# WhyIsThreeHandicapPlacedLikeThat/Discussion

Three handicap placement

Tas: Have anyone got an explanation of why the handicap stones in a three handicap game are place as they are...

Three handicap alternative

... and not symetrically like this? Five and seven uses tengen, why not three?

In actual fact both conventions exist.

Steve: People can argue about this, but generally players feel it is better (or at least easier to understand) playing in the corners first, before moving into the middle. For 5 and 7 handicap, all the corner points are already taken, and the center stone works well with the influence-oriented handicap stones.

In the case of a 3-handicap, while the center stone may work well with 2 star-point stones, it is usually easier for a player taking 3-stones to make use of another stone in a corner.

Bob McGuigan: In the Chinese rules free placement of handicap stones is allowed so this formation could be used.

Bill: I have heard that the fomation with tengen is the traditional Chinese one for three stones.

MrTenuki: An indirect evidence is given in the 1991 Ing Rules (Section 6 of Preface).

Anonymous: A direct evidence is given in Guo Bailing's (c. 1587 - c. 1662) book on three-stone handicapped games, Sanzi Pu (English translation title Three-Stone Games). The tengen stone plays an important role in the hundreds of variations shown.

Ksi?: Then how come in the 5,6, and 7 handicaps, the formation is always symmetrical? Isn't is always better to go for corners, then sides, then lastly the middle?

WillerZ Good question. One can rationalise it by saying that:

5 handicap, standard

is more globally-connected, and therefore stronger, than:

5 handicap, alternative

The same argument applies to seven stones. I can't think of a good reason to prefer the standard layout of six and eight stone handicaps, unless the aesthetics of a symmetrical layout appeal.

QWerner I think that the symmetry (upper = point if inversion), is very important, otherwise the game is somehow forced, because W has to awser to the "unsymmetry" (lower = mirror)

I noticed that all of the handicaps are in the form of the dots on the dominoes except for 1 and 3 handicaps

WhyIsThreeHandicapPlacedLikeThat/Discussion last edited by DudleyMoore on October 9, 2017 - 11:48