Symbols/ Discussion

Sub-page of Symbols

Following items still needs to be distilled into the main page.

Table of contents

  • as hoshi seems to be a more elegant way to say "star point", is there an equally simple japanese word for "intersection", or point? Bob Myers: "Ten", but why would you want to use that instead of "point"?

why would anyone use hoshi then?

DougRidgway See English go terms/discussion and Using Japanese terms when you don't know what they mean.


(not used often)

  • to mark vital points and eyes if not referenced using letters?
  • cGoban's use of the circle seems to me a bit too intrusive.
  • mark good variations


  • Open squares could be used to denote moyo outlines - lines are better for this, of course.


  • a cross could very well be used (mainly by applications, but also in print) to mark intersections of freshly captured stones.
    • this should obviously be an option (off by default) of the application, as it is not used today and is probably cluttering the board. but in some exceptional occasions, one sometimes misses the moment tones are removed from the board, so it should be possible to see what stones where removed. personally I would even provide an audio clue of stones being removed. this is especially handy when watching several boards simultaneously (or why not when playing simul games), one might not always be aware of stones that have been captured. The crosses would last no longer than two moves: black crosses denote black dead stones, idem for white. after two moves, it might not be possible to know which move reulted in what capture.
    • crosses should also be good to mark wrong variations. this assumes that crosses and alphanumerics (or even symbols in general) can be superimposed.
    • to extend the previous argument, good variations could be marked with a circle.


axd: maybe a triangle, because of its shape, should be associated more closely with danger spots. this is probably not universally understood.


Bob Myers: Since in most cases the stone will already have a number on it, where would these marks be shown?

axd next to the number, such as in 14? .

Bob McGuigan: What happens when there are already three characters on a stone, e.g. when we have move 151? This sort of situation occurs frequently. Also, I am not clear on the meaning of ! and ?. To my way of thinking, a move is either good or bad so all moves would have ? or !. Do ! and ? refer to especially good moves and especially bad moves only? In any case I think there would be many moves with ? in most amateur games of go.

TimBrent: I don't care for the use of ! and ? for Go, looks like some Chess notation visiting another neighborhood...besides whether a move was good or bad may not be known for quite some time.

BTW, see also [ext]

DougRidgway I wouldn't mind a way to sprinkle a bit of commentary through a printed game record. Just something to point out a notable move or two, without having to resort to writing text commentary. ? and ! seem like good ways to do that, and (because of the analog in chess) they are likely to be easily understood. The number of characters on a stone is problematic, but nothing font designers can't deal with. Another possibility would be to try various kinds of accents or modifiers above and below: underline, overline, circumflex, etc. The semantics might be less obvious, though.


  • color of shaded area (empty as well as occupied points) denotes side
    • a dark shading highlights area that is assumed to be black territory; likewise for a light shaded area.
    • shading could also be used to denote uninteresting positions (the author wants the reader to focus elsewhere)


Diamonds have been used in addition to triangles, circles, and squares in go literature. They are not new.

The reference to diamonds on the main page does not make it clear whether they are confined to a specific stone or point. Diamonds which cover a larger area would be new.

Symbols in Go Literature

This page has ignored how symbols are used in go literature, and have been used over the years.

axd: very good, but provide the input then. This reaction was felt as very aggressive, because I did the work - even if there wasn't much work. Simply stating that the page ignored things is negative; at least you could have written that it is a good beginning, but it needs some more depth.

Bill: I am sorry if I was too curt, but I intended the comment as constructive criticism. :-)

Symbols/ Discussion last edited by axd on February 10, 2005 - 23:24
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