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 Post subject: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly bad?
Post #1 Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:04 pm 
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Counting meaningless stones as points! why?!

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Post #2 Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:28 pm 
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Because you can shuffle stones while counting, thereby destroying the evidence. All you have to do is group stones into little piles, announce that you have won, and the opponent can't argue.


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Post #3 Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:41 pm 
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If stones were meaningless, remove yours and count your remaining territory: 0.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #4 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:37 am 
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The chinese rule has its advantages. The most visible one is that it can be explained to beginners, published by federations, and written in initiation books.
The japanese rules fill a whole book by themselves, and can only be fully understood by experts.

I don't know any initiation book that features a page called "game rules", and I don't know any other abstract strategy game where the situation is the same. Any initiation book about chess features even the little known "en passant" rule, or the 50-moves draw rule. But no initiation book about go explains that during the confirmation of life and death phase, you are supposed to pass for a ko before being able to recapture in that ko.
In fact most of the times, the existence of a confirmation phase after the players have passed, obeying different rules, is not even mentionned.

With chinese rules, you can begin your initiation book with two or three pages explaining once and for all the rules of play.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #5 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:23 am 
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handa711 wrote:
Counting meaningless stones as points! why?!


Chinese counting is more rational and effective than the Japanese counting that have to go through a lot of exceptions and not so clear resolution to arrive 99% of the time at the same result.

All well-formed set of rules uses a form of Chinese counting, see for example the Nee Zealand ones.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #6 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:38 am 
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People, can we please not feed the troll? :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #7 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:20 am 
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HermanHiddema wrote:
People, can we please not feed the troll? :roll:

He's not a troll, as he has 79 posts, most of which don't try to create controversy. If he was one, he would've shown behaviour of one. Also, he would've probably put more thought into this thread, as you're not going to get much trolling done when 50% of people just mock you and forget about the thread in 5 minutes.
He also has a valid point, as once you've connected, additional connecting stones are more or less meaningless (not counting situations when they do something else, like removing important liberties from opponent's groups). In chinese rules, once actual endgame is finished and players start filling dame, first player to do so gets 1 point advantage if there is an odd number of dame. It is not a feature, but a bug, as it's impossible to plan your strategy around this unless you have a supercomputer in your brain. Basically, if it's a 0.5 point game, about half of the time number of dame decides who wins. It's as close to random chance as you can get in a game with perfect information.
That's not to say that I think chinese rules are clearly worse than japanese because of this problem, as japanese rules have their own problems; I did not research go rules in enough depth to have a clear idea which set is better. I just don't like when people dismiss a valid thought because it wasn't enunciated clearly enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #8 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:25 pm 
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Firebrand wrote:
In chinese rules, once actual endgame is finished and players start filling dame, first player to do so gets 1 point advantage if there is an odd number of dame. It is not a feature, but a bug, as it's impossible to plan your strategy around this unless you have a supercomputer in your brain. Basically, if it's a 0.5 point game, about half of the time number of dame decides who wins.


Hi,
I disagree with this for several reasons.

First, the argument is exactly the same under any ruleset : you can't predict the final score of any game with a precision of 0.5 points unless you have a supercomputer in your brain. This have nothing to do with dame.
Second, there is a sound and easy strategy about dame : they are the moves that are worth the less except the last ko. Treat them as such under the usual yose theory. The only difference with japanese rule is that in chinese rule, the last ko (and only that one) is worth even less than a dame (which leads to the whimsical tactic of using dame as ko threats !).
Third, counting the parity of dame is actually easier than counting the parity of prisoners captured during a ko fight, while these prisoners count as zero in chinese rule.
Fourth, the need to evaluate the parity of dame only comes from the fact that you are trying to count a chinese game using the japanese method. If you count the game using the chinese method, everything becomes crystal clear : the 361 intersections of the board are shared between the two players. The one who gets the most wins. Add the komi and the story's over. You have evaluated territories, prisoners and dame in one direct count (albeit a long one, I have to admit :) !).

In my opinion, if we consider the filiation between Japanese professional rules of 1949, chinese rules of 1975, AGA rules of 1991, french rules of 1993, and uk rules of 2008, each one is an improvement over the previous one.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #9 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:56 pm 
Oza

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Firebrand wrote:
HermanHiddema wrote:
People, can we please not feed the troll? :roll:

He's not a troll, as he has 79 posts, most of which don't try to create controversy.

