Forum for Kikashi

unalias "forcing move" [#417]

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Dieter: unalias "forcing move" (2006-05-03 20:00) [#1486]

Currently, my understanding of kikashi is: a forcing move that becomes a disposable stone. Better even: understandig the concepts forcing move and disposable stone is enough for applying the concept well.

The problem with using "kikashi" (see Japanese Go terms / Discussion) is that people can believe that all forcing moves become disposable stones, or that anything which doesn't become disposable cannot be forcing (which is logically the same but starts from different udnerstandings). Hence my vote to unalias "forcing move" and give it its own page.

Bill: Re: unalias "forcing move" (2006-05-03 21:06) [#1487]

I am happy with unaliasing forcing move. Kikashi is more specific.

Hicham: forcing=sente? (2006-05-03 22:01) [#1488]

If you read forcing move like that, it would almost mean the same as a sente move, no?

Bill: Re: forcing=sente? (2006-05-04 00:09) [#1490]

Sente is more general than forcing.

reply not just forcing (2006-05-03 23:48) [#1489]

Isn't there also inherent in kikashi the idea that the opponent's position is not strengthed in reply to the forcing move?

Bill: Re: not just forcing (2006-05-04 00:13) [#1491]

There is a phrase, son no nai kikashi, kikashi that does not take a loss. That implies that there are kikashi that do take losses, that do strengthen the opponent. Usually we call them something else, like aji keshi.

Dieter: ((no subject)) (2006-05-04 10:10) [#1492]

The crux of the matter for me is that one can have sufficiently deep analysis of the game, around these topics, using only the terms "forcing move", "disposable stone", "initiative", (destroying) "potential" and "flexibility". This is the major point - I think - Charles has been making any time we discussed Japanese Go Terms: we always end up quibbling about the translations, while what is really of interest is the way concepts help us understand Go better.

A forcing move keeps the initiative, but not all moves that keep the initiative are forcing moves. For example, a raw peep, helping to connect where a cut would have been possible later, keeps the initiative, but it helps the opponent and hence is labeled a "thank you move" rather than a "forcing move".

A forcing move can result in a disposable stone, but not all disposable stones stem from forcing moves and not all forcing moves become disposable stones.

As for translations:

- a forcing move resulting in a disposable stone is "kikashi" - having the initiative, a move that keeps it and a move played with the (justified) intention to keep it, are all aspects of "sente" - a move destroying potential prematurely and/or with little benefit, is called "aji-keshi"

Having good translations helps reading literature containing these terms. Having good (English) terms helps understanding Go.

Hicham: Re: ((no subject)) (2006-05-04 15:47) [#1495]

Dieter, I think the English terms will also be 'construct'. I mean their meaning will be more specific then what you might think if you do not play go. Jargon will be jargon, though I can get the point that English jargon might be easier for most of us. Another thing to keep in mind is that we might need more go terms if we make our own, like this.

If a forcing move is not a kikashi, I do not get the difference with a sente move. A sente move forces the opponent to respond. So you see a forcing move as both good and bad kikashi. I think what constitutes good or bad depends a lot on the strength of the players.

erislover: How I see these terms (2006-05-04 17:14) [#1497]

A sente move forces the opponent to respond. So you see a forcing move as both good and bad kikashi. I think what constitutes good or bad depends a lot on the strength of the players.

Well go is certainly a relative game in a few ways. But I think there is a genuine distinction here.

sente, adjective: a move whose threat is too big to be ignored.

Personally, I do not feel there is an objective measure of sente, and it bothers me somewhat that the simplest definition gives an air of objectivity. A move, in hindsight, was sente if it was answered. We cannot know in advance if our moves will be answered. If the stronger player says, "This is the move here, this is sente," he can only mean, "I would never ignore this move in this situation." If we respect the player as an authority, then that is about as objective as we can get.

forcing move, noun: a sente move which threatens to undermine the efforts of your opponent; if an opponent ignores a forcing move, his own previous plays because pointless or counterproductive. There is likely only one response to the forcing move in question which will prevent or counter its threat. That the opponent will (expectedly) answer the move shows that is is considered sente. The consequences of ignoring the move is what would qualify it as a forcing move.

For example, we might say that driving tesujis work on the principle of forcing moves: each stone that is added makes it more important to keep adding stones lest the entire position be undermined.

Of course these two overlap (forcing move is a kind of sente move), but that does not make them the same. A hane on the first line could easily be sente in the very late endgame merely because of the points it threatens, not because it threatens capture, cut, or kill. So I wouldn't call a hane in such a situation a forcing move.

kikashi: a forcing move or series of forcing moves whose response confirms what both players already know (e.g., two groups are connected, a stone is captured, etc.). Because such moves are answered, the stone or stones have done their work and can be disposed of. We could also say: because the move or moves have been answered, the local tally is the same so there is no immediate need to try to save the kikashi stone or stones.

aji keshi: a forcing move that only confirms what the opponent hoped for in the first place; for example, making a connection that could have otherwise been undermined.

