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Introduction

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

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