You need half the points + 1

    Keywords: Strategy, Proverb

For those players (like me) that are susceptible to greed, this mantra is to be used in all strategical consideratons.

You want a larger part of that Moyo? You jump too far, eager to cover more Territory? Think again! To win, you only need half the points plus one. Remember this when you decide whether to attack or defend.


RobAnybody This proverb comes from aburry?, while he reviewed a game he used those words to comment on my greed (or is it gluttony?). The idea struck me so hard! Why did I run for more points and risk the game? I don't need them, I only need half plus one!

This is not only about attack and defense, nor about choosing your strategy. It is something valid for the meta-game. Finding the balance in one's play, one learns to control his character.

If go is a game of balance, then winning by one point must be the perfect victory!


unkx80: Not enough for black if komi is included in the game.


Bob McGuigan: Izumitani Masanori 7p gave a lecture at the third U.S. Go Congress (1987) in which he discussed these issues. He pointed out that in a typical go game there might be around 240 moves, about 120 stones of each color. 240 from 361 leaves 121. Thus each side only needs a little more than 60 points to win (with adjustment for komi). Many amateurs play greedily. They don't want their opponents to have any territory. But by the above analysis each side is entitled to a substantial amount of territory. If you try to take that away you are being greedy and are vulnerable to losing a lot yourself.


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You need half the points + 1 last edited by ElDraco on December 26, 2004 - 01:58
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