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Grief playing [#2319]

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reply Grief playing (2010-07-08 19:33) [#7792]

Hi - sorry if I'm somewhat wrong about this - but years ago a friend and I used to play Go often. Neither of us were very good, but through our understanding of the rules we found ways of screwing up a seemingly colmpleted game, at least while using japanese style scoring.

I think the problem we had stemmed from a lack of understanding of the alive/dead rule, but I'll ask anyway. The problem kind of turned me off of the game for a while, so I was hoping to have it clarified.

Once we were finished setting up our territories, I would just put a stone in the middle of one of his areas. The thinking behind that was:

a) He couldn't consider that his territory anymore if I still had stones there.

b) If he said he considered those stones dead, and I disagreed, we would then have to play that area out. I would just pass, while he was forced to put four stones around my one stone - thus costing him a net loss of territory. I would keep doing this at an optimal offsetting of stones until almost his whole territory was filled with his own stones. This either narrowed the gap, or changed the victor (if komi was involved).

I realize that sort of nonsense wouldn't be accepted in honorable play, but I'm vague in understanding if the rules somehow keep that kind of play from being valid in the first place.

Thanks for your help - I'd really like to get enthusiastic about the game again.

X Re: Grief playing (2010-07-08 23:01) [#7796]

Uberdude This is a good question which is often asked by intelligent beginners.

The quick answer is by playing the stone inside your opponent's territory you actually lose a point as, at the end of the game, 'dead' stones are removed from the board (without needing to be captured) and counted as prisoners. So he still gets the point of territory underneath, plus one extra point for the prisoner.

Complications then arise if you dispute that the stone is dead. The way Japanese rules deal with this is rather complicated. As you point out, if your opponent is forced to capture the one stone this can take 4 moves, filling in his own territory for a net loss of 3 points (-4 territory, +1 capture). To avoid this after both players have passed and you are deciding on which stones are dead if there is a disagreement you enter a new "dispute resolution" phase of the game. During this he plays out moves to capture your stone. This establishes that it is dead. Then, and this is the key point, to score the game you return the board position to as it was after the 2 passes, and remove the stones you have established are dead. Your opponent thus incurs no loss of points.

It is because of this complication I think Chinese rules are better for beginners, as then you can play out the capture of the dead stone during the normal part of the game and it does not cost points (in Chinese rules you get a point for territory and a point for an alive stone on the board, so each move capturing the dead stone is -1 territory and +1 alive stone so no net effect).

Here is another thread where this issue arose: [ext] http://www.online-go.com/forums/thread.php?threadID=2240 Re: Grief playing (2010-07-08 23:38) [#7799]

Ah ha - the board returns to the original state! We always assumed you were just supposed to leave it - which got us into arguments about which scoring system to use and blah blah blah.

Thanks for your comments as well.

reply ((no subject)) (2010-07-08 21:57) [#7793]

Anonymous: Your question is actually a very complicated one. Basically your opponent is wrong and you don't have to play all the moves necessary to capture the stone. The onus is on your opponent to show that under normal playing conditions he can make a living group (two eyes or seki) including the single invading stone.

I would recommend that you use Chinese rules in which you don't lose points by playing stones inside your own territory.

Your question suggests that both you and your opponent are pretty much beginners so I'd recommend a careful review of basic rules and having a look at the page Pages for Beginners here on SL. There are links there that can help you out and maybe rekindle your enthusiasm. It's frustrating when you have problems with rules right at the start. If you can find a stronger player to coach you both it might help. Finally have a try at playing on line, say at the KGS server. There are beginners' rooms there where you can find more opponents and also stronger players to help.

X Re: ((no subject)) (2010-07-08 23:08) [#7797]

Quote: "The onus is on your opponent to show that under normal playing conditions he can make a living group"

Uberdude Actually this is not true. The default state of that stone is seki. The onus is on the person whose territory it is to kill it in the dispute resolution phase. This is often trivial and people aren't usually awkward so they agree it is dead.

reply ((no subject)) (2010-07-08 22:33) [#7794]

Alrighty - I'll check those out. It's just nice to know there isn't really a flaw in the ruleset.

AndyPierce: Re: ((no subject)) (2010-07-08 22:50) [#7795]

Well, not that flaw anyway. :)

Yukontodd: ((no subject)) (2011-08-09 00:40) [#8664]

I've heard it suggested that, in playing out a quick resolution, it's simplest to institute the rule that you give your opponent a stone from your bowl as prisoner when you pass.

This does not, however, stop complications from occurring if the resolution of one shape spills play out into the rest of the board, which would be why Japanese rules have the board revert back with only the status of the disputed group changed.

Really, though, if you're going to place single stones in all your opponent's territories and stubbornly declare them alive, higher level players have learned many applications of the nuclear tesuji to counter such behaviour. Not to mention the "I resign, now go away, I wanna play with you any more" tesuji, intituted on most go servers as a censor list.

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