Remember the ten classic tsumego from last week? This week, the Weekly go newspaper conducted a similar research on the most popular tesuji among (most likely the same) 130 professional players, in an article named “The real pleasure of go”. When including the problem diagrams in this fashion, it is not obvious in all cases what black is exactly supposed to do; for that reason, I’m adding a short introduction for a few of the tesuji problems. The tesuji range in level from lower-end single digit kyus to higher-end single digit kyus — I would say again that most, if not all, dan players should be familiar with these tesuji already. And if not, now’s a chance to rectify the situation! Again, the diagrams have been made with jGoBoard.
I wonder if we’re getting ten best endgame moves next week?
In #5, here, black is looking for the best way to break through white’s stones. The brute force way of playing would be to play atari with o5, followed by white p6, and then black n4. Then white replies by extending to m5, and while black can break through with o6 then, black has made white’s shape too strong in the process. The atari of black o5 is bad style, and we want to think of another way of playing.
In #7, the question is obviously about black having to connect at q2. However, if black only played q2, white would reply with p3, forcing black q4. Black would have only one eye in the corner, and white would retain sente to further threaten black. There is, fortunately, a more effective way of playing for black.
In #9, if you didn’t know this position beforehand, you’d think about either 1) cutting with q2, forcing white p3, then continuing with the atari of p2, forcing white o3, and finally living in the corner with s2 — or maybe about 2) playing atari with black p3 instead, forcing white q2, and then playing black p2, further forcing white to capture the two corner black stones with s2. 1) is unsatisfactory for black, as white is able to build a strong outside while black lives small in the corner, and 2) is unsatisfactory because white n3 is completely in black’s way, preventing a black extension along the lower side. There is a third, even better way available for black to play.