Now, I agree with you that the difference between kikashi and aji keshi becomes more apparent as one gets stronger. I am certain that what I see as kikashi in some situations a much stronger player would see as aji keshi. But I think this only means something like: reading a novel is simple when you are fluent in the language. The possibilities of plays that aji keshi moves eliminate are there in the stones whether the player sees them or not. (Perhaps a bit philosophical.) In the case of kikashi, there was no expected way to take advantage of anything.

Stones which are aji keshi are not necessarily disposable, so aji keshi is not the opposite of kikashi.

So kikashi and aji keshi are kinds of forcing moves. A forcing move is a kind of sente move.

Would you agree with this? I'm not setting myself up as an expert, just saying what I've gleaned from books, play, and SL itself.

Bill: Re: ((no subject)) (2006-05-04 20:07) [#1499]

For the difference between kikashi and sente, see what Sakata had to say.

Bill: Re: ((no subject)) (2006-05-04 17:19) [#1498]

There is always the question of throwing the baby out with the bath water. What makes for a sufficiently deep analysis of the game? Concepts (expressed in English) developed by amateurs, even high level amateurs, and tested over a matter of years, at most, compete with concepts (expressed in Chinese, Korean, or Japanese) developed by professional players and tested over centuries.

Kikashi is a subtle concept. There is a saying, There is a hair's breadth between kikashi and aji keshi. Even the pros do not always agree whether a play is kikashi or not.

But even as a kyu player, with my very imperfect understanding, I found the concept of kikashi extremely valuable. It helped me to decide when to tenuki and whether to sacrifice certain stones. Even more valuable to me was the flip side, kikasare. That helped me to avoid some bad plays. (The fact that the two go together is difficult to express in English.)

Eventually we will have a rich and powerful go terminology mostly in English, especially as the number of English speaking professionals grows. Meanwhile, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese terms offer a shortcut to understanding.

(All of this is beside the main point. Let's unalias Forcing Move.)

Dieter: ((no subject)) (2006-05-04 17:34) [#1501]

To all: If we don't agree on what a forcing move means, we can as well leave it as alias.

To Hicham: I cannot explain better than before what the difference is between a move that keeps the initiative and a forcing move. It is true that in some sense every move reduces options. But some moves reduce options much more severely than others. These "option reducing moves", which do not necessarily become disposable stones, are forcinf mvoes (for me).

To erislover: most concepts depend on strength and possible authority coming from strength. Including this notion in every concept makes conceptualization superfluous. Then any advice, such as "you should treat this move as being sente" must be changed into "you must become better at Go". Also, the fact that answering a move makes it sente, doesn't make the sente concept void. There are also moves that do not kill a group, but yet manage to do so because the opponent fails to live. That doesn't alter the value of that move, does it?

To Bill: I agree that we are unlikely to be successful at outmanoeuvering Japanese terms. The problem is: we end up so often in linguistic quibbles that we lose track of the point. I don't care about every subtle meaning of sente: I want to know which moves (according to analysis) keep the initiative and at what point it is better to yield the initiative to consolidate the acquired position. See also the infamous atsumi/atsusa debates, undoubtably interesting concepts but we are better off with "strength of groups" and "overall absence of defects", I think.

erislover: Re: ((no subject)) (2006-05-04 19:07) [#1505]

Dieter, I don't think that the idea that sente is not an objective description in advance would void it in some way. My point, which was relatively unstated, is that describing a move as sente is not like describing a quality of the stone placed there. "This move is sente," is not a description like, "This leaf is green." When I say a move is sente, I am saying that you should respond to this move; when I say a leaf is green, I am describing a quality of the leaf, or possibly, I am defining the word 'green'. A move that is sente is not so because of the move i.e. it is not a property of a play but a perspective.

Compare, for example, an eye-stealing relationship, a clamp, etc, which are easily defined like 'green' is defined. In fact, a sequence can easily be defined as 'sente' by noting that it is black's (or white's) turn to play before the sequence, and black's (or white's) turn again after the sequence.

While I agree that a sign we may place in front of every proposition has no meaning, I do not think that most concepts depend on authority, except in a very uninteresting sense. As with all words, their meaning critically depends on their use, and there is no single authority for use. Defining jargon is not trivial in the first place, nor is translating it.

Nevertheless, I think it is clear that the uses of 'forcing move' and 'sente' and 'kikashi' and etc are all different. It is hard enough to explicitly define such terms, and I think that an alias like this only complicates the matter. If we seem to agree that forcing move is not synonymous with kikashi then that is ample reason to remove the alias.

What do you think?

Bill: Re: ((no subject)) (2006-05-04 19:33) [#1506]

I think that the idea of forcing move is clear enough. Yes, it's not easy to define, but neither is the idea of a forcing move in chess. Besides, sente is even more ambiguous.

tapir: ((no subject)) (2011-12-26 18:05) [#9171]

forcing move is used ambiguously both as an alias to kikashi and with the meaning of "sente move with only one obvious reply" regardless of the quality of the move at SL in general. There obviously is a big overlap, but the benefit of the move in question and its not being aji keshi seems to be a crucial part of kikashi, which to my experience often isn't meant when people use "forcing move". In practice people seem to refer to moves as forcing moves that have one obvious answer, end in sente and are answered in the expected way, omitting the question of aji keshi altogether.

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