Taking Off Captured Stones Before Playing The Move That Captures Them


How do you feel about people taking off captured stones before playing the move that captures them?

kokiri - I hate it. I don't know why, but it really irritates me when players who are about to capture a couple of stones remove them first, then play the move. It's just not right.

Vincent - This happens rather frequently in my own games and I can understand why it "irks" you. Strictly speaking, they do need to reduce your stones liberties to zero before taking them off the board. It may help, however, to realize that removing your stones prior to pacing their own is a purely practical matter, it makes it easier to pick up your stones.

Andrew Grant: One of the players at my club does this because his arthritis makes it too difficult for him to do it the "correct" way. I don't regard it as a bad habit in this case.

Alex: Barring cases like the one Andrew mentions, I would agree that this is bad habit, simply because (especially in games between weaker players) it could lead to arguments about whether the stones were really in atari - when the stone is played before removing the prisoners, it's usually pretty easy to see that they have no liberties. Removing them first requires that both players be aware enough of the position to know where everything was.

In order to prevent misunderstandings, if you must do this for practical reasons like arthritis, I'd recommend telling your opponent before the game, and then pointing to the point on which you intend to make your move before removing the prisoners.

tb: I wonder if this is a chess habit. Because of the capture rule in chess, it's normal to pick up the piece you are capturing before you move yours onto the square; people will do this one handed. Pick up your piece, then grab piece you are capturing with the heel of your palm, place your capturing piece down.

ProtoDeuteric: I take off stones before playing the capturing move all the time because I have a bad habit of moving other stones while removing prisoners the "correct" way. If I remove the stones beforehand, it gives me more room to take off the stones without disturbing the surrounding stones. This is especially true of corner and edge captures.

xela: My solution is: play your move, then pick up the stone you just played, take off prisoners, and put your stone back. Easy to remove the prisoners, and less chance of misunderstanding. I find it irritating to watch someone just take stones off the board before they play a move, even if it's perfectly obvious to me what they mean. I can't explain why it's irritating, it just feels deeply wrong.

IanDavis: In my imagination it is always faster to take off the stones and then play the move. However it does seem a little bit wrong to do things in this order. I don't think tournament rules actually forbid this though. Ultimately I don't care.

DeathWind: It's very wrong. Like saying 2 come before 1. I will definitely voice out if I encounter this.

tapir: I don't care. Though, I would be bothered if they remove my stones and then go on to play somewhere else.

anonymous: I do this with a single stone on the second line only, as it is just a single movement. Just place your fingers with your stone on top of the stone to capture, shift the stone off the goban while placing your stone. It is very fast, and most players laugh if they haven't seen this technique before. It doesn't work on the opposite edge btw.

Taking Off Captured Stones Before Playing The Move That Captures Them last edited by on January 29, 2010 - 16:27
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