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

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