Keywords: Ko, Tactics, Theory

A threat refer refers to a move which the opponent must answer directly if he is not to suffer a loss (if the threat is valid!); it may be one of the following:

  • A ko-threat, gaining the right to retake a ko.
  • A forcing move (kikashi), that the opponent has to answer, but not immediately followed up.
  • A sente move played as part of a longer sequence.

A threat may be invalid, meaning that the presumed follow-up does not in fact work; it may be ineffective, meaning that it need not be answered, as there is more profit to be gained elsewhere.

Value and effectiveness of a threat

The value of a threat is the amount the player will gain if he gets to play a second move because it goes unanswered. For a forcing move or other sente to be effective, the value generally needs to be higher than the ambient temperature, but for a ko-threat the situation is more complicated, as described at Ko threat - Rule of Thumb.

Answering invalid threats

It is of course possible that a threat is invalid, but is still answered. This happens particularly in the following cases (which often overlap):

  • The situation is too difficult for the threatened player to read.
  • The threatened player has a very comfortable lead.
    • They can, however seldom afford to do this all that often.
  • The threatened player is considerably weaker than their opponent.

Threat last edited by PJTraill on October 5, 2018 - 00:17
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