Playing style

PageType: Path     Keywords: Strategy, Culture & History, People, Index page

Chinese: 棋风 (qi2 feng1)
Japanese: 棋風 (ki fuu)

Playing styles need two players to materialize on the board.

This article brings together an overview of stylistic aspects of various departments of the game and an overview of articles on style or individual styles.

Table of contents

The concept of style

This page or section is a stub. Please expand the page with qualitative content.
Comment: In this section we should at the very least have a description of what the CJK translations given above entail, with any unexpected nuances (or just say their meaning is much as you would expect).
But I (P.J.T.) think there is a lot more to say about the concept, the distinction between style and technique and what it means about the game that individual style is possible.

Style aspects

The following expression are among those typically used to describe the style of individual players, especially professionals. Many appear to have been culled at some point from our article Professional Players' Go Styles.


Balance of power and territory


  • fast-paced (see pace)
  • daring
  • unexpected play / original / imaginative
  • natural?
  • artistic
  • flexible
  • ooraka na? — placid/broadminded
  • strong on the side
  • pragmatic
  • patient?
  • messy
  • orthodox
  • amorphous
  • drill strategy (see example game at compromised diagonal and dropping back)
  • ibushi-gin? (oxidised silver) (=? shibui, more like 'moderate')
  • kyudo? - "seeking the way"

Large scale

Solid play

  • quiet moves
  • never make an overplay even when behind
  • straightforward, no tricks (see hamete)
  • steady?, relying on ordinary moves
  • solid fundamentals, thick, unhurried play
  • slow, thick moves
  • gentle, aji-leaving



  • gambling
  • attack
  • direct attack
  • counter attack
  • violent style leading to wild fighting
  • fighting jabs leading to a roundhouse ko
  • sharp and brute strength
  • using thickness to attack
  • straight-line?
  • bean-scattering? go
  • pressure? (severe)
  • preferring to catch up from behind after the middle game / turning games around
  • high-position fighting

Articles on style

Style in general and particular styles are described in the following articles.

Some may have been added on the basis of having “style” in the name, but not in fact be relevant to playing style.

General articles

Styles of groups of players:

Specific styles

Examples of styles in specific positions:

Learning styles

See also

External references

  • [ext] On Move Pattern Trends in a Large Go Games Corpus by Petr Baudiš, Josef Moudřı́k (September 2012) — an academic paper on automatically identifying a player's strength and style
    • They use data-mining to identify the most differentiating features extracted from game records, and relate those features to Go culture. They correlate significantly with perceived strength and style. This may be applied to ranking internet players, studying and programming Go and discussing playing style.

Playing style last edited by Malcolm on February 7, 2023 - 19:52
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