# Notcher Code

On this page we devise a coding system for notchers, in order to set up a systematic approach to their life and death status.

Suppose the notcher is black and the surrounding group white.

Below squared stones (): notch (*n*)

Circled stones (): legs (*ab*)

Cross marked (): hips (*xy*)

- The notcher has a notch of
spaces.*n* - The notcher has a
*left leg*of lengthand a*a**right leg*of length. The legs are the (black) stones on the second line.*b* - The notcher has a degree of weakness,
on the*x**left hip*andon the*y**right hip*:- The letter W means that the hip is white (weak or an (angle) wedge),
- N means that the stone on the hip is absent (neutral),
- while S means that it is black (solid or strong).

We put this information into a code ** nabxy**, where

*n*,

*a*,

*b*take numerical values, and

*x*and

*y*can be either W, N or S.

The status of the notcher assumes no outside liberties and no escape threat (e.g. a descent that threatens to live *and* to escape). That would have to be covered by a second status in parentheses or the like.

The code is ** leg-normal** if

- a < b or
- a = b and x <= y (W < N < S: weaker before stronger)

It is ** hip-normal** if

- x < y or
- x = y and a <= b

Use leg-normal if you put up a page. Use hip-normal if you search in the Table of Notchers (that gives tables of reasonable size). A flip might be necessary: an exchange of *a* and *b* as well as *x* and *y*.

See Table of Notchers for lots of examples.