Sub-page of CapturingRaces1

Table of contents

English Language

SiouxDenim Did this book get copy-edited by a native English speaker? The [ext] Sample Material seems useful, but the language is rather awkward.

RobertJasiek: A native English speaker has not proofread the book. I considered a possible delay by 4 to 12 weeks for that too great. If you have suggestions for a second printing's language improvement, please send them to me by email. It is more interesting to discuss the book's go terms here or rather on a subpage of this page. What for example do you consider awkward?

Hyperpape: I think that your calculation is a mistake, and the time to have the book proofread would have been worth the wait. The language slows my reading somewhat. Perhaps the matter could be improved by sending chapters to be edited as you complete the first drafts of them. But I don't know your workflow.

RobertJasiek: The workflow of books like this is to write on all pages, then correct all pages. Parallel writing while proofreading would lead to a very long delay. "Waiting for the proofreading" is not the issue. The issue is being involved while the proofreaders are busy; hence the total time spent on the book would become economically unbearable. It is not like in the big business where proofreading can be a completely independent and separate step. Rather I am the book's editor and so need to apply the corrections etc. - Another problem is: In a theory-heavy book, proofreaders of the English language usually are not also experts on the topic's contents. So they can correct definitions or principles only cautiously. About the best they can do is to point out and explain some language mistake, let me write a new text for the definition or principle and then tell me if it is ok.

Hyperpape: I see. I'm familiar with people working chapter at a time, but if that's not your method, nevermind.

RobertJasiek: I can also create other books written chapter by chapter, books without global structure of chapters and without much global relation of the theory. For this book however, there has been so much interdependence that a pure chapter-wise writing was out of the question. In particular, I was doing research while writing the book. For example, only during writing it I recognised well similar behaviours of types and same cases of different types. Therefore a reordering and a different numbering scheme became useful and necessary to ease learning. In other words, I try to use the (for me) most efficient working flow for a book's contents.

RobertJasiek: SiouxDenim, please explain what about the language you consider "rather awkward"!

SiouxDenim: Robert, I don't want to go through all of your sample material criticising the English. You'd probably just ignore me if I did. Taking the first few lines in the sample text as examples:

The following kinds say how liberties are counted.
This doesn't make sense as written. I think you mean something like: The following text describes how to count the liberties for each type.

A string's physical liberty is an adjacent empty intersection.
Do you mean there to be only one physical liberty? The others types you list below allow multiple liberties.

''A group's number of approach liberties is the minimal number of the attacker's excess plays necessary for removal.''
Something like this is easier to read:
A group's number of approach liberties is the minimum number of unanswered moves an attacker must make to remove the group.
(maybe I haven't understand your use of excess in this case). Better still might be:
The number of approach liberties a group has is found by counting the number of unanswered moves an attacker must make to remove the group.

SiouxDenim As I said before, I don't doubt that your material is correct, but I find myself trying to understand your sentences; I'd rather be thinking about Capturing Races.

RobertJasiek: Thank you for the hints describing where you are having difficulties with my English style! I do not agree with you though but think every reader should allow an author a personal style of writing and to some extent be prepared to adapt to it. With a more positive effort of trusting the author's likely intention, you can understand my texts more easily. As you can see at the end of my reply, you do have a point though.

The following kinds say how liberties are counted.: You are wondering "kinds of what". The context is there: "liberties". So what the sentence expresses is: "The following kinds of liberties say how liberties are counted." This would be clumsy, using the same word twice. Instead I construct the sentence efficiently by ellipsis. I mean more than what you suggest in "The following text describes how to count the liberties for each type.". I also mean that there are different kinds of liberties! Mentioning "text" would be a superfluous self-reference to the text.

A string's physical liberty is an adjacent empty intersection.: You ask: "Do you mean there to be only one physical liberty?" How can you assume such? I have written "an" (indefinite article). I have not written "one" (number). I have also not written "only". From an author like me (who I am known to love precision) in a book about counting, you as the reader must expect the author to be able to distinguish "an" from "one" from "only one". Do not replace what is written by your wishful thinking! Frankly, I cannot imagine you to have such great difficulty with understanding the sentence. Compare: "A string's liberty is an adjacent empty intersection." This is the ordinary "liberty" we have been taught when we were beginners. What is new in my sentence is the now more specific name for the term: I call it "physical liberty" instead of "liberty". Why? Because, as the introductory sentence warned, there are different kinds of liberties. To distinguish the different kinds, it is necessary to give each kind its own name.

