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

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