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 Post subject: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #1 Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:00 pm 
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In one of the introductory books I'm currently reading -- EZ-GO -- there is the following statement:

"When every move you can make would cost you points (e.g., filling in your own territory), you say I pass (you make no move), disturbing the board no more."

However, on this basis, wouldn't it be advantageous for my opponent not to pass also, but to keep on filling up my territorial space so as to lessen my points?

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #2 Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:48 pm 
Judan

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jamesascher wrote:
In one of the introductory books I'm currently reading -- EZ-GO -- there is the following statement:

"When every move you can make would cost you points (e.g., filling in your own territory), you say I pass (you make no move), disturbing the board no more."

However, on this basis, wouldn't it be advantageous for my opponent not to pass also, but to keep on filling up my territorial space so as to lessen my points?


If your opponent did that, he would be adding to your points, because his stones inside your territory would be dead. Your score is equal to your territory plus his stones that you have captured plus his dead stones. Each dead stone he adds to your territory is one point for you.

Edit: There are cases where his play inside your territory carries a threat that you must answer. In such a case, after you reply the score remains the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #3 Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:56 pm 
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Bill: Many thanks. That answers my question, and provides me information on an aspect I hadn't previously understood. Jim

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #4 Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:10 pm 
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Bill: Many thanks. I'm so relatively new to this (especially the nuances of scoring) that I'm still trying to totally master the definitions of "dead" stones. However, your later edit -- "There are cases where his play inside your territory carries a threat that you must answer. In such a case, after you reply the score remains the same." -- further complicates the scoring issue for me. I trust that in time all will become clear. Best wishes, Jim

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #5 Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:15 am 
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For beginners, I strongly recommend using Chinese (area) scoring rather than Japanese (territory) scoring. In area scoring, you get points for your stones and all the space they surround, as opposed to territory scoring where you get points for the space you surround plus the prisoners you've taken.

The nice thing about area scoring is that there is no cost (except for opportunity cost) to playing inside your own territory, so there is no penalty for playing things out (almost) as long as you want. Playing accurately with territory scoring requires knowing whether any group could possibly eventually be captured, which is wisdom that beginners don't have yet. In my experience many beginners who learn with territory scoring get really hung up on the game-end rules, and often either give up in frustration or get unhealthily obsessed with identifying game-end conditions before they have mastered the necessary tools.

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #6 Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:54 am 
Judan

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jamesascher wrote:
Bill: Many thanks. I'm so relatively new to this (especially the nuances of scoring) that I'm still trying to totally master the definitions of "dead" stones. However, your later edit -- "There are cases where his play inside your territory carries a threat that you must answer. In such a case, after you reply the score remains the same." -- further complicates the scoring issue for me. I trust that in time all will become clear. Best wishes, Jim


Dear Jim:

Welcome to the wonderful world of go! :D

It sounds like you are not yet playing against experienced players, who could tell you at the end of the game when certain stones are dead. When beginner plays beginner, I have two recommendations.

1) Play by AGA rules, as dfan recommends. Play on until you have captured all dead stones, so that dead stones do not become a question. All stones on the board when both players pass are considered to be alive. (When you get some experience, you can stop play with dead stones, if you both agree which stones are dead.) Your score is all of your stones on the board plus all of your territory. (If you stop play with dead stones on the board, simply remove them. They do not count towards the score.)

You may want to start on a 9x9 board, just because the game will be quicker. The 9x9 is not an easy board, by any means.

2) Before that, or as an alternative, play the Capture Game. There are no passes, and the first player to capture one or more stones wins. This is a simpler and easier game than regular go, but it has the concepts of territory and dead stones, as you can discover by yourself. Start on the 6x6 or 7x7, because those games are both quicker and easier than larger boards. Then you can move up to the 9x9.

After the Capture Game you may want to move on to Capture Two, where the first player to capture a total of two or more stones wins, then Capture Four and then Capture Seven. Each time you add more stones to capture, the game becomes more like regular go. :)

Good luck!

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The Adkins Principle:

At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #7 Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:08 am 
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jamesascher wrote:
Bill: Many thanks. I'm so relatively new to this (especially the nuances of scoring) that I'm still trying to totally master the definitions of "dead" stones. However, your later edit -- "There are cases where his play inside your territory carries a threat that you must answer. In such a case, after you reply the score remains the same." -- further complicates the scoring issue for me. I trust that in time all will become clear. Best wishes, Jim


I agree with dfan about using Chinese scoring instead if you can, but if you want an longer explanation of what Bill said, which is how things work under Japanese scoring, here is an example position. Consider black's side of the board. Black has 8 points of territory (count them!).

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


If white were to play as follows...

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W
$$ ------------
$$ | 1 X X O O . |
$$ | a X . X O . |
$$ | b X . X O . |
$$ | . X X O O . |
$$ | X . X O . O |
$$ | . X X O . . |
$$ ------------[/go]


then black does NOT need to respond. Black could of course capture it by playing at "a". But Black doesn't need to. Even if white gets a second move in a row such as by playing at "a" themselves, then black could then simply play at "b" to capture both new white stones.

So black will just pass. At the end of the game :w1: will be scored as a dead stone... without black having to play a move to capture it, as long as black can prove that it's dead and that it could be captured if desired. Black will have 9 points - the original 8 points of territory (including the one under the dead white stone), plus 1 more for the dead white stone itself.