Herman: This is not correct. Consider the sentence: "A person's age is a natural number". Does this imply that a person can have many ages? No. The sentence construct you used implies a unique property. Correct alternatives would be: "A string's physical liberties are its adjacent empty intersections" or "Each empty intersection adjacent to a string is a physical liberty for that string". Of course, most people will understand what you meant to say, instead of what you actually said.

RobertJasiek: Your comparing example is doubtful because (ignoring general relativity theory) a person does not have several ages at any single time. Your suggestion of "each" is good though. It would spare the reader from having to imply "each" from "a". "a" is correct but requires more thinking.

Herman: My example is not doubtful. Any sentence of the form "an {object}'s {property} is a {definition}" implies that the property is unique. A person who had never heard the term "age" before would be able to infer from my example that is is a unique property of a person. More examples:

  • Correct: A unicycle's tire is an inflated rubber tube
  • Correct: A bicycle's tires are inflated rubber tubes
  • Wrong: A bicycle's tire is an inflated rubber tube

Really, I don't understand why you would waste time disputing this point.

RobertJasiek: Indeed I dislike wasting time on bad examples but let me give at least a hint what's wrong with yours: To be a fitting example for my definition style of physical liberty, your example could have been: A year of a person's life consists of the days following a birthday of his until including his next birthday, provided he is or was alive on each of those days. His age is the number of such years. I.e., you do not form the total sum of ages, year by year; instead you count the number of years during which the person was alive.

RobertJasiek: You are wrong that "an {object}'s {property} is a {definition}" implied that the property is unique. This is implied only if {property} and {definition} are static. If they are dynamic, then they can refer to different instances of such an object. E.g., my physical liberty object can refer to different board coordinates (fulfilling the aspects "empty" and "adjacent to string"). Dynamic definitions frequently occurred in maths texts I read at university. Of course, I understand and agree to your and SiouxDenim's suggestion that go books need a less dynamic style because many readers are not used to it. Your attempt to argue that my definition was factually incorrect goes too far though. That it does not follow your preferred definition style does not equal being factually incorrect.

Herman: Robert, you are wrong. Please, ask a native speaker, or someone with a formal education in English, they will confirm that your are wrong. Your proficiency in the English language has always been mediocre at best, so I really don't understand why you feel the need to argue it.

RobertJasiek: I am aware that my English does not reach that of a well educated native speaker but "you are wrong" is too mighty. I am wrong with the style but not with the factual contents.

Herman I can understand what you mean by your definition by the context, and the definition you meant is not wrong. The language, however, is wrong. English simply does not work the way you want it to work. You could change your definition to "A physical liberty of a group is an adjacent empty intersection" and it would be correct. But the English constructs "a physical liberty of a group" and "a group's physical liberty" are not equivalent, no matter how much it may seem that way.

RobertJasiek: Ah... I was not aware that here the word order and genitive matter that much. Thanks!

Dieter: A genitive and a possessive pronoun construction are equivalent. However, the pronoun construction induces the need for an extra article, here chosen indefinite. The genitive implies a definite article, hence the implied cardinalities are not the same. Incidentally, it is true also in Dutch, where the usage of genitive is however archaic, isn't it Herman?

