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Post #41 Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:58 pm 
Judan
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Hi Joel, you're welcome.
(post 26) wrote:
would highly appreciate constructive criticism from anyone willing to read through it.
You requested constructive criticism (feedback), and that's exactly what I offered.

My #1 priority for any documentation: No wrong info.
( Missing info is another topic. )

To re-cap, here are the highlights:

:study: (post 27) Genuinely curious about your source or citation of the 19x19 board being the "custom" for at least 2,000 years.

:study: (post 30)
Page 6 wrote:
The winner is the player who can get the most stones permanently placed on the board.
Are you sure ?
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B Zero captures
$$ +---------------------------------------+
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . O . . O . . |
$$ | X X X , X X X X X O . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X , X X X X X O . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . O . . O . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------------------+[/go]

:study: (post 31)
Page 8 wrote:
every stone, in order to be placed on the board, and in order to remain on the board, must at all times enjoy at least one liberty.
Wrong -- must be rephrased/re-written.

:study: (post 38)
Page 12 wrote:
The third and final rule of stone placement is an auxiliary rule
Wrong -- the ko rule is not auxiliary; it is fundamental to Go.
(post 39) wrote:
I will ask you to keep in mind:
This book is intended for the absolute beginner.
You need not remind me of your target audience;
the booklet's level is self-explanatory, and I understand exactly.
I've been teaching beginners and other students for 13~30 years
(various disciplines, including Go).

It's precisely because they are absolute beginners that you must not include any wrong info.
Beginners are confused enough; they don't need wrong info to mislead them further.


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Post #42 Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:33 pm 
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EdLee wrote:
Page 8 wrote:
What’s important is that you understand that every stone, in order to be placed on the board, and in order to remain on the board, must at all times enjoy at least one liberty.
( Bold in original text; not mine.)

Hi Joel, your statement above is incorrect:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B
$$ +----------
$$ | B B B B |
$$ | X B X B |
$$ | . X . X |
$$ +----------[/go]

All six :bc: stones above have zero liberties left,
yet it's perfectly legal for "every :bc: stone" above to remain on the board.

Your statement above says "every stone...in order to remain on the board, must at all times enjoy at least one liberty."
This is very much incorrect.


This is an example of being too technical. No beginner is going to stop you short and bring this up as the second liberty rule clearly elaborates on how this works.

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Post #43 Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:13 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Page 6 wrote:
The winner is the player who can get the most stones permanently placed on the board.
( Bold in original text; not mine. )

Hi Joel, Are you sure about the above statement ?
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B Zero captures
$$ +---------------------------------------+
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . O . . O . . |
$$ | X X X , X X X X X O . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . O . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X , X X X X X O . . . . . O . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . O . . O . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ | X X X X X X X X X O . . . . . . . . . |
$$ +---------------------------------------+[/go]

Very Sure. This is an unfinished board as white has many, many place left to places stones where as black has run out. Any black stones placed on the right side of the board will be captured and of no use. I get into this in the future chapter called "scoring methods" where I describe the basic functions of area and territory scoring which remove a players obligation to completely fill in. It was left out of this chapter because scoring methods are an example of strategy, in my opinion. The purpose of this chapter was to focus on clear, concise rules which is the method that I found most productive for teaching the game. I do, however, allude to this idea briefly in the beginner of the chapter when I mention that the objective is to use your stones to control more of the board than your opponent. I don't get into what "control" actually means yet.

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Post #44 Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:17 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Hi Joel,

The first empty board photo on page 5 is quite pretty. It's nice.

Page 5. wrote:
The 19x19 board size is the standard and you will seldom see competitive players using anything else as this has been the custom for at least 2,000 years.
Are you sure about the 2,000-year-at-least duration for 19x19 ? I seem to recall they used to play 17x17 (and other sizes) in ancient China.
Where's your source (citation?) for the 2,000-year-at-least duration for 19x19 ?

I am not certain about the fact mentioned here and now that you mention, I recall someone on this forum talking about a 17x17 being commonly used around 1,500 years ago. I will be making this adjustment but do you have any idea how far we can date back the standard use of the 19x19?

