Skip to Content


The curious incident of the seki in the daytime

Humorist Will Rogers said, "Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." As Go players we all have our individual blind spots - mine seems to be seki. In the game above, I managed to miss both putting myself into seki, and then getting myself out of it. I am Black.

I enjoy playing my friend pablopicollo, because he's stronger enough than me to make me really raise my game, but not so strong that I can't see how he's beaten me. After some experimenting, I find that the fastest way for me to improve is to play people 1-2 stones stronger. I note with pleasure that since we played about a year ago, I have caught up to him by 3 stones!

Won by a seki

I was convinced I'd lost this until I remembered to count the point A1. I really can't count!

A close game against Frank Janssen 6d

Frank Janssen is a well-known strong amateur and Go educator, 4 times Dutch national champion, and he plays many 9x9 teaching games on DGS with players of all strengths. I was pleased with this 3-handicap game in which I thought I didn't entirely disgrace myself. I lost by 1.5 points.

I think I lost it quite early on, allowing cuts at C5 and F5 - but I feel like I showed good fighting spirit in working for every point.


I don't often get a jigo. I was pleased to draw this 4-handicap game on DGS as my opponent (pablopicollo) is a fair bit stronger. However, I missed the winning move. I also thought I had won, but miscounted.

Some interesting lessons from this game. I definitely feel that I'm happiest playing opponents 2-3 stones stronger, who can attack well, defend hard, and punish my mistakes. If I win, it's a sweet win, and if I lose then playing over the game can be very instructive.

However, I am bad at counting, or just lazy - the one implies the other. I didn't count this at all before passing - I felt pretty confident that I was just ahead, and CGoban's score estimator showed me +1, so I relaxed.

Unfortunately, the score is jigo (equal). As if that wasn't bad enough, Pablo pointed out rightly that I had missed the winning move: A6.

It is annoying to miss out on a win by one point in a game that must have lasted several months. I think there are at least two important things I'll take away from this:

  1. I need to count more, count better, and count often. Even if I don't count at any other point in the game, I should count carefully just before passing to make sure I know what result I'm accepting!
  2. I need to put more effort into the endgame. Because I thought I'd already won, I didn't search very hard for the last 1-point moves. Even if I think I've won, I should still fight for every point.
Syndicate content