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

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