Learning to play Go: Life and death

We just learned how one’s stones can be surrounded and ‘killed’. Forgive the somewhat agressive language but in times go can become an aggressive game. The most inportant rule to remember is that every stone or groups of stones which are in ATARI (who have only one liberty left) can get killed in one move by the other player.

The reason why you need to know this is the following:

Figure 1:

 In the first case of A, we have a group of black stones which are not in immediate danger of being caught. A white move at A is not even allowed that’s how crazy it is. This is because if white would put a stone there then his stone would be on the board with no liberties… which means it would be dead straight away. This point in a formation where the other player is not allowed to play is called an EYE. Continue reading