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

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