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

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