Quick Questions (version 394)

  Difficulty: Advanced   Keywords: Clubs & Places

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Table of diagrams
White invasions at a,b or c
Reply to submarine?
Moves 1 to 4
Where for Black?
19x19 What should white do?
W fails
Black's attack
What is the status of this group?
Immediate cap
Trick play?
Simple reply
Revert to joseki
Fifth side group
White [sente]
Middle-game joseki invasion?
Connection Question

two 3-4 points?

! SL pages covering these invasions?

isshoni: I've browsed SL for them and used the search function, but I haven't found any coverage of the invasions below.
Do you know of SL pages that cover them?
If not, would it be of interest to create them?
Should they then be added to HolIgor struggles with the high extension (or else), or have (a) separate page(s)?
If I decide to commit myself to create this content, since my understanding of the game is very limited, would posting the page on a BQM and asking additionnal questions and getting feedback from good players before master editing be a good way to proceed?
Thank you.
Note: If Quick Questions isn t the place to ask this, please notify me!

White invasions at a,b or c  

Consider the Upper and Down sides as unrelated.
Additional White stones at circled points.

White invasions at a, b, or c

! Value of ko under Ing scoring?

bluemark: In ING scoring, dame points count as one point. So I'm not sure if what we usually call "1/2 point ko" count more or less than a dame. Any ideas?

Bill: Yes, it does. To convert from the miai value of a play under territory scoring to its value under area scoring, add 1 point, as a rule. (Ing scoring is area scoring.)

The main exceptions concern the counting of points in eyes in seki. In general area scoring counts them, territory scoring does not.

!UGF/UGI - format
[ext] http://www.pandanet.co.jp/data/pandalib-us/001-rgis.ugi

What is the UGI format?
Is it identical to UGF as on Jan's site [ext] http://gobase.org/online/sgf2misc/?mode=ugf?
Gobase transforms it to SGF, but strips it of all the commentary.

Which programs can read UGF/UGI straight away? tderz

just found the entry UGF ....

! Combatting low animal cunning? What should be done when an opponent drops an invading stone into every extension you make as soon as you make it? The pros don't play this way... why not?

Bob McGuigan: With an opponent like that you'll have to develop fighting skills (reading, shape, tesuji and life and death, etc.) But actually some of these invasions will probably be reasonable while others will be unreasonable. Pros don't play that way because making unreasonable invasions creates weak groups which are targets for attack. This isn't specific tactical advice, but against such an opponent you need to play solidly but not submissively. Try to keep your groups from being closed in. Watch for splitting attacks and ways to keep the other player's weak groups from connecting.

Bill: Usually I do not recommend learning joseki, but there are a number of joseki that involve early invasions of extensions. Seeing how they are handled should give you some ideas and some confidence.

! When to play lightly? Obviously there are times when one does not play lightly. For example the reply to a san-san invasion is not very light. So when do you play lightly? Maybe more to the point, when is light play not necessary.

! When to play thickly? Almost a reverse question to the previous one. ( Though thick and light are not opposites, there is generally a correlation between light and thin not thick?: and between; heavy ( not light ) and thick. So under what circumstances thick play is not necessary?

Bill: This is a very good pair of questions. OC, one should avoid making heavy plays and thin plays. But then, when should one play lightly rather than thickly, and vice versa?

This is in part a matter of style. But style isn't simply a question of thick vs. light. For instance, I have a thick style of play, but also a miai-ish style, which is on the light side. Also, frequently when you sacrifice stones, you regard some stones lightly, throwing them away, while building up thickness in the process. Also, you may regard stones differently at different times; for instance, you may make thickness at one point, and treat it lightly later, trading it in furikawari or throwing it away. Also, thick play early on can lead to light play later, when you have no fear of ko because the opponent has few ko threats against your thick positions.

Generally it is important to play lightly when entering or reducing the opponent's sphere of influence. You will look for chances to sacrifice stones and to keep options open. The opponent will try to reduce your options and make your stones heavy. It is important to play thickly when you have invested so many stones in a position that you cannot throw them away. You do not want to give your opponent opportunities to make them heavy and attack them. It is also important to play thickly in preparation for your own attack or for an invasion. Your thickness can provide a safe haven for your own stones, a rocky shoal for your opponent's. Thick play can also consolidate a lead.

! Reply to submarine?

Reply to submarine?  

Kenn: This occurs a lot in handicap games between myself and dan players at my club, sometimes even as the opening move (as depicted). I am usually not sure what to do, and play a or b. Are these moves bad? What would be good?

Bill: Both are OK, as well as c - h. Ba is strong. It puts pressure on white+circle while strengthening black+circle. Also, it preserves symmetry.

In a teaching game, I like a. It shows spirit. I would also be impressed by tenuki. After all, the exchange, black+circle - white+circle, early on in the game favors Black.

! Korean player record page?

Calvin Can someone give me an idea of what this Korean player record listing means?

[ext] http://www.baduk.or.kr/record/years.asp

! Go in Beijing

mre 4k? Can anyone recommend any resources for an English speaker who wants to play and learn Go in Beijing? I will be there from 9/1/2005 - 9/10/2005 and am looking for some recommendations on how to make the most out of my stay, with respect to Go.

Araldo's home page has his email address and talks about his go trip to China, including Beijing, in 2004. He might be able to give you some help.

! Move values in the fuseki

krv 4k? I have a question about moves value in the fuseki. Can we say that every move in the fuseki has his own value?

Bill: Yes.

How can we determine this value?

Bill: By perfect play and comparison of results.

For example, what is the value of the move in the empty corner (3,3), (3,4), (4,4)? May be value is exactly 2*komi (13 points)?

Bill: That's a good guess. :-) However, first you have to know what the correct komi is. 6.5 is probably still too low, IMHO. Second, because of the miai implicit in the symmetrical empty board, the initial moves could be larger and cancel out. Third, the value of 13+ points is a miai value. You could draw the wrong conclusion if you think it is a deiri value, which is what most players still assume.

How is the value affected by other areas?

Bill: That is worth several books. The most important rule of thumb, I think, is Do not approach strong stones. There is a corollary: Do not threaten to approach strong stones. And a corollary to that: Do not threaten to threaten to approach strong stones. Etc., etc.

Have anybody try to determine the value of the popular fuseki moves?

Bill: Ishida Yoshio wrote a book about the value of plays at all stages of the game. Unfortunately, he used the traditional value of 10 points (miai) for early plays, which is almost surely too low. Environmental go is a way of eliciting professional opinion about the value of plays throughout the game. It could also be a good training method.

For example, can we compare the value of moves like a on the following diagram

Moves 1 to 4  

I've tryed to find this in the wiki/net but haven't succeeded. Please give some ideas or links.

Bill: The 'a's are most likely inferior to the 'b's and the lone 'c', but not by much. Fuseki books make comparisons, but not in precise numerical terms. First, it is impossible, given our ignorance of perfect play. Second, it is not necessary in many instances.

And anyway, the largest play is not always the best play. I like chess master E. A. Znosko-Borovski's advice: "It is not a play, not even the best play, that you seek, but a realizable plan."

Velobici: The recent (2005) book A Dictionary Of Modern Fuseki The Korean Style outlines specific patterns for more than 53 fuseki. The only moves the book describes are the 'b's. Six patterns (chapters) totaling 42 pages are devoted to continuations after the one space high approach. One pattern of 4 pages to the two space low approach. It does not give numeric values to the plays indicated.

Bob McGuigan: To complicate things the value of a move depends on potential for future development. I think this applies even in the early fuseki, so, say, the 5th move's value could easily depend on the whole board position.

