# Symbols

In Go literature, diagrams are almost always adorned with a few special symbols (markup) such as triangles, alphanumerics etc. This page intends to act as a reference as to when and how to use symbols.

Until now, the use of symbols has been fairly intuitive; re-using symbols for other ends would not give major problems, although some kind of convention already exist.

The material here is a mere condensation of information found on RGG as well as other sources. (Please use the discussion page for comments.)

## Symbols in ASCII diagrams: ASCII markup

### '.'

• intersection on the goban

### '|', '+', '-'

• board edges, corners

• white stone

• black stone

### digit (1..9)

• sequence of moves (make sure to state which side is using the odd numbers)
• the compact nature of ASCII diagrams requires to limit to single-digit move numbers; use more diagrams to show longer play sequences.

• variations

## Symbols used by applications: SGF/print markup

Following symbols have existed for a while.

### Number, digit (, ...)

• denote playing sequences

### Letter

• in lowercase, used on empty intersections to show moves in a variation. Japanese go materials would commonly use hiragana or katakana (often in the "i-ro-ha" order).
• used as capital letters, to designate a set of choices from which to continue

### Triangle

• mark a formation/point that is being talked about

### Circle (, )

• a stone breaking the ladder, a group in danger
• can be used in diagrams to refer to a move that is played on top of an existing stone (see also HowToReadDiagrams)
• indicate an eye
• highlight the last move (mainly used in applications, less in diagrams)

### Open square (, )

• cGoban2 uses a square to denote a ko

### Cross

• counting: territory

## Other symbols

Following symbols are mostly used by applications, but generally not stored in game records.

### Filled square

• used by some applications to denote the status of an intersection (black, white, Dame, undetermined)

• moyo

## New symbols, concepts

Following symbols could become part of the existing set of widely recognised symbols. See discussion page for status.

• '!'
• Good move
• '?'

Sporadicly used annotations (but available in sgf)

• '!!'
• Very good move
• '!?'
• Interesting move
• '?!'
• Doubtful move
• '??'