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

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