DrStraw: It is an interesting question but, in my opinion, purely an academic one at the amateur level. The difference between, say, a 14 point move and a 13 point move is probably outweighed by the mood of the player on any given day. Until you reach the very top levels of amateur play I beleive it is impossible to make such precision meaningful.

Bill: I agree with DrStraw that small differences in the fuseki do not mean much, as a rule. OTOH, if you lose 1 point per move in the first 40 moves, that adds up to a lot! And IMX, even dan players can easily drop 5 or more points in a single move in the opening. For instance, they can take gote when they should not, or they can ignore Bob's point about the potential for development.

DrStraw: Sure Bill, but my point is that at the amateur level you are not going to lose 1 point per move for 40 moves. At least not if the players are close in rank. Random fluctuations in players mood is more likely to result in each losing 20 points and the total cancelling out.

! Tengen in 3-stone game?

I often want to play tengen as black's first move in a 3-stone game. It seems the obvious move to me (12? kyu).

However, I've recently observed four 3-stone games between dan players without seeing tengen. Three out of four played a in the diagram, one c.

Is there anything wrong with tengen here?

Where for Black?  

unkx80: There is nothing wrong in playing the tengen here. Just that compared to corners and sides... it is far more complicated and harder to grasp. Therefore I do not advise playing the tengen for a 12 kyu. There is extensive discussion at why don't we open at tengen.

PurpleHaze: I would not play tengen here for the same reason I think W1 is an error. Black has an enormous lead in influence, not in territory. Black should not play tengen because he has no need of influence. White should not play the 3-4 point because it is strongly biased towards territory, and she needs influence far more than territory.

Pashley I recently observed many IGS 3-stone games, all with White 2-dan or above. 1 was much the commonest white move, about 9 out of 12.

! Dictionary of yosu-miru?

Q:I asked this of a dan on KGS, however the language barrier meant that he could not understand precisely what I get at.

Do dictionaries of yosu-miru exist? Are they studied the same way joseki, with standard moves as yosu-miru and standard replies? Or do players ( especially high ranked plaers ) "wing it"?

DrStraw: The book "Enclosure Joseki" by Takemiya covers this subject pretty well, but it is not a in dictionary format. Unfortunately it is out of print. The book "Keshi & Uchikomi" by Iwamoto covers the same material in more of a dictionary format and is in print, but I do not find it as readable.

nachtrabe: You might try the Korean book 응수타진 ([ext] probe).

Bob McGuigan: A probe is a move which asks the opponent to make a choice, allowing you to decide your own strategy on the basis of this choice. Often the probing move can be abandoned once the choice of how to respond is made. Probes, therefore, can occur almost anywhere on the board. There are explanations of certain standard sequences in books like those cited previously, but since probes can occur in so many situations, in the end you pretty much have to wing it.

! Editing parts of pages

Q:How do you set it up so that only sections are edited at a time instead of whole pages?

A:Any section in a multi-section page can be edited separately. Using the ! as the beginning of a line indicates a new section with the heading after the exclamation mark (as with your "!Editing parts of pages" creating a section above. -- Steve

! How long to shodan?

Sandy Harris For judo, I've heard a saying that you take 10,000 falls before reaching black belt. I think for most martial arts about five years serious practice is typical, although I know one guy who did it in 18 months and I practiced aikido off and on for over 10 years without getting close to shodan.

Is there any proverb about this for go? Anyone got an estimate?

Calvin: There is a proverb, but it's not that enlightening. It says it takes 1000 games to reach shodan. What this means, however, is open for debate. In some variations of the proverb it means replaying pro games and not just playing games yourself. Certainly 1000 thoughtless blitz games will not do it. There are countless double-digit kyu players on IGS with more than 1000 games racked up. According to James Kerwin 1P, Most players will never reach shodan in their lives---they will either give up the game or simply stagnate at a particular rank. But some can do it in less than a year with enough talent and hard work. So the analogy to a martial arts black belt is a good one.

Dieter: Talented, dedicated people nowadays can do it in year and a half, due to the presence of Go Servers and studying material on the net. Restricted to real life play and instruction, these dedicated talents mostly need three to five years, because good opponents and teachers are harder to find in clubs. I think that shodan is reachable for anybody who is dedicated, whatever his talent, but it may take ten years to get there.

DrStraw: When I started playing 31 years ago it was generally accepted that "1000 games to reach shodan" was reasonable. There was no internet and not too many books, so this meant that by playing 10 games a week at the local club you could reach shodan in two years. Of course, without the online resources, a serious student would spent a lot of time studying alone. Nowadays, with people logging on and playing several games each day, it is possible to play 1000 games in a matter of months and so I do not think that the proverbs is still valid. However, 1000 serious games should be more than enough to reach the goal. By serious I mean a game in which you either thought a lot during the play or reviewed it extensively afterwards.

Thad: Just to quantify what DrStraw said: recently I was watching a game by Minue. There was a particular move that confused me and could not be explained to my satisfaction by kibitzers. Unfortunately I could not ask him the logic of the move until three games later. Not only could he remember the move that I asked him about, he could remember the sequence leading up to it.

One of the biggest talents needed for Go is a strong ability to do pattern matching. In order to be able to do pattern matching, you must have a lot of patterns "in your tank". Understanding when they work, and understanding when they don't. Playing a 1000 games eseentially "fills your tank".

Games which you do not remember, and in particular, blitz games, do not "fill your tank". For that to happen, you need to have large chunks of you games memorised. ( Not necessarily whole games, but enough to discuss aspects of them. )

This also includes other factors which inhibit memorisation, for example games where your jusgement is inhibited ie drunk or very tired.

DrStraw: Excellent analogy. Wish I had thought of that myself, but I will certainly use it in the future.

! Keeping track of captures

Q. Calvin: When estimating the score during a face-to-face game, how do you guys keep track of captured stones if there are a lot? You may be able to count your bowl's lid, but what if your opponent has a pile and you don't feel like reaching over to rifle through it? Do you keep a mental tally of the captures? In some books, it looks like pros count a capture when they count the territory it was captured in, because they remember the capture (or can easily deduce it from the shape.) Do most amateurs also do that?

Hikaru79: Well, remember, only the *difference* between the number of captures is important. Generally it's enough to know "I've captured three stones, he's killed that group of five I had earlier, so +2 for him whenever I count score." Rarely are there so many stones that it's hard to keep track of who has more.

! Greatest number of identical moves? argybarg?: I found myself wondering today: What is the greatest number of moves into a game that two different professional games have been identical? In other words, game A and game B unfolded identically until, say, move 8. If I had to guess, I would say it would have to be 12, but perhaps someone with a very sophisticated pattern search could find out.

unkx80: 1st world female tournament, finals games 2 and 3, Rui Naiwei vs Feng Yun. These games are identical in the first 34 moves.

Between the two games, 35 differs by one line, and then 36 to 47 are identical again.

A similar question: What is the farthest into the game that two professional games have resulted in an identical position? This could be later than with the first -- say, move 16.

And my last is one for pure speculation: If we had full access to the record of every game played, anywhere, what would the results be for the above questions, only with games played by anyone? Leaving out games played intentionally the same (i.e., replays), I would guess that no two go games have been identical after move, oh, 26.

What do you think?

Mef: Looks like unkx80 gave a nice definitive answer to some of your questions, and I think if you compiled a database of every game ever, you'd actually find quite a few similar games. In fact I wouldn't be suprised if there were games that were the same out to move 50 or more. The problem is that some people play deliberately the same as a previous game because it's a position they're comfortable with. For instance, many people always play the low chinese, or maybe they always play the same pincer against the nirensei. Also I know sometimes when pros play a series of games against each other they like to use the exact same opening play as the last time, except that they will try and put their post-mortem analysis to good use, changing the first move in the game they thought didn't work.

