Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
24 Posts

Go» Forums » Rules

Subject: Removing dead stones? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
(Originally I had an even dumber question, but the "Japanese Rules of Go" PDF here answered the question which my "Learn to Play Go" book didn't.)

My book says "Dead stones are taken out at the end of the game. It is not necessary to play extra moves in order to capture them." Buhh... really? Will the end scores always work out the same? In their example, it looks to me like white would have to place two stones to capture the one black stone hanging around in white's territory; doesn't that reduce white's final score by 2? Isn't it to black's advantage, then, to insist that the game be played out?

Or, maybe the same question another way: an experienced player can look at an arrangement of stones and "know how it will turn out": these guys are alive, those guys are dead, etc. If I look at the same arrangement, the only way I'll know how it'll turn out is to keep playing. Isn't it possible that that will change the outcome? I'm pretty incompetent...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Well, my test--which I made up just now, & which may be flawed--is this: suppose you control a 3x3 area (which should be worth 9 points, right?), and I drop a stone right in the middle. To capture it, won't you have to drop in 4 stones? (Reducing your area by 4, and gaining you 1 prisoner, for a net loss of 3?) Whereas, if I drop that one in, and we look at it and say "that one's dead," you just pick it up at the end of the game for a net gain of 1?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Cote
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Mahjong fanMicrobadge: Hanabi fanMicrobadge: Go playerMicrobadge: Pax Renaissance fanMicrobadge: Gloomhaven fan
If the stones inside cannot form a living shape, then it is up to their owner to play to make them live. If he succeeds, he lives, gets the points, and denies his opponent all of that territory. If he fails, then he is simply giving MORE points to his opponent than he already had.

So if you know it cannot live, you leave it. If there's a question, then you will normal each play a stone until the issue is settled, resulting is no change of score.

Note that stones are removed when they are surrounded (ie no liberties left). Groups that are deemed dead are left on the board (unless surrounded) until the end of the game where they count as prisoners. In fact, each "dead" stone counts as 2 points: one for the prisoner, and one for the space it is occupying.



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nasty McHaggis
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
flag msg tools
I'm pouring all of my points in sarcasm.
badge
Box next to hand.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kuhrusty wrote:
Well, my test--which I made up just now, & which may be flawed--is this: suppose you control a 3x3 area (which should be worth 9 points, right?), and I drop a stone right in the middle. To capture it, won't you have to drop in 4 stones? (Reducing your area by 4, and gaining you 1 prisoner, for a net loss of 3?) Whereas, if I drop that one in, and we look at it and say "that one's dead," you just pick it up at the end of the game for a net gain of 1?
I am assuming when you say "control", you mean a captured, safe territory. Otherwise all points are up for grabs.

In your example, if your opponent's 3x3 area is "safe" because it connected to at least one other eye, and you dropped a stone in the middle, he would have no need to further play inside the 3x3 area. Assuming he continued to pass (or play elsewhere on the board) every turn, and you continued dropping stones inside said area, you would eventually run out of valid plays inside, since the last point of play left would represent an illegal suicide play for you. In this case, you are effectively giving him an extra scoring point per point of territory, since your now dead (unsavable) stones will count against you at the end.

Ken

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Cote
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Mahjong fanMicrobadge: Hanabi fanMicrobadge: Go playerMicrobadge: Pax Renaissance fanMicrobadge: Gloomhaven fan
capadotia wrote:
But if a group already has 2 real eyes then he can play stones in there until the cows come home and you play elsewhere while it is profitable and then pass when it isn't.
Well, except for some seki situations:



If B plays at 1, W can capture at 2. If W plays at 1, B can capture at 3. This area of the board is a draw. Neither player gets any territory.



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
steven richard
United States
seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I think the easiest way to answer the question is this: When a stone or group of stones is definitely "dead", it would only penalize whoever puts a further stone into that area of the board.

If the stone(s) is (are) truly dead, then the attacker would be filling up potential points with stones, while the defender would only be adding insult to injury by handing over new stones to capture.

It's part of what makes Go such a fascinating game, BTW; knowing when to fight on and when to cut your losses and focus your attention elsewhere.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Cote
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Mahjong fanMicrobadge: Hanabi fanMicrobadge: Go playerMicrobadge: Pax Renaissance fanMicrobadge: Gloomhaven fan
On the other hand (any non-Go players still reading this thread?) a group that is not dead, but can be killed if the owner tries to save it, is valuable. The Japanese word is aji (meaning taste, or in this context bad taste). You may be able to approach the almost dead group from outside forcing the opponent to concede something in order to keep it dead. You can also use the dying group as a ko threat. This is a situation when there's a potential for repetitive capture (ko), which is not allowed. You must play elsewhere before re-capturing. A move that forces a response (or at least poses a threat that the opponent might need to respond to) is called a ko threat.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Larson
United States
Raleigh / RTP
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Japanese scoring is actually a shortcut counting method that uses extra rules in order to function.

