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Day Six: Special shapes

(a) Seki is alive
· An incident may occur in a complicated shape like this, in which the black and white stones are in contact. The problem of ko is solved by the ko rule, but there is a shape that can't be resolved. This is called 'seki'. Please look at Dia. 21. The five marked black stones and the five marked white stones make a perilous shape. If it is Black's turn, how can he capture the white stones? Also, please think about the problem from White's point of view.

Dia. 21
Dia. 22. If it's Black's turn, he can play at 1, but this is risky.
Dia. 22
Next, it is White's turn to play, so he can capture with White 1 in Dia. 23. Black tried to capture, but on the contrary is captured.
Well, what if it is White's turn?

Dia. 23
Dia. 24. If White plays at 1, this time White is the one in trouble. Next -->
Dia. 24
Dia. 25. Black captures White with 1. In short, neither side can do anything in Dia. 21. This kind of shape is called seki. It refers to a position in which neither side can capture or be captured. In short, both sides are alive. Seki means a shape in which both sides are alive.
Dia. 25
(b) Sekis with eyes
· Dia. 26. This is a seki variation. Black's group has an eye, the X point. White also has an eye at X.

Dia. 26
Dia. 27. Black 1 is the worst move.
Dia. 27
Dia. 28. White captures with 1.
Dia. 28
Also, White will be captured if he plays at 1 in Dia. 29.
Dia. 29
Dia. 30. This time White is the one who is captured with Black 1. In short, the position in Dia. 26 is a seki: neither side can try to capture the other.
Dia. 30
Dia. 31. Even if the X points are vacant, the position is still a seki.
Dia. 31
Dia. 32. It's possible for Black to play at 1, but he can't play at X anyway, so whether he plays 1 or not, the position is still a seki. That being so, Black 1 is a wasted move.
· The important thing to remember is that the groups in a seki are alive. If you realize early that a seki is a seki, you won't waste a move like this.

Dia. 32
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Day Six: Special shapes
[1]Ko [2]Seki [3]Concerning dame [4]Practice problems
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