Forum for Joseki nomenclature - expert names

Is the SL nomenclature still open for discussion? [#10931]

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yuzukitea: Is the SL nomenclature still open for discussion? (2021-08-06 20:39) [#11767]

I'm sort of the personal opinion that the SL joseki nomenclature is rather unique/esoteric relative to go terminology used elsewhere on the internet. While I think SL has certainly exerted its influence over the years, the terminology used here hasn't caught on with the wider English-speaking go community.

Personally, I think it would be best to standardize terminology according to their closest translations in Japanese/Korean/Chinese.

For example, the "4-4 Point Large Knight Approach" is the term used in Asian vocabularies (and is popularly used among the English go-speaking community), whereas the "4-4 Point Distant Low Approach" is a SL-ism that I've only ever really heard at this library.

Issues with naming joseki in this fashion are several fold:

  • There are many "distant" approach joseki, and a "distant low" approach does not specifically or intuitively refer to a large knight shape that is intended.
  • The idea of a "4-4 point low approach" = "4-4 point knight approach" also has ambiguity in the sense that some people might refer to the 2nd line approaches as "low". Furthermore, Japanese/Korean/Chinese commonly use the language like "keima kakari" (knight approach), which is more accurately and intuitively translated literally rather than vague terms like "low approach".

The terminology of the enclosure pages, like 4-4 6-3 enclosure are even worse, in the sense that I don't know anybody who uses that kind of coordinate terminology for enclosures. Everyone seems to be calling enclosures by their natural shapes (Two-Space High Enclosure) or (Large Knight Enclosure), which is far more intuitive -- and would make it easier to find / search pages if SL used vocabulary that has popularly entered the English go-speaking community.

tapir: Re: Is the SL nomenclature still open for discussion? (2021-08-06 21:40) [#11768]

The naming convention seems to be mostly the work of Charles Matthews. Others criticised (as deviating from established practice), but editing to a lesser extent their opinion was probably considered and then ignored. No one ever since felt strongly enough to change it back as far as I know. No reason to see anything as fixed, I just want to register my strong preference for SL terminology.

To me it seems terminology for approaches in SL (low approach, high approach, distant low approach, distant high approach) is entirely consistent and another big plus independent of chess / shogi terminology. I don't consider mistaking low for second line is a good argument in hypertext that features high, low.

Plenty of languages don't even use the equivalent of "knight" for the chess figure so the whole concept of "knights moves" is not as readily understandable as native speakers assume even if you have a basic understanding of chess in your own language. And the talk about small and large knights moves is entirely esoteric and only understandable in reference to Japanese, at which point you can just as well return to keima and ogeima, if you ask me.

kmr: Re: Is the SL nomenclature still open for discussion? (2021-08-06 22:15) [#11769]

4-4 7-3 enclosure is not bad term since it is absolutely clear. "Large knight enclosure" its not - it can be both 4-4 7-3 or 3-4 6-3.

"4-4 Point Large Knight Approach" is indeed much better than "4-4 Point Distant Low Approach" cuz of non clearness of how much of distance is between 4-4 point and attacking stone (large knight approach is also "low distant approach", right?

Having mathematical background i like coordinate terminology very very much, however i can understand that those with "artist" background might hate it :) . How about having two terminologies? One "word" and making coordinate aliases? How that sounds? But i must say it may be a BIG work to achieve it.

Edit - i made some mistake here. I meant 4-4 7-3 is "low distant approach" and also 4-4 8-3 is "low distant approach" (although i admit, that kind of approach is rather very unusual, but its possible. I could agree with terminology using how many space is bettween stones (assuming 4-4 5-3 is "one space low approach".

yuzukitea: Re: Is the SL nomenclature still open for discussion? (2021-08-06 22:59) [#11771]

I like the notion of specifying the number of spaces when unclear, although I'm also biased to conciseness. XD

To me, a "low approach" defaults to a one-space low approach, and that implicit convention I think is well understood among most go players with a little bit of go experience.

The "distant" high/low approach IMO should be qualified by the number of spaces, i.e. two-space low approach or three-space low approach.

yuzukitea: ((no subject)) (2021-08-06 23:15) [#11770]

I actually don't have a extremely strong preference for terminology as long as it's precise, and the "4-4 Point Low Approach" I think is well intuitively well understood by most experienced go players.

I have a bigger problem with "4-4 Point Distant Low Approach" and "4-4 Point Distant High Approach" in the sense that the terminology is not precise at all, and it could refer to many different things.

I do think there is a certain degree of value in translating Asian go terminology accurately, particularly in the sense that strong professional Go streamers / youtubers (i.e. Redmond, Yeonwoo, Ryan Li) all tend to use literal translations of Asian go terminology when describing positions, and defaulting to vocabulary preferred by prominent English-speaking professionals is something to think about.

