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

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