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J-boshi, C-zhen (?)K-

To block the opponents advance toward the center by placing a stone two lines above the opponents stone.

missing image fileDia. 1

Black 1 in Dia. 1 is a cap to the marked white stone.

Knights cap

White 1 in Dia.1 is a knights cap against the marked black stone.

missing image file Dia. 1

Large knights cap

A move played in a large knights relation with a friendly stone that is located on the 4-5 point or the 3-5 point when the opponent approaches it.

White 2 in Dia. 1 and Dia. 2 are the examples.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2


J-toru (, ), C-ti ()K-

To take an opponents stone or stones off the board by filling their last liberty.

A stone taken off the board, called captured stone, is kept by the player taking them and used in filling the opponents territory at the end of the game.

missing image file Dia. 1


J- tori kaesu, C-fan ti (), K-ǵ

To capture an opponents stone that has captured some of the firendly stones.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2

For example, Black 1 in Dia. 1 captures two white stones, and White 2 in Dia. 2 counter-captures that stone.

Captured stone

J-agehama, ageishi (߾), C-sizi (), K-

A stone taken off the board as having no liberty.

It is also called prisoner or captive.

Cf. dead stone

Capturing race

J-semeai (ꪤ), C-duisha (??)K- ()

A local skirmish in which the stones both sides are surrounded and each have at most one eye. Each player is reducing the liberties of their opponents stones. The first one to capture the opponents stones wins the race and his own stones live.

In Dia. 1 the white and black stones in the corner are caught up in a capturing race. Neither sides stones have two eyes and each side has to kill the other sides stones in order to live with his own. If it is Blacks turn now, he wins the race, and vice versa.

missing image file Dia. 1

While the literal meaning of Japanese term is attacking each other and of Chinese is killing each other, the Korean means a combat pitting the number of liberties of their stones against the other. I think that this explains the situation more clearly.

Carpenters square

J-ichigomasu (ު), C-jingui jiao (?)K-̹

A shape which can occur while settling a group in a corner. The Black position in Dia. 1.

It seems to be large enough to make two eyes but is actually exposed to a danger if White hits the vital point with a.

missing image file Dia. 1

Castle game

J-oshirogo (ѳ), C-yucheng qi (Ѥ)K- (ѳ)

It is a game played in the presence of the shogun() in the castle during the Edo period in Japan.


J-chugen (), C-zhongfu (), K-߾ ()

The middle area of the Go board.

We can find a theory which emphasizes the importance of the center in a considerable number of ancient Chinese documents. So far, the emphasis on the center seems to have the philosophical, not technical, origin. The Korean and Chinese terms figuratively compare it to a belly-١ which is located in the middle of a body but ١ is also supposed to mean very important in Asian language and I think it is related with the theory emphasizing the center.

<ٵ ׸>

Cf. corner, side, zenith.

Chinese opening

J-Chugoku ryu (?׵), C-zhongguo liu (?׵), K-߱ (?׵)

An opening characterized by Black 1 to 5 in Dia. 1.

It is called the Chinese opening because Chinese players often used it during 1960s. It efficiently stakes out a side and aims to build a large territorial framework. It is difficult for White to break into this formation. Black 5 is the low Chinese opening. If Black 5 were at a, it would be the high Chinese opening.

missing image file Dia. 1


J-atekomi (??) / sashikomi (󬪷?), C-ji (?) / qia (?)K-

To play at the linking point of the opponents stones which are positioned diagonally.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2

It has been called aim inside in English and the translation seems to come from the Japanese terms. However, the Chinese ji (?) / qia (?) literally means to tighten or to choke and they describe the situation quite well

Choosing colors

J-nigiri (Ī), C-caixian ()K-

The way the player who takes Black in an even game is decided; that is, the one who plays first.

At the beginning of a game, the stronger or the older player grabs a handful of white stones from the bowl containing the stones and the weaker or the younger guesses whether the number of stones heald by the other is odd or even. When his guess turns out to be right, then he takes Black, and vice versa.

The Japanese nigiri literally means to grab, the Chinese cai xian means to guess whos first, and the Korean ⡯ stone determining.


J-hasamitsuku (), C-jia (?)K- ̱

An attachment that attacks an enemy stone by squeezing it between two friendly stones.

White 1 in Dia. 1 is an example.

missing image file Dia. 1

Closing stage

J-shuban (), C-zhongpan (), K- ()

The closing stage of a game is considered to begin when the major fighting has ended and the outlines of both players terrritories are almost decided. It ends when all possible endgame moves are played.

In English, the term endgame has been used for both closing stage and a series of moves played in a territorial skirmish. Asian terminology clearly distinguishes between these two terms.

Comb six

See rectanglular six.

Come close to

J-tsumeru(), C-bi (), K-ٰ

To play a move approaching the opponents stone on a side inorder to threaten it and also working as an extension from friendly stone(s).

missing image file Dia. 1

Black 1 in Dia. 1 is an extension from the black stone in the upper right corner and also coming close to the white stone to make it extend with 2.

It should be distinguished from a pincer that doesnt allow the opponents to have a base, and also doesnt need to be an extending move from friendly stone(s).

Cf. extend, approach.


J-komi (?), C-tiezi (?)K-

A set number of points given to White for making up his loss which results from Blacks taking the first turn in an even game.

It is usually set 5.5 or 6.5 points in modern Go.


J-dakyou (), no C , K- ()

A strategy in a capturing race, which doesnt run a risk to ones own life in capturing the opponents stones and tries to find a way to co-exist.

The Korean literally means to make a living respectively.

Compulsory Capture

J-semedoru (), no C, K-

To be forced to capture the enemy stone(s) already in hand in spite of the loss of points and moves.

In the first diagram, if a black stone is placed at a then Black doesnt need to add extra moves to capture the three white stones. However, if a is occupied by White, as in Dia. 2, then Black will be forced to capture the white stones with 2 and 4.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2


J-kimeru (̽), C-dingxing ()K-(̽)ϴ

To finish off a local area by eliminating all the potential trