The Life of Death


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Usually this will not be done during the game, but at the end, during calculation, the group will be labeled "dead" and removed as prisoners. The only way to actually remove a group from the board is to fill its "eye space" with all but one, forcing it to capture the filling-in group by putting a stone in the last space. If the created group is not alive, then continuing this process will eventually kill the entire group.


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There are two possible groups of three, an "r" shape and three in a line. Both of these are unsettled, as whoever plays obtains the desirable result.

Life and death

The person trying to create two eyes can play in the middle spot the one connected to the other two and the other two are now eyes. If the opponent plays, he will play in the same spot, followed by an adjacent spot the other player's piece would be captured were he to play in one of the two open spots , leaving only one empty spot left. This forces the first player to capture, leaving the dead two shape. The critical points are circled in the "Unsettled groups with three empty points" diagram.

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With four blank spots, there are five unique shapes. Three are alive, one is unsettled, and one is dead. The three alive ones are the straight line, L and Z shape. If the opponent plays in any spot, the first player can live by playing in the adjacent spot in the center two.

In the straight line, for example, if the first player goes in either center, threatening to put an unsettled three-space line in, putting one in the other center one will do the trick. In the diagram "Groups with four empty points" black's groups in the upper corners are alive. If the opponent plays any of the circled positions, playing the other circled position will secure the status of the black group.

The unsettled shape is the four-stone pyramid, shown in the left bottom corner. Whoever plays in the circled center spot gets the desired result, so the player whose move it is wins. A two-by-two square space is dead: if black plays in the top left corner of the two-by-two square, white can respond by playing in the bottom right corner see the L-shaped case in the previous section. On the other hand, if white wants to capture the black group, white only has to play anywhere inside the square, and there will be no way for black to avoid capture.

There are no dead shapes with more than four empty points, though there are a couple of unsettled ones. A five stone "plus sign" the X pentomino and a "bulky five" the P pentomino consisting of a square and one point off it, similar shape to a fist with the thumb extended" are the two unsettled ones. Playing in the point that touches the most others four in the "plus sign" - center point, three in the "bulky five" - the one point in the square touching the outside point will give the desired result to whoever does so.

There is only one unsettled six shape, and the rest are all alive. This one shape is the square, plus adding the two points touching any one of the corners. Similar to the plus sign five, but add any of the four taken corner points to get the unsettled six.


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  • The opponent playing in the center point threatens to fill all but one spot with a bulky five shape, and there is no defense. Any group surrounding more than six points is alive, but it may be necessary to respond correctly if the opponent attacks. Additionally, because of special properties of the corner, a group with more than six points might not be unconditionally alive, as it's possible for the opponent to make an eye or two within its territory.

    There is a possibility for stones to be alive without eyes. This situation happens when two groups of otherwise dead stones face each other without being able to achieve capture. The figure on the right shows one of the most simple seki. The black and white stones in contact with the circled points don't have any eyes and may seem dead. However, if Black tries to capture white, he needs to fill one of the circled point, which will only lead to its own capture by white.

    The Life of Death by Lucy Booth

    The same applies to White, who cannot fill black liberties without being captured first. Since none of the players can kill the other, the situation is considered settled. The black and white stones are said to be alive in seki. Groups that are alive may yet die.

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    One reason is that they may be sacrificed, in the course of a ko fight. Another way in which the ko rule enters the discussion is through the complications ko adds to the classification by status. It is quite possible for a group to be alive in ko : that is, the group is conditionally alive , the condition being to be able to win a particular ko fight relating to the control of a key intersection.

    Virtually all games will have at least a few dead stones, which remain on the board at the end of the game, when both players pass. Those dead stones are then removed, in an operation often called 'cleaning', which is a separate phase of the game.

    The stones removed are treated exactly like other captured stones. Under Chinese rules, which use area counting , stones removed during the cleaning phase are returned to their bowls. It is a novice mistake to carry out the capture of dead stones before it is of tactical importance to do so. Such plays, during the game, waste a turn and may also cost points. Single stones and small groups are often sacrificed. In cases where a group is more than of sacrificial value, that group typically must make life in order for one to have a chance at winning the overall game.

    Generally each side will have at most living groups on the board at the end of the game. There is a go proverb that says that "Five groups may live, but the sixth will die" [1] which in a nutshell describes the need to emphasise connection between developing groups.

    Calcium - a life and death signal

    The struggle for life can be solved by connection. Since each group needs two eyes, and eyes are sometimes hard to come by the alternative is to connect out to another group, thereby sharing both liberties and eyes. Even if a group is lost, one can still use one's own dead stones for aji potential. Ko threats are just one way in which apparently dead stones are put to good use. Jump to navigation. Discover more at www. Follow the untold story of Irish soldier and artist Richard St.

    George, whose personal trauma and untimely death provide a window into the entangled histories of the American Revolution of and the Irish Revolution of The art he created and commissioned provides a unique perspective of the physical and emotional costs of these revolutionary moments.

    Richard St. Over the next twenty years, St. George survived a severe head wound at the Battle of Germantown, mourned over the tragic death of his wife, and saw the rule of kings and of gentlemen like himself violently challenged on two continents. Along the way, he made sketches, published cartoons, and commissioned portraits and paintings to document his experiences and emotions. In , he stood in opposition to the growing Irish Revolution and was killed by his tenants.

    George for two reasons.

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