When to create eyes and when to use territory tactics instead?

Any example games? I am trying to figure out how and when to create eyes. The books and lectures I have read and seen say they are important but don’t show how in a game they do so. Thank you.

I am afraid the question might be more abstract than you realize (or I am misunderstanding).

You need to make sure each of your groups has the possibility of creating 2 eyes. otherwise the group will just die (let’s not talk about seki - which is a bit of a special case - right now).

You physically create the two separate eyes only if your group is in trouble and risks losing the possibility of creating two eyes alltogether. To recognize such a danger is an important, but very difficult skill even high ranking players get wrong sometimes. There are no exact “tell-tale signs” to let you know, it comes down to experience. Basically, if the group is surrounded and forced into a small space, you should be worried.

I am not sure what you mean by “territory tactics”


I think that the OP is asking whether they should deliberately place stones into the shape of two eyes, or spread them more widely securing territory and eyes as a side effect.

A common beginner misconception is that it is a good idea to place 10 or more stones in a 2-eye pattern methodically at the beginning.

The problem with this is that it is way too slow. While you make 2 eyes this way, your opponent secures the rest of the board.

Therefore, we place stones to sketch out territory and place extra stones to turn it into solid eyes only when we are more forced to do so.

The trick is recognising when we are being forced before it is too late :slight_smile:


If you watch a lot of games between 5-7 dans, they will often shape their attacks in such a way that - should they not achieve Plan A - they are half-way to making eyes, which becomes Plan B. Part of that is being good at making shape, part of it is closing off cut points or making influence-minded moves rather than just attacking all the time.

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By territory tactics I mean all of the beginner tactics they teach you. I was finding in my games if I accumulated a large area and stayed connected it was an easy win. I was trying to marry the concepts of territory and tactics together. I think you have answerd my questions. Thank you.

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