Is it okay to steal a win?

Hello all,

I had this unranked game yesterday, played as Black (25kyu) against a 20kyu, and at move 52 was losing.

Then I tried a desperate invasion starting at move 53, knowing it had a very slim chance of working. My view was “I’ve already lost, so another point doesn’t matter”. My opponent made the mistake (?) to answer thus allowing to take one of his groups.

My question is, is it okay/“proper etiquette”/good “gomanship” to win just because your opponent made/was forced to a late mistake? In this case my opponent made two mistakes in my mind, move 56 & 58 but I view this a steal because I felt it lacked something. Or did I just rightly punish a mistake? IMHO, I didn’t win my skills but I want to know how you guys think about this matter.

PS: any comment on the game are welcomed :wink:

uhm, yes. It’s how you win games :smiley:
spotting when your stones are about to get captured is probably one if the most important skills to learn as you improve. And your invasion was not desperate. In fact I can’t find a way for white to kill your stone.

so… congratulations, well played!

Edit: I meant of course, it is OK to ‘steal a win’


Actually your opponent had multiple “independent” weaknesses in the position, which you exploited correctly.

Thinking about ethiquette should not imo be the case at your level - quite the opposite, you should try all the things that work (or even the ones that do not, to learn as much as possible). Winning a lost game (which even was not the case here) because your opponent lets his guards down thinking he is winning, is only a good lesson for both players. Maybe I would even reccommend training your fighting spirit by trying to fight back as hard as possible when losing.


Question has been tackled recently here. Desperate moves when losing - etiquette question

Opinion is split between people who feel it’s good training to make sure u dun slip up in reading and those who feel it’s outright bad manners.

Yours is not such a game however the question u asked is related.


I’m going to strongly agree with my DDK opinion that you should look to steal wins.

I think anyone having a feeling that they stole a win, or that their opponent played stupid things but suddenly made life, or killed something, spend more time focusing on the mistakes. Review your games, ask stronger players for reviews and play against stronger players to learn.

We saw from the game you linked that what you thought as a desperate invasion was seen as very strong play from a stronger player.


I think white still wins with perfect play after the invasion at B5 if, like you point out, Black doesn’t invade at A4 first. I posted some variations on your review, could you look at them?


doesn’t seem like you stole anything! I spotted a throw-in/snapback you could’ve tried at D2 as well.

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He’s black, the snapback would be for white :smiley:

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whoops, that’s what I meant! thanks!

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Allright, thanks everyone for your inputs. I looked at the variations, and there are way more scenarios here than I initially tought about. As a beginner, the depth of Go is quite amazing when you look at “what if” questions…

From now on, I’ll try to spot this type of opportunities whenever I can. Valuable lesson, thanks everyone.


Sometimes people don’t understand how “pass” works. They are winning and then pressing ‘pass’ buton when I can steal win after that if not pass too.

The original sequence was not correct, white can still win after this because of the snapback at the bottom. The A4 atari is the correct sequence after A2.