Friday, September 08, 2006

Group Tax

On Wednesday, I played a game against a friend, which turned out to be an exercise in itty-bitty black lives. Black ended up with seven groups on the board, most of them small. Five of them had a total of 17 points, not a terribly good stone efficiency.

Later, someone mentioned: "with 7 groups, if one isn't dead you need to do more tsumego." I have thought about that and decided that I didn't need to kill to win, so why bother going through the whole killing thing. Like I said before, killing always seems like such a commitment. I enjoyed seeing tiny group after tiny group find yet another miserable life.

Someone else said that Black suffered heavily from group tax, and I have to agree on that. It just takes a lot more stones to make seven groups live, than if you have less of them. Interesting. I knew the principle, but never had seen noticed it so clearly in one of my games.

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