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I am an absolute beginner, trying to learn.

Let's consider that board (from a tutorial at http://playgo.to/iwtg/en/):

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It's black's turn to play. The topic is to avoid a false eye at D9.

According to the tutorial, if I play at E8, I do not have a false eye:

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But, if I play anywhere else and white plays at E8, I do have a false eye:

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I do not understand how having a white stone, at the diagonal, would make a false eye. Can anyone explain?

2 Answers 2

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As the right most eye does not have a solid chain it is still vulnerable.

This combined white's coverage on 8 means that when white takes E8 white will easily be able to move E9 into atari; after E8 white's next move would be F9, G8 or G9, which black cannot effectively block within the available two moves.

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Just think about what happens when your stones get fully surrounded, as will eventually happen: The stone(s) at E9 will only retain a single liberty, the false eye, and you will need to fill that single liberty with a stone to connect E9 to the rest of the black group. And after that, only a single eye remains.

That is the point of false eyes: They are liberties which you will be forced to fill yourself, or suffer your stones being taken. As such, they do not count towards ensuring the life of a group.

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