Bluffing in Go #1

As I have nothing more to say on computer Go, I’m starting a series of posts (brainchild from a sleepless night) on psychological warfare against human opponents. I will not touch upon the topics of cheating and going against the principle of sportmanship. Cheating is bad, as I pointed out in my series on cheats.

Granted, the first bluff is not for everyone…

…but it just happened to me (again) and I feel the need to vent.

Requirements: Have a reputation of being good at tsumego (better than opponent.)

Effect: Gote moves become sente (amongst others).


From one of my very few Grand Slam games.

In this example, I was White and facing a guy who is rumored to have stayed up all night solving tsumego during the CEGO programme in Beijing, while the others went to bed or spent their nights with other activities. So naturally, 115 was super scary. I responded 116 and let him prevent White’s ogeima at A in sente.

Later he told me that 115 was gote…


So White could have grabbed the mega large point at 2.

When I asked him why he played 115, he responded, “I wanted that move.”

(It also turned out that he expected White’s move on the bottom to be at A which is a lot less mighty than 2. He missed that Black couldn’t nobi at A, for White would cut at B and crawl out.)

A more recent example taken from my last tournament:


VaDo Cup, after a fun night. Actually, all nights were fun. 🙂

The kid who rocked the tsumego competition prior to the tournament blocked at 60 and I instantly defended at 61. I didn’t even bother to read it out because, 1) he had spent some time staring at that group, and 2) 60 would be an incredibly moronic move if it was gote.


Turns out he had misread the (not-)killing sequence.

However, all the conditions were fulfilled to make me give him credit without even considering doubting this move.
Well played.

(This is probably also why everything White does in large handicap games is sente or worse.)

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