Losing the initiative. Pronounced "go-teh". Borrowed from Japanese, lit. "following move". From the standpoint of one player, describes any of:
- a move which loses the initiative, since it need not be answered by the opponent, thus giving him sente
- the state of having lost the initiative, by playing a move or sequence which need not be answered; "ending in gote"
- a position where a play will lose the initiative
As a position this endgame example is gote for Black; as moves, the - sequence are gote; and as a state Black ends in gote.
Although gote has negative connotations, and non-gote moves are to be preferred to gote moves, playing a gote move is not necessarily a mistake. Informally, a gote move could be the best move if its value is more than twice that of any available sente sequence. (By deiri counting. Simply more than that of a sente, by miai counting.) This kind of calculation is typical of yose (endgame) play.
If you were to play out all the sente sequences that you can and then end with a gote sequence and your opponent realised that the gote sequence was worth sufficiently more than responding to the sente move that you played,(s)he would take the first move of the gote sequence and make more profit by ignoring your sente move instead of just following you around the board.
See mutual damage.