In fact, if black passed and white kept playing there, black would actually apply the same logic again and keep passing:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W :b2: pass, :b4: pass
$$ ------------
$$ | 1 X X O O . |
$$ | 3 X . X O . |
$$ | 5 X . X O . |
$$ | a X X O O . |
$$ | X . X O . O |
$$ | . X X O . . |
$$ ------------[/go]


At this point, white could not keep extending those stones, since playing "a" would actually be suicide, white's group would capture itself. White's new 3 stones don't threaten anything of black's (all black groups still have plenty of liberties), and black can play "a" at any time to kill the white stones if he wanted. So those 3 stones are all dead, without black actually having to play the move to capture them as long as he can prove that he could capture them if he wanted. Then black would have 11 points at the end of the game: 8 from territory and 3 from the dead stones.

On the other hand, let's look at what happens if white plays here:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W
$$ ------------
$$ | . X X O O . |
$$ | . X 1 X O . |
$$ | . X . X O . |
$$ | . X X O O . |
$$ | X . X O X O |
$$ | . X X O . . |
$$ ------------[/go]


Now black should NOT pass. Unlike before, that would be a big mistake. Why? Well if black passes, white would continue here and this happens:

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W
$$ ------------
$$ | . X X O O . |
$$ | . X 1 C O . |
$$ | . X 3 C O . |
$$ | . X X O O . |
$$ | X . X O X O |
$$ | . X X O . . |
$$ ------------[/go]


Okay, so unlike the previous examples, this white move actually threatens black. This is the case that Bill mentioned, white's move carries a threat, so black should respond.

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W
$$ ------------
$$ | . X X O O . |
$$ | . X C X O . |
$$ | . X 2 X O . |
$$ | . X X O O . |
$$ | X . X O X O |
$$ | . X X O . . |
$$ ------------[/go]


Now how many points does black have? Before, black had 8 points of territory. Now black only has 7 points of territory, but plus 1 point for capturing the stone that white just played, for a total of still 8 points. So white did not gain anything by playing this threatening move. Black did have to respond, but the score remains the same.

-------

Hopefully some of that made sense. I'll also join along with others in saying that you should play with AGA or Chinese scoring rules if you can. Under those rules, it doesn't lose you points to play moves inside your own territory, so you can just keep playing and physically capture everything to your heart's content, so you don't have to worry about whether the opponent's stones are already dead or not and whether you should pass to avoid playing a move that fills your own territory and losing a point.

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #8 Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:39 am 
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Hey, Guys: What great advice. Many thanks for taking the time to respond to my novice query. I'll be considering it all -- from near Seattle. Happy New Year. Jim

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #9 Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:47 am 
Judan

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jamesascher wrote:
Hey, Guys: What great advice. Many thanks for taking the time to respond to my novice query. I'll be considering it all -- from near Seattle. Happy New Year. Jim


I used to live in Olympia. :) Seattle has a great go center.

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"Even in the Orient, children are often Occidental."

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The Adkins Principle:

At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?

— Winona Adkins

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #10 Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:56 am 
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Bill: My wife and I have lived in Olympia (graduating from The Evergreen State College). Seattle and currently Gig Harbor. Tacoma, across the bridge, I understand has a Go center also, which I should look into. Jim

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #11 Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:17 am 
Judan

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jamesascher wrote:
Bill: My wife and I have lived in Olympia (graduating from The Evergreen State College). Seattle and currently Gig Harbor. Tacoma, across the bridge, I understand has a Go center also, which I should look into. Jim


My girlfriend at the time was a prof at Evergreen. :) Small world.

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"Even in the Orient, children are often Occidental."

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The Adkins Principle:

At some point, doesn't thinking have to go on?

— Winona Adkins

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #12 Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:03 am 
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I'm a bit late, but...

When just starting out I found scoring to be a concept fuzzy and hard to understand, so started of with a version of go where the winner was whoever captured the most stones before everywhere was safe at the end of the game.

Which may hint on a way to define territory for beginners— any area in which only one side's stones can survive. At the beginning of the game everywhere is neutral, but points eventually become safe and dead zones. If someone breaks into you territory towards the end of the game, you probably didn't make it safe enough :)...

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #13 Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:45 am 
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jamesascher wrote:
Bill: My wife and I have lived in Olympia (graduating from The Evergreen State College). Seattle and currently Gig Harbor. Tacoma, across the bridge, I understand has a Go center also, which I should look into. Jim

James, Tacoma does have an active club, but not a Center. Do come by the Seattle Go Center when you get a chance.

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 Post subject: Re: Novice's Scoring Question
Post #14 Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:41 am 
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Bill: Out of curiosity, what's the difference between a Club and a Center? Jim

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Post #15 Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:50 pm 
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Hi Jim,
Quote:
Out of curiosity, what's the difference between a Club and a Center??
My $0.02:

A center seems more formal, like the Seattle Go Center has had a dedicated multi-floor building for years.

A club refers more to the people IMO, like our club has been around before I was born, I think, and it has met in various locations through the years. We've been meeting at our current coffee shop twice a week now for almost 10 years. ( We were forced to relocate in 2009 when Borders, a physical bookstore, being a casualty of online shopping, went bankrupt. :-? )

Maybe it's similar to the distinction between a knitting club or a book club, which could meet anywhere, versus a yarn store or a library or a bookstore. :)

Happy 2019.

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