1. Preparing to Strike
The Nose-Attachment Tesuji

by Richard Bozulich

In the skirmishes and fighting that arise in a game, go players cannot rely solely on brute-force analysis. Instead, they must rely on intuition to quickly come up with a small number of potentially good candidate moves. This is particularly true in professional games with 30-second time limits, where pros must fall back on their intuition, and tesujis are one of their main resources.

There are up to 50 different kinds of tesujis that a dan-ranked go player should be familiar with. If a player has solved many problems that involve a certain kind of tesuji, he will immediately recognize those shapes in which that tesuji is applicable.

Here is a relatively simple example in which some of these tesujis are used.

Black to play
Problem. Black to play
Black is split into two groups, neither with eye shape. If Black is going to rescue both groups, he is going to have to capture some white stones. It will take three different consecutive tesujis to accomplish this. The nose attachment of Black A looks like a good candidate tesuji, but Black's position is currently too thin to support it. Black needs to play some preparatory moves. How should he play?