Ever since I started blogging here, I’ve been waiting for a game to demonstrate one of the first chengyu that I learned:
自生自滅, as in 自 zhì self, 生 shēng live/emerge, 自 zhì self, 滅 mìe perish.
It’s not my own game, but one that I got to review. Btw it seems people are liking my commentary:p They keep sending me games, more than I originally planned when I made this website. I guess it’s a good thing, even though I have less time to blog now.
In any case, the players in this game are 2-3d. So far White has been playing a brilliant game and is leading by a lot if nothing dies.
While White has two not entirely settled groups, A and B, that black group at C is in immens danger.
The last move was the kosumitsuke at 1. Basically Black is just trying things desparately before resigning.
What should White do?
In the game White blocked everything and let Black cut in sente, and Black removed White’s eye to enter a semeai.
Regardless of what happened afterwards, nobody could be sure to read out the semeai perfectly, much less in byo-yomi.
So it was a coinflip situation and finally White lost it by one liberty.
However, even if White had won the semeai by one liberty, this was completely unnecessary. White did not need to kill Black.
Just make the second eye on the right, let Black go out and connect the other group somehow. Black is still incredibly weak, and we notice that there is a second group at B that Black also has to handle separately.
Instead of trying to kill Black, what White is doing here is letting Black’s groups 自生自滅 zhì shēng zhì mìe.
In Go, it basically translates to “let live or let die”. This game is a perfect example of this laissez-faire strategy.
By not minding Black’s life-and-death, White could have spent his energy to defend his own groups and securely won the game in that manner.