top of page

Theory & Proverbs


Enthusiasts attach less importance to Go theory, proverbs, and mottoes nowadays. It is true that the capability of precise calculation is the key to winning. But, is learning Go theory really redundant?

After the birth of Alpha Go, many argued that AI's Go broke many traditional Go theories. I do not agree with "Conventional Go theories are outdated." Once, a music professor suggested: if someone argued that a modern piece of music broke some traditional music theories, it's probably because that person did not fully understand traditional music theories. I think this idea also applies to conventional Igo theory.

How to learn igo theory

Theory, proverbs or mottoes are the crystals of predecessors' experiences and wisdom. Igo theories are flexible ideologies instead of fossilized rules. The variations of Igo are immense and extremely complicated. There are no theories that could guarantee to be always correct. We need to stay foolish when we try to apply Igo theories.

About value of Go

1.  Corner is gold, edge is silver, center is grass.
1. 金角銀邊草肚皮
1. 金角銀邊草肚皮 
2. First control the corner, next is to enclose it, then extend to the edge.
2. 一佔角,二守角,三拆邊
2. 一隅二シマリ三ヒラキ
3. Urgent points before big points.
3. 急所先於大埸
3. 大場より急場
4. There are no ko threats in the opening.
4. 初期無劫
4. 初コウにコウなし
5. Try to get first capture in a ko
5. 遇劫先提
5. まずコウを取れ
6. It is hard to win by one piece of territory
6. 一方地難勝
6. 一方地は避けよ 
7. It is hard to kill one group of stones.
7. 一塊棋難殺
7. 一方石に死になし 
8. Big dragons never die.
8. 棋長一尺無眼自活
8. 大石死せず
9. Attempting to kill without reason ends up being killed instead.
9. 無理追殺反被殺
9. 取ろう取ろうは取られのもと
10. The one-point jump is never bad.
10. 一間跳無惡手
10. 一間トビに悪手なし
11. Better to lose several stones than to lose the initiative.
11. 寧輸數子,勿失一先
11. 常に手抜きを考えよ
12. A bend worth thousand dollars!
12. 棋拐一頭, 力大如牛
12. マガリ千両
13. Your enemy's key point is your own key point.
13. 敵之要點我之要點
13. 敵の急所は我が急所
14. Do not be greedy for small gains at the expense of fixing opponet's shape
14. 休貪小利除他病
14. 休貪小利除他病(中国語
15. Add a second stone and sacrifice both.
15. 先長一子方可棄
15. 二目にして捨てよ
16. You can sacrifice kikashi stones easily 
16. 精華己盡多堪棄
16. 利かした石は軽く見よ
17. If you have lost all four corners then you have lost.
17. 四角穿心難勝
17. 四隅取られて碁を打つな
18. Approach from the wider side. 
18. 掛從寬邊掛
18. 広い方からカカれ
19. Block on the wider side.
19. 擋從寬邊擋
19. 広い方からオサエよ
20. Play away from thickness.
20. 別靠近厚勢
20. 厚みに近寄るな
21. Don't use thickness to make territory.
21. 別用厚勢圍空
21. 厚みを囲うな 
22. Make territory while attacking.
22. 攻擊同時圍空
22. 攻めながら囲え
23. Do not defend territories open on two sides
23. 忌圍兩邊漏風的地
23. 両スソアキ囲うべからず

About shape of Go

1. It is better to not atari than two atari
1. 兩打同情不打
1. アタリアタリはヘボ碁の見本
2. Capture the Cutting Stones 
2. 斷哪邊食哪邊
2. 切った方を取れ
3.  Extend from a crosscut. 
3. 十字扭斷長一邊​
3. キリチガイ一方をノビよ
4. Strike at the waist of the knight's move.
4. 逢飛必靠
4. ケイマにツケコシ
​5. In a symmetrical shape, we will play the centre!
5. 左右同形點中間
5. 左右同形中央に手あり​
6. Play at the centre of three stones.
6. 三子正中
6. 三子の真ん中
7. Strange things happen at the 1–2 points.
7. 角上急所二支一
7. 隅の急所は二の一、二の二
8.  Attach To The Stronger Stone In A Pincer. 
8. 靠強不靠弱
8. 強い方にツケよ
9. Even a moron connects against a peep.
9. 逢刺必接
9. ノゾキに継がぬバカはなし
10. Always peep the square shape
10. 逢方必點
10. 逢方必點 (中国語)
11. Always hane the soft head
11. 軟頭必扳
11. 二目の頭は見ずハネよ
12. 象眼尖穿忌兩行
12. 象眼尖穿忌兩行 (中国語)
13. Ponnuki is worth 30 points.
13. 空提一子30目(拔花一朵)
13. ポン抜き三十目

The Ten Golden Rules List

1. The greedy do not get success.
1. 不得貪勝
1. 貪って勝とうとしてはいけない
2. Be unhurried to enter opponent´s territory.
2. 入界宜緩
2. 敵の勢力圏では緩やかにすべし
3. Take care of oneself when attacking the other.
3. 攻彼顧我
3. 攻める時には自分を顧みよ
4. Discard a stone to gain sente.
4. 棄子争先
4. 石を捨てて先手を取れ
5. Abandon small to save big.
5. 捨小就大
5. 小を捨て大を取れ
6. When in danger, sacrifice.
6. 逢危須棄
6. 危険になれば捨てるべし
7. Make thick shape, avoid hasty move.
7. 慎勿軽速
7. 足早になりすぎるのは慎め
8. A move must respond to the opponent's.
8. 動須相応
8. 敵の動きに応じるべし
9. Against strong positions, play safely.
9. 彼強自保
9. 敵が強ければ自らを安全にすべし
10. Look for peace, avoid fighting in an isolated or weak situation.
10. 勢孤取和
10. 孤立している時には穏やかにすべし
bottom of page