I understand that you are having difficulty with the approach liberties definition because indeed "excess" requires thinking. It is also possible to write "the attacker's number of plays minus the defender's number of plays" but somehow also the "necessary for removal" must be incorporated and then the sentence can easily become complicated. "excess" has the advantage of being short. While your suggestions try to improve on the English language, you introduce factual ambiguity: It is not "an" attacker but "the attacker" because, once an initially generic "a group" is given, that group becomes specific, is a group of a particular player (the defender) and so one must speak of the particular opponent, "the" attacker. In other words, the group's player may not participate in attacking it; his duty is the attempted defense! Furthermore your suggestion "move" is not possible; in specialised terminology, "play" and "move" have to be distinguished; here "(local board) play" is being meant while passes or plays elsewhere are not meant. Your suggestion "unanswered (plays)" is better. I think though, now that you point at it, that an explanation of "excess (plays)" prior to using it would have helped the reader more. I am used to that phrase in go theory study but I realise your problem as a reader that you are not used to it yet. Redecker's review points out another such problem (related to whether two eyes are bad in semeai study) readers can have. I wonder though if you understand "approach liberties" after looking at the book's (sample's) examples and read the definition again.

Slarty: The more you say, the more doubtful it will be, particularly as a non-native English speaker. Practically speaking, it doesn't matter much for your definitions, although those are supposed to be crystal clear. The longer paragraphs are indeed awkward.

RobertJasiek: Now you try to start a meta-discussion. While the discussion on the book's language is useful, a meta-discussion about who says how much is not useful for improving it.

Slarty: I am not trying to start anything. I was offering a helpful comment gently explaining why I will be ignoring your linguistically confusing, and patronizingly argumentative paragraphs. My position would be that a second edition be rewritten by a native speaker, which should be useful to you. But there is nothing to discuss. I just want to point out that you come across as rude, and be done with it.

RobertJasiek: Can you please avoid using words like "rude"? - It is realistic that some time a second edition can be proofread by native speakers but impossible that it would be rewritten by a native speaker. It is impossible because go players do not pay the then necessary significantly higher price. The go book market is small and the market for books on specialised topics such as semeais is even smaller. One cannot have all at the same time: a low price, high quality contents and perfect proofreading. The four months I spent on Capturing Races 1 are probably already unreasonably long. - There are limits to what proofreaders can achieve. It is more important that I improve my English style. So hints on this webpage can help me a lot if they are specific enough so that I know what is being meant. From your "[The longer paragraphs are indeed] awkward" remark, I can infer nothing so far.

Dieter: While "rude" may be agreed to be an aggressive qualification, many people will prefer to be called rude than be addressed with the sentence "I understand you have difficulty with (...) because it requires thinking". Your ambitions in pedagogy are not helped by reacting to a native speaker's criticism that your language makes it hard to understand your theory, with variations on "you should become smarter". Even selling ideas requires good marketing.

RobertJasiek: It is not about marketing but - besides (un)clarity of language style - about balance between boredom of triviliaties and explanation of new contents. I thought that 43 pages for explanation of terms were enough preparation before the study of capturing races begins. Maybe it it not enough and every definition needs (besides clearer English, the examples and the texts accompanying them) accompanying text explaining each detail of a definition. E.g. for the approach liberties definition, one could explain what "minimal", "excess", "play" and "necessary" mean together with either player's role of attacking or defending. A book has to start somewhere though and I considered it a bad idea to start with the boringly obvious. Or what I perceive as obvious. It is possible that not every reader shares the same preliminary knowledge. The book Tesuji and Anti-suji uses a contrary approach. It starts with a very detailed discussion of the meaning of (te)suji, so detailed that it bored me to death and I lost interest in that book. In contrast to you, I think that requiring the reader to think is a good idea because strength improvement requires that anyway. (But I agree that unclear English style should not be the task for required thinking. Wrong grammar usage like in "string's physical liberty" is something else though than somewhat difficult to understand contents like "minimal" in the approach liberties definition.)

We both think readers should be expected to think and indeed should not be bored to death with stating the obvious. However, you chose to write in English and not Sanskrit, which would have required yet more thinking. It seems we agree.

John F. I do find it amusing to see non-native speakers argue about English usage! Still, this is an attempt to be helpful to Robert, as a fellow author - a species that needs protection!

By and large Herman is right (I would quibble that his third sentence marked "wrong" is acceptable in certain cases). His most important point that grammar overrides vocabulary is certainly true - which is why we can find acceptable (in context) a sentence such as Lewis Carroll's "Twas brillyg, and the slythy toves did gyre and gymble in the wabe".

