Sub-page of CountingEtiquette

Old Discussion

With respect to etiquette, is it normal to count your own territory and remove any stone of your opponent you consider dead, or the other way around?

unkx80: In Singapore we usually use Chinese counting. Therefore we typically just count for the colour that appears to have less territory.

Phelan: I think what's usually done is to count the opponent's territory. As for dead stones, you should usually see if you both agree, and only start removing afterward.

Francois: The procedure we usually follow is: 1. We both agree on dead groups. (we ignore obviously dead stones) 2. Then we move prisoners and dead stones and move stones around to make counting easier. (we usually do this together to make it happen quicker) 3. We then both count the score and come to agreement as to who won.

If the score is close, we might both count again or together, but if the winner is obvious, we don't bother to count the exact margin. We usually do this all at a fairly brisk pace, but don't rush. This does require an element of trust, but it goes quickly if done correctly. Spectators do not get physically involved in the process, but will sometimes make remarks to help score. I find that counting is usually just a way to confirm my own in-game counting, I'm usually pretty sure of who actually won by this point.

ThorAvaTahr: Thanks for your reactions, however, the issue is about which hands move where. So I would like you to be a bit more specific. Do you remove your opponent's dead stones and put them in his territory or do you remove your own dead stones and put hem in your own territory?

Francois: When I play, both players do both. However, I would think that if you filled your own territory it might be slightly better manners. (acknowledge your own losses first) On the internet, I usually just let my eyes scan over the board and I remove any dead stones I see, but removing your dead stones first seems slightly more polite.

I played a game earlier today, and even though we didn't get to counting, the clearing up afterwards still reminded me that what we usually do is arrange territory closest to you first, that way your hands don't get in the way of each other. This reminds me of black starting in the top-right corner so that white doesn't have to reach far for his first move.

Herman: AFAIK, the usual procedure is to remove the opponent's dead stones from your territory, and not your own from his. This avoids the possibility of confusion between removed stones and your own stones, ie: Suppose you have a few of your own stones lying on the table on your side of the board (perhaps as a remainder of Canadian byoyomi stones for the last period). Then if you remove stones of your color from the opponent's territory, and accidentally drop a few on your side of the board, you might get into a conflict over how many stones you dropped, and how many were already on the table. The only opposing stones that should ever be on your side of the table, however, should be prisoners from during the game. So if you drop a few dead opposing stones on your side, there is no problem, as they are the same as prisoners anyway. This does not extend to internet go, as there is no possibility of confusion there.

Phelan: I think we usually remove the opponent's stones, starting from the side closest to us.

FrenchDude?: After the rearranging of territories is completed. Do both players count all the territories then check that they have counted the same win margin? Or is it the same etiquette as rearranging and each player counts the opponent's points?

Internet play

Secondary question is, does this etiquette extend towards internet go, where you have to mark dead stones, do you mark your own dead stones first or do you mark your oponents dead stones first? (the former makes more sense to me.)

willemien for turn based go servers marking all dead stones is the only option. if you only mark your own the result stands if the opponent just agrees with it. ("forgetting" to mark his own dead stones) I think the same applies to real-time go servers. Just don't let your opponent get away with just accepting the wrong result

tapir: Some people try to cheat at counting by offering to finish the count, but wrongly marking some dead stones alive or alive stones dead. Some people habitually agree to the count and worry afterwards. Not to be confused with these persons you should check before submitting your count as well.

Phelan: I usually mark my dead stones first, and then my opponent's, if he hasn't already.

Deacon John When it is time to mark the dead stones at the end of the game, each player should first mark their own dead stones. This gives each player the time to thoughtfully consider whether one of their groups is dead or alive before their opponent marks it as dead. Neither player should mark their dead stones at lightening speed. It is only polite to mark your own dead stones slowly enough to give the other player a chance to watch what you are doing. If you have finished marking your own dead stones and the other player has not even started marking theirs, insert a short pause (to give them a chance to do what they are supposed to do) before you mark their stones as dead. This does not mean that marking the stones has to be a slow process. In the ideal case, it proceeds quickly, just not a lightening speed.

CountingEtiquette/discussion last edited by on January 22, 2011 - 20:44
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