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Most of these proverbs were collected by S.Coffin and he kindly gave me permission to publish the list. Some of these proverbs were merged into the Internet Go Dictionary.

The aphorisms by Pierre Audouard appeared between 1994 and 1995 in the French Go Review under the title "Some words about Go", and signed by Jean de Laveline (pseudonym of Pierre Audouard) and were translated by Tom Keel.

By default the proverbs are shown in a predefined order Alternatively, you can have them shuffled (the order is randomized) or ordered by author.


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  • The book says don't fight (The pen is mightier than the sword). But what else can be expected from a book (written by a pen)?  --  anonymous
  • White is always trying to kill a bigger group than black is trying to save  --  anonymous
  • A meijin needs no joseki  --  anonymous
  • To do or not to do something is not determined by what is done in general, any more than by what is necessary. Doing or not doing something is determined by what you want, and to want in go is to want to win.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Against three in a row, play right in the center  --  anonymous
  • Don't play on dame points, but guarantee connections  --  anonymous
  • Go is a game of chance where the strong player is he who renders circumstances favorable with tricks.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Those who are good at making shape don't usually fight.
    zhang, 1078 AD
  • Empty triangles are bad  --  anonymous
  • Each step in a ladder is worth 7 points  --  anonymous
  • Answer the keima with a kosumi  --  anonymous
  • Beware of going back to patch up your plays  --  anonymous
  • When your opponent is thick, you must also become thick.
    Otake Hideo, 9p
  • The possibility or impossibility of an event results logically from the rules.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • On the third line, four die, six live  --  anonymous
  • Attack two weak groups simultaneously  --  anonymous
  • In opponents' sphere of influence, avoid sharp conflict, don't move too deep
    Otake Hideo, 9p
  • Add one stone, then sacrifice both  --  anonymous
  • There is a thin line between thick and slow.
  • For rectangular six in the corner, dame is necessary  --  anonymous
  • Extend one hand from the cross-cut  --  anonymous
  • Don't try to enclose an open skirt  --  anonymous
  • Keshi is worth as much as an invasion!  --  anonymous
  • Use the Knight's move to attack, the 1-point jump to defend  --  anonymous
  • Pon-nuki is worth thirty points  --  anonymous
  • If there is no stone on the handicap point, the carpenter's square is dead  --  anonymous
  • To invade, need 20 points in open area; otherwise, keshi is best.
    Yang Yilun, 7p
  • Take the cutting stone on the second line  --  anonymous
  • When you study joseki, you lose two stones in strength  --  anonymous
  • If black doesn't pile up enough errors to lose, then it will soon be time to lower the handicap.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • There is damezumari at the bamboo joint  --  anonymous
  • More haste less speed.
    Fairbairn, John
  • Grab the 4th point of the bamboo joint.
    Taylor, Bill
  • Don't get surrounded! Ever!  --  anonymous
  • Don't make empty triangles  --  anonymous
  • From the way the players perceive what can happen and what shouldn't happen springs what happens.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • There is a time and a space which are the same in all go games: the alternating of black and white, and the intersections.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Keep away from thickness  --  anonymous
  • Don't play in direct contact with the opponent's stone caught in your squeeze-play  --  anonymous
  • Keep inessential ataris till the end  --  anonymous
  • Do not fear furikawari  --  anonymous
  • Go is essentially a form of harmony. Go in the 21st century will have to be go of the 'harmony of the six points - the four quarters, the above and the below.' As in life we will need to view the whole rather than the part. Japanese go has focused too heavily on the local (joseki) rather than the whole for 300 years. The reason the Chinese and Koreans are overtaking the Japanese is that they are closer to achieving this whole-board view.
    Go Seigen, 9p, 1994
  • Don't make compact groups of stones  --  anonymous
  • Never try to cut bamboo joints  --  anonymous
  • Strange things happen at the one-two points  --  anonymous
  • Don't peep at cutting points  --  anonymous
  • There are players who don't accept exchanges: they play many moves that perpetuate a previous state of the game.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Make your own groups strong first, then attack  --  anonymous
  • (A shicho works or doesn't work, but sometimes you don't see it, you don't play it). The possible and the impossible are visible and invisible. What happens is always what you see, what is played.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Win the stones, lose the game  --  anonymous
  • The weak player fears ko, the strong player seeks it.
    Taylor, Bill
  • When in doubt, remove the enemy stones from the board.