Slowman: I recently saw this pattern. I also tried seach by gobase pattern search, but no hits was found


OTF: 19x19 What should white do?  

Play at a and aim to make black overconcentrated with respect to B9?

OTF: W fails  

DJ: Sorry, I can't remember: can you make (in the text) a link to a heading in the same page? Apart from footnotes, I mean.

Mef: I'd imagine there's some way to do it, since all the TOC's can.

Fox: Hi I wondered if any one knows what "Kurosen-Shiroshi" tsume-go problems are? Its a Japanese term used in the Go paper "A Neural Network Program of Tsume-Go" by N. Sasaki et al. I know kuro means 'black' and shiro 'white', but that isn't much help! :-( Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Chris Hayashida: "sen" means first. "shi" is death. So I would read the above as "Black to kill." I saw that on here somewhere, but I don't remember where. Hope this helps.

Fox: Hi Chris thanks for the explanation, oh and the speedy response.

unkx80: Fox, I deleted your duplicate question over at the message board. We recent changes junkies will find your question via recent changes even if your question is posted anywhere. =)

Fox: Thanks unkx80, I was just trying to ensure a quick response ;-)

Jion: Any tips on getting back into GO after almost a year of inactivity? My mind just doesn't work anymore . .

Bob McGuigan: I don't know how far you had gotten in GO when you stopped but you could try refreshing the rules to start, then work through some basic problems, like those in ''Graded Go Problems for Beginners''. If there is a go club near you find some one to play with.

Jion: Good point, I forgot about that . . I was ~10kyu when I stopped, and am trying problems, but when playing games I feel like a 20kyu. If anyone else has any tips, please post them.

Christian: How can I add a link to a .png file without showing the entire adress? I don't want it to be inlined.

LukeNine45: Use brackets and a pipe operator:

 [like this | http://sample.com/image.png]

See Text Formatting Rules for more info.

Christian: That would inline the picture, and I don't want that..

unkx80: Currently no way to do that. Arno, a feature request, please. Thanks.

LukeNine45: Oh wow, you're right. I stand corrected...

Christian: I'll just create a page for each picture for now.

Froese: Replace the last g by %67:

[like this | http://sample.com/image.pn%67].

Why is January 1, 1970 - 01:00 the last edited date and time given for pages that do not exist yet? --Proto

April 5th meditation: Very observant. That's an good question. :) On UNIX systems, time is counted in "seconds after" a certain date. That date happens to be 1/1/1970 A page which does not exist likely has a "creation time" of Zero. Thus, zero seconds after 1/1/1970. :)

How do I get rid of the warning that an alias for my homepage is going to be erased? I already went to the orphans page and wrote that I was ok with it and the alias has been deleted. The warning however is still there. Naustin

I don't see that warning at your homepage. Perhaps do a hard refresh/reload and/or clear your browser's cache? --unkx80

! Attack on the 2 space extension; Book reviews

OTF: Black's attack  

AdamMarquis: I recently picked up Bozulich's 501 Opening Problems. One of the things that I don't quite get yet is that many of the problem's solution's involve attacking a 2 space extension by denying it a checking extension. I don't really see the followup to such an attack, so I figured I'd ask here. What should White do next, assuming a local response. What can Black do after tenuki?

Should this have been a Big Question Mark?

Bill: I think it would make a good BQM question. There are several further attacks, depending upon the circumstances. I think the 'a's pretty well cover them. ;-)

Why don't you post a full board position as a BQM?

AdamMarquis That's a lot of 'a's. Posted as BQM205. I've got a bonus question: looking at the pages for several go books, I don't see a lot of reviews/discussion. Is this discouraged, or is there somewhere I'm not looking that has such material?

Bill: I think a lot of them were recently added, to provide a subpage for discussion of mistakes in them. (See Errata in Books/Discussion?.) Please give your own commentaries or reviews, or link to some. :-)

! L&D

OTF: What is the status of this group?  

nachtrabe: Not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but here goes.

This position came up in one of my games recently along with a discussion on whether it was alive or dead after the game ended. Japanese rules. It makes me think of a bent-four-in-a-corner, but I am unclear on how to handle such, having never encountered one as such.

Any help is appreciated!

Bob McGuigan: See Bent Four in the Corner and Bent Four in the Corner is Dead

Torabisu- That's Easy, It's Dead!

! Is it common for people to share IGS accounts in Japan?

I've noticed wildly inconsistent levels of play playing against even the same player on IGS, and this frequently occurs with players with a "panda@.jp" address. I didn't realize it was possible to have an anonymous e-mail address on IGS, so I was wondering if there are shared guest accounts in libraries or if people share their accounts with friends or relatives. I played a player today who (if you believe the statistics) has been playing 12 games a day for 4.5 years and is still 18k*, though the initial rank is 2k. So I find it unlikely that a single person can be using that account.

ThaddeusOlczyk: Let me answer this on several levels. One reason is that one person on KGS has accused another person of bringing in ringers. He claims that an admnistrator has confirmed this.

I find the accusers claim that the persons style is different between games quite plausible, especially since both are high ranking dans. At such levels style are a distinctive thing.

On the other hand the claim that an administrator has confirmed this accusation is not plausible. It is possible for an administrator to confirm that the presence of a ringer ( especially when it is done clumsily ), but it is not very likely.

There is no mechanism that can raise a red flag for an administrator to suspect a ringer. For an an administrator to find a ringer, the first thing that he has do is suspect a ringer. So that is highly unlikely.

Second, once he does suspect he would have to do some very complex detective work. For a ringer to hide his tracks, all he would have to do is log off ( his ISP ) every time he plays a game ( if he has a dynamic IP ).

Now the general question, can a person use a ringer. The answer is yes. All you need to log in is a name and a password. Anyone who has them can play from that account. Though, since accounts are free, I don't see why people would do this unless they have some sinister purpose.

! A definition of "aiming"?

In commented games I often read that a move is "aiming" at a point, often across the board. While I often get the general meaning, I don't know exactly what "aiming" means -- and many times, in the context of the specific game, I have no idea at all. I would set up an example but I don't have one at hand just now.

Some discussion of what "aiming" is might make a worthwhile page -- or, if it's too simple a question, a quick answer might do.

Bob McGuigan: See nerai.

! Korean Problem Academy

(Moved to Korean Problem Academy/Errata.)

! Moyo Go Studio, for kyu level player's analysis?

AdamMarquis: I've been looking at the preview information on Moyo Go Studio and have been intrigued by its analysis functionality. My worry, however, is that as a kyu player my shape and joseki knowledge is so bad that I wouldn't be getting local pattern matches to a pro database. Has anyone had hands on with a pre-release version, or any other info on how well it works for SDK games?

Edit: [ext] http://www.moyogo.com

AdamMarquis: Question was answered through e-mail by the author, and it is posted at: [ext] http://www.moyogo.com/FAQ.htm

! Weird fella on all Sensei pages

Who or what is that dude with the pie-shaped body in the top left of all the pages here supposed to be ?

" Images of Stones are (C) Andreas Fecke and used by permission. Visit his site at ext? [ext] http://stud.upb.de/~q9bettina/ferdi/ " - from about.

! Pronounciation of Kiseido

Very short question--what is the correct pronounciation of the "k" in KGS? I say it kuh-sigh-doh, is that right?

Coconuts: Assuming I should be using Japanese pronunciation, it should be "kee-say-doh," where the "say" is held slightly longer than the other syllables. What we transliterate as "i" is pronounced as "ee," and the "ei" (or "ee" depending on how you translate the [ext] hiragana) is more of an "A" sound (like "tape").

