A question about tsumegos, and reading in general

I’ve recently come across a tsumego that is giving me a lot of trouble. I haven’t been able to figure out a solution, even after coming back to it several times over the course of a month. I guess I’m not sure where to start, and I’ve noticed this problem a bit in my games, as well. I can read some situations out, but some, I just don’t know where to start. Any advice?


Pro tip when doing Tesumego’s. Many times, you can’t save every stone.

I hope that helps. Of course, if you just want me to give you the answer, let me know.

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Reading is indeed hard)
In this particular problem for some reason it keeps giving me “incorrect” for variation I think is correct.

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Interesting. I get the same result. Maybe the creator forgot to put some solutions in?

@neptix: Maybe you’re not wrong after all :slight_smile:

Okay, here’s the solution that I got, which is marked as right.


D18, B17, A18

One of the correct solutions has not been marked by author. There are 2 ways to keep the group alive:

  • D18, B17, A18 - marked as ‘Correct’
  • E18, F18, D18, B17, A18 - marked as ‘Incorrect’

Bugs in puzzles do happen. Btw. if you solved the tsumego, you should be certain (be sure that you explored all the important followups) without relying on the official ‘hint’ :wink:

Ok now we ruined it for the author :slight_smile:

What about the variation

E18, F18, D19, B19… etc for additional solutions?

Well - these are explored in the problem, aren’t they?

EDIT: Err… they are not. This problem is a mess :smiley:

Thank you everyone for your help. It’s nice to know I’m not going too crazy, but I stillcouldn’t find the solution. I guess I’m having trouble figuring out how to start reading a situation like this in general. Any advice on that?

Far from being an expert, and you probably already heard all these, but in case someone have not, for me in general these things help:

  • first, especially when killing something it often helps to quickly imagine what would you play as your opponent. Many times you will see a simple move that gives “you/him” two eyes or miai for two eyes, which is often a good spot to start the attack :). It is an old truth that clearly manifested itself after I downloaded a tsumego app that alternates colors (I was used to always black to play) and I easily soved several tsumegos (the first move anyway) while actually thinking I was playing for the other side…

  • second, then I look for shape-points. If you by some accident have not yet heard (even though it’s mentioned like twice a week here at the forums) we have a great book on shapes for free: https://cdn.online-go.com/shape_up.pdf
    Fair warning: after reading it you will see shapes everywhere. But ruining your opponent’s bamboo joint often kills as as well as completing a mouth shape often saves your group.

  • third, experience. Lot of the ideas are similar in many situation and if you solved enough tsumegos the answer sometimes pops up “automatically” so to say. Descending to the border to increase liberties, making kosumi, throwing in to falsify the eye, snapback, the bloody under the stones… many of the tesujis repeat over and over again… And sometimes (in the advanced problems) if it seems like it should work but doesent, it is good to keep it in mind and look for some preparatory forcing moves.

  • and of course patience :smiley: if nothing else works you just have to “bruteforce” every possible move I guess…

And since we are talking about tsumegos let me share my favourite :). I know the answer (didn’t solve it myself :frowning: ) And I find it extremely beautifull and elegant puzzle. But be warned it is pretty hard (at least I think so…) - might give you a headache :slight_smile:

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Aw, that’s tricky with the ladder broken by the stones in the bottom left!

Hahaha :smiley: yeah, try to ignore the lower left, it was made before (or at least before I realized) we could make consecutive moves for one color

The second one is Incorrect because of damezumari

Not sure what kind of response should I give here. Tutoring, polite or slightly ironic…

Let’s try a combination of all three: “Being 5k you should be able to read past that damezumari”

As far as I can read, this does not work and so it is marked Incorrect. Since for you it is working, maybe you can just be tutoring and show how you consider it correct :wink:

OK, I see (capture three stones). Thank you :slight_smile: