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5.7 End by Agreement

As stated in section 5.1, regardless of whether a game is played under area rules I, II, or III or territory rules I or II, there comes a boundary point at which the result is not affected even if one side makes consecutive moves. If there are unusual positions still needing to be resolved at this point, with the potential for further major changes on the board, then it is of course illogical to end the game. But such positions occur infrequently. Ordinarily the game can stop and be counted at the boundary point with the same result as if it had been played out to the final end according to the rules. In the ordinary case, the outcome of the game is decided when the boundary is reached. If the players can score the game correctly without further play, they can realistically agree to stop playing and start counting. This is such a practical idea that traditional territory rules attempt to end the game at this point, but that is the source of their theoretical problems.

Under territory rules I, if there are no unusual positions, the players can agree to stop playing at the preliminary end and count. This is nearly the same as traditional rules, so Japanese players, who are accustomed to counting territory and prisoners, will find territory rules I more convenient than counting territory and stones as in area rules III.

Area rules III were created to solve the problem of the even number of neutral points in area rules I and II. Not only do they solve this problem completely; they are essentially identical to territory rules I, which count territory and prisoners. Even if area rules III, which can be expressed in simple and easily understandable language, are formally adopted as international rules, the important role played by the concept of territory and prisoners in the progress of go must not be forgotten. For the sake of the Japanese players who are accustomed to this concept, I think it would be better for Japan to adopt territory rules I.



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