home | computer go | index | go organisations
Go, an addictive game Copyright © 1994-2016 GoBase
International  reading | go proverbs  

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.


Mahjong Solitaire:
Free Online Mahjongg Games Kostenlos Mahjong Spielen Gratis Mahjong Spellen

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

home | computer go | index | go organisations

home > general information > go proverbs