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A condition called atari is said to exist when a stone or group of stones is surrounded by the opposing player so that he has only one liberty. In the first example the white stone is surrounded on three sides by the black stones. The chance that this stone will be useful to the white player is pretty much nil.

In the second example we have several white stones surrounded by black. Being next to the side here is a disadvantage as it closes off some of what might have been available liberties. However, the side can be used to advantage in securing areas your opponent will not be able to break into by operating two points away from the edge. It is often considered a courtesy to notify your opponent when you place him in atari.

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