Diabolical Vol 1

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  • Create Date October 21, 2023
  • Last Updated October 21, 2023

Diabolical Vol 1


This book is dedicated to Tony Oxenham who passed away in March 2020.  Tony was a great friend and Go opponent over many decades.

This book is a training tool to help people improve reading skills. The problems are complex and intended for strong kyu and dan players.  Solving the problems is similar to arriving at a destination, but it is the journey that is most interesting.

Each problem is a collection of positions on a full board with Black to play first. After that moves alternate as they would in a normal game. Let me make this clear, Black does not get to start first in each position, Black has sente that is all, and from then on moves alternate.

The task is for Black to win in all positions. Sometimes Black’s stones are under attack and need to live, sometimes White’s stones should die.  The result in every problem is clear, no ko fights – do, or not do, there is no ko. Killing a dead group is just as bad as dying in gote.

Why “diabolical”? The reason is simple. When faced with a normal life and death problem you know there is an answer – live or die, sometimes ko.  In a game nobody tells you that and so you overlook possibilities. In these problems one position is unsettled, you need to find that position and solve the problem.