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Post #45 Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:20 am 
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EdLee wrote:
xed_over wrote:
Actually, you probably only need at least 150 stones to play a game, because unless you're using Ing rules, you'll probably not ever cover the board completely.
You and I both have sufficient experience to know that most of the time, we don't run out of stones.
However, occasionally, it does happen.
Even with a full set of over 181 :black: and 180 :white: --
example: a long game, over 320 moves, with lots of captured stones removed (Japanese rules set), with a long ko, etc.

But that's not the point. I just thought it's a little strange
to mention exactly 180 stones in each bowl.

If anything, I would just casually mention many manufacturers (like Mr. Kuroki)
ship 181 (+spares) :black: and 180 (+spares) :white: , and leave it at that.
That's just my preference; you may feel free to mention "150". :)


Definitely over technical. The motivation behind stating the number of stones is just to give the reader an idea of how big of a bowl I'm talking about in case they're not sitting in front of a goban as they read. No one would ever stop at this point and pose the questions that you guys are bringing up.

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Post #46 Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:25 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Page 12 wrote:
Remembering that diagonal relationships do not count as connections between stones,
Hi Joel,

I understand where you're going with this,
but I just want to point out it's a problem.
The problem is the way you discuss (or define) what constitutes a "connection" between stones.

In your text, up to page 12, when you write "connection,"
what you actually mean is, narrowly, a "solid connection":
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B Shape 1
$$ . . . . . .
$$ . . X X . .
$$ . . . . . .[/go]

Compare to, say, a diagonal shape:
Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B Shape 2
$$ . . . . . .
$$ . . . O . .
$$ . . O . . .
$$ . . . . . .[/go]
When we see a diagonal shape, above,
we consider the two :white: stones to be "connected" --
just not "solidly connected", as in Shape 1.

The obvious Q&A:
1. Can Shape 1 be cut by enemy stones ? No (unconditional).
2(a). Can Shape 2 be cut by enemy stones ? Yes (conditional) -- if White allows certain local Black moves.
2(b). Can Shape 2 be cut by enemy stones if White replies correctly ? No. (conditional)

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$B Shape 2
$$ . . . . . .
$$ . . x O . .
$$ . . O y . .
$$ . . . . . .[/go]
Because, as you are well aware, White has miai of (x) and (y) to become "solidly" connected.



This is great observation! I will spend considerable time on examples such as these in the coming chapters. However, I feel it quite obvious that such a thing belongs under the category of strategy. I say this because I believe that there is nothing about this term "miai" in the rules. It takes a player with understanding to know that the diagonal connection shown is unconditional (excusing ko). It's an example of reading ahead and I plan to break it down in saying something along the lines of: A player must learn to play efficiently and not spend moves on things that can be accomplished later or once threatened. I find it vitally important that we do not call these stones "connected" because there is a ko threat present.

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Last edited by Joelnelsonb on Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #47 Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:28 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Page 12 wrote:
It stands to reason that the fundamental strategy is
to consistently make moves that aid in the connections of your own stones
while threatening the connections of your opponents’.
( Highlights are mine, not in original text.)

Hi Joel,

I'm afraid I strongly disagree with the above opinion.

If I were writing a beginners' guide to bicycling, and I claim that
The Fundamental Strategy is to consistently use training wheels...
Attachment:
image.jpg
...I would also be incorrect.

I understand that some people quite enjoy to "provide" to beginners
this "advice," or variations of it.

However, as many people soon realize,
the above "strategy" is full of traps and is something they have to un-learn very quickly.

From a recent thread, post 4:
Quote:
We're told ( traps ) in every beginner's go book
it seems there's some significant un-learning and re-learning ahead.

Please see also post 83 and post 10 .

Excerpt from Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go, p. 11:
Quote:
After you have learned the rules, your first step should be just to play for a while...
During this period, if you see an enemy stone, try to capture it, try to cut it off.
If you see a friendly stone, try to save it from capture, try to connect it.
Concentrate on this alone as you build up some practical experience.
Some beginners may see this:
After you have learned the rules, your first step should be just to play for a while...
During this period, if you see an enemy stone, try to capture it, try to cut it off.
If you see a friendly stone, try to save it from capture, try to connect it.
Concentrate on this alone as you build up some practical experience.
Some more experienced people/teachers may see this:
After you have learned the rules, your first step should be just to experiment...
During this period, if you see an enemy stone, experiment.
If you see a friendly stone, experiment.
Concentrate on this alone as you build up some practical experience.
Connecting and cutting are Not some fundamental strategy of Go;
rather, they are merely training wheels for the beginner to gain valuable experience.


