack should make B1 stronger and requires White's local response (sente). Next, hit White harder at a if B3 is ignored, which will make W2 even weaker and the black group even stronger.

Slow but solid  

Although B5 is gote, it makes the black group very strong--hard to cut or capture, and influences more than half the lower zone. White still has a weak point to fix (a) as it can be cut during the battle to come. Nevertheless, White is a strong player (4 dan GQ), he does not fix it until move 10. He plays other moves that are more urgent or bigger.

Art of Hane  

Any hane will creat a new weak point. B7 creates the weak point at a, but B1 serves as a backing army, which makes it hard for White to attack at a. A hane attack is good if you have an aid unit, such as B1.

Attack and big defense  

a is too defensive for Black to play; I don't like it. B9 looks slow but it attacks W2, defenses the upper right zone, and also sente. I like it.

Wall against wall  

B11 builds a wall against the enemy's wall. It strengthens the weak group of Black, and blocks White from easily jumping eastward and reducing the influence of Black on the east side.

Art of Pushing  

W12 is pretty strong. Normally, I don't attack a pretty strong stone as it can extend happily unless I can push it extend toward my strong group. Otherwise, I should attack the west, which affects the east instead.

But here a is not interesting for Black as this white group is very strong and will be even stronger if Black plays a.

Focus on the enemy's weakest army. Here, it is W12. Attack the weakest stone by pushing it move toward your strong group. To do this, I play b, which is B13 in the next diagram.

Art of Blocking  

B13 forces White to move upward from W12 which cannot connect with its strong group on the left. This is a both attack-and-block move.


a is solid but it allows White to escape with b and compresses Black. Don't play a. B15 makes Black firm and makes it hard for this white group to base. This is the art of confining.


B17 is a safe and strong move. Be kind. Allow the enemy to live in a confined area.

Sharp cutting  

Cut it if you have a sharp knife, B19.

Avoid gote  

Avoid gote and small cutting moves. Don't play a, b, or c. Eye a bigger cutting.

Cutting by stratagem  

B21 is cutting by stratagem--cutting the enemy without using a knife, e.g., move a. B21 both attacks the white wall and split the white army. W20 and the great white wall will never be linked. This is called killing two birds with one bullet.

Sente defending  

A defensive but sente move, such as B23, is good, if there is no bigger move to play.

Sente defending  

B25 is a very strong sente defend. Sente defending is good.

Gote defend  

Dan players prefer safety. W26 is a pure gote defend, to make this group immortal, as the big black group is already immortal and can somehow swallow the white group.

Well confined  

Once the enemy is well confined, play somewhere else big and sente (if any). The white group on the right-hand side has no way to go outside; Black can enjoy a big move, like B27, which also attacks White, defends the top right corner, and fixes the weak shape of Black that invites a sente attack of White.

A & D  

Attack is the best defend. B29 does not only defend black+circle, but also blocks W28 and white+circle.

Advantage of solidity  

B31 is a powerful sente, as White cannot find any weak point of Black to negotiate. White needs to response locally with a purely defensive move. This is an advantage of solid playing, gained by Black.

Sente attack  

B33 is also a powerful sente; again, White needs to defend locally. Black enjoys a series of sente attacks.

Attack like heavy rain  

B35 is the 3rd powerful sente, following B31 and B33. Again, White needs to defend locally. He has to reduce his own territory by filling a stone inside his wall, in order to survive, without a chance to rest or fight back.

Gote attack  

B37 is the 4th attack. This is gote. Play a gote attack if you have no sente attack left.

Strong gote defend  

B39 is a gote defend, as W38 cannot be ignored. Yet, B39 cuts white+circle from W38 completely, and is a very strong defensive move.

Good gote  

B41 is better than a although it is gote and a is sente. A sente move is not alway good if it is small; it cannot be ignored and becomes gote. B41 is safe. Never take a risk if you are leading. B41 also fixes the weak shape by forming a tiger mouth, which cannot be cut with a single attack.

Perfectly safe  

B43 is one of the few gote moves played by Black. This is an ending stage. Check and fix all your weak points before you pass. B43 makes it impossible for White to live inside the black area.


B45 prevents any trouble. White has nothing to lose as he is after Black. He may take a risk to gain more points by cutting and offering a complex fighting. B45 makes the situation clear and simple.

The End  

B47 closes the game. More moves, if either side will play, will reduce his own scores. Black gains a victory by 6 points.

TheArtOf9x9Go/game 4 last edited by on September 29, 2016 - 12:31
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