6.1 Normal Case (10)
As this example shows, if both players judge the preliminary end of
the game correctly, then all that remains is an even number of neutral
points. Each player can occupy half of these; then they can agree that
the game has ended and count the score. Under area rules III it is
necessary for Black to play 277, the last competitive move, and for
White to pass. The game is correctly finished when Black plays 277.
(This means that the remaining moves can be omitted, even though the
rules require them to be played.)
Under territory rules I it may even be possible for the players to agree
to stop at White 276, taking cognizance of the odd number of neutral
points. The question of an even or odd number of neutral points is
only significant because of the rule of equal numbers of moves after
the preliminary end. If the players agree to skip the moves after the
preliminary end, they can also omit the moves on neutral points without
affecting the result. The players can therefore agree that the game has
ended at White 276.
It bears repeating that under area rules III, in which stones are
counted in the score, the game cannot end by agreement until Black plays
277 in Dia. 6-2-2. It is convenient to remember the following fact.
|Dia. 6-2-2 (277)
On a go board with an odd number of lines, if the number of vacant
points which neither player can occupy at the end of the game is even
(including zero), and if Black makes the last competitive move, then
the difference between the scores is even. If White makes the last
competitive move, the difference is odd. If the number of vacant points
that cannot be occupied is odd, these relations are reversed: if Black
makes the last competitive move the difference is odd; if White makes
the last competitive move the difference is even. Vacant points that
cannot be occupied occur as neutral points in seki positions.
Under area rules III the difference is even or odd according to whether
White or Black makes the last competitive move, so if only one side's
score is counted, it is possible to check for one-point counting
mistakes (assuming no counting mistakes of more than one point are
The above relationships are reversed in a handicap game when the
handicap is even.