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Life and Death over the board

The game of Go is all about surrounding territory and surrounding your opponent but sometimes the result of a whole game hinges on the status of a single group. Is it alive or is it dead?


In this game, I harassed a weak white group – the one in the bottom right quadrant of the board – poking at its eye shape. White ran his stones toward the centre, hoping to connect up with distant friends, but sadly for him, I was able to block any connection, leaving white with just one of the two eyes necessary to survive. My opponent could not achieve a living shape, connect to friends, nor launch a counter-attack. 19 stones were dead in the water and white had no alternative but to resign the game.

We played 7 games the other night. I won 3 and Vox won 4. Even though I was behind in wins, this kill was the highlight of the evening for me. Many times, when you attack an opponent’s group, there is profit to be made by forcing your opponent to live. Killing a group on a large scale can be very difficult and so attacking for profit is often the better strategy. In this case, everything fell into place for the huge kill.

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