A Pattern Re-Emerges – the 2-on-2 stone formation

Not even 4 days ago I played a game and after studying it in katago, I came to move 73 and was so astonished at the pure savagery that could occur in an innocent position that I posted the position on reddit. I am going to highlight what I call “the 2-on-2 stone formation’:

The 2 on 2 stone formation

So, just yesterday I was playing a different game and what did I see/miss on move 115?

Yep, another 2-on-2 stone formation. Us mere mortals dont even consider attack on 2 connected stones because it has 4 liberties and that is only 1 liberty away from 5 liberties, which is considered stable (per my Go software from Bruce Wilcox). But with 2 cuts on 4, it now 2 liberties and if you can get it down to 1, then death is near!

So sometimes something like this might serve as a ko threat. But in this case, I did a probe-cut to one side to observe my opponents behavior:

A few moves later, we were in a picnick ko position that I should’ve milked to attack elsewhere:

But I went ahead and made my connection without leveraging the aji elsewhere.

So there you have it

Be on the lookout for the 2-on-2 stone formation. It can be used for or against you. i know these days, I spend way too much time figuring out how to attack my opponent without looking at my own weaknesses.

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