But culture overrides even grammar and one point that Robert should appreciate better is that both English and American people are highly sensitised, through frequent exposure from childhood, to another quotation from Lewis Carroll that even has the reputation of being much quoted in legal cases:

“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’," Alice objected. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

This means that, automatically, that whenever Robert adopts one of his (dare I say) obtuse stances, the image of Humpty Dumpty comes into our consciousness somewhere.

That does not render his attempts to use words with exactitude or to redefine them wrong or futile, but it does mean he is starting from a difficult base, culturally, An already difficult task is then made much more difficult by the use of weird constructions and wrong grammar. Some countries are handicapped in this by the nature of their own language. Dutch people tend to misplace adverbs in English, Russians miss out "a" and "the", Japanese mix up "a" and "the", etc. etc. In my opinion, though, Germans find special difficulty - perhaps assuming too much from the fact that our languages are related - and the ponderous locutions for relative clauses and the subjunctive often mean that Germans' English sounds worse to use than that of many other foreigners.

In my opinion (expressed before), Robert, you add to this two- or three-fold difficulty by not listening to well intentioned advice such as offered by Slarty, in the same way you have consistently ignored my advice e.g. to ditch "quite some" and use the correct "quite a few". I think I've also mentioned your wrong use of "mighty" (as here) when you mean "powerful", but there are bigger issues with things like those relative clauses leading to too long sentences.

You have shown signs here that you know there is a problem with grammar and vocabulary, but I'd like to suggest that you extend that understanding to a realisation that when people comment on your English style (which is rather a common occurrence, after all - doesn't that tell you something?) it is almost always in a spirit of wanting to help an author they'd actually rather like to read. Make it easier for us - listen and learn, and don't just make a (yes, "rude") brush-off that everything not to your liking is a meta-discussion.

I understand the economics of not wanting to have books rewritten, and I also understand the point that any reader of yours should know what to expect in terms of style. But, to be specific, I think the simplest way forward for you would be to adopt a more prolix or relaxed style. Use two words even if one would do for you. The point is, by using extra words you are giving extra clues to the reader, so that in the end he is more likely to understand what you really meant. That is especially important if there is likely to be a hiccup in the shorter version. Even among native speakers, in German just as as much as in English, we do this all the time in everyday language. Saying "shut" leaves a listener clueless as to whether you mean "Shut up", "Shut the door" or whether he just misheard you. Expanding that to "Shut the door" helps at the level of grammar and vocabulary. Expanding it to "Shut the door, please", or even "Would you mind shutting the door as a favour to me" helps at the cultural or social level. Ultimately the long forms all mean the same thing as the shortest one, but we all know for certain which one Alice would use.

RobertJasiek: Oh, my "quite some" again; learning English is so much more difficult than learning go. - I can learn also from Slarty only if understand what he means. Which paragraphs is he referring to - a) the two longer definitions in the book, b) all longer paragraphs in the book, c) my longer paragraphs here written before his remark? Why "awkward"? - I could write "two words instead of one". If, however, I do it throughout the book for just the definitions, already then the page number becomes too large and also the invested time. I would have to throw out other chapters. So this becomes much more than a question only about language. More contents or better language? My preference is more contents.

John F. Robert, I hear again the sound of the portcullis crashing down and the drawbridge being yanked up. But I'll make a last (repeat last) attempt to storm the castle.

"More contents or better language? My preference is more contents." No! Your preference should have nothing to do with it. You have already made a decision higher up the decision-tree that you want to publish books and charge money for them. As soon as you do that, the readers' preferences kick in. If readers want a different style of English, more examples, fewer lists, pink paper or whatever, you of course have the right not to listen, but then you cannot complain if people don't buy or stock your books or don't give them entirely glowing reviews. More to the point for you perhaps, it is a completely illogical progression from your first decision. Bringing in arguments such as increased pagination or more time needed is spurious. In the actually very unlikley case that a better written book did become significantly longer, you could always resort to doing extra volumes. And increased sales would justify any extra time invested. I don't think you would need any extra time anyway, because a more relaxed style makes you write faster, and you would spend much less time here and on L19 defending your current style.