I also feel safe telling a new chess player that a fundamental strategy is to make moves that keep your pieces protected and working together well. This is merely a "rule of thumb" that the beginner will quickly be able to look pass and begin to get the real point of the game. I stand by my saying though: This tactics of the are found in a players attempt to stay connected and disconnect.

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Post #48 Posted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:43 am 
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EdLee wrote:
Page 12 wrote:
The third and final rule of stone placement is an auxiliary rule
Hi Joel,

I strongly disagree. I would say your "second rule" (pages 10-12) is in fact auxiliary (not necessary at all).

In contrast, the ko rule is not auxiliary at all -- it's fundamental.

As Mr. Demis Hassabis explained very nicely in his Oxford speech,
there are only two "rules" in Go (axioms): the liberty rule, and the ko rule.
(Actually, this is not quite true: you do need an auxiliary rule which explains
exactly what happens when the stone you play has apparently zero liberties the moment you place it,
but is in fact legal because you're capturing one or more enemy stones.)


From what I've read about game theory, the term auxiliary rule refers to a rule that is not in effect on every move and remains irrelevant for the majority of game play. Compare to En Passant and Pawn Promotion.

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Post #49 Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:37 am 
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I think Ed and I have issue with the word "exactly" when referring to the number of stones. Lose that one word, and I think you'll be fine.

I agree with you, I don't think the rule of Ko is fundamental to the game of Go. I avoid bringing it up (that, and two eyes) when teaching newcomers, myself. I think its important, and necessary, and eventually needs to be talked about, but I don't believe -- fundamental. But this is easily arguable. I could go either way.

Re: the most stones on the board... I think Ed is being unnecessarily silly, taking your words too literally. I understand where you're going with this, and I think you have the right idea. I sometimes teach using Chinese based rules, and one of the statements I use is, "the one with the most stones wins". It simple. Its to the point. Although its not exactly correct -- its only mostly correct. I still use it. I had a stubborn young student suddenly learn to resign lost games much sooner after to switching to this rule. Beginners need simple and to the point.

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Post #50 Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:00 am 
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Joelnelsonb wrote:
From what I've read about game theory, the term auxiliary rule refers to a rule that is not in effect on every move and remains irrelevant for the majority of game play. Compare to En Passant and Pawn Promotion.


It's not really that relevant in this context, but I consider ko with pretty much every single move I play, and I'm pretty sure stronger players do too.


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Post #51 Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:18 pm 
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quantumf wrote:
Joelnelsonb wrote:
From what I've read about game theory, the term auxiliary rule refers to a rule that is not in effect on every move and remains irrelevant for the majority of game play. Compare to En Passant and Pawn Promotion.


It's not really that relevant in this context, but I consider ko with pretty much every single move I play, and I'm pretty sure stronger players do too.


Of course you do. Yet the application of the rule is not present on every move.

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Post #52 Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:54 pm 
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Joelnelsonb wrote:

Of course you do. Yet the application of the rule is not present on every move.


What do you mean? Application of the rule is present for every move: no repeat board positions allowed.

This is just as important as disallowing a player from playing a move that will result in zero liberties for his group.

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Post #53 Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:18 am 
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Kirby wrote:
Joelnelsonb wrote:

Of course you do. Yet the application of the rule is not present on every move.


What do you mean? Application of the rule is present for every move: no repeat board positions allowed.

This is just as important as disallowing a player from playing a move that will result in zero liberties for his group.



In the diagram on the left, if white has just played the stone marked with the square, black is capable on the next move of capturing the stone marked with circle.

On the right, the resulting position is shown after black has captured, leaving the marked black stone in atari. However, as you well know, white cannot capture this stone on the current move because this would violate ko.

I understand exactly what you mean by suggesting that ko is in effect on every move, however, to use common game theory vernacular, the ko rule doesn't actually take authority until after black has made the initial capturing move and created the position on the right. Furthermore, once white plays his ko threat and black responds, the ko rule is no longer in effect. The purpose for universal terminology regarding game theory is so that we can use the same terms when discussing different games and not have to get into the technicalities of each game. By game theory definition, an auxiliary rule is one that does not hold authority on every move and is only "reserved" for certain positions. It's like saying "the speed limit on this road is always 25 miles per hour yet means little to someone flying over the street in an airplane."


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

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Post #54 Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:54 pm 
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The rules do not phase in and out of effect when playing. Black's play in the above digraph does not "activate" the ko rule.

Also, describing "auxiliary rules" as ones that aren't a factor on every move means that the liberty rule is auxiliary whenever something isn't being captured.

Furthermore, since a lack of ko would render Go unplayable, it's about a fundamental as you can get.

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Post #55 Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:14 pm 
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Ulquiorra wrote:
Furthermore, since a lack of ko would render Go unplayable


Would it? If both players insist on taking the non-ko back and forth, it looks like a clear draw to me before being told of rules.

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Post #56 Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:44 am 
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If ko is a draw then someone can start a one point endgame ko to tie a game where they are 70 points behind on the board.

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Post #57 Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:12 pm 
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Ulquiorra wrote:
If ko is a draw then someone can start a one point endgame ko to tie a game where they are 70 points behind on the board.


Can they? It seems that the other player would just pass.


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Post #58 Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:11 pm 
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Gotraskhalana wrote:
Ulquiorra wrote:
If ko is a draw then someone can start a one point endgame ko to tie a game where they are 70 points behind on the board.


Can they? It seems that the other player would just pass.


hmmm....I guess so. But, at the very least, in the middle game every threat to make a kou would be sente to end the game

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Post #59 Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:07 pm 
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Disagreeing on whether the ko rule is "in effect" or its application "is present" on each move or not seems to me a bit strange of a thing to argue about. Can we just be clear about what we mean?

Is the ko rule continuously part of the literal rules of the game, during each turn of the game?
Yes.

Does the ko rule, through its effects on future possibilities, for skilled players potentially affect the strategic planning on each turn of the game?
Yes, definitely.

Does the ko rule directly cause a difference in the set of legal moves each turn compared to if it were absent (and say, where cycles that neither player is willing to deviate from were ruled as draws)?
No, only on a small fraction of the turns usually - when there is actually a ko or other repetition situation on the board.

Is it possible for beginners to sometimes play their first 9x9 or smaller games without needing to be aware of the ko rule due to never running into such a situation?
Yes.

If hypothetically some aliens from outer space sometimes played Go using a ko rule and sometimes played without it with cycles being draws, and you watched a few moves from the middle of a game, would you be able to tell from that alone which version they were playing?
Sometimes yes, but also sometimes no. The game would probably be recognizably "Go-like" either way, but the ko rule would not always have a large enough effect on the moves you saw for you to deduce if it was being used, particularly if apparent mistakes or oddities in shape could also be explained by the players not being perfect at the game.

Uncertain on this last one though - groups being able to live under-threat-of-draw with one eye + a false eye would likely have significant effects on strategy rippling noticeably all the way up to opening and early midgame play, such that you might usually be able to tell. The game would likely be playable, it would just have a significant draw rate, perhaps more than chess does - winning requires being up enough that you're winning even with "all kos and ko-shaped false eyes favoring the opponent".

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Post #60 Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:05 pm 
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My teaching approach is rather abstract, but I try to get to the nitty-gritty of Go and let the learner apply this knowledge on his/her own.

When I teach the game to a new learner, I explain the 3 rules - placement, capture, and ko - after which I proceed to illustrate the rule of liberties and capture by creating different stone group shapes, from 1 to 4 stones, and place them in different positions in the center, edge, and corner. This way I show that the more liberties a group has, the more turns needed to capture it. Relative positioning changes the number of liberties for a given shape of group. Also, I subsequently show that it is easier to capture a group with few liberties and no potential for growth than to capture one that, regardless of the number of actual liberties, has the potential to grow in size and therefore get more liberties. I know that some will say that ko should not be mentioned till the new learner has discovered it during play, but in my opinion it is better to mention and illustrate ko, then leave it alone till it arises in a game.

Once the rule of liberties and capture has been understood some, then I introduce life & death. Life & death is simply assessing whether a group can be legally captured or not and, if this status is undecided, how to proceed toward a desired result. If a group can be legally captured and therefore is subject to capture at any time, it is considered dead. Otherwise, if it is immune to capture, it is considered alive. A group with two or more complete (solid) eyes is considered alive as it cannot be legally captured; the only way to capture such a group is to play two or more stones on the same turn and that is not allowed. On the other hand, a group consisting of only a complete eye and an incomplete (false) eye can be made subject to capture; the stones making up the incomplete eye can be captured, thus reducing the entire group - including the part with the complete eye - to one liberty, which puts it into atari or at least subjects it to capture at any time. If a group is big enough that it can make two solid eyes at any time and becomes too large to capture, it is also considered alive. Keep in mind that a group must be completely surrounded and isolated from other groups in order for it to be killed (made subject to capture at any time). If the surrounding chain can be broken and the group under attack be connected to safety, then it becomes alive.

Everything in a game of Go is ultimately based on the rule of liberties and capture. In the opening stage of the game, one seeks to lay claim to the largest areas for developing the potential to produce the groups with the largest amount of liberties for a given number of stones. This need for efficiency is why the traditional order of play is corners, sides, and center; it is easiest to establish a living group in the corner with the fewest moves. In the middle game, there are more stones on the board, but the number of points on the board has not increased (i.e., still 361 intersections minus all currently occupied intersections), so of course there is fighting, namely to increase the potential for growth of one's own groups and reduce the same for that of the opponent's groups, through which available liberties are increased and more liberties means greater chances of staying on the board. Sometimes this means killing groups outright or reducing their potential maximum size. The killed groups (groups that had been unconditionally subject to capture for much of the game) are removed from the board at the end of the game and are either not counted (in area scoring) or counted as captures plus lost empty points (in territory scoring), whereas living groups are counted as points for the side holding them. In the endgame, liberties for groups are increased or decreased in any part of the board where 2 enemy groups are in contact and on a smaller scale than in the middle game. However, games are often won or lost through an accumulation of said small-scale gains or losses. When both sides conclude that it is no longer possible to increase one's gains (i.e., safely occupy more intersections), then play stops and both players pass.

This is like when two groups of people fight over a piece of land. As both sides grow in populations, there is less and less for everyone, so sooner or later fighting breaks out and large numbers of people die, but it is always possible to survive by uniting with groups that have the greatest potential to survive till the end of the conflict.

I often prefer to start new learners off on capture Go if they have not had any previous experience with the game. The idea of territory as occurs in the regular game is often hard to understand and apply. Go is of course a game of territory and there are two ways to make it. Either one surrounds by demarcation with stones or one kills or captures stones outright, so that the empty points on which there were once the opponent's stones now belong to the side that just captured them. And it is not possible to make any territory if one's stones keep getting captured. Thus, I tend to introduce capture Go as a way to allow new learners to gain experience in capturing and protecting stones, a very basic skill in the game. Another thing I teach is to count liberties. By counting liberties for each of the groups on the board at a given point in the game, the player can determine which group to try capturing first. It is easier to capture a small group that is almost entirely surrounded and has no access to space for further growth and thus getting more liberties, than to try capturing a small group that has ready access to space in which to gain more liberties. At the same time, though, one must prevent one's groups from being surrounded and captured; otherwise it's just making the game easier for the opponent. Why make things easy for the opponent?

Some do say that capture Go is not advisable, but I think that if attention is drawn to protecting one's own groups in addition to capturing, instead of merely trying to capture, then instead of being merely obsessed with capturing, both players get to learn how capturing works and thus conclude that there will be times when capture just isn't possible. Another problem is when new learners try to capture the biggest group possible without first paying attention to the integrity of their own groups. The chain of stones doing the capturing has to be intact or it will be impossible to capture anything, like when a fisherman uses a net to capture fish, but the net breaks and the fish escape. In capture Go, it's easier to make a few captures at a time than to try capturing a lot at once.

When capture Go becomes boring because it is no longer possible to capture X number of stones due to both players being proficient in protecting their own groups, or if a player does not wish to play the capture game, then I move over to the regular game. One problem with new learners when they play the regular game is that they never know when to pass. So what I do is that I play some games of regular Go on 9x9 board, but instead of passing we play on inside enclosed territory till one side runs out of liberties. This does two things. One, the importance of having more territory than the opponent is inculcated; if you have more territory, you have more liberties so that while your opponent has run out of liberties, you still have some. Two, when it is not possible to increase the size of one's groups by even 1 liberty and all that can be done is to play inside one's own territory, it's time to stop playing and call pass.

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