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

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