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

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