Chinese scoring (which is far more basic in it's mechanics, just more tedious to apply) gives 1 point for any intersection you control _or_ occupy, but does not award points for captured enemy stones.

The extra rules for Japanese counting come into play when the status of a group is in question. 'Official' Japanese rules has a section of shapes, partially filled in with opposing stones - along with specific scoring instructions.

It's my belief that Chinese scoring is far more elegant - and much easier to teach. However, as you improve you will appreciate Japanese counting because it is much easier to do in practice. The main problem is that it assumes specific knowledge about life and death of stones - something that can take a while to fully comprehend.


- I should also note that the Japanese counting rules are engineered to give the same result as Chinese counting rules. So the outcome of the game is generally not in question based on the counting method used.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
OK, so as I understand it: in my 3x3 example, if I drop that stone in the center, hoping to make my opponent fill up 4 points of his territory in order to capture me, my opponent isn't obligated to play; if he sees that the game is over, he can pass.

"Suppose I'm a dumbass," and I don't see that my single stone is dead; to me it looks like that 3x3 territory isn't controlled by either of us, which is fine with me, so I pass too, and "the game stops." As we're going over the board, agreeing on which stones are dead, we get to this one; he says it's dead, I say it's not. It seems that the game resumes; at this point, am I obligated to play there? How do we wind up at the end with him getting the 9 points he should have gotten, plus the 1 for my dumb play? (Or am I thinking about it incorrectly?)

...

Now, using the Chinese scoring, this does seem simpler; my opponent happily plays the 4 stones needed to capture the one I dropped in his 3x3 area, and his score is unaffected. (Although... wait a minute, with the Chinese scoring, I suffer no penalty for having played that doomed/useless stone?)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew M
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
flag msg tools
admin
8/8 FREE, PROTECTED
badge
513ers Assemble!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kuhrusty wrote:

"Suppose I'm a dumbass," and I don't see that my single stone is dead; to me it looks like that 3x3 territory isn't controlled by either of us, which is fine with me, so I pass too, and "the game stops." As we're going over the board, agreeing on which stones are dead, we get to this one; he says it's dead, I say it's not. It seems that the game resumes; at this point, am I obligated to play there? How do we wind up at the end with him getting the 9 points he should have gotten, plus the 1 for my dumb play? (Or am I thinking about it incorrectly?)
He would probably end up getting more points in this situation than had you not played there. If you insist it isn't dead and play it out your opponent, assuming that he knows how to play well, will continue passing until such a point as he needs to respond to the shape you are forming in his territory. Likely he will pass several times and need only to play a few stones at most to capture what you've developed. If this occurs, every time he passes and you respond by playing a stone you give him an additional point above and beyond what the area would have scored had you also passed.

If you play six stones in that space which he is able to capture with only three his total for that area is now 12, rather than the 9 he had originally (plus 1 for your initial play).

-MMM
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The base assumption is that any group of stones that is in enemy territory and does not have two eyes is dead. If the owner of the group thinks otherwise, it is up to him to prove it by moving so as to create two eyes.

The scoring systems are the same because by placing a stone in an area where it will be captured, you lose yourself the point you would have gained by placing it elsewhere.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Larson
United States
Raleigh / RTP
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmb

Quote:
Now, using the Chinese scoring, this does seem simpler; my opponent happily plays the 4 stones needed to capture the one I dropped in his 3x3 area, and his score is unaffected. (Although... wait a minute, with the Chinese scoring, I suffer no penalty for having played that doomed/useless stone?)
The real 'penalty' for playing a stone where it is already dead, is when respond by playing a more urgent point elsewhere on the board.

If you respond to the play locally, your opponent really isn't losing anything.

And if it really is the end of the game, sure you can pass (or outright kill the stone under chinese rules).

- In practice these sorts of issues crop up only when learning the game (which is one of the reasons I prefer teaching Chinese counting). The BIGGEST reason to play inside your opponents territory is to try to kill it. If you can reduce the shape of the interior (negative space) to a single point, it can be killed.

So while it does always represent a loss to place a dead stone, it can result in a bigger win - so you should experiment with it when the conditions seem right. (like a small group with only one interior space of several intersections, completely surrounded by enemy stones)

To learn more about this you could search for life & death on senseis library - http://senseis.xmp.net
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
フィル
Australia
Ashfield
NSW
flag msg tools
designer
badge
I am the wasp / that burrows in! I am the shriek / of twilight din!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kuhrusty wrote:
"Suppose I'm a dumbass," and I don't see that my single stone is dead; to me it looks like that 3x3 territory isn't controlled by either of us, which is fine with me, so I pass too, and "the game stops." As we're going over the board, agreeing on which stones are dead, we get to this one; he says it's dead, I say it's not. It seems that the game resumes; at this point, am I obligated to play there? How do we wind up at the end with him getting the 9 points he should have gotten, plus the 1 for my dumb play? (Or am I thinking about it incorrectly?)
The thing you should remember here is that (if there is no agreement between the players about the group) your group needs two eyes on the board to live. If you can't make two eyes, the group is dead. Your opponent doesn't have to capture the group, just prevent the second eye from forming. So in your example, the opponent would happily sit there and pass while you played a few stones (improving his score), then play one or two stones as needed to wreck your eye shape.

Disclaimer: I'm an enthusiastic novice -- consult your local dan player for actual advice.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Reil
United States
Barre
Vermont
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Howdy all. Just jumping in there. I've been interested in Go for a while and am only now making the leap to actually learning the game. This discussion caught my interest because it seems to be one of the areas that I'm having trouble wrapping my head around.

m:cafe wrote:
I think the easiest way to answer the question is this: When a stone or group of stones is definitely "dead", it would only penalize whoever puts a further stone into that area of the board.
This makes sense at least, even if I'm not experienced enough to always see this.

For instance one of the three sets I own has a completed game as one of it's examples, including a diagram of the board after the game was completed, with dead stones X'd out.

What confuses me is that one of the White areas is relatively large and it seems like there is still room there to fight over territory.

Quote:
It's part of what makes Go such a fascinating game, BTW; knowing when to fight on and when to cut your losses and focus your attention elsewhere.
Very interesting. I'm looking forward to learning more about this game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
RedShark92 wrote:
What confuses me is that one of the White areas is relatively large and it seems like there is still room there to fight over territory.
I hear ya. But as time progresses, you will learn more and more patterns which cannot be won even with optimal play, so people don't bother to play until the board is completely full. On the other hand, it is sometimes useful to leave such a not-quite-dead group where it is, because it can be used very effectively to resolve ko-threats. I can't remember where I read the following statement, but it is absolutely true: A group of stones is not dead until it has been removed from the board.

Quote:
wrote:
It's part of what makes Go such a fascinating game, BTW; knowing when to fight on and when to cut your losses and focus your attention elsewhere.
Very interesting. I'm looking forward to learning more about this game.
Especially on the large board, go is in my extremely limited opinion a game where the players engage in a complex dance of patterns with the intention to threaten specific moves (especially those that will result in a living group). On many occasions, the best counter is to make a counter-threat elsewhere, which then provokes a counter-counter-threat, and so forth. As your experience grows, the threats will become more and more subtle and insubstantial in the sense that they will require many moves to make their effect felt. Overall the result is quite an unusual game which deserves much more time than I currently devote to it (next to nothing). Unfortunately, if your main gaming partner is not into a game of pattern dances, you're out of luck .
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Reil
United States
Barre
Vermont
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cymric wrote:
counter is to make a counter-threat elsewhere, which then provokes a counter-counter-threat, and so forth. As your experience grows, the threats will become more and more subtle and insubstantial in the sense that they will require many moves to make their effect felt. Overall the result is quite an unusual game which deserves much more time than I currently devote to it (next to nothing). Unfortunately, if your main gaming partner is not into a game of pattern dances, you're out of luck .
I've yet to see how that'll play out. I've got several friends who come over for gaming, there's only one who might be interested in Go and we haven't sat down to try it out yet.

My wife does some gaming. I taught her how to play Chess a couple of years ago and a couple times a month we'll sit down and play a game. She hasn't beat me at that yet, but has come really close a few times. I loved chess when I was younger, but even before discovering Go I wasn't really into taking the time to study it enough to get really good. Seems like a lot of the learning involved in getting really good at Chess is memorization. I haven't gotten deeply involved with Go yet, but it seems to be more subtle less structured and that definitely fits my style better.

So... hoping to get my wife interested in this one as well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
cymric wrote:
I've yet to see how that'll play out. I've got several friends who come over for gaming, there's only one who might be interested in Go and we haven't sat down to try it out yet.
If you can't find opponents in the real world you can always play online in real time or email.

I use PBeM at: www.dragongoserver.net

I don't play real time, but if you want to you can use: www.gokgs.com



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Todd Pytel
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
@OP and others: If it makes you feel any better, this issue of determining life and death is probably the most challenging mental leap that new players need to face in Go, at least in my limited experience teaching it. I'm not a terribly experienced player or teacher of the game, so I don't really have any better way to say it than what's been said already - once a group is dead, the owner is throwing stones away playing into it. At best, those plays will have no effect on the score - the dead stones' owner plays a stone and the opponent plays a stone in reply. Assuming the group's capture is inevitable, every stone played to the group "balances out" the point of territory the opponent has to fill to actually capture the group. And if the group is really, hopelessly, stone-cold dead, the opponent can let the dead stones' owner play multiple stones to the group without responding (or instead responding elsewhere on the board). Then the owner might be losing several points in captures but only forcing the opponent to lose one or two points of territory to complete the capture.

I suspect that what I just said didn't make anything any clearer...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Reil
United States
Barre
Vermont
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the links Amy.

I've played a little bit on the Yahoo Games server (and have continued to get thoroughly trounced), but looks like the KGS one is better.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls