Forum for Stone Scoring

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Dieter: ((no subject)) (2006-03-21 13:00) [#1309]

(move from original place)

This (the sentence explaining the counting) seems to me to underestimate the practicality of this simple method. (Assuming captures are handled sensibly) there is no need to count stones. Black and White can compare the size of their areas by alternating in putting stones in them. If White fills his up, and Black still has 3 points that he can play on, then Black has won by 3. Jonathan Reece

Velobici: This assumes that there are the same number of stones of each color, a condition that would have to be verified at the start of the game. In go clubs, bowls rarely have the standard 180 stones. This could done by counting all the stones. Ing go bowls are designed to make this trivially easy. Without these bowls, counting again becomes necessary.

Velobici, I think Johnathon is talking about filling up the go board, NOT counting the go bowl. The one who has a smaller area will of course fill up first (since both party play one stone in turn).

To my best knowledge, ancient Chinese scoring was NEVER "territorial" nor "area". The original form of Go in China is "all about stones". According to "Dun Huang Qi Jing" (dated AD 500, one of the oldest Go documents found), the first rule is of course "remove stones with no liberties", then (make a new word, "land") is defined as,

"a place where you can put in a living stone".

Therefore the two basic eye-spaces would not be scored. The most most primitive form is that both players continue to fill up the board. During Tang Dynasty, the scoring method is: First, both players should have played the same number of stones. Next, count empty points minus dead stones (which looks like Japanese rule) BUT basic eye-spaces were NOT counted ! Then during Ming Dynasty, the scoring method changed to count empty points plus living stones, but again basic eye-spaces were not counted (so called group tax). Therefore, from the beginning until 1900, Chinese people kept in mind that "Land is a place where you can put in a living stone". Just until recently they accept the Japanese definition "a territory is the set of empty intersections enclosed by stones of same color".

Personally I think the original definition is more "logically beautiful" because it forms a tautology focusing on status of stones. It seems the modern Go rulesets go astray from the original motivation of Go.

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