! Good Shapes to Run With What are good shapes to run with? What are good shapes to make eyes with in a small or awkward space?

Rich: Not sure I understand - what do you mean, a good shape to run with? A one-point jump is generally a fast, light way to move out, but a lot depends on how, why and where you're running, and how strong your opponent is. As for making eyes, ponnuki is a very strong shape.

ThaddeusOlczyk: What he means is exactly what he asks. What are the shapes you should aim for when running, and what are the shapes that you should try to prevent your opponent from making when he runs. Alternatively, what are the ways to determine the vital points of a running group?

When an opponent understands these things better than you, then it seems like his running stones live and yours die. Even if you start from the same position.

! Developing a Sense for Direction Of Play

Adammarquis: A learning question. I think I've discovered ways and means of developing most aspects of my game, but methods to hone my understanding of direction of play and my judgement of which open board areas are best elude me. Comments like "You approached from the wrong direction" and "you went for the uninteresting side" are common in my games. Both are, for me, rather subtle issues; I don't get much insight on them by looking at pro games or my own. Where does one develop this sense? As a secondary question, how do the problem ranks over at go problems stack up with actual ranks? I see that the ranks are based off the success percentages, but I wonder how real life ranks compare.

Bill: Here on SL there is some material about the direction of play. Take a look at Some Basic Tips for Fuseki for starters. Then check out other fuseki pages and look through Big Question Mark pages. You might also post your own big question mark page about a position from one of your own games.

Charles Closed side - closed mind is about this type of question.

Chris Hayashida: If you're willing to invest in books, I would say that Go Seigen's A Way of Play for the 21st Century and Kajiwara's The Direction of Play would help improve your sense of direction. I would guess that they would be good for single-digit kyu players, though, since they assume that you have a working knowledge of some joseki.

Charles Those books are respectively amazingly difficult, and difficult. 'Direction of Play' is a typical catchpenny title, for what is a cobbling-together of some old magazine articles. Not that it is a bad book.

Chris Hayashida: Really? Wow. I know I don't understand the books that well, but I feel that I am getting something from them. At any rate, I'd rather buy a book that I could 'grow into' instead of buying a book about something that I already understand. I guess it's because I've had hand-me-downs all my life. :)

adammarquis: I've a similar view of things Chris. One of the books I got the most out of as a newbie was (as Crux has suggested I look at again) Whole Board Thinking in Joseki. Of course, the joseki and such and continuations were useless to me, but it was where I learned my positional judgement. In each solution, it shows the wrong answers and says why they are undesireable. Just by skimming through and looking at these features, I learned my first positional judgement. Oh, these stones are too close, overconcentrated. Oh, this wall isn't useful but this one is. I will admit that most of what I got out of Seigen's "Way of Play" was that Go Seigen is 9-dan pro, and I am not.

crux: You might also want to try Whole Board Thinking in Joseki.

Bob McGuigan: Yang Yilun's new book Fundamental Principles of Go has some good basic material on judging where the biggest areas are.

! Cheap, Durable and Easily Stored Equipment byorgey: As explained in my blog, I'm starting a go club at my school, so I'm looking around for some equipment that is cheap, durable, and easily stored... does anyone have any suggestions? I was looking at these [ext] vinyl boards on Yutopian, but was having trouble finding any cheap (plastic) but full-sized stones. Any suggestions anyone has in terms of boards, stones, or bowls (Tupperware?) would be appreciated -- thanks!

Chris Hayashida: You might want to contact the AGA. I know they work with the ING Foundation and the AGF to try and supply equipment for Go clubs, especially to those that are geared towards teaching children and students. They might be able to help.

byorgey: Thanks for the tip. I tried e-mailing the AGF a week ago but have gotten no response (only an automatic e-mail telling me my message would have to be approved since I was sending it to a members-only list). Does anyone have any suggestions for contacting them?

(Sebastian:) Did you try their local chapter - [ext] http://www.usgo.org/usa/chapclub.asp ? A friend of mine had some cheap rubber boards and rubber stones which he got from AGA. He wrote:

If anyone wants to start a youth group or such, contact:
[email] chapters@usgo.org
They can supply startup boards and etc.

Is this where you sent your e-mail? BTW, if you need a big demonstration board take a look at Teaching Goban.

amadis: Check stores catering to Koreans and Chinese. Full-sized go sets can be found for US $20 or less in such places.

! Computer Keeps Playing in Endgame jok?: Newbie question re: endgame. In games against MFOG, when I expect the computer to pass I have noticed a tendency to play inside my territory to force me to reinforce my wall. I lose a point of territory, but gain a prisoner. I don't think I have ever seen this kind of move played by a human player, and it strikes me as almost rude; as if the computer is expecting me to make a mistake. Is this a normal endgame move, or is it just a quirk in MFOG's style?

Malweth: I haven't played vs. MFOG, however, this is a common technique, especially in handicap games, to test the opponent. I could also mention that MFOG probably doesn't yet know that it cannot live inside... in which case (for a human player) it can be good to at least try. As additional back-up, "First-kyu" (a novel about Korean go in the 1950s) mentions at one point that it's common for the losing player to make such a test before resigning. The other player will not respond incorrectly (at near-pro level), but there's always a chance; it also makes a good resign spot.

kokiri - on one hand any legitimate move is ok, on another, relying on your opponent making a mistake is characteristic of weak play and doesn't do you any good in the long run - better to have played better in the first place. i think it's a bit harsh to think of a computer program as rude ;-), but I do get a little hacked off when a human opponent starts trying wild throw-ins in at the very end of the game - it's usually a sign that you've won the game but your opponent thinks he deserved to. Either the invasion works, in which case it should have been played earlier, or it doesn't, in which case it's a waste of time. Either way, there are better ways to play. The only exception is if, when filling dame, you fail to play a necessary defensive move, and if you do that, well, you deserve what you get...

(of if you're not sure if a placement works or not, then 1) trying reading it out to work it out, then 2) try it and see, just don't try sacrifices you know need a mistake to work)

Malweth: I think we had different interpretations of the question, since your final statement is in essence what I wrote. Just making forcing moves because you can is usually bad unless there really is a killing move. I thought the original question meant MFOG was making invasions that couldn't work, not zero point forcing moves.

Making an invasion that probably can't work seems ok to me as it relys on the difference in skill between two players, even if a mistake must be made for it to work. I can't count the number of times I've played something but my teacher (or other stronger player) showed me why it shouldn't have worked.

kokiri - maybe but given the question states when I expect the computer to pass i still think that any invasion at that point (i.e. just before the dame) is either too late or doesn't work - or someone has just failed to defend where they need to; any way you look at it, it's a sign of bad play by one or both sides; i guess the solution is just to play better - easier to say than to do.

Malweth - and similarly, I interpreted "force me to reinforce my wall" as an invasion indicating a peep. In either case, a legal move can never fully be "rude." Rudeness depends on an understanding of convention and an acceptance of such conventions. It used to be considered bad form to play first move at tengen but interesting games can result. A beginner (as most of us can still be called) should play everywhere he or she thinks is possible. If there's a wide open space, try invading it. If you think you see a tesuji, try it out. Even useless ataris make sense when played at the 20-30 kyu level. just review the game after it fails (or even if it works). Read everything out (on a board, in SGF, or in your head if you can) and see what would have worked and what definitely wouldn't. In the end, this is how you can "just play better."

jok?: Thanks for the replies! These moves are AFAICT zero point forcing moves, with no chance of success. All they do is force me to add a stone inside my own territory. Personally, I would not consider such a move against a human opponent; it would feel unspeakably cheap, as its only chance of success would be a total blunder on the part of my opponent. I suppose the reason MFOG plays these moves is that it can't really tell if the required response is blindingly obvious to a human opponent.

