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How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
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Author:  Alcadeias [ Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:58 am ]
Post subject:  How would Go change if we used stone scoring?

Hello.

I was wondering how would Go change if we used stone scoring instead of area/territory scoring.

Quote:
Traditional Chinese Scoring involved playing until no more stones could be put on the board without jeopardizing life of the groups. Then the stones are simply counted. Since only stones are counted toward the score, one doesn't want to pass until all one's own territory is filled except for the two eyes required to give each group life.

(The score by this style is equivalent to the modern Chinese style with a one zi "tax" per eye needed after filling in all territory. See also group tax). This definition of scoring, while different from modern rules, is interesting from both historical and theoretical perspectives, as well as for educational purposes.


How would the style of play of Go players change? Would they become more territory-oriented or more influence-oriented? Would they become more aggressive and attacking, or more solid and defensive?

What about joseki/fuseki? Which point would benefit most from stone scoring between the 3-4 point and the 4-4 point?

Would there really be a visible difference? Or would the difference be so small that it would be absolutely imperceptible?

Thanks in advance for your answers.

Author:  Mike Novack [ Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?

Alcadeias wrote:
Or would the difference be so small that it would be absolutely imperceptible?


I don't know if you would consider one point difference "imperceptible" or not. The different methods of scoring in traditional use don't always give the exact same result. But differences of more than a point would be very rare.

That's not enough of a difference to influence playing style. This isn't like a one point difference in komi amount where even that might be enough to induce players to be slightly more aggressive because the difference wouldn't be related to black vs white but to very specific details of final positions.

Author:  RobertJasiek [ Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?

As a difference from area scoring strategy, connecting / cutting two independently live groups is worth 2 extra points. Therefore, the difference of numbers of black and white independently live groups matters as a strategic aspect.

Author:  Bill Spight [ Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?

Since having fewer groups would be advantageous, stone scoring would, I think, encourage building large frameworks. Also, playing a framework game may well be easier for Black, so that komi might increase.

Author:  doubleoverflow [ Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?

Bill Spight wrote:
Since having fewer groups would be advantageous, stone scoring would, I think, encourage building large frameworks. Also, playing a framework game may well be easier for Black, so that komi might increase.


Not really, for old Chinese Go rule set.

There are 4 stones placed at the 4 corner stars(星,xing,hoshi) before game starts, 2 black stones at 2 opposite corner stars, 2 white stones at the remaining 2 opposite corner stars. So there are four separate groups even before the game starts. It would be hard for the first player to build a big framework. The advantage of first player should be smaller than that in a modern game. Perhaps that's one reason for this rule, because ancient games don't have komi.

Other reasons could be,
Prevent mimic games
Encourage fighting. There are 4 different groups right from the beginning. This tends to increase chance of conflict. Group tax also encourages cutting of opponent's groups.

Modern games may seem free. But people seldom play opposite corner openings these days. It's a natural choice, because you get higher efficiency by placing more stones on one side. It may not be so free as the first sight suggests.

Author:  Bill Spight [ Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?

doubleoverflow wrote:
Bill Spight wrote:
Since having fewer groups would be advantageous, stone scoring would, I think, encourage building large frameworks. Also, playing a framework game may well be easier for Black, so that komi might increase.


Not really, for old Chinese Go rule set.

There are 4 stones placed at the 4 corner stars(星,xing,hoshi) before game starts, 2 black stones at 2 opposite corner stars, 2 white stones at the remaining 2 opposite corner stars. So there are four separate groups even before the game starts. It would be hard for the first player to build a big framework. The advantage of first player should be smaller than that in a modern game. Perhaps that's one reason for this rule, because ancient games don't have komi.


Well, the original question was about stone scoring, not about other ancient rules. (BTW, the oldest surviving game records use territory scoring with a group tax. :))

Not too long ago someone posted a review of an ancient Chinese game by one of China's top players. The reviewer said that ancient players tended to avoid 3-3 invasions of the corner, because of the group tax. Those invasions would produce groups that were cut off from other groups, and thus incur the group tax.

Author:  Gotraskhalana [ Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?

doubleoverflow wrote:
Modern games may seem free. But people seldom play opposite corner openings these days.


Apart from putting the stones there before the game, opposite corner openings should almost never be the right strategy because they have to be worse for one of the players and both can easily avoid them.

Author:  Gotraskhalana [ Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?

I would expect the difference not to be as big as you think.

15 years or so ago, the scoring rules of volleyball were changed so that all sets were now scored like a tie-breaker set in the old rules. Before the change, people would change their strategy for the tie-breaker set ostensibly due to the change in scoring. After the change, they played all sets like they played the non-tie-breaker sets before.

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