19. Answering an Endgame Move
in the Middle Game

Don't erase the Opponent's Bad Aji

by Richard Bozulich

The key feature of the middle game is fighting between unsettled groups and attempting to take profit by attacking the opponent. What you must avoid in the middle game is needlessly strengthening an opponent's weak group. In other words, if the opponent has bad aji, don't help him to eliminate it

Black to play
Problem. Black to play
With the wide open space in the center and at the bottom, the game is clearly in the middle game. Yet White plays an endgame move with the marked stone. How should Black respond?