The Rules of Capturing Races
by Joschka Zimdars
Reading out capturing races is easy. It's usually just a matter of comparing two single-digit numbers. However, in practice, even dan players have trouble with numbers greater than three. What's the problem? In a word: fundamentals. Most players only half understand a great body of knowledge and have fatal holes in their understanding.
This collection analyzes the six different types of fights: 1. No eyes, less than two inside liberties, 2. No eyes, two or more inside liberties, 3. Small eye vs no eye, 4. Big eye vs same sized big eye, 5. Big eye vs smaller eye, 6. Small eye vs small eye.
An eye is considered big if it has a size of at least 4. An eye of the size 4 has 5 liberties, 5 has 8 liberties, 6 has 12 liberties and 7 has 17 liberties.
Positions are either settled or unsettled. In a settled position, it doesn't matter who plays first; the result is already determined. An unsettled position is one where the side that plays first gains.
Source of the Semeai types: Counting Liberties and Winning Capturing Races by Richard Hunter