! Older Questions

Robert Pauli: Japan. Timekeeper. Stone hits board and is released. Move made? Or only after captives have been removed too? With other words, is it possible to lose on time while removing captives in a big Japanese title match?

Bill: Japanese rules, article 5:

Article 5. Capture If, due to a player's move, one or more of his opponent's stones cannot exist on the board according to the preceding article, the player must remove all these opposing stones, which are called "prisoners." In this case, the move is completed when the stones have been removed.

Emphasis mine. :-)

Chris Hayashida: Cheesy to win this way, though. In amateur tournament games, it's sometimes allowed to pause the clock during large captures, just to avoid time-suji wins.

Robert Pauli: Yes, Bill, know, but I still hope that time for the "rest" of the move is not deducted because this rest is a sheer consequence. Would fit to the gentle Japanese way, not? (On the other hand, harakiri . . . :--)

Coconuts: I wonder if anyone could be so kind to help me out as white against the Chinese Fuseki.

OTF: Immediate cap  

I personally don't like playing this B2 but I have faced it several times, and each time my answer has been lacking. The slide at a seems far too passive, and the invasion at b leaves B with exactly what he wanted--a wall facing strength below. b seems to be better for white than invading after a pincer, but is it good enough?

Sorry if this is too involved, maybe I should move it to BQM.

Tderz This is the Chinese Fuseki.
Where is the black 3-4 point supposed to be?
left-down ? or right-top? Is ist Chinese-low or -high?

Chris Hayashida: Probably better to draw it out and move it to a BQM. This isn't a "quick" question.

Assuming that the Chinese opening goes down the left side of the board, just sliding is probably fine. Black doesn't have firm control of the left side of the board, so you might be able to exploit the weaknesses of his upper left and invade on the left side as well. Put up the actual game position and we'll be able to help more.

byorgey: Another quick question. (= I'd like to do some studying/memorizing of some pro games. Can anyone point me to a place where I can find some commented pro games in SGF format, other than shelling out $65 for the GoGoD CD? (I may buy that at some point in the future but at the moment it seems like overkill). Thanks!

Funkybside: Take a momnent to explore Jan van der Steen's site, [ext] http://www.gobase.org - I believe you will find exactaly what you're looking for, and more. :) (You must register- but believe me it's worth it.) Thanks Jan for making it happen!

Thanks, it looks like a great site indeed! But what's all this about sending my "credentials" in order to register? I'm not an AGA member or part of a club or anything like that...

Niklaus: If it is comments and analysis you're after and not just the games, then you might want to have a look at some of Go Seigen's games commented very thoroughly by the master himself: [ext] http://www.5z.com/tucsongo/book/. The book is not only available in Postscript or PDF form, but also as sgf.

Wow, thanks! That will certainly keep me occupied for a long time... =)

byorgey: If you are slightly ahead in the late endgame, but then your opponent plays an unforseen tesuji, catching a few stones and swinging the game to him by a few points, is it more polite to resign (since you have obviously lost), or to play out the last few remaining moves (since the game is so close to being done)? And no, this is not a hypothetical question... (= Obviously I would rather resign since playing the last few moves would just be painful. Any thoughts?

IanDavis : I think strength is a major factor in this. I'm scraping 3kyu and can't count for toffee, if somebody chided me for not resigning I would just be amused.

byorgey: Well, I'm nowhere near that strong, but at least in the endgame I'm trying to make a habit of counting. (I'm still not exactly sure HOW to count in the middle game...) At any rate, I ended up resigning, since it was clear I had lost and there wasn't much more to be learned from the game. But I'd still love to hear other comments and opinions, if there are any.

Bill: If you want to resign in such a case, resign. I think it would be gracious to do so. :-)

where I can find the tutorial of mathematical go for end game? If any one can help me . pleease email me to my email address alan_ca2001@hotmail.com. Thank you very much.

Mef: Are you referring to things like Combinatorial Game Theory and Miai Counting?

Question from WillerZ: What is an anti-seki? The term is used on Basic Ko Anomalies.

Bill: A seki involves two (or more) mutually live groups. An anti-seki involves two (or more) mutually dead groups. E. g.,


If this ko is left as is after play has permanently ended by the Japanese 1989 rules, both the Black stones and the single White stone are dead.

Anti-sekis may arise only by the Japanese 1989 rules. IMHO, they are an abomination.

Robert Pauli: In my interpretation of JRG89 the dead white stone doesn't bother White in having 2 x 7 + 3 points in the corner.

Bill: But see [ext] Nihon Ki-in 1989 rules Life and Death Example 9.

Robert Pauli: I'm aware of it, Bill, but nevertheless . . .

WillerZ: The seki page says a seki is a situation in which "two live groups share liberties which neither of them can fill without dying", which fits my personal working definition of seki as a situation which is okay as is but if either side does anything it gets worse for them. The problem I have with anti-seki (or at least the examples I have seen so far) is that either player can play to make things better for themselves; the anti-seki only exists when both players opt to end the game prematurely. Is there any example of an anti-seki which cannot be avoided without making matters worse?

Bill: As far as I can tell, the main purpose of the J89 antiseki rule is to force the player who has just taken a ko when his opponent has passed in reply to continue and win the ko instead of passing. The J49 rules simply commanded the player to do so. Unfinished kos at the end of the game were not allowed. Now they become anti-seki.

The J49 rule was criticized for being a special ruling, and, hence, illogical. The J89 rules make filling the ko logical, at the expense of a la-la rule to make it logical. Pardon me while I gag.

Chris Hayashida: Maybe this is a direct result of the Go Seigen "I-should-get-a-point-for-not-filling-the-ko-because-he- has-no-ko-threats" ploy. :)

Bill: Go Seigen has consistently held a play-it-out point of view. So did Shusai.

Chris Hayashida: I seem to remember a game he played where he wanted an extra point because the other player had no ko threats left. Unfortunately, I forgot all of the details, like where I read the story. I'll try to look for it on Gobase.

Bill: Go Seigen was plainly the best player in the post-WWII period. He took on other top players in head to head matches, but did not compete for titles, notably the Honinbo title. He also did not belong to the Nihon Kiin. It became a tradition for the winner of the Honinbo title to play a three game match with Go Seigen, who, of course, won.

In the second game of the 1959 match vs. Takagawa, the game ended and Takagawa said that Go Seigen needed to make a teire in the center. Go Seigen said he didn't need to, and if Takagawa thought so, to play it out. Takagawa said that it would become a ko that Go Seigen would have to fill, by the Nihon Kiin rules. Go Seigen said, we did not agree to play by the Nihon Kiin rules. (Both players, OC, had read the ko fight out.)

Question from LukeNine45:

Trick play?  

I have seen this played in games. Is it in the Joseki pages anywhere? I can't seem to find it...


Bill: If the ladder works, B1 is a strong response.

Simple reply  

Bill: Otherwise, B1 is OK, reaching the same position as after W2 - B1, white+circle.

Revert to joseki  

Bill: Or White can play W2, reverting to joseki after W2 - B1, white+circle.

LukeNine45: Thanks very much!

Bill: De nada. :-) Interesting question.

Question from adammarquis


The short story: I'm playing on Dashn as white. I'd judged the nobi at B5 to be just slow rather than sinister trick play (I still think this), so I jumped to W6 anyway. Then black played B7. After some thought on the issue, I still haven't found a line that I feel is properly good for white here. Maybe I am being unreasonable. What would you play after the strange B7?