Many of these approach/enclosure moves in Asian languages are described with respect to shape. Respecting this convention / focus on shape in the translation is a fair consideration, and terminology like "distant low approach" generally ignore the shape of the position in favor of how the stones subjectively appear along the side -- and I mean subjective in the sense that it's obvious to an experienced go player but not necessarily obvious to a complete beginner -- why a knight move "low approach" is valid but not a diagonal move "low approach" to a 4-4 stone even though they're all on the 3rd line.

If the issue is with the shape terminology (i.e. not favoring "knight move" to describe the shape), I'm fine with using whatever terminology SL prefers to describe the shape (keima or whichever). I still think my personal preference would be to describe the approaches and enclosures with respect to shape.

As for the enclosure terminology, I still think it's necessary to qualify that it's a "4-4 Point Large Knight Enclosure" vs. "3-4 Point Large Knight Enclosure".

Even if we retain the SL vocabulary of "low approach" = "move on the third line defaulting to the knight move", I would like to propose to change references of "distant" low approach to "two-space low approach" or "two-space high approach", as they are more precise and reflect the conventional terminology used in pincers.

EDIT: Another argument for using shape terminology would be that it reflects the type of vocabulary used by the announcer in NHK tournament games when orally announcing the moves that were played. For instance, the oral transcript of a game might often go:

  • Black 3-6 keimagakari (knight approach)
  • White 3-8 ikkenbasami (1-space low pincer)
  • Black 5-6 ikkentobi (1-space jump)
  • White 6-4 ikkentobi (1-space jump)
tapir: Re: ((no subject)) (2021-08-06 23:15) [#11772]

Like what else would distant refer to? We only ever have 1 space or 2 space in the context of approaches, so distant approach is the one leaving two spaces. Admittedly Pincer Nomenclature is pretty much as you prefer, although also written by Charles Matthews. To me it seems he was looking for a consistent way to name approaches / pincers while retaining different naming schemes for each (as it is apparently in Japanese). The common practice of naming the close approaches high and low, but resorting to a different naming scheme for distant ones (ogeima, two space ...) seems weird to me. But then, I am not a native speaker.

yuzukitea: Re: ((no subject)) (2021-08-06 23:29) [#11774]

The more distant approaches appear quite commonly in actual games as a consequence of wall extensions and splitting moves, and they're included in many joseki dictionary (OGS / Kogos / josekipedia) as a consequence of that.

I personally think distinguishing between a two-space low approach and even more distant approaches / enclosures / extensions is worthwhile, if mainly at a level of precision that is easily understood.

For instance, I've seen 3-space enclosures played in some professional games (even fairly recently by European go professionals), and it's worthwhile to distinguish the spacing in case I (or anyone else) might want to make those pages.

bugcat: work for the sake of work? (2021-08-06 23:28) [#11773]

Are these changes useful? And are there ones waiting to be made elsewhere that are more so?

Diminishing returns and all that.

yuzukitea: Re: work for the sake of work? (2021-08-06 23:37) [#11775]

You're certainly right! XD

Although I think there's also the practical question of "what terminology should I use" even if the existing pages are named a certain way.

For instance, I would definitely 99% prefer to use "3-4 Point Small Knight Enclosure" to describe that shape while writing / linking that position in the body of the joseki pages that I'm refactoring, but I'm also don't really want to jump in and suddenly start using different vocabulary than the established pages.

I guess it's not a huge deal to switch interchangably between "Large Knight Enclosure", "3-4 4-7 Enclosure", and "Two Space Low Enclosure" -- but I guess I wanted to check if it's okay for me to refer to it in the body of pages as a "Large Knight Enclosure" -- if only because that's what I'm used to hearing.

...or if I should make an attempt to conform with the terminology used on existing page titles...?

tapir: Re: work for the sake of work? (2021-08-07 00:21) [#11776]

For enclosures the coordinate names are almost exclusively used for page names, even currently, no? So feel free to use a different, more descriptive one in the main body, as most articles already do. You can even link to a page showing a different visible text.

In general, you can afford to be way less timid. You just hopefully are not thin-skinned when differences arise later and someone "helps" by changing your text. You know the original wiki experience that is now so rare elsewhere. It is enough time to discuss when that happens, imo. Re: work for the sake of work? (2021-08-07 02:50) [#11777]

Okay! Iíll keep that in mind! And I do enjoy wikiís overall, and I think itís great if anyone is able to add and modify on the page, esp. since my knowledge base really is limited for my level!

Dieter: ((no subject)) (2021-08-09 23:13) [#11785]

On naming I have one "sensitivity". Although some English terms are sometimes new, artificial or not widely used, they are often a good compromise when there are multiple terms in Japanese, Chinese or Korean. There used to be a time when it made sense to copy the Japanese term but those days are gone, except of course where all nations have adopted that term. Hane is a good example,

yuzukitea: Re: ((no subject)) (2021-08-09 23:52) [#11786]

I totally agree! I also think it's better to use the English term unless it's universally established lingo.

There are so many strong Korean and Chinese players that it to me, there's no compelling reason why one country's language should be chosen over the others.

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