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 Post subject: Go 'Suicide'?
Post #1 Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:16 pm 
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I have always thought that playing a suicide move was against the rules, but an article on the AGA E-Journal said that in the Netherlands it is not against the rules. What are your thoughts?

*edit

I feel it should be against the rules, because if you can play inside an opponents eye then why can you suicide?


Last edited by Exoyo on Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #2 Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:32 pm 
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NZ rules allows suicide.

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Post #3 Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:38 pm 
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Also Ing rules allows it.

I have no opinion.

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Post #4 Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:39 pm 
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But why would you?

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Post #5 Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:42 pm 
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I prefer no suicide.

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Post #6 Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:45 pm 
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I have yet to see any compelling reason for the rule that suicide is not allowed. I just can't think of too many reasons to do it.

It's like giving a pass stone in my book. "I'm passing on this turn, so here's a stone."

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Post #7 Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:31 pm 
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As pointed out in the E-Journal article, it can occasionally be a ko threat, and it can also make a difference in a few rare capturing races: http://senseis.xmp.net/?Suicide.

I don't see a reason to prohibit it other than familiarity, but I also don't see any important reason to remove the rule either. It drives certain people nuts that the rules aren't as simplified as they can possibly be, but I'm not sure why I'd be moved by what is basically an aesthetic point.

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Post #8 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:28 am 
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hyperpape wrote:
It drives certain people nuts that the rules aren't as simplified as they can possibly be, but I'm not sure why I'd be moved by what is basically an aesthetic point.


I'm one of those.

For me, there has to be a very strong reason to create or maintain any rule. I don't see the rare cases where suicide can be used as that strong reason.

Also, I think it's counterintuitive, which is a reason against its existence.

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Post #9 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:13 am 
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I'm teaching go to kids 4-9 y.o. and allowing suicide moves is very helpful! I assure you kids won't play them even if they know they can. Same with ko - I said nothing about they can't retake it immediately, and after a first ko appeared they asked me what to do with it becasuse it creates an infinity loop so only then I said about playing elsewhere and retaking ko stone later/or every second move. Kids are smart. They discover the complexity of go, and they don't need to be taught it. Ok, back to suicide moves - they are natural, there is no need for special rules "you can only this, but you can't that, you can't kill your own stones". Why not? Just because? It's not an answer at all! When kids learn the chinese/Ing rules I teach them they knew that there is no sense in killing your stones so they don't. Japanese rules on the other hand are so unnatural. The rules of go should be clear with no exception, no "bend four in the corner" rule, no disallowance of suicide move and others. The basic ruleset should be: Play on intersections, surround to capture (captured stones returns to bowls), and player with more stones on a board wins a game. These are equivalent of axioms in logic or math and the rest is just a deduction from these axioms. To be more specific you can add who starts a game, and that you always can pass or resign and other such stuff but the main core of the game is not about "you can't this, you can't that". You can play everywhere. You just don't gain anything if you play suicide move (except additional ko threats but this is higher level stuff). This is so simple and so natural that even kids know by instinct it is stupid to play a stone only to be already killed and taken from the board. I really regret that I wasn't taught this way.
There is no any reason for disallowance of suicide moves in any go ruleset.

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Post #10 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:39 am 
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Quote:
These are equivalent of axions in logic or math and the rest is just a deduction from these axions.


This is precisely the problem.

Why is it that so many people devoted to maths or logic cannot understand or accept that there are many, many people (the vast majority?) in the world who don't think in this way?

Without a special "unnecessary" piece of code explaining that axion may mistakenly be used for axiom, a logical computer would crash on parsing the above quote, but people unblinkered by maths understand it perfectly.

For many people, it is comforting and easier to have abstract rules explained with familiar analogies, to have exceptions bundled into visible and clearly marked packages. They learn faster that way. It is therefore MORE EFFICIENT for them. Surely even maths control freaks can believe in efficiency.

I do notice, though, that the ideas of really great mathematicians and physicists are often explained with homely images (e.g. Schrodinger's cat), so maybe go mathematicians just need to take a leaf out of their book.

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Post #11 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:20 am 
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Alguien wrote:
there has to be a very strong reason to create or maintain any rule.


The reason is: to complete the definition of 'play'. The definition can be made complete by specifying what happens in case of one's own stones still without liberties after any removals of opposing stones. Specifying what happens in this case can be made by a) allowing suicide or b) prohibiting suicide.

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I don't see the rare cases where suicide can be used as that strong reason.


You also don't see the rare cases where suicide can be prohibited as that strong reason;) For the strong reason for having (a) or (b) at all, see above.

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I think it's counterintuitive, which is a reason against its existence.


I think it is not counter-intuitive and I think that prohibiting suicide is also not counter-intuitive. The choice for (a) or (b) is not a matter of identifying counter-intuition, but is a matter of completing the definition of 'play'.

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Post #12 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:30 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
I think it is not counter-intuitive and I think that prohibiting suicide is also not counter-intuitive. The choice for (a) or (b) is not a matter of identifying counter-intuition, but is a matter of completing the definition of 'play'.


Agree. Also, there are other alternatives, which some people may or may not find counter-intuitive:

http://senseis.xmp.net/?SimultaneousCapture
http://senseis.xmp.net/?DelayedSuicide

All of these rules provide some way of dealing with moves that remove their own last liberty. The above two are in some ways even simpler than allowing suicide, but I think most people would not prefer them.

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Post #13 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:34 am 
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lobotommy wrote:
suicide moves - they are natural


Any move is natural, even if it is a pass. It is not just a property of suicide plays that they are natural. Also recapturing in a basic ko is a natural play - if it were allowed. By referring to 'natural', one does not resolve whether rules should allow or prohibit suicide.

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The rules of go should be clear with no exception,


This is the romantic dream, however, specification of the first moving player, passes, ko rule and play definition completed to clarify legality or prohibition of suicide are necessary exceptions.

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surround to capture


This is not true. What you want is: sourround to capture opposing stones.

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player with more stones on a board wins a game.


Your romantic dream again; we do not use stone scoring!

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To be more specific you can add who starts a game, and that you always can pass


Finally you mention at least part of the necessary exceptions.

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the main core of the game is not about "you can't this, you can't that". You can play everywhere.


Apart from arguing what the "core" is, you are wrong: there is also the ko rule!

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You just don't gain anything if you play suicide move (except additional ko threats but this is higher level stuff).


Why are you saying this? Is it any argument to convince anybody about anything? How so?

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even kids know by instinct it is stupid to play a stone only to be already killed and taken from the board.


It is not generally true; there have also been converse reports.

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There is no any reason for disallowance of suicide moves in any go ruleset.


In any go ruleset, there is reason for completing the definition of 'play', see my other message.

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Post #14 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:50 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Why is it that so many people devoted to maths or logic cannot understand or accept that there are many, many people (the vast majority?) in the world who don't think in this way?


Why do you think that people devoted to maths or logic would not understand or accept that there are (presumably) many other people? Rather than addressing such an irrelevant claim, you might instead express your preference for rules being incomplete instead of complete, if that would indeed be your preference.

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For many people, it is comforting and easier to have abstract rules explained with familiar analogies,


There ARE informal introductions to go rules, so what?

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to have exceptions bundled into visible and clearly marked packages.


Such as putting a ko rule in a special rules section titled "Ko Rule" and a suicide or no suicice rule in a special rules section carrying the related title? Or alternatively, putting all the exceptions in one "Exceptions" part, which then explains "Black starts the game. Recreation of the same... is prohibited. Suicide is... Pass is a possible alternative move. Successive passes end..."? Possible.

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They learn faster that way.


Possible. Others learn faster in other ways:)

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Surely even maths control freaks can believe in efficiency.


LOL. OC, we do. In particular, putting rules where they belong is a possible efficient way.

Quote:
I do notice, though, that the ideas of really great mathematicians and physicists are often explained with homely images (e.g. Schrodinger's cat), so maybe go mathematicians just need to take a leaf out of their book.


Uh, what does this have to do with suicide?

BTW, the most difficult kind of explanations of relativity theory are those with absurd imagines such as a clock travelling with light speed but observed from a train's passenger at slow speed while(!) he compares the moving finger of the church tower's clock or whatever;)

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Post #15 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:57 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
Quote:
These are equivalent of axions in logic or math and the rest is just a deduction from these axions.


This is precisely the problem.

Why is it that so many people devoted to maths or logic cannot understand or accept that there are many, many people (the vast majority?) in the world who don't think in this way?

Without a special "unnecessary" piece of code explaining that axion may mistakenly be used for axiom, a logical computer would crash on parsing the above quote, but people unblinkered by maths understand it perfectly.

For many people, it is comforting and easier to have abstract rules explained with familiar analogies, to have exceptions bundled into visible and clearly marked packages. They learn faster that way. It is therefore MORE EFFICIENT for them. Surely even maths control freaks can believe in efficiency.