Charles It ought to be good enough to play at a. I'm not convinced that B5 is good, if B7 will follow. In a hard fight it will look heavy. W8 at a, Black jumps to the right, White jumps at b: is Black doing well?

adammarquis: Thanks for the new ideas. I wasn't going to, but I'l admit this: In the game white played a, black played c, white made a 30k mistake down the road, black won. I get flustered easily.

Question from ProtoDeuteric

How do I make a page Alias? And are the hit counts of the Aliases combined?

Arno: see HowAliasesWork. Hit counts are combined, but the initial count for the alias page (i.e. if the page already existed and got some hits) is not added to the main page when the page is made an alias.

Question from FireBolt

How can I leave a message to an librarian? And can he/she change a rooms name?

unkx80: If you want to change the name of a page, please make a request in page name change requests. If you have a general message (to anyone, including librarians), then the message board is an appopriate place.

By the way, I renamed one of the pages you created to become a subpage of hikaru fire.

Question from Jedyte moved to Jedyte on 13x13

albacore: I was looking at the smallest group with two eyes page which raised a question in my mind, but I didn't want to edit that page. When your opponent has a group that they can easily connect to make 2 eyes, should you play in the group to force them to do it? (This is discussed in connection with the final side group on the page mentioned.) It seems to me it would make sense to do this, as each stone your opponent plays in their own territory to connect the group reduces their score by 1. Am I missing something?

Bill: Do you mean this group?

Fifth side group  

Suppose that White plays at a, forcing Black to respond.

White sente  

$$ -----------------

Black still has 4 points: 3 points of territory plus 1 dead White stone. The score remains the same.

albacore: Many thanks for taking the trouble to answer. I can see only 2 points of territory, plus the 1 dead stone. Are you counting black at 2 as territory? The software I use only counts the empty points and dead enemy stones, and my understanding was this was the Japanese way of scoring. Hence the point of my question.

Paul Clarke: At the end of the game Black would remove W1 from the board, as it has no way to avoid being captured. That leaves Black with three empty points plus one point for the prisoner.

albacore: I had not understood that aspect of the counting, and I guess I misunderstood how my software counts territory and prisoners, too. Many thanks for the clarifications in your answers.

jfc: cough area counting cough.

Bill: cough Sunjang Baduk Scoring cough, hack ;-)

juhtolv: Do you know any places where you can download Go lessons in SGF-format? Please, add then here: SGF Archives

Question about the pro stat boxes.

When you look at professional player's statistics, the graph has the number of games played, scoring, and average. Any insight as to what these mean or how to interpret the trends. Thanks!

Niklaus: I assume you are talking about the statistics on [ext] http://gobase.org. Number of games is simply how many games the pro has played. Scoring shows how many of those he has won (percentage). Average is the scoring percentage averaged over the years. So the main thing to be read on that graph is how successful a pro has been over the years.

By the way, I think these statistics only account for the games that are in gobase's collection.

Question about teaching method Go variants

juhtolv: If you know the name of that nameless Go variant, please add it right in that page:

Go Variants That Make You Better Player in Normal Go


Q naruto3: Heya I have a question. I have been thinking for awhile now and think I may be correct sorta maybe. Well I play on KGS as some know. A while ago I was doing an experiment sorta accidental, for a while I was playing only the center in a game of go. I played people of many different ranks and strengths. Whenever I played the center of the board and seemed to be losing by less. Is there a reason? Also can anyone offer some tips for playing the center it would be appreciated

Bob McGuigan: Check out Why Don't We Open at Tengen

Bill: Congratulations on your results. It's a good experiment. :-)

Overemphasizing the center is not good, but most amateurs make the opposite mistake of neglecting the center. If you are getting better results by playing in the center, then maybe you were doing that. The old rule of thumb from Korschelt, probably reflecting his understanding of what Murase Shuho said, is not such a bad one: One eye and access to the center.

Balance is important.

I am having lots of trouble getting SGF files to open within both my browsers, Mozilla and IE6. I looked at the SGF help files but couldnt' figure out how to handle MIME types, etc. I don't have an SGF player, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

Bob McGuigan: I am in no way an expert, but I think SGF files are simply text files that happen to be written in a special format. SGF readers are programs that take this text file and turn it into a diagram. There are many SGF readers available, some of them are free downloads and also function as clients for some go servers. See SGF File and Go Editing Programs.

Q: Jion?: Hello, don't know where I should ask this or find this; I tried searching for it but found nothing. Please edit/move this if it makes things easier. Just wondering if it is always possible to live with an invasion at A in this situation? I realize that invading immediately would probably be helping black, but can anyone give me some ideas for a joseki sequence? TIA

OTF: Middle-game joseki invasion?  

Dieter: Let's call it three star points, contact invasion.

Q: puripuri: A long time ago (well, months) I read a typed in chapter of a Go book in Sensei's Library. It wasn't a technical book, but pictured the life and survival of a family in old Japan, where the father played Go in the landlord's mansion and earned money for bread from winning. Later the eldest daughter wants to pick up the game too. I checked through most of the pages under Books & Publications header, but didn't find this chapter any longer... Is it still around somewhere? Was it taken down for copyright reasons or something similar? Not that it matters, I'm more interested in the title of the book. Anyone remember that? :)

Gromgull?: You are thinking of [ext] http://gobase.org/reading/stories/?id=9

Bob McGuigan: Are you thinking of A Cautionary Tale??

Zarlan: No I think it is the one where the father had played Go, so good that he only had to play a few times to allow their family to have a lot of money and status, but after his death the son is forced to play to get money. He doesn't know much to begin with but his mother and sister fix a board of cloth and pebbles that they play with although women aren't allowed to play Go and... anyway where is that story?

puripuri: Hmm looks like I remembered a little wrong... Zarlan's description sounds quite correct now that I think about it in more detail... Skipping through A Cautionary Tale?, it seems like another story well worth reading. Thanks for that tip too.

Q: Fwiffo: Online, when playing with Japanese rules, most players rarely fill in dame (with the exception of points that force the opponent to fill in part of their own territory) at the end because it's not worth any points. My understanding is that dame points are worth points when using area scoring (such as in Chinese rules), and should be filled. I've noticed people sometimes neglect to do this when playing my robot (which is set for Chinese scoring for technical reasons) and lose points as they pass while the robot fills.

In a system with pass stones (such as AGA rules) it is still necessary to fill dame, correct? Doubly so?

As a side note - I can see the appeal of territory scoring in casual online games both for penalizing useless plays inside established territory and obviating the need to fill dame.

A: Neil: This is a loaded question. By using the japanese term dame, you're pre-judging the filling of the points between territory as "worthless." (This isn't really an answer, but rather more of an observation hoping to spark a discussion)

Fwiffo: Ok, I'll clarify my question thusly: for the purposes of this query, dame is defined as the neutral points typically left unfilled by most players when playing online using Japanese rules because they have no value when using territory scoring.

Bill: The idea of pass stones in the AGA rules derives from an article I wrote for the American Go Journal in the '70s about Chinese rules. In the article I call them bookkeeping stones. Their purpose was to allow the use of territory counting with the Chinese rules, since most American go players were used to that style of counting. (I was not the first to have that idea, though.) So, yes, you typically need to fill the Japanese dame under AGA rules.

Q: bojo: Is master editing out short summary of change possible? There is/was a blatantly racist remark typed up in regards to AtomicBombGame, but I am unsure if it's possible to revert that out.

A: Arno: no it is not possible. Currently only I can do that. If the problem reccurs often enough, librarians will get the ability too. I have deleted the abusive summary.

