Excellent Move

    Keywords: Go term

Chinese: 妙手 (mioshǒu)
Japanese: 妙手 (myoushu)
Korean: 묘수 (myosu)

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Example 4
example 5


Myoshu (myoushu, 妙手), Japanese for "extraordinary", "excellent", "magnificent" move. A move surprising and startling in its insight. Harboring multiple aims in miraculous fashion. The term should be contrasted with tesuji, a skillful move in a merely local context. Of course, a myoshu can be local, as well.

Chinese pinyin equivalent is "Miao4 Shou3". In Korean is "myosu".

Sakata, the master of excellent moves

Sakata was called the "Inventor of Myoshu" by Go Seigen:

妙手 Myoshu (...) means an "extraordinary", "excellent", "magnificent" move, and such a move is unexpected by most people when it's delivered. (...)
Trying to make every stone a most efficient move would naturally leave some thinness in one's own shapes. When shapes become thin, one has to struggle to save these weak stones. When Sataka is attacked and surrounded by his opponents, he can mostly make alive and escape from the danger. When making alive, ordinary moves do not work easily; one has to deliver severe tesuji or even myoshu. Sakata has made many such moves to save unsavable big teams, and when many people say he's an inventor of myoshu, they are not exaggerating.
Professional high-dan players' reading skills are about the same among each other, but the sharpness and accuracy in Sakata's reading makes him the best on this aspect. When people nickname him "Razor Sakata", they are not being unreasonable.
He is able to create so many myoshu, is it because the structure of his brain different from others? What exactly is his brain made of?
Sakata said, "Among the moves that I've made, there have been some very rare ones that I would consider as myoshu. If everyone regard it as a myoshu, it's then certainly not prepared long ago, but rather, it's discovered during a game. When one gets in trouble or danger, he naturally works harder and ideas come out. I often have such ideas come out when they're needed. This is my strength, and probably my greatest strength. But on the other hand, it's more important to win the game in a simple and easy manner. If one gets in trouble, he would have to work very hard to solve the problems, and to win it this way is tiresome." (Hence, Myoshu will be very often related to shinogi, and you might expect it more often from people who play this style (ed.)).


Mioshǒu; therewith has the meaning of "ExcellentMove" and (n) expert; virtuoso; master, because 妙 (= mio) means = clever, brilliant, marvelous, outstanding / wonderful / excellent, beautiful and 手 not only means hand:

能手 neng2 shou3 / (n) expert / 拿手 na2 shou3 / expert in / good at /

妙手 is "Not every tesuji is a myoshu." by Bill Spight in [ext] rec.games.go

[ext] WadokuJT (dead link) gives 妙手 as "myoo-shu" みょうしゅ in Japanese (just another transcription?)

Related words

  • 鬼手, kishu = gǔishǒu, devilish move (tricky, cunning, artful).
  • 好手, koushu = good move
  • 妙手, myoushu = mioshǒu , splendid, brilliant move.
  • 絶妙手, zetsumyooshu = jemioshǒu, jue2... , absolutely brilliant move.


  • Example 1: The EarReddeningMove
  • Example 2: BloodVomitingGame: the white moves 5+7 and 7 in diagrams 5 and 6 resp. are as played by Jowa's ghost.
  • [ext] Example 3 (dead link) (excellent fighting played on May 11, 1787), and perhaps
  • Example 4:

Example 4  

(note that usually you would not qualify this empty triangle as tesuji) and perhaps

  • Example 5: (碰是妙手 making life, avoiding ko by png=attach, is of course also a "normal" (depends on playing level) L&D-procedure)

example 5  

Excellent Move last edited by hnishy on June 3, 2024 - 09:02
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