American Go E-Journal

Member’s Edition: Lessons with Kaz – on Life-and-Death

Tuesday August 21, 2012


Published in the August 21, 2012 edition of the American Go E-Journal.

In this lesson I show a life-and-death problem, in the context of how to make useful ko threats, which many adults tell me they have a hard time learning.

A longtime contributor to the American Go E-Journal, former insei Kazunari Furuyama has returned with his popular EJ column, now in sgf files and re-named “Lessons with Kaz”. Kaz co-authored Kiseido’s “Get Strong at Joseki”, volumes 2 and 3 and is now teaching on KGS Plus.

Kaz plans to start “Kaz Go Services” soon, for yet another way to improve your game. Watch for developments. And see Kaz’s latest go advice on his blog at, or

Almost all life-and-death problems are very simplified, with which I was always not satisfied. In real games life-and-death is far more complicated.
I have made many simplified problems, as well as problems as complicated as real games on my website. Today I’d like to present some examples of the problems on my website. If you wish to learn more about related life-and-death problems, see “LifeDeath”, “corner LifeDeath”, or “big pig snout” on my website,, which explains why the title is “big pig snout”.

Target: players from 8kyu-5dan. (Many of the problems are for dan players, so they’re tough for kyu players to solve. But I think it’s not too early for kyu players to start learning them. Many of the problems come out in real games.)

White’s bottom right corner is in danger.
Problem: White to play.