Q: Hikaru79: I am wondering whether it is allowed to take SL's template files (browse.html, etc), modify them, and use them for your own Wiki--I'm not sure if "Open-Source" extends that far. There were no attempts made to somehow deny access to these files (I easily found them), so I assume that it's OK to take them and play with them a little; But I am asking just to be sure :) Is it OK to take SL's template, modify it to suit one's purpose, and use it on a non-commercial Wiki? (I'm planning on making a Chess or Shogi Wiki with a similar layout to SL) Thank you!

Eratos You can certainly download the [ext] MediaWiki software that SL is (AFAIK) based on, and other Wikis like WikiPedia, WikiBooks etc. I'm not so sure about things like SL's unique board diagramming and SGF creating parts though.

Morten: Hikaru79, I'd suggest that you drop Arno and myself an email with what you would like to do and we will get back to you.

Q: bojo: In handicap games I play against a certain fellow, he always answers my keima kakari like so:

OTF: corner  

I'm not exactly sure how to follow this up. Usually I just let it go, approach from the other side later, and eventually close him in. However, I'm curious if there is a more efficient way to deal with it.

A: unkx80: Please see 4-4 point low approach, low knight's move block and BQM 146.

Q: Jion?: I have NEVER played a 13x13 game before. Do any high kyu players or higher think it helps your game? I have played many 9x9 games using igowin, and I think it has helped my fighting and endgame. I think a 13x13 would be far more territorial than 19x19 . . comments or thoughts?

A: unkx80: As the board size increases, the game will get less and less territorial.

Q: Jion?: Hi, this is my first time posting here, so apologies if I inadvertently mess something up. I was wondering if a slotted board is a board that is composed of two pieces, and fits together with slots, or is it a folding board that has slots on the side so it is more secure? Any recommendations on whether to get a slotted or folding board? Also, any major difference in Agathis or Katsura wood? I think I might get a folding board, but wanted to know what other people think first. TIA.

A: HansWalthaus?: A slotted board is a board that has pieces that are slotted together. A folding board that has slots on the side is just a folding board with some nice bodywork.

I think slotted boards are better if you're playing on a slightly oneven surface. And slotting the board is cooler than folding one open :) No comment on the wood types. Hope it helps.

A2: mdh Note in some places, Katsura is becoming rare and hard to find. My local shop has a sign up saying it is now a protected species and they will not be selling any more Katsura boards.

A3: JohnAspinall The problem with folding boards is they eventually warp over time. I have a cheap folding board where one of the halves has warped enough to put a ridge right down the middle line of the board. I'm considering cutting the felt backing, straightening the warp out and routing alignment slots to turn it into a slotted board. I'll let you know how it goes.

Alex Weldon: If you're in a defensive position, go for the White stones. The Black position allows potential for a White tesuji (c.f. strike at the waist of the keima) to cut, if there are White stones nearby to help.

Q: Neil: What shape is better connected of these two, white or black?

OTF: Connection Question  

A:Bob McGuigan: In isolation it is hard to say. Without supporting stones of the opposite color nearby both are strong shapes. However, a Black play at the point marked with a square creates a cutting point marked with a circle as in the following diagram:


On the other hand if White tries to disconnect the black stones on the left as in:


White can try to save W3 but then W1 will be captured unless there are nearby white stones to help.

Neil: Thank you.

Q: ColJac: I see the word "Igo" used to describe go in a Japanese context. One would assume that this was the Japanese word for go, but more often one reads that "Go" is a Japanese word. And what am I to make of "GoGoIgo!"? Can someone explain the difference?

A: "Go" means something like "game". "Igo" means something like "surrounding game". "Go Go Igo" is an example of both Japanese love for foreign words, "go" from English, and a popular word-doubling idiom.

A: See the Etymology of Go.

Q: What's the Korean equivalent of kenkyuusei and haya go?

Q: How long do preliminary matches last in the Japanese Go scene? I mean title matches are given 8 hours or 7 or depending on the title. How about the qualifying games for these matches? And how about the Ooteai, how long were the games back then?

A: Kisei, Meijin, and Honinbo preliminary matches give 5 hours per player with five 1-minute byo-yomi.

Judan, Tengen, Oza, and Gosei preliminary matches give 4 hours per player with five 1-minute byo-yomi.

Kisei, Meijin, and Honinbo titles matches give 8 hours per player with ten 1-minute byo-yomi. (2 day affairs)

Judan title matches give 5 hours per player with ten 1-minute byo-yomi.

Oza title matches give 5 hours per player with five 1-minute byo-yomi.

Tengen and Gosei title matches give 4 hours per player with five 1-minute byo-yomi.

Q: Results of Go games are sometimes marked "B+R". Does that mean "Black won by resignation" or "Black resigned"? thanks in advance!

A: It means Black won by resignation

Q: alter Pedro: do you play with or against your opponent?

A: I'm still only playing against them, but I start to see playing with them is much more rewarding.

A: (benni) A pupil plays against his enemy, a master will play with his partner, but ... a true master plays with them like a cat plays with a mouse. ;-)

Q: Nico: I haven't be able to find a page explaining why the goban coordinates jump from H to J, missing I. Shame on me! I suspect some kind of historical reason. And I am pretty sure that this is explained somewhere on a wiki page...

A: Tamsin It's to avoid confusion between "i" and "j" in game records using algebraic notation (i.e., co-ordinates written in letters and numbers).

- I thought it was because "I" could be confused with "l" or "1".

Bill: Historically, Latin did not have both letters. I think some modern languages do not, either, but I'm not absolutely sure.

HolIgor: They had some difficulties with spelling LATIN, hadn't they?

Bill: LATJN? ;-)

Q: alter Pedro: how many 3-4 points are there on a go-ban? (8, 4, 1?)

OTF: two 3-4 points?  

If a is the (upper left) 3-4 point, I guess that makes b the 4-3 point. Does the order in which they are played change their names?

on a 19x19 board should the point a be called the 16-3 point?

A: Confused: When used in the context of corner patterns like joseki, the expression '3-4 point' should be interpreted as 'point 3 lines from one border and 4 lines from another border'. There are 8 such points on a goban. Usually the first play in the sequence that isn't on a diagonal decides the direction of numbering.

Q: alter Pedro: I've never played face to face go ... and I wonder ...

Do players keep records of their moves (like in chess)? all the pictures of boards I've seen don't have the coordinates on them which (in my humble opinion) makes it hard to know where the last stone was played (was that k15 or j15???)

A: StormCrow: It depends on the person. Most people I know rarely record casual games. I generally record games I play in a tournament using a program on my Palm Pilot. If games are recorded on paper, they are generally marked up on a grid, rather than as a list of points played.

alter Pedro: Thanks Storm :)

unkx80: Generally, the records kept look exactly the same as the diagrams you see in SL. =)

repp: I played someone recently who took down the game using a unique system. Counting from the center, each move was marked as xy, followed by an arrow representing the quadrant the move was made in. So, playing on the 4-4 point was marked as "66_|". Stones played next to the previous stone was marked "1^" or something similar. I'd never seen it before but it made for a fast and easy way to track the game.

Charles I believe this system was mentioned in a BGJ article, not long ago.

A: Benjamin Geiger: See also HowToRecordAGame.

Q: A stronger player in a 9x9 teaching game recently told me that I shouldn't "hit below the shoulder" but should "hit above the shoulder". I am familiar with the concept of a shoulder hit but why is above better than below?

A: Stefan: turned this into BQM75.

Q: Can somebody give me a good definition of the term "life basis"? One person told me that it is room to make an eye, another told me it is potential to make two eyes. It seems to be an important term to consider in settling groups. Perhaps someone could start a discussion page about it?

A: Charles Matthews See base. A base for a group ought to be at least one eye, really; potential to make two eyes is 1.5 eyes, as we usually reckon it, and that's harder to have in fighting.

