Sake bottle shape / Discussion

Sub-page of SakeBottleShape

This is a discussion of the controversial statement that the sake bottle shape is negative. Read the sake bottle shape, textbook example first. See also [ext] This page for a discussion on the sake bottle shape.


HolIgor: Everybody knows the proverb that sake bottle is negative. A difficult thing with the proverbs is that they should be reinterpreted, formulated in terms that are closer for your individual thought pattern. Any proverb and this one in particular should be understood. So why is it negative? Your opinion is that it is just worse than the horse head shape. That is good enough reason, of course. The question is in the efficiency of stones. But that could not be all of it. Other people say that it is not a good eye shape. Is that true? I have a feeling that since this... (lost some text here)

Of course, these discussions are empty without opponent's stones and your own support.

Bill: Amen! Haengma may be different, but discussions of shape without regard to local context can be quite misleading.

Dieter: My WME left the following remark by John F. a little orphaned. Also, I don't understand it, because the reason for tokkuri to show up is unclear. I guess tokkuri features in the Japanese name for the sake bottle shape. Someone please make clear.

John F. It's true that it's said to be inefficient, but not in the sense of not jumping far enough. When there's a better move it's usually the ikken tobi. However, you need to be aware that there is a pun involved, Another word tokkuri means careful, serious, plodding, and this is probably where the negative overtones have come from. Incidentally, some of the shapes below are not tokkurigata in my view. From what I've seen the term is used only of jumping into the centre, and also with no other stones attached.

Alex Weldon: The thing that confuses me about saying that this is a bad shape. I remember reading somewhere on SL that reductions of good shape (ie, a good shape, minus one or a few stones) are also good shape (because they can become a good shape), while extensions of bad shape (ie, adding one or a few stones to a bad shape) are also bad shape. Now, the tortoise shell is supposed to be good shape. It's clear that the sake bottle is part of it (actually if you look at it, the tortoise shell is a sake bottle mirrored about the line through its center of gravity)[3]. So, obviously, saying that a reduction of good shape is also a good shape is not always true.

Sake bottle and tortoise shell  

Charles Alex, the reason you find that confusing is that the principle stated isn't true. It might be half-true: a partial shape that can't develop into a good shape may not be good. But the other way round? I don't think that's sensible or acceptable as an abstract principle.

Alex Weldon: That's basically the conclusion I reached. I suppose that you must take everything you read on SL with a grain of salt. Incidentally, the original phrasing of the "proverb" I mentioned was: "All subsets of the basic five shapes are good shape," and appears on A Static Treatise on Shape. I've added a note on that page that the statement is controversial, and added it to the controversial statements page.

Dieter: At the same rate, you can argue about the goodness of the five basic shapes. I have gotten more and more sceptical of the article, which is the basic reason why I moved it to a separate page instead of having it dominate the shape page. Take the tortoise shell. It is only really good shape after the capture of two stones, meaning that the "subsets" pseudo-rule requires enemy stones to be in the subset too, if only that.

Once I was a true follower of those static shapes, but not anymore. I have come to appreciate the dynamic nature of shape, mainly through reading divergent opinions on SL.

Where does the word "negative" come from? I suppose this isn't an original English proverb, so what's the original phrase? The only one I've seen is トックリ形はコリ形(なり), which means "the sake bottle shape is overconcentrated". When there are clear, unambiguous Go-terms I'd rather see them used instead of something as vague as "negative".

The proverb developed in japan, from a Daimyo that had lost a battle due to excessive drinking the night before. I understand it as a warning to not drink in the middle of battle as the sake kami defuse the budo kami.

Sake bottle shape / Discussion last edited by on November 7, 2008 - 16:59
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