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 Post subject: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #1 Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:58 am 
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Hello.

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

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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.

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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #2 Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:16 am 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #3 Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:36 am 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #4 Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:10 am 
Judan

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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.

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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #5 Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:26 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #6 Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:26 am 
Judan

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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.

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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #7 Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:06 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #8 Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:10 pm 
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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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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #9 Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:28 am 
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I think the difference would be pretty big. 2 points is quite much. All kinds of amashi strategies would be much worse (assming your opponent doesn't try to induce you to amashi by playing very high moves). In amashi games it's not uncommon for the one playing amashi to have 5 or more groups while his opponent has just one. That's 8+ point difference, pretty big even in amateur play and absolutely huge in professional play.

Invading moyos would change a lot. If you let the invading stone live inside, it's two points worse for the invader than with normal rules. But if you chase it out, it's (usually) two points better for the invader than with normal rules as the one having the moyo is split to two while the invader runs and connects to his other groups. That means compared to normal go there's a 4 point incentive for letting the invader live, not small at all. I think usually players would like to reduce their opponent while building themselves if possible, rather than invade unless they know they can split their opponent.

Josekis would also change (or maybe we wouldn't get new josekis but players would choose different josekis). Anything that builds outside influence would be better than nowdays as it makes it easier for you to keep your groups connected and it's not as tempting for your opponent to take a corner where he gets sealed in. And anything that seals your opponent in is very good.

Maybe we would see more games with both players competing for a big moyo, but if it means people start playing 5-5 points and what not, we might still see games with one player focusing on the corner territories, since the available corners would be much bigger.


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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #10 Posted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:44 am 
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:clap: nice post, jussius.

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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #11 Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:24 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
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.


How does that give 2 extra points? Could you explain please?
I completely agree with Mike Novack on it differing by only 1 most of the time and I play Chinese rules all the time on the board so I'm very familiar with how it works. Never heard of the cutting group thing and thinking about it, I don't see how it gives or loses extra points either.

Could you give a diagram or something for the benefit of us who might not understand how those 2 points come about?

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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #12 Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:04 am 
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Chinese rules use area scoring, not stone scoring.

As the name suggests, if you're playing with stone scoring only the stones you have on the board are counted and not the territory they surround. As a consequence play continues for as long as any player can play inside their territory without killing a group in the process, since every such move is worth a point.

So where do the 2 extra points come from? Well, each of your groups needs to have two eyes if it's to stay alive. So by connecting two groups instead of 4 eyes total you only need 2, giving you two additional moves worth a point each within the group.


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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #13 Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:22 am 
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Ah I got confused. I see what you mean Kap. But provided both of the groups are the minimal size for life to require you to play that extra move to secure each group though. A bigger group doesn't have to play extra moves for 2 eyes whether split or not.

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 Post subject: Re: How would Go change if we used stone scoring?
Post #14 Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:00 am 
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Yes you don't have to, but the whole point is that you WANT to play inside your own territory as much as possible when using stone scoring. Only intersections with a stone on it count towards your score, eyespace doesn't.

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