What actions the stones are doing
Charles Matthews The various attempts to discuss the haengma concept, on SL and rec.games.go, haven't entirely satisfied me. There may be no more to be dug out of the Korean etymology, though. One idea that occurred to me was to take quite literally the thought that we should look at the various 'activities' of stones and groups, as examples of the slightly paradoxical idea of movement on the go board.
This is easily done, in a sense, by assuming that participles in English, which end in -ing, are the kind of term that do indicate such activities. In a way I'm standing on its head John Fairbairn's consistent comment that static shape is not the pro point of view, which is dynamic. I thought if one simply listed representative participles already used here in page names, what might emerge was some snapshot of what the SL deshis do take to be the basic 'activities'.
So, a list.
- Bending back
- Developing on both sides
- Drawing back
- Dropping back
- Erasing or reducing
- Getting ahead
Having compiled this list, I felt some sort of satisfaction: while the gaps are fairly obvious (nothing for example about blocking off or escaping with a group? or building thickness?) these two dozen terms tell me quite a lot about what go is about.
It also reminds me of the days when I thought there were just nine sorts of suji. That was clearly too limited, and I'd have to recover the thought-process to get that list back.
Charles Question: is jumping a function, or a shape? Most of the words chosen on my list describe functions (see JF's contribution below). I suppose capping is a little marginal.
John Fairbairn I'll take a rain-check on attempting to say what this page is or should be about, but as (I think) endorsement for Charles's approach, here is a similar list from the highly esteemed Fujisawa Tesuji Dictionary (in the form of my notes rather than the actual text, but it's close enough):
Volume 1 has two parts: Attacking Tesujis and Defensive Tesujis.
Attacking Tesujis divide into Separating Tesujis, Pressurising Tesujis, Sealing-in Tesujis, Shape-destroying Tesujis, Probing Tesujis, Tesujis for Creating Heavy Groups, Tesujis for Creating Weaknesses, Tesujis that Work in Two Directions, Base-destroying Tesujis, Capturing Tesujis, Ko-threatening Tesujis.
Defensive Tesujis comprise Connecting Tesujis, Tesujis for Advancing to the Centre, Running-out Tesujis, Shape-making Tesujis, Sente-taking Tesujis, Sabaki-making Tesujis, Countercutting Tesujis, Tesujis for Giving Respite to Two Weak Groups, Base-strengthening Tesujis, Bridging-under Tesujis, Tesujis for Resisting with Ko.
Other tesujis have similar lists. Note that this cuts right across the grain of normal tesuji books which use categories like hane, cut, atekomi. If you study a game and come to a point where you think that, say, a way of strengthening a base is called for, the Fujisawa book gives a long list of splendid examples. It's a source book of ideas rather than a problem book. This strikes me as the most rational way to study and is maybe why the book is so highly regarded. Seems like Charles has struck the same sort of chord.
See also the discussion page for thoughts on page title and gerund forms.
The TOC of Joseki 1 Fundamentals, chapters 9 to 11 also implies lots of actions.