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

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