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

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