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

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