Dragon Killer Series: Revenge is a Dish Best Served with a Dead Dragon


DK3 215-244

In this edition of the Dragon Killer Series, Brown Stone made sure a comeback opponent will not defeat him a second time. As a new convention in my reviews, I will refer to the center of the board as the Apex (as influenced by Janice Kim’s view of the goban as a pyramid with sides on the four directions). Brown Stone also discusses the process of a ko fight that arose near the end of the game.

DK3 1-7

Brown Stone played Black. This is a rematch. Last time, Brown Stone resigned after White captured Black’s big group. The two-space high approach of White 3 was new for Black. Black did not see the two-space high approach as very threatening, so Black played a knight’s move approach at 4 instead. B is the correct joseki continuation. Black did not know B. Black played A because it was the vital point for White.

DK3 8-25

White 13 was somehow too small and passive. Black thought for a long time how to defend the cut at D13. A solid connection would look too heavy and a knight’s move or big knight’s move might be too loose. Black settled for the tiger’s mouth although it still looked too tight. Black 16 looked too tight. Black looked overconcentrated. White could have pushed at J16 and made a base on top and threaten an approach against Black Q16. A play on L17 looks better for Black. White’s push at 17 looked bad. Black was happy to strengthen the isolated Black group on top. Black is out with 20. White aimed at capturing Black 8 and 10 by throwing-in at D13. Black thought the two Black stones were important, so Black connected at 24. Black looks very heavy and maybe Black should have sacrificed the two Black stones and played around C8 instead. White secured a base on top with 25.

DK3 26-52

Black’s wall looked inferior to White’s profit because of Black 20. Black was still able to play the good extension with 36. White 37 aimed to cut Black. Black expected a wall and profit for White after 38 and 39. The descent of White 47 was a big mistake. The descent of White 49 was futile. White cannot capture the two Black stones without being in self-atari.

DK3 53-65

White 53 was a good cut. Black 54 was wrong. Black should have connected at C10. Despite the mistake of Black 54, Black deemed the result here as satisfactory because Black secured a big profit while taking influence. Black 64 was another good extension from the wall. White 65 was a risky invasion. Black was worried about White 65 because it served as a ladder breaker for White 53. Black played A, but Black B was better.

DK3 Black 66 Variation

Variation for Black 66

Even if White tried to use H4 as a ladder breaker. Black has the tesuji of Black 3. This result looks very good for Black. The South West is almost secure Black points. White still has to worry about the eyeless White group in the Apex and the White stones isolated in the South East.

DK3 66-80

Black started securing profit while White built a wall. The two walls neutralized each other. Black had nothing to fear from White 75. Black 2 was getting weak. Black reinforced the lower right corner with 80.


First count after the opening.

Black did not count during the game because Black was still not in the habit of counting and the game was too exciting for Black to think about counting then.


Black (triangle) Pairs

North East – 7

South East – 7

South West – 17

Total – 31 Pairs

White (square) Pairs

South West – 19 Pairs + 0.5 Komi

Black had a comfortable lead against White. Black just needed to keep the solid profit and try to control White’s expansion in the Apex.

DK3 81-117

White 81 was a useless invasion. Black 98 prevented White from making an eye. Black took a big point with 106 and aimed at developing the East. The 3-3 invasion of White 103 looked proper here. Black went for the kill, but Black should have been satisfied at solidifying the East instead. Black played A because Black thought B would not work because of the cut at Q5.

DK3 Black 118 Variation

Variation for Black 118

Black had nothing to worry about the cut at Q5 because Black J13 served as a ladder breaker. White is alive in the corner, but Black has influence to attack the White Apex group and chance to secure a bigger East.

DK3 118-154

White lived in the South East corner. Black aimed at reducing the White Apex framework while securing East profit. The invasion of White Q8 looked too deep. White is not yet secure. Black jumped to the Apex. Black 132 increased Black’s eye space, reduced White’s, and aimed at connecting to the live Black group. Black secured eyes and reduced White’s Apex framework. All of Black’s groups are connected with 154.


Second count near end of middlegame as groups are more or less settled.


Black (triangle) Pairs

North East – 9.5

South East – 22

Total – 31.5 Pairs

White (square) Pairs

South West – 19

South East + Apex – 10.5

Total – 29.5 Pairs +0.5 Komi

White had erased Black’s big lead. However, Black had a better position because White still had a big eyeless group to worry about.

DK3 155-167

The 3-3 invasion of White 155 should have been an easy kill. Black played A, wrong move. Black should have played B for the kill.

DK3 Black 168 Variation

Variation for Black 168 or How Black can kill White in the corner.

White is dead. Black should have read this better.

DK3 172-183

Black had no choice but to fight the ko after White 172. The ko was worth 19 points (17 points for Black and two points for White). White 173 aimed at saving the floating White group. Although Black was not sure of the continuation, Black was willing to continue the ko fight because of the available ko threats and to avoid complications. Black made a lot of ko threats in the lower right corner with 176, worth 24 points (14 points gain for Black and 10 points  loss for White). White 179 aimed at saving the six White stones and killing the 12 Black stones. Without counting, we know this is a very big ko threat. Black must answer. Black 182 is worth 26 points (15 points gain for Black, 11 points loss for White). Thus, White must answer at O3. However, White finished the ko. Black is happy to build a wall to capture the floating White group in the Apex. Black also gained seven more points in the South East corner from the points lost in the ko with 183.

DK3 184-214

White 185 was futile. White was heavy and eyeless. Black 202 aimed at reducing White’s available eye space while securing profit. Black 208 reduced White to only one eye. Black 210 made P11 a false eye.

DK3 215-244

White’s tactics starting at 215 looked very ill-advised. Black secured profit and connection. White gained nothing. The peep of White 225 had no effect on Black. White only threatened to separate two live groups. Black 226 reduced the possibility of any White tactics for a second eye. White looked very lost at 233. Black 238 reduced White’s profit on top. White resigned after 244.

Black played well in this rematch. Black looked for holes and weaknesses in both White and Black’s plays.  Black outread White this time. However, Black needs more practice in reading life and death situations and the overall situation on the board.



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