# Is there more than one solution to this problem about cutting in go

I have this past week been learning to play go from the book Learn to Play Go by Janice Kim and Soo-hyun Jeong. In one of the earlier chapters the concept of cutting is brought up and the following problem is posed.

Where can Black play to prevent White from cutting of a stone

``````\$\$ ------------------
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . O X . . . . .|
\$\$  . O O X . X . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
``````

``````\$\$ ------------------
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . O X X . . . .|
\$\$  . O O X . X . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
``````

But I wonder if there is any merit to consider

``````\$\$ ------------------
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . O X . X . . .|
\$\$  . O O X . X . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
``````

My line of reasoning is that if White now tries to cut any of the possible connections which Black can form, then they put themselves in Atari. I am however conflicted about putting a stone there for Black as it removes a possible point for the scoring in the end.

• Try to "cut" as white in the second image; you'll see that black can defend easily. In the third image (your solution), white has a nice attack to put the left-most black stone into Atari, and Black must defend with a disadvantageous form.
– piet
Mar 18 at 16:11
• You are completely right. There is more than one way to protect the cut. Not just the 5-3 (as the book suggests) and the 4-3 (as you suggest) but also the 5-2 and 6-2 would protect the cut. However, in most situations, the 5-3 is by the best way to protect this cut. (Not to mention the most simple)
– Stef
Mar 19 at 20:34

Your idea does keep the stones connected, but it isn't as good as the correct answer.

``````\$\$W
\$\$ ------------------
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . . 1 . . . . .|
\$\$  . O X 2 B . . .|
\$\$  . O O X . X . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
``````

The problem is that playing this way gives White 1 as a forcing move, and then she can play somewhere else. Later, Black will block, and the marked stone ends up as a wasted move. The correct shape leaves that stone out if White plays the same hane:

``````\$\$W
\$\$ ------------------
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . 3 1 2 . . . .|
\$\$  . O X X . . . .|
\$\$  . O O X . X . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
\$\$  . . . . . . . .|
``````
• This is also a good opportunity for tewari analysis - if black plays the solid connection, imagine white plays the hane on the second line. Would black then respond by playing the circled stone to make an empty triangle? Certainly not! But the solid connection and the hane would be reasonable local moves, so therefore this circled stone is in the wrong place. Mar 19 at 17:23