Difficulty: Introductory   Keywords: Strategy

Chinese: 地盘 (di4pan2); 地 (di4); 空 (kong4) 地域 (di4yu4)
Japanese: 地 (ji)
Korean: 집 (jip)

The key concept of territory can be understood in various ways:

  • Superficially speaking, territory is the empty points surrounded, or rather "controlled", by a player.
  • To specify what control means, we can say that territory is a part of the board that is surrounded by stones belonging to a living group, and in which the opponent cannot make a living group
Artificial example  

This black group delimits two areas, in which he will easily make an eye. The group is clearly alive. It is impossible[1] for White to create a living group with two eyes in the area. Black makes 21 points of territory.

The usage of the concept

The term territory is used in various ways when discussing a game of Go.

  • Definite territory, like it is defined above, mostly when it is counted at the end of the game
  • Estimated territory, during the game, when a position is sure to yield territory, but the exact amount is not yet known
  • Potential territory, during the game, when a position is likely to yield territory, but can still be invaded
  • The existence of territory necessarily means that the surrounding group has a base. Obviously, this base is often to be found where the territory is. Therefore, territory sometimes conceptually interferes with base or eyespace.
Territory arising from real play  

The exchange up to B8 is a common continuation of the 3-3 point invasion. The exchange of White a to Black d is more of an endgame sequence.

The circle-marked points constitute an area controlled by White, where Black can't make a living group (if White answers correctly). We can say that this 3-3 invasion makes roughly 10 points of territory.

See Also:

[1] Assuming normal play.

Territory last edited by on June 25, 2012 - 11:02
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