There have been people in the chess world who have done what you are trying to do in go. As I understand the situation, Steinitz's scientific researches were the first major advance, but no-one now reads his works. Instead they approach them via Lasker, who admired Steinitz's basic thinking but not his rigidity. Lasker softened the rough edges and brought in inexact factors such as psychology. It is his version chess players now read.

Hans Kmoch tried the approach of cataloguing pawn play and defining terms very exactly. In the process he invented many new words. I can't remember many, but there were things like leucophobia to describe a bad bishop, and dynamic monochromy. As far as I know, Kmoch's book is just seen as an historical curiosity now, and none of the terms he proposed is in use in English (except in totally different meanings e.g.pawn ram).

One chess writer who took a scientific approach and who is still read, I believe, is Nimzovich. But a modernised edition I have of "My System" has a preface by the American GM Yasser Seirawan who says he rejected reading it early in his career because "it was also written in a manner and style that was decidely too 'European' and 'Scientific'". Indeed, the book starts with a list, continues with another one, and introduces mathematics on the second page. But actually Nimzovitch does make strenuous efforts to make the book accessible. He avoids neologisms and he freely uses metaphors or "two words for one", being willing to add useful text. E.g. His maxim "To be ahead in development is the ideal to be aimed at", which can be argued to be sufficient in itself for any moderate chess player, is instead expanded by a section beginning "If I were running a race with someone, it would be, to say the least, inopportune were I to throw away valuable time by say, rubbing dirt off of my nose, although I must not be considered as blaming that operation in itself." Sheer verbiage, and a ponderous style not helped by an excruciatingly bad translation - note that horrible "off of" - yet I feel sure that most readers welcome even this extra wordage, especially in a book of lists. It's not padding. It's the frame that sets off the picture. It really does help, even when we have to struggle through the stylistic thicket.

RobertJasiek: Let me remark just how accessible I have made my book: It has 37 diagrams denoting approach liberties and 145 diagrams denoting fighting liberties. Liberties counting for Black or White are marked by 'B' or 'W', respectively. Every diagram has accompanying text. Needless to say, there are of course also all the usual diagrams with move sequences etc. (Comparison: Hunter's book has only 2 diagrams denoting approach liberties, 0 diagrams denoting fighting liberties, 4 diagrams showing imagined equal filling.)

The result (again only as far as I know - I'm not a chess player but I met many top players when I was working on a shogi program) has been that Nimzovich's work remains admired and many of his terms remain in use (blockade, overprotection, 7th rank absolute). Although I gather that most readers prefer books that describe Nimzovich's system in a lighter style written by a native English speaker, some still read his own original work. One way or another, it's not forgotten.

If you haven't done so already, you may care to have a look at Nimzovich's work as a stepping stone towards acquiring a more accessible style of writing about board games while still retaining your scientific approach. Then one day, some English or American guy might write a bestseller called "Jasiek's System"!

