I really like the Clossi approach to move selection. It gives me a non-emotional way to look at the Go board. However, I want to ask if there is a need for a revision in the approach based on this Go position from this game:

so using the Clossi approach, the first question is ‘am i ok?’ and the answer for Black is obviously no: black is surrounded and might die very soon. From there the Clossi approach says that Black should;

  1. make a base
  2. run away
  3. make eye space
  4. play a vital point

so using these recommendations, we might play ‘1’ followed by ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘4’ to make a base and make an eye….

However, KataGo suggests playing ‘X’ for good reasons. And those reasons are based around asking the second question in the Clossi approach: ‘is the opponent ok?’

A new way to enumerate the questions in the Clossi approach?

maybe question 1 should have the following list of items instead of just the four mentioned above:

  1. counter-attack an opponent weakness
  2. make a base
  3. run away
  4. make eye space
  5. play a vital point.

in other words instead of the 4 defensive suggestions listed in the Clossi approach, make the highest priority suggestion to press on your opponents weakness to fix your problems.


  1. Good write up! The main idea is “force before you act”. This overrides all other principles.

    #1 always look for useful forcing moves first.

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