Q: Is there a word (other than invasion) to describe dropping a stone lightly inside an over-expansive moyo when it has a chance of either achieving sabaki or escaping? I've heard it described in English as a "Paratrooper invasion".

A: puripuri: Capping move is one I've seen in use.

A: Bill: Erasure, reduction, or keshi.

Q: Is there a word for a dragon that pokes its head through one of your walls, and runs amok reducing your territory?

A: Yes, it is called a finger. (See anatomical terms.)

Q: In Chinese there is a term that translates as 'virtuous warrior's advance' Virtuous (de) means powerful in this context. Though this term describes the dynamic action, rather than the static formation.


Morten: Can people who copy & paste existing questions from other pages to this page please take care that the questions are 'quick questions' and are not obsolete or old, or taken out of their context?

Hikaru79: OK ;)

Q: Hikaru79: In Hikaru no Go, Touya Akira checks up on the status of the Pro Exam through the net, where the names of all the insei and their current standings in the exam were shown. I was just wondering if a site like this actually existed on the Nihon-Kiin's page, or if it was just the author taking some artistic liscence when it came to that. And even if there isn't, does anyone know when the pro exam starts? Thanks! =) (My own question taken from the "Insei" page.

A: [ext] http://www.nihonkiin.or.jp/saiyo/index2003.htm has the info, but in Japanese only.

Q: Hikaru79: Is it possible to have RandomPage? (the feature listed on the front page of SL) as one of your "favorites" on your user bar. (The one that can be edited at UserPreferences). I have already tried random=1 but that doesn't work. Any suggestions? ^^

A: Hikaru79: Never mind, I've solved my own problem. It can't be done the normal way, but if you make it an external link ([ext] http://senseis.xmp.net/?random=1) then it'll work. I'd still be interested if there are other ways of doing this, though.

A2: TJ: RandomPage|phpwiki:?random=1

Q: Help! I've wiped out my browser cookies in a fit of housecleaning, and I've forgotten my SL password. Can it be mailed to me?

I've wondered...

I'm reminded how in poker, there are big tournaments, but also big-money side games as well. Do pro players play _only_ in tournaments, or are there leagues for them to play in? Or do pros just challenge each other? How would a system for this take place?


Answer: In Japan, at least, pros are paid to play "official" games. The money comes from sponsors of tournaments. Pros don't risk their own money. Challenge matches would be possible if sponsors could be found. In a sense Go Seigen's ten-game matches were of this sort.

Answer: I heard the some Korean players may play Go for money (Bang Neki). But unlike poker, a game of skill (Go) versus one that is half skill and half luck (Poker). The highest ranking player in Go may be more likely to win everygame. Though the Go handicap system may help to equalize a game. The only other problem is getting enough people together that will be willing to gamble that have Go playing skills. Maybe if Go becomes available at Los Vegas or Tahoe/Reno... then gambling for money will catch on for the game of Go.

Q:Dan Argent: I need a place to download the java stuff to run KGS on my second computer (it was already on my first). The CGoban site gives a link to the sun systems site, but for the life of me, I can't find the spot to just download the apropriot JRE. can anyone help with a link to a free download and/or a walk through of how to get it installed?

A: Yes, the page ([ext] http://java.sun.com) is confusing for non-programmers. Try [ext] http://www.java.com and tell us if this worked; you should be able to use the Download link at the top right.

A2: [ext] J2SE 1.4.2_02 downloads:. Take the offline installation JRE if you want to reuse it later. Walkthrough: start the installer. Press Next/OK. Done.

Q2:Dan Argent: Ok thanks, I got the download. that was easier than I thought. But now CGoban 2 still says that it canot find the java runtime environment. what now?

Dan Argent:I downloaded the wrong stuff. I solved it now thanks for those who helped, I am now using KGS on both of my computers.

amadis: I was looking for the KGSEnglishChatRoom? page but had a hard time finding it. I think the reason is that somebody added a slash character "/" to the title, which caused unforeseen results. Are any non-alpha characters allowed in page titles?

SikeElegy: Roughly how many official pros are there (in particular countries, or a combined total)?

Charles Japan 400+, China 200-250, South Korea 200 and increasing now; Taiwan 20, North America 10-15; a few in Europe and probably one or two in Singapore and Hong Kong.

SikeElegy: What's up with the Hao Mao Cup (Chinese City League Tournament)? It was my favorite tournament to follow, but when igo-kisen dropped it, I found myself completely unable to find any info about it, current or otherwise.

SikeElegy: No one has anywhere they can point me? The last I've found/heard is the go4go.net news for April '04, in which they said the "Chinese City League A will start in the middle of the month" but I haven't found anything with results or any kind of further info (not even the teams).

HolIgor: [ext] http://www.yigo.org/modules/freecontent/index.php?id=82 seems to contain the tournament table.

Frarugby: This question has probably been asked a thousand times, but i'm new to this wonderful site, give me a break. :) I've been playing the great game of Go for a while now, but for the most part my games have been limited to the internet. I intend to join a club in the future, but currently i personally don't know anyone else who plays seriously. Is there, somewhere on the internet, a program or person or site that can analyze/look at my game and give me an idea of what my rank is? i'm very curious and i have no idea how to find out approximately where i'm at. Often when i play against others, they tell me they are 15 kyu, or 18 kyu or 5 kyu or so on.. are they estimating? how does one find out? thanks a lot

HolIgor: I guess you've been playing on some internet server without a rating system. Try to create an account at a server with the rating system such as IGS, KGS, NNGS. After playing a number of games you'll get your rating. They are quite close to the real life ratings. IGS gives approximately European rating, KGS is anchored to the American rating system.

Charles Without any data to go on, I can say that 15 kyu is the top end of the 'social player' range: without a bit of serious study, or contact with more experienced players, most people find it hard to progress further than that.

IanDavis You can also try the Osmotic method - I have begun to notice several players now who don't actually play; they just watch high dan games for months, then they start playing at about 15k. Could just be urban myth though.

Frarugby Thanks very much for all the help guys. Here's a bit of a follow-up question: Which Go server do you guys recommend for a relatively new player like me? Why do people choose some servers over others? any opinions?

SikeElegy: kgs+ +

jfc Here is the breakdown:

  • KGS: best user interface by far. great features for teaching. you can run the KGS client from a web browser. I play here exclusively these days.
  • IGS: Many pros play here. better if you are really strong and have trouble finding opponents at your level. Pro games often simulcast on IGS.

Frarugby Thanks for the help fellas, i made an account at KGS and it seems like they have a really nice system. I'm Frarugby if anyone wants a game. Until then, cheers

Q: dr: I have a quick question about Counting Points in Seki I was hoping somebody could answer...

Q: Kiruwa: If anyone has answered this already, I apologize. But I'm curious what the japanese word to indicate that you are passing is.

Can someone give a "correct" pronunciation of "miai" in terms a westerner would understand?

A: If you don't want to learn the gory details of Japanese pronunciation, you can approximate this word by saying "me-eye" as you would in English. Try not to have a glottal stop in the middle, which means the catch in your voice as you say "Uh-oh!". Here is a pathetic little mnemonic: "You play there, me eye. You play here, me eye. Miai!"

Q: So, <mee ah' ee> is bigtime wrong? Where does the accent go in <mee eye>?

A: You won't go far wrong by pronouncing Japanese like Spanish. Miai has three syllables: mi, a, and i. They are shorter than English mee, ah, and ee. Each Japanese syllable lasts about 1/4 second.

There is no accent in Japanese like the English accent. Often the pitch rises on the second syllable, a, which can sound like an English accent.

Quick Questions (version 394) last edited by isshoni on October 1, 2005 - 06:01
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