RobertJasiek: Concerning "scientific style", I answer in a different section. - Although you discuss the possibility of not listening to others' language suggestions, that misses the point as I do listen to suggestions, provided they are helpful, applicable, correct, suitable for the book's overall concept and economically bearable. Unfortunately, so far too many suggestions on this page do not fulful these requirements. For example, while your suggestions for better fulfilling an identity of used words and intended meaning and for using more words for better expressing intended meaning are very good in principle and I will surely consider them for writing future books, their application to Capturing Races 1 would have meant either a) the book could never have appeared or b) the book would have to be split into two volumes with the effects of doubling the price for the same contents and making the prospect of an already rather long series of volumes one of a very long series. - All this discussion on my English for explaining go terms loses any reasonable relation. While it is perfectly ok to point out my grammar mistakes, the desire for yet more detailed text misses reasonable relation. Hunter's Counting Liberties and Winning Capturing Races has 7 pages on basic terms and basic theory (6 pages on the number of an eye's approach liberties, 1 page on redefining liberties), claims to redefine liberties but does not do it properly and continues to use "liberty" for three different meanings (which I call "physical", "approach", "fighting" liberty) and thereby confuses the reader and fails to explain clearly weak versus strong eye etc. etc. etc. My book has six times as many pages on basic terms and basic theory. Instead of praising my courage to explain everything in such great detail and risking comments like that in Redecker's review of sometimes being too focussed on explaining details, everybody here has nothing better to do than to ask for yet more detailed explanations of the basics. Where has been everybody's criticism of everybody else's books and in particular of Hunter's asking for greater detail? I did express such but how about everybody of you? Suggestions of the kind "two words instead of one" would imply 70 instead of 43 pages on the basics, i.e., even before the real semeai study can begin. Imagine I had done that. For sure then critics would have started to complain "It reads like a rules book, nothing but basic definitions.". Everybody please tell me, after having read my liberty defintions, the examples, their accompanying texts and then again the liberty definitions, have you or have you not understood the intention of the three liberty terms? Now compare with Hunter's page 16 and ask yourself whether you could even notice a concept of "fighting liberties" in contrast to "approach liberties" (which, after redefinition, he calls "liberties"). - Discussion here cannot be weighed for possibly less time spent on writing the book. (To save time, I do not go into details on that.)

Dieter: I can assure you John, that it is not the primary choice of non-native speakers to discuss their passions in the English language, but that happens to be where the action is. So we abide and occasionally try to help each other with the usage of that language, or support native speakers in their comments, as was my case.

Herman: My English is most certainly not perfect. I am, after all, neither a native speaker, nor a student of the language. Which is why I asked Robert to refer to one such in case he would not take my word for it. Still, my level of proficiency is much better than that of Robert, and the reason I commented here at all was purely in an attempt to help Robert improve his text. I agree fully with John that the rare, and possibly endangered, species of the go book author needs all the support that we can provide. I also agree that it would be productive if Robert felt less of a need to argue against almost every suggestion of improvement of his language. I understand the need he feels to be precise in his definitions, but I think it is detrimental to them that they are so often grammatically incorrect or clumsily formulated, when equally unambiguous phrasing which is correct and less clumsy is also available. To quote another classic: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

RobertJasiek: On this page, yours has been the greatest grammar help so far, thank you! I try to improve on my English grammar and style also because I agree that especially definitions should be correct also linguistically. I do not sacrifice holy factual correctness and substitute it by ambiguity. Rather I'd insert more sentences. - I argue against suggestions for improvements if I do not understand them or their reasoning yet, if the "improvements" introduce other mistakes or try to express something contrary to my intention or if the suggestions refer to different aspects discussed in the name of language corrections. With less such distractions, I would not be motivated to argue so much.

John F. Dieter and Herman - you seem to have taken umbrage where none was intended. Do you really wish to deny me enjoyment at the irony of it all? What sparked me off, actually, was my conviction, even though I know nothing about him, that Slarty was a native speaker and that Robert was chiding him.

But for the avoidance of doubt - and especially for Robert to note - I agree that your excellent English is considerably better than his, I applaud your efforts to make him aware of where he could use help, and I confirm you are both good enough that he should listen attentively. Doing that doesn't have to derail his thinking, and I sense that we are all agreed that we'd like to see more of the results of his thinking and that we are all trying to help in that cause.

Dieter: What is umbrage? #:-7

Herman No worries, John, I did not take umbrage at all, I'm sorry if my reply gave that impression. I realize the irony of the situation very well, actually, and can definitely imagine your amusement. :-)

Methodical Approach

RobertJasiek: In the English language section, John F.'s message about chess started to discuss my methodical approach to go theory. So here is my reply. I know nothing about chess books, so I cannot comment on them. There is no doubt, of course, that I do use methodical approach in all my books.

In Lessons of the Fundamentals, Kageyama stressed the importance of fundamentals and described the difference between amateurs and professionals as "amateurs play the game, professionals labour at it". He means that professionals pay respect to every detail of go theory and in particular every detail of the fundamentals. He is so right! What let me improve from 3 to 5 dan was the increasingly more profound study of the fundamentals' details. He did not just refer to amount of study but also to developing a better and yet better understanding. Here methodical approach is one of the most suitable means because it does provide explanation, with which players can get the required understanding. Instead of being so sceptical about my preference for methodical approach, if you still want to surpass your 3 dan strength and reach 5 dan, abandon your scepticism and use method to study all those fundamentals!

