A Go Player

One man's fascination with the world's best game

Sunday, December 12, 2004


I had an interesting moment in one of my games a few days ago.

Now everyone is always talking about influence, right? "Oh, those stones have great influence", and "this wall has great influence on the center", and the like. But noone has ever been able to explain to me what exactly it is. And now I have the glimmerings of why.

So I'm defending a wall on the third line. Black pushes between two white stones to create cutting points on the 2nd line, and I block with a nose play. Black defends against the capture, and then I have to defend against black pushing in on one side, then the other, because black can create a snapback using the capture of the blocking stone as a lever.

So after several minutes of reading, it turns out that the play that best helps the situation isn't near the cutting point at all. It's several lines away and has the additional benefit of sealing the other end of the wall against black. My interpretation is that one stone radiated influence all the way back down to the cutting point. You couldn't see it, but it was there.

Very interesting.


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