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 Post subject: The Ten Golden Rules - a paraphrase
Post #1 Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:16 am 
Lives in gote
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Here's an idea that might be of interest or help to some of you. You're probably heard of the "Ten Golden Rules" of the ancient Chinese player Wang Jixin.

Now, one of the books I am reading started quoting from these maxims, and this brought them back into my attention. I have tried before to learn and apply them, but I have found it difficult to keep them in mind while playing. Now, I have come up with a new approach.

The original sayings are stated in the traditional four-character format used in Chinese proverbs. This makes them easy to remember - for native speakers! The characters used are quite obscure (to the extent that my Japanese colleagues could not read them all), so I doubt using on readings and pretending they were in Japanese would help me, either.

So, I have made paraphrases reducing the maxims to no more than four single-syllable words wherever possible. My intention is to make them easy for me to remember and apply in practice; I hope you can get something out of them too. If you can improve on my words, while keeping the simplicity, please say so!

Tami's Paraphrases of the Ten Golden Rules

1 Greed fails!
2 Do not rush in
3 Check self, then hunt
4 Drop stones to lead
5 Drop small, save big
6 When chased, drop bags!
7 Play thick, not thin
8 Fight back, bow not!
9 Near strength, play safe
10 Where weak, dodge fights

You can find the original phrases and more detailed translations at
http://senseis.xmp.net/?TheTenGoldenRulesList

There is a lengthy exposition of these principles on an ancient (pre-trolling) rec.games.go thread http://groups.google.com/group/rec.game ... ZNNh6KuK5w

Here is a quick explanation of my rationale for each paraphrase, based on my interpretation of the translations and on my own (dismally limited) go knowledge:

1 Greed fails - if you try to take too much, you may give an opportunity
2 Do not rush in - this seems to be the same idea as the proverb about invading one move before an opponent's moyo becomes territory
3 Check self, then fight - many books tell you to check your weaknesses before starting an attack. It's like putting on your armour before going into battle
4 Drop stones to lead - one interpretation is that you should let go of small groups in order to keep sente, that the gain of making a move in sente is greater than the loss of a single stone or two at the edge; more subtly, one should judge the value of an area (follow-ups, potential, etc.) before you defend it - it could be more lucrative to play elsewhere
5 Drop small, save big - Takao, especially, is fond of telling you to let go of "kasuishi" (unimportant stones). Learn to judge what is big, what is important, and drop stones that no longer have any value.
6 When chased, drop bags - if you are under attack by a gang of thugs, you might want to drop any bags that you don't absolutely have to keep at all costs, because it will help you to run faster and jump into a safer place
7 Play thick, not thin - leaving critical weaknesses behind might gain a temporary lead, but you will pay in the end
8 Fight back, bow not - this one is translated at "Each move must respond to the opponent". I take this to mean not just responding passively, but rather to mean matching up to every blow and refusing to yield (unless it's in your interests to do so)
9 Near strength, play safe - don't leave cuts lying around if you can't afford to lose something, don't start playing near thickness, don't make trouble when people nearby are carrying weapons
10 Where weak, dodge fights - see above: it's better to let go of something, than to fight for it all and lose it all

That's all for now!

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Last edited by Tami on Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

This post by Tami was liked by 6 people: Bonobo, gallucci, Koosh, Osvaldo, p2501, xed_over
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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Golden Rules - a paraphrase
Post #2 Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:51 am 
Gosei

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I think #2 may also be related to the idea that erasing (keshi) is often better than invading and #3 may refer to the complex of ideas around not using weak groups to attack (defending before attacking).

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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Golden Rules - a paraphrase
Post #3 Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Thank you, Tami! After having been unable to play for a couple of months, I will try to "start over" bearing The Rules in mind..maybe it will improve my game.

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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Golden Rules - a paraphrase
Post #4 Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:07 pm 
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in chinese character they look so good.
translation sort of kept the meaning but lost the elegant touch. :)

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Post #5 Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Hi Tami, interesting work. :)

Here's an article (in simplified characters), including a discussion of the character ordering in #1:
http://baike.baidu.com/view/298976.htm

不得貪勝 -- http://senseis.xmp.net/?WangJixin
貪不得勝 -- http://senseis.xmp.net/?TheTenGoldenRulesList

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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Golden Rules - a paraphrase
Post #6 Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Guo Juan's Internet School has been doing a series of audio lectures on the Ten Proverbs of Go.

Her titles are slightly different:
1. Don't be greedy
2. Do not hurry into your opponent's area.
3. Take care of your back yard while you attack.
4. Sacrifice to take the lead.
5. Release the small and seize the big.
Lectures 6 thru 10 have not been released yet.

Each lecture uses examples from professional games to illustrate the proverb in question. I haven't heard 5 yet, but I really enjoyed the first four. At one euro per lecture it is well worth it.

BTW-
What book are you reading that discusses the Ten Proverbs?

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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Golden Rules - a paraphrase
Post #7 Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:17 am 
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Thanks for the links and appreciations guys!

For Redbeard - the Ten Golden Rules were discussed at length on an old rec.games.go thread (back in 1992 I think!). I also brought them up at Sensei's Library.

The point of my paraphrases was to try to retain some of the compactness and memorability of four-character sayings (I know a few in Japanese, but as far as I am aware the four-character saying is especially ubiquitous in Chinese). Guo Juan's translations are doubtless more accurate, but then they are harder to recall. I like her lectures very much, although I have not listened to the ones about the ten rules.

The book that referred to was 攻めとサバキの基本 by the Korean Baduk Association. (Translated to Japanese.) It's a nice read!

I continue to feel a steady progress in my game, and certainly the discipline of recalling and applying these principles has helped, among other things.

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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Golden Rules - a paraphrase
Post #8 Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:13 am 
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I put up my paraphrased version on my blog http://tchan001.wordpress.com/2012/04/1 ... les-of-go/

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 Post subject: Re: The Ten Golden Rules - a paraphrase
Post #9 Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:17 am 
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Hello! I find the way you have changed these rules very original. n this interpretation they sound more understandable and simple. It became easier to apply them in real life as well as in the process of the game. I think you must be really talented person to create such new form of old rules!

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