You doubt that readers of go books want to learn new methods, principles and terms. Most readers of my books having told me their impression about the books have expressed their joy that they are that systematic and methodical. I know that there are other (problem) books without noteworthy method and they find their readers, too. Books that are happy to help leading a 10 kyu to 5 kyu or other books help leading a 5 kyu to 1 kyu. It would be counter-productive though to restrict the scope of rank improvement for a topic like capturing races when just one book (or book series to address all a topic's aspects) can help leading a player of every initial rank to get or surpass professional 9 dan knowledge. My Capturing Races book series wants to do that (Volume 1 does it for its already included topic). Now you cry: "Nooooooooo! How terrible if every 15k, 10k, 5k, 1d, 5d, 5p can immediately reach 9p knowledge! I want to convince everybody that there must be only books that restrict strength improvement tightly! Generally applicable methods, principles and - god beware - even numbers are evil!"

It never tires you to stress how scientific my books are. Maybe you can read Redecker's review to realise that the book contains methodical approach but is not scientific. That I have done research for sake of enabling myself to present all those always correct, never mutually contradicting principles and methods does not mean that the book would read like a scientific paper. Read Thomas Wolf's paper if you want that. Quite contrarily, my book is written like an ordinary book, except of course that it teaches many principles instead of none and provides a solution for all general cases and not only for example positions. You keep telling the world that principles were bad - I tell the world that principles are good because they offer general solutions. Others teach proverbs that contradict themselves and each other - I teach principles without any contradiction. Never will the reader of my book have to unlearn anything (other than grammar mistakes). I teach eternally applicable truth of go theory knowledge. Now do I hear you crying "Nooooooooo! He is boasting again!"? I am and I wish every reader that soon he can be proud of his 9p level knowledge, too. Only the scepticist despises methodical approach.


RobertJasiek: In John F.'s chess-related message, he also mentions terms. It is a bit funny to start a fundamental discussion on terms on this page; on a subpage of one of my Joseki books that would be more appropriate. It is funny because Capturing Races 1 introduces only 1 major term (fighting liberty) and 1 minor helping term (hot eye) while it recommends to stop usage of 1 term invented by others (forced liberty). So essentially the only question is whether "fighting liberty" has a good name and is a good invention of a term. It is a very good invention because of its central role in the New Semeai Formula (simply speaking: "More fighting liberties win the semeai.") In my opinion, the name is also nice: It reminds us that one considers those liberties relevant for winning the semeai fight.

The other terms used and often defined in the book were invented but often not defined by others: essential - nonessential, physical liberty, approach liberty, outside / eye / exclusive / inside liberty, eye (in a semeai), stable - unstable, settled - unsettled, weak - strong, almost-filled, small - big (eye), attacker - defender, favourite - underdog. I consider all those terms useful and so I continue to use them. Literature does not agree on (un)stable though; some sources use (un)settled for two different things: an eye's status and a group's status. To avoid confusion, I use (un)stable for eye status and (un)settled for group status.

Greater variation occurs for the classification. Only future research about kos and approach defects can reveal which will be the best classification in the long run. I dislike the computer go researchers' current fashion to consider semeais with certain strong eyes but to delay consideration of other strong eye shapes. By my Class 1, I allow all strong eyes (if they are initially stable). This is much easier for us go players than excluding non-plain eyes! For programs, plain eyes make some sense because they guarantee a low computational complexity more easily; they do not need any dynamic reading within an "eye" to verify whether it indeed is an eye.

CapturingRaces1/Discussion last edited by on March 25, 2012 - 10:55
RecentChanges · StartingPoints · About
Edit page ·Search · Related · Page info · Latest diff
[Welcome to Sensei's Library!]
Search position
Page history
Latest page diff
Partner sites:
Go Teaching Ladder
Login / Prefs
Sensei's Library