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The Method for Discovering Effective Lines of Play [Suji]

From Kidō, July 1998


The Method for Discovering Effective Lines of Play [Suji]

This is What the Different is With Players Who Become Strong

By Kojima Takaho

Theme Diagram 1


Black to Play

There is a cutting point at A, but trying to exploit it directly does not work. What must be done is to use that quirk to take profit. Naturally, that is the practical application of an effective line of play [suji].


Diagram 1 (Correct Solution)

The placement of Black 1 is tesuji. Intercepting with White 2 is unreasonable, since Black 3 puts White in a quandary. White’s stones, either above or below, will be separated forcefully. This is terrible.


Diagram 2 (Standard)

In that case, White 2 is standard, and by connecting underneath with 3, Black is satisfied with making a small bit of profit will stabilizing the group on the lower side.

Theme Diagram 2


White to Play

White’s big group of stones can only make one eye in gote at A or B. As it is, the group is not alive. Please devise some kind of plan to deal with this. Search for a quirk on the lower side.


Diagram 1 (A False Eye)

Simply playing White 1 as a forcing move and then playing at 3 is met by Black 2 and 4, an elementary tesuji that makes the eye a false one.


Diagram 2 (Falling Short)

White might block at 1 and attack the corner with 3, but this Black group is tough. Attacking leads nowhere. It is a failure.


Diagram 3 (Correct Solution)

White 1 is a tenacious method. Even is Black tries to run away with 2, White plays 3 and 5 in sente, then brings about kō with the sequence to 9. This is the Correct Solution.


Diagram 4 (A Misfire)

At times, White 1 is also a strong technique [suji], but cutting once with Black 2 is a good move, and with the moves through Black 8, White’s group is left without life.

Theme Diagram 3


White to Play

Black’s group on the right is weak. The marked Black stone is a move that seems to be artfully played, but how should White answer it? Here is exactly where an effective technique [suji] is called for. There is a good move that trumps Black’s marked stone.


Diagram 1 (No Plan)

If White plays the commonplace move of 1, it just makes Black delighted to cross underneath with 2.


Diagram 2 (Black’s Aim)

White would love to keep Black’s groups separated by playing at 1, but this is exactly what Black is waiting for. Black cuts with 2 and 4, which was the aim inherent is the marked Black stone.


Diagram 3 (Correct Solution)

The poor shape of the empty triangle of White 1 is a good move here. This prevents Black from connecting underneath, while Black “a” is precisely foiled by White “b.”


Diagram 4 (The Correct Method)

The marked Black stone in the Theme Diagram should have been played as Black 1 in this diagram in order to connect. Black 3 and 5 are forcing moves that have to be answered, whereupon Black 7 is possible.

Theme Diagram 4


Black to Play

This is from a game played at my own workshop. The White group on the lower side is under attack. At this point, White has played the marked stone, next aiming to make a move at A to turn the position into seki, or a wedging-in move at B to cut, equivalent options. Well then, for Black…


Diagram 1 (Effective Action)

Black 1 is a response that effectively prevents the cut at “a.” Next, Black can in general be satisfied if given the opportunity to capture at “b” [i.e., when White makes seki on the lower side].


Diagram 2 (Resistance)

White might object to that and put up resistance with 2. In the actual game, Black was glad to go for the capture with 3 and 5, but these were in fact bad moves.


Diagram 3 (Connecting Underneath)

White 1 is a good move. Should Black go all-out to take away White’s second eye with 2, White 3 and the following moves create a shortage of liberties for Black, and then White connects underneath with 7. This is a disappointing outcome, indeed.


Diagram 4 (Calm and Collected)

Striking White dead with Black 1 is a calm and collected way to play. Next, “a” and “b” are equivalent options.

Theme Diagram 5


White to Play

Please find an effective two-pronged strategy for exploiting the thinness of Black’s group on the left and right. Think of where and how stones would be played to make something possible. This is the way to discover an effective line of play [suji].


Diagram 1 (No Plan)

If White wedges in at 1, Black 2 prevents anything at all from developing. The move of 1 has no plan at all behind it.


Diagram 2 (Attachment)

Going so far as to thrust in at White 1 is the method that arrives at the Correct Solution. If Black 2, White 3, and next the connection underneath at “a” and the cut at “b” are equivalent options.


Diagram 3 (Kō)

Putting up resistance with Black 2 is answered by White 3 and 5, a variety of tesuji. Next, cutting with White “a” and starting a big kō fight with White “b” are equivalent options.


Diagram 4 (Another Option)

Simply connecting with White 5 is also good. If Black answers White 7, then it is possible for White to cut with 9 through 13. All of the diagrams above, 2~4 are Correct Solutions.

Theme Diagram 6


White to Play

Black has a thin and weak position. By now the reader should be conditioned to look for a tesuji to exploit this. However, one must correctly mount an attack…


Diagram 1 (Slicing Through the Knight’s Move)

“Slice through a knight’s move” is a go proverb that represents a fundamental tesuji. Therefore, it is natural for White to aim at playing 1. However, cutting in the wrong way with 3 falls short when the sequence through Black 8 results.


Diagram 2 (Correct Solution)

White 3 is a calm and collected method that makes cutting simple and easy. This differs from Diagram 1 in that White incurs no loss while slicing through Black’s position. This is the finishing blow.

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