Now we will look at what happens when there is a big eye that has more than one liberty in it.
In Figure 25, Black has surrounded two points of territory. But this is not the same as having two eyes, and the black stones are dead. White can play 1 and say atari. You may think that Black can get out of trouble by capturing the white stone with 2, but that doesn't help. The black stones are still in atari and White plays 3 to capture them. The only thing you need to remember is: the black stones do not have two eyes, and so they are dead. Two points in a row can make only one eye.
In Figure 26, the black stones have surrounded four points in a row,
and this time they are alive. They do not have two eyes yet, but they can
easily make them if White tries to attack. If Black plays a stone on one
of the points marked A and B, that will make two eyes. Since White can't
play two stones at once, Black is safe. If White plays 1, Black plays 2
(or vice-versa), and White is stuck. To be alive, you must be able to make
two eyes, but you may not need to right away. If you can surround a large
enough piece of territory, then your stones will usually be able to make
two eyes when they are attacked, and they will be alive.
So a group of stones that surrounds two points has only one eye, and is dead, but a group that surrounds four points in a row can always make two eyes, and is alive. What about three points in a row?
In Figure 27, Black has surrounded three points in a row. The middle point (A) is the vital point. If Black plays A, then there are two eyes and the black stones are alive. But if White plays A then the black stones can't make two eyes and they are dead. The white stone may look like it is in trouble, but that doesn't matter. The only important thing is that the black stones can't make two eyes, and so White will be able to capture them.
If White wants to actually capture the black stones and remove them from
the board, then 2 in Figure 28 will put them into atari. Black may capture
the two white stones with 3, but this doesn't help. White plays 4 and says
"atari" again. Capturing 4 would be a waste of time, since that
would not even get the black stones out of atari. Black will be captured
by White's next move.
Here are the definitions of "alive" and "dead" that were given earlier:
The black stones in Figure 27 (surrounding 3 points in a row) are not
dead, because Black can save them. They are not alive, because White can
capture them. These are "unsettled" stones because the question
of whether or not they will live or die is not settled yet. It depends on
who makes the next move. At the start of a game, most of the stones on the
board will be unsettled. But by the end of the game, every stone on the
board will be either alive or dead.
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