anyone can suddenly be a troll


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #10 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:19 pm 
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Pio2001 wrote:
First, the argument is exactly the same under any ruleset : you can't predict the final score of any game with a precision of 0.5 points unless you have a supercomputer in your brain. This have nothing to do with dame.
Second, there is a sound and easy strategy about dame : they are the moves that are worth the less except the last ko. Treat them as such under the usual yose theory. The only difference with japanese rule is that in chinese rule, the last ko (and only that one) is worth even less than a dame (which leads to the whimsical tactic of using dame as ko threats !).
Third, counting the parity of dame is actually easier than counting the parity of prisoners captured during a ko fight, while these prisoners count as zero in chinese rule.
Fourth, the need to evaluate the parity of dame only comes from the fact that you are trying to count a chinese game using the japanese method. If you count the game using the chinese method, everything becomes crystal clear : the 361 intersections of the board are shared between the two players. The one who gets the most wins. Add the komi and the story's over. You have evaluated territories, prisoners and dame in one direct count (albeit a long one, I have to admit :) !).

1) One, it's entirely possible to predict result of the 0.5 point game if it close enough to finish. You merely have to know how to play endgame perfectly from this move onwards. It's a matter of time and effort (and knowing relevant endgame techniques) in review, and a matter of strength and time available in an ongoing game. I remember quite a few reviews of pro games where commentary says that most of endgame was played perfectly by both sides. I am fairly confident that there were pro games where one player resigned because he (correctly) calculated a 0.5 point loss, though I'm unable to remember an example right now.
Two, my precise wording was "it's impossible to plan your strategy around this". Endgame theory, as far as I know, doesn't deal with things like "play perfect endgame while also making sure there is an even number of dame because if you don't, your opponent will get free point and win". There are often moves of similar worth that are treated as equivalent, yet it's possible that in chinese rules one of them is better or worse because it changes final amount of dame. Simply put, if you don't pay attention to this, there is a random 1 point award at the end of the game to one of the players for no reason. If you do pay attention, you need an order of magnitude more processing power to actually do anything about it, and obviously you'd rather spend it on other things than counting dame. So in the end, that 1 point comes out of nowhere, neither of the players actually planned to get it, unlike their other moves. It is random. That's my complaint, I don't want to see random wins in pro games, and I'm sure quite a few pro don't like to lose randomly as well, what with the prize money and professional reputation at stake. And I don't want go to be about obsessively counting dame.
2) Not relevant, as I'm not talking about stage of 1 point moves, where any pro already knows perfect sequence towards the end and can do nothing about the result.
3) Are you talking about counting how many captured stones each player has? It's obviously easier than picturing every possible perfect endgame sequence in your mind, then checking if dame are odd/even in every sequence and who starts playing them first if the number is odd.
4) Not relevant, as it does nothing about random point problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #11 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:54 pm 
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It is not clearly bad. Please explain why you think it is and perhaps you will get useful responses.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #12 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:27 pm 
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Firebrand wrote:
Two, my precise wording was "it's impossible to plan your strategy around this". Endgame theory, as far as I know, doesn't deal with things like "play perfect endgame while also making sure there is an even number of dame because if you don't, your opponent will get free point and win".


Actually, it does. The Chinese are hardly worse at thinking about the endgame than the Japanese or Koreans.

Quote:
There are often moves of similar worth that are treated as equivalent, yet it's possible that in chinese rules one of them is better or worse because it changes final amount of dame. Simply put, if you don't pay attention to this, there is a random 1 point award at the end of the game to one of the players for no reason.


It is not random. In fact, it is easy to show a diagram where it matters. Outer stones alive, per convention.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$
$$ --------------
$$ . O X . . O X .
$$ . O X X X O X .
$$ . O X . O O X .
$$ . O X . . O X .
$$ . O X O O O X .
$$ . O O X X X X .
$$ . . . . . . . .[/go]


Quote:
If you do pay attention, you need an order of magnitude more processing power to actually do anything about it, and obviously you'd rather spend it on other things than counting dame.


As you can see, positions where one player can affect whether the number of dame at the end is odd or even without also affecting the net territory score are quite rare. When they arise, it is true that it may be difficult to know how to play. However, similarly difficult positions arise, also rarely, with territory scoring. For instance,

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$
$$ -----------------------------
$$ . O . O B B O O X W W X . X .
$$ . O . O B . B O X W W X . X .
$$ . O . O B O O O X X W X . X .
$$ . O . O B B . O X . W X . X .
$$ . O O O B O O O X X W X X X .
$$ . X X X . O . . . X . O O O .
$$ . . . . . . . . . . . . .[/go]


All stones alive except the :bc: and :wc: stones.

Quote:
So in the end, that 1 point comes out of nowhere, neither of the players actually planned to get it, unlike their other moves. It is random. That's my complaint


You can rest easy. As a rule, correct play by territory scoring will be correct play by area scoring, as far as the dame are concerned. :)

Occasionally, the play with kos will be different. More often, the fact that points of territory in seki count under Chinese and AGA scoring but do not under Japanese and Korean scoring can make a difference of a number of points between area and territory scoring, and that can affect strategy. However, the fact that the difference is so large can make the issue easy to spot.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #13 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:15 pm 
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Bill Spight wrote:
It is not random. In fact, it is easy to show a diagram where it matters. Outer stones alive, per convention.

Imagine a board at the start of endgame, with many intersections that are dame and will stay dame, because there were a lot of running groups. At this board, number of dame is not only very high, but will be constantly changed by various endgame moves, making it (nearly) impossible to predict whether there will be odd or even number of dame after all other moves are played. Yet, predicting whether you'll get that 1 point move or not is important, since there are moves with less than 1 point value (or between 1 and 2 under chinese rules), so choosing sequence that gives you that move may be better idea than playing sequence that would be perfect under japanese rules.
There you go, situation where this 1 point is basically random, because humans don't have enough brainpower to solve entire endgame before it even starts. And of course by the point where you can see who gets that move, it's too late to change anything.
Bill Spight wrote:
Actually, it does. The Chinese are hardly worse at thinking about the endgame than the Japanese or Koreans.

I was talking about endgame manuals, not mostly empiric knowledge of professional players that I will not likely have access to any time soon. If you know a book that talks about exploiting chinese (or any kind of) rules for fun and profit, then please do enlighten me.
Bill Spight wrote:
As you can see, positions where one player can affect whether the number of dame at the end is odd or even without also affecting the net territory score are quite rare. When they arise, it is true that it may be difficult to know how to play. However, similarly difficult positions arise, also rarely, with territory scoring.

Well, I'm not arguing that problem I'm talking about is something that happens often. I agree in fact that it's extremely minor and will rarely have any noticeable effect even for those playing competitively, and other differences between rulesets probably have bigger effect on result. I was just irritated at someone dismissing it as a problem entirely and feeling pedantic. Before my first post I was irritated at people mocking topicstarter instead of trying to say anything meaningful, and used this as an example of something problematic that chinese rules make possible. I guess it was not a good example if most people struggled to understand what I was talking about.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #14 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:55 pm 
Judan

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Bill Spight wrote:
As you can see, positions where one player can affect whether the number of dame at the end is odd or even without also affecting the net territory score are quite rare. When they arise, it is true that it may be difficult to know how to play. However, similarly difficult positions arise, also rarely, with territory scoring.


Firebrand wrote:
Well, I'm not arguing that problem I'm talking about is something that happens often.


Sure you are. If it is rare, then in normal play the question of the last dame is regular, not random.

Furthermore, territory scoring does not avoid the same kind of problem, even though it is rare under territory scoring, as well.

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Last edited by Bill Spight on Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #15 Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:56 pm 
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You might as well argue that in situations with many ko threats in long sequences nobody can predict the outcome of a ko fight, or in complex multiple groups fights nobody can predict their winner and thus the winner of the game. You do not prohibit kos or fights, so arguing that simpler dame parity fights should be prohibited under-estimates the skill of strong players.


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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #16 Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:27 pm 
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When arguing that Chinese rules give randomly 1 point to one of the players, you are implicitly saying that Japanese rules give the "proper" result and any another result would be a "gift" for the benefiting player.

Instead a Chinese player could argue that Japanese rules gave randomly one point to its opponent as compared to the proper rules which are the Chinese.

I do agree, however, with your argument that keeping in mind the parity of the dame adds a layer of difficulty that is not particularly interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #17 Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:51 pm 
Judan

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Jhyn wrote:
I do agree, however, with your argument that keeping in mind the parity of the dame adds a layer of difficulty that is not particularly interesting.


Or necessary, except in rare cases. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #18 Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:54 pm 
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The irony is that one of the reasons for which the Japanese prefer territory counting is that it adds a "layer of difficulty" at the end of the game, because you have to ponder if you should risk loosing one last point in order to secure a fragile territory, or risk it to be cut or killed by a complex invasion.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #19 Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:21 pm 
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Pio2001 wrote:
The irony is that one of the reasons for which the Japanese prefer territory counting is that it adds a "layer of difficulty" at the end of the game, because you have to ponder if you should risk loosing one last point in order to secure a fragile territory, or risk it to be cut or killed by a complex invasion.


Well, using chinese/area counting you have the same conundrum, as any play inside your own territory means that you give an additional dame (read: point) to your opponent except at the very end of the game, when you would be passing anyways.

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 Post subject: Re: Why do people still use the Chinese when it's clearly ba
Post #20 Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:24 pm 
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handa711 wrote:
Counting meaningless stones as points! why?!


bad troll is bad :-) looks like you posted that and then waited to see all the reactions. Of course I can be wrong, if so: sorry for calling you a troll.

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