    Taylor, Bill
  • Capture what you cut off  --  anonymous
  • With less than 15 stones in danger, tenuki  --  anonymous
  • If you don't know ladders, don't play go  --  anonymous
  • Proverbs do not apply to White.
    Sand, Tero
  • If you lose by one point, take a rest  --  anonymous
  • There are lines, like roots, that plunge into the stone and shatter it.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Keep sente in the opening. A premature attack loses sente  --  anonymous
  • On the second line six die, eight live  --  anonymous
  • The saki bottle shape is negative  --  anonymous
  • Five liberties for tactical stability  --  anonymous
  • Stop on second, extend on third  --  anonymous
  • There is death in the hane  --  anonymous
  • The strong player plays straight, the weak diagonally  --  anonymous
  • If you have won four corners, resign  --  anonymous
  • Six eyes in a rectangle are alive  --  anonymous
  • Atari, atari is vulgar play  --  anonymous
  • Big groups never die  --  anonymous
  • It is difficult to know exactly what you are doing.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • The second line is the line of defeat, the third line is the line of territory, and the fourth line is the line of influence  --  anonymous
  • In an unreasonable situation, an unreasonable move is reasonable
  • Don't make territory near thickness  --  anonymous
  • Hane? Extend! Make it a habit  --  anonymous
  • The carpenter's square becomes ko  --  anonymous
  • If there is a ko inside a semeai, capture it on the final play  --  anonymous
  • Fill in a semiai from the outside  --  anonymous
  • One is never aware enough of the violence in go.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Sacrifice and squeeze  --  anonymous
  • Eyes win semiais  --  anonymous
  • The semeai where only one player has an eye is a fight over nothing  --  anonymous
  • Sometimes an idiotic stone loafs about the goban.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Ikken tobi is never wrong  --  anonymous
  • Play slow, win slow; play fast, lose fast  --  anonymous
  • The comb formation is alive  --  anonymous
  • Don't defend - extend!
    Taylor, Bill
  • A knight's move near the edge of the board cannot be cut.
    Taylor, Bill
  • Keep your own stones connected, and your opponent's apart.
    Taylor, Bill
  • The simplest move is the best move  --  anonymous
  • Everything would seem to be possible in go. Like pulling a rabbit, by a magical move, out of a hat.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Don't overlook the edge of the board  --  anonymous
  • Good moves and bad moves are bedfellows  --  anonymous
  • Territory is a closed space where time no longer exists. The transformation around it slowly alter it, and sometimes it cracks open like a rotten egg at the least shock.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Beware of the clumsy double contact  --  anonymous
  • If White takes all four corners, Black should resign; if Black takes all four corners, Black should also resign.
    Kent, David
  • The intersection is rarely neutral.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Learn the eye-stealing tesuji  --  anonymous
  • Defend weak groups, not strong groups  --  anonymous
  • The poor player plays the opponent's game for him  --  anonymous
  • Go is not a blocking game, it's a game of action.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Every move brings change.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • This time and this space have certain properties, and for a long time, to progress means to become familiar with them.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Contesting, destabilizing, and threatening are sources of transformation.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • 5 lines for extension in front of shimari
    Yang Yilun, 7p
  • If one player chooses influence, the other player may choose territory, and vice versa  --  anonymous
  • Everything happens on a grid-engraved board with black and white pieces, but if that's all you see then you don't know Go.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Grab the border point between two moyos  --  anonymous
  • At the head of two stones in a row, play hane  --  anonymous
  • Learn to play under the stones  --  anonymous
  • Territory really exists only in the end.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • You can hide nothing on the goban.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Do not make moves that strengthen your opponent!  --  anonymous
  • If your stone is capped, play the knight's move  --  anonymous
  • Groups mustn't float  --  anonymous
  • There are players who clack down ridiculous moves. Certain others place their moves with crisp, dry contact, like bones cracking. Still others drop their stones with a soft sound.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • If you have lost four corners, resign  --  anonymous
  • The monkey jump is worth eight points  --  anonymous
  • Does white await black's errors? Certainly, in two ways: either he makes clean, clear, dangerous moves; or he makes confusing, twisted moves that are just as dangerous. The adequate answers are always difficult to find.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • The ax's handle rots while the mind lives to the rhythm of the stones.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Only amateurs try to come up with fancy moves  --  anonymous
  • If you cannot succeed, then die gloriously
    Chinese proverb
  • The nature of a game comes from what is played, but it's the sensitivity to the possible and the impossible that gives it value.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Conservative and slow will win. Believe it!  --  anonymous
  • The enemy's vital point is your own  --  anonymous
  • Shoulder connections, hanging connections, and knight's move connections  --  anonymous
  • In the corner, five stones in a row on the third line are alive  --  anonymous
  • A basic: Don't push too hard.
