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

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