Difficulty: Expert   Keywords: Strategy

This page is about the right time to play a certain move. For an overview of different ways to regulate time, see time systems

Although the concept of timing is used often by go players, it is not easy to find a concise summary of this topic.

Table of contents Table of diagrams
Which order?
Bad timing (B7 connects)
Correct timing
Correct timing (B5 connects)

Tactical timing

See also Order of Moves
Which order?  

After these joseki plays, Black will play the atari moves at a and b - in some order. Which is correct?

Bad timing (B7 connects)  

If Black gets the timing wrong, as here, White can exploit the presence of W2 to make a net on the outside with W8. Now black+circle is misplaced. We assume that Black connects the ko, since there are no ko threats in the opening.

Correct timing  

Black should play the other atari first. In this case White's chance at resistance with c next gives Black an outside ponnuki. White cannot get a good result that way.

Correct timing (B5 connects)  

If White tries to resist in the same way as before, the result she gets is much worse.

Strategic timing

Some aspects:

  • Go is ruled by minimal play play something only because it is required so timing is 'recognition of necessary plays'. According to this, 'urgent points before big points' is the master proverb.
  • The idea of a probing type of strategy is to get commitment from the opponent first; and then decide timing and choice of direction.
  • Timing is required to play kikashi.

See also

Theoretically speaking, perhaps the game divides up as game temperature model, plus real timing issues which aren't just a question of sente sidetracks.

Timing last edited by Dieter on June 26, 2020 - 16:20
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