  • One point in the center is worth ten in the corner  --  anonymous
  • Nothing requires doing this or that, but necessity exists.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Corner, side, centre  --  anonymous
  • If you have one stone on the third line, add another, then abandon both of them  --  anonymous
  • Don't disturb symmetry  --  anonymous
  • Knight's moves win running battles  --  anonymous
  • Balance is not what players strive for, and if it does arise, it is in spite of them.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • You must always consider the circumstances. Nothing is identical, yet things repeat.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Attach to the strongest stone in a pincer  --  anonymous
  • Learning josekis by heart is useless if you don't try departing from them.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Don't count territory held by only one eye!  --  anonymous
  • Don't reduce your own liberties.
    Taylor, Bill
  • The stone in the bowl is idiotic.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • With only one group, you will win  --  anonymous
  • Grab the shape points as kikashi  --  anonymous
  • Always remember, keep the balance (between territory and influence)
  • The game plays itself, the players don't control it.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • When your opponent has two weak groups, attack them both at once  --  anonymous
  • 2-1 is the vital point in the corner  --  anonymous
  • One big eye kills one small eye  --  anonymous
  • Strike at the waist of the knight's move  --  anonymous
  • Very few good moves are played.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • In the sound of the stone your can hear its purpose.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • There is no territory in the centre  --  anonymous
  • Avoid the plate connection  --  anonymous
  • You must incessantly question yourself about this time and this space.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Five groups might live but the sixth will die  --  anonymous
  • For the comb formation in the corner, dame is necessary  --  anonymous
  • Sacrifice small to take large  --  anonymous
  • From a cross-cut, extend  --  anonymous
  • You have to like to win, and to learn to recognize the errors that gave you the victory.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Never be too sure about your plan, and always doubt your ability to kill your opponent's stones.
    zhong-pu liu, 1078 AD
  • When in a winning position, keep the game simple; Make it complex only when losing  --  anonymous
  • The rectangular six is normally alive  --  anonymous
  • Dead group? Always win ko fights!  --  anonymous
  • Those who are good at winning, don't usually fight.
    zhang, 1078 AD
  • Seek small gains but incur big losses  --  anonymous
  • There are possible things, impossible things, and things that happen. Sometimes things happen that were impossible.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • To reduce an opponent's large prospective territory, strike at the shoulder  --  anonymous
  • The L-group is dead  --  anonymous
  • To emphasize the lack of determination in his moves, one speaks of chance.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Sacrifice for shape  --  anonymous
  • Use a wall to attack, not to make territory  --  anonymous
  • Don't make a play adjacent to a cutting-point  --  anonymous
  • Josekis are not fixed, definitive things. They indicate the moments when everything can change.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • At the head of three stones in a row, play hane  --  anonymous
  • Don't be greedy!  --  anonymous
  • There are times when even a fight over nothing means something  --  anonymous
  • Know the eye-stealing tesuji  --  anonymous
  • If you plan to live inside enemy territory, play directly against his stones  --  anonymous
  • Make a fist before striking
    Kim, Jay H.
  • There is a time for doing things.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Turn, turn, turn!
    Taylor, Bill
  • Strange things happen at the one-two points  --  anonymous
  • Don't make dango's  --  anonymous
  • (Any move that follows the rules is legal). Possibilities differ according to strength.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Error is one of the sources of transformation.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • If a formation is symmetrical, play at the center  --  anonymous
  • Thickness? Ladders always work! [or don't work if it belongs to your opponent!]  --  anonymous
  • Connect with good shape  --  anonymous
  • In the opening, when you don't know what to play, make a shimari.
  • Beginner's games are surprising, often incoherent and incomprehensible. When you improve, your game gains in consistency but flirts with stupidity: you become satisfied with truisms and mechanical movements, you try to obtain a feeling for clearness and style the easy way.
    Audouard, Pierre
  • Be a little patient. Keshi works!  --  anonymous
  • Fighting must not be the key to go, it should be reserved as your last resource.
    zhong-pu liu, 1078 AD
  • Win the early ko to win the game  --  anonymous

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