I do notice, though, that the ideas of really great mathematicians and physicists are often explained with homely images (e.g. Schrodinger's cat), so maybe go mathematicians just need to take a leaf out of their book.


Just for the record - I'm not mathematician. I have philosophy degree.

I suppose you heard about Yasuda Yasutoshi and his project of teaching go without explaining all of the rules but just one about capturing stones.

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Post #16 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:25 am 
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@ Robert Jasiek

Have you noticed the way you quote and question or answer makes impossible to get a real conversation?

I wrote "suicide moves - they are natural".
You state that it doesn't resolve whether rules should allow or prohibit suicide moves.
Well, for me it's obvious. If it is natural one can play it. The end.

And second thing about stone scoring.
"Your romantic dream again; we do not use stone scoring!"
We? Who? I use it. I teach this way. I teach kids that more stones on the board wins. They start a game with even number of stones. And there is no any problem about "territory" definition. They came to it in natural way without my help. They know when and why it is stupid to play in other's territory, and when this territory occurs even if I did not define what territory is, and why they should not play a moves within.
When they pass the barrier of 20 kyu I think then I will present to them other ways to determine who is the winner, other ways of counting. But till then it is so easy and natural for them to fill the board there is no reason to abandon it. They know when someone lost before they put all the stones on the board so it is great for natural development of understanding of basics of go.

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Post #17 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:16 am 
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lobotommy wrote:
stone scoring [...] I use it. I teach this way.


For the special purpose of teaching go to newbies, stone scoring is a possibility, right. For describing how we - the regular players - play go, the closest you can get is area scoring, for which the 'natural' argument "just count the stones on the board" does not work.

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Post #18 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:42 am 
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lovelove wrote:
But why would you?


- Suicide rule gives ko threats on some cases. In below diagram white plays "a" as ko threat, causing his own stones to be captured and leaving follow-up of "a".
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ ------------------
$$ | a O X . . . . . .
$$ | O X X . O O . . .
$$ | X X . O . . . . .
$$ | O O O , . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . .[/go]

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Post #19 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:15 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
Alguien wrote:
there has to be a very strong reason to create or maintain any rule.


The reason is: to complete the definition of 'play'. The definition can be made complete by specifying what happens in case of one's own stones still without liberties after any removals of opposing stones. Specifying what happens in this case can be made by a) allowing suicide or b) prohibiting suicide.


"What happens to a group without liberties" is already specified. It's kind of the second rule of go, after "play in turns and don't move stones around".

How do you teach the classic one stone kill without saying "a group without liberties dies"?

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Post #20 Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:54 am 
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Well, I have resisted as long as I can, I guess. ;)

I think that it is important to remember that weiqi, with its long, long history, existed without written rules until the mid-twentieth century. There were problems on rare occasions, the earliest one known being the question of Moonshine Life. Various rules emerged as needed, such as the one that Bent Four in the Corner is dead, which is implied in Chinese problems going back several centuries, and the one that a certain shape in the corner is worth Three Points without Capturing.

Once rules began to be written and formalized, new questions arose. For instance, what about the pass? Traditional rules had no concept of the pass. Games ended by agreement. In the famous Segoe-Takahashi dispute (See http://senseis.xmp.net/?TenThousandYearKo%2FrulesCrisis ) one question that arose was whether making a play was a right or an obligation.

My own guess is that the fact that games ended by agreement rather than by not making a play is that making a play was originally an obligation, which means that early go was a form of no pass go. Now, in no pass go there is a natural time to end play by agreement and score the game rather than to play on until the bitter end, and that is when the last dame is filled. Then, under one form of no pass go, a player's score is his territory plus captured stones minus the group tax. As it turns out, that appears to be the form of scoring for the oldest full game records that we still have. If early go was a form of no pass go, that also explains why prisoners are scored. :) (An earlier text indicates a form of stone scoring. It, too, makes no mention of passing.) BTW, suicide is problematic for no pass go because one player can extend the game indefinitely by suicide instead of passing, necessitating a new rule to prevent that. (That is true for area scoring, as well.)

If passing is allowed, is a pass a play? If so, does it lift ko bans? If the game ends by passing, how many consecutive passes are required? 2? 3? 4? These decisions affect not only rare occurrences, but every game. We have gone from a game that everybody knows how to play to one that nobody knows how to play.

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Last edited by Bill Spight on Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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