Proverbs from the game of Go

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Proverbs from the game of Go

  • General proverbs on go
    • Go is like life
    • Life is like go
    • If you don't understand ladders then don't play Go.
    • Learn joseki and lose two stones; study joseki and gain four stones.
  • General strategic maxims
    • If your opponent has secured all four corners then you have lost.
    • If you have secured all four corners then you have lost.
    • Ponnuki in sente is worth 30 points.
    • Attach to the strong group to attack the weak group.
    • In a fight, contact plays strengthen the underdog.
    • Don't play 1, 2, 3 - Just play 3.
    • You only have one weak group. Your other weak groups are dead.
    • Keep your stones connected.
    • Separate your opponent's stones.
  • General tactical maxims
    • There is death in the hane.
    • Hane at the head of two stones.
    • Hane at the head of three stones.
    • Strange things happen at the 1-2 points.
    • Play in the centre of a symmetrical formation.
    • Your enemy's key point is your own key point.
    • In a semeai capture the ko on the final play.
    • Learn the Eye-stealing tesuji.
    • Atari, atari - vulgar play.
    • Don't make empty triangles.
    • Don't make dangos.
    • Strike at the waist of the knight's move.
    • Don't peep at both sides of a bamboo joint.
    • Don't peep at a cutting point.
    • Never try to cut bamboo joints.
    • The monkey jump is worth 8 points.
    • Add a second stone to one on the third line then abandon both.
  • Specific tactical situations:
    • On the second line eight stones live but six stones die.
    • In the corner six stones live but four stones die.
    • On the third line, four will die but six will live.
    • An eye of six points in a rectangle is alive.
    • For rectangular six in the corner to live, liberties are necessary.
    • The comb formation is alive.
    • The Carpenter's square becomes ko.
    • The weak Carpenter's square is dead.

See also the wikipedia article on the board game of Go.