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

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