By surrounding a string of your opponent's stones so that they have 0
liberties, you capture them and remove them from the board. If Black plays
1 in Figure 3 below, then the white stone has no liberties left, and it
is captured and removed from the board. Black will keep this stone in a
safe place (usually in the lid of the container that holds the black stones)
since it will be worth 1 point at the end of the game. Any size string of
stones may be captured if it can be reduced to 0 liberties. If Black plays
2 in Figure 3, three white stones are captured which will be worth 3 points
at the end of the game.
It takes fewer stones to capture an enemy stone on the edge of the board
or in a corner. In Figure 4, below, Black 1 captures a white stone on the
edge of the board, and Black 2 captures one in the corner.
Figure 5, below, shows a series of moves in which three white stones
are captured. When Black plays stone number 1, the white stone has only
1 liberty left, and so Black is threatening to capture it with the next
move. When you play a move which leaves your opponent with only 1 liberty,
it is polite to say "atari" which is a warning that you are about
to make a capture. (This is like "check" in chess.) White may
try to save this stone by playing 2, but Black will just play 3 and say
"atari" again. Trying to run away with 4 does White no good. The
white stones are still in atari and Black plays 5 to capture them. White
should not have tried to save the original stone, since that only gave Black
three captives instead of one.
Another very common way to capture a stone is shown below in Figure 6.
When Black plays 1, the white stone is in atari. White may think that this
stone can escape, but it can't. If White tries to get away, Black keeps
blocking the way, and putting the white stones into atari again and again.
When the white stones reach the edge of the board, they have nowhere else
to go, and Black 13 captures all seven of them. White should not try to
save the first stone at all. This pattern is called a "ladder".
Next Page | Previous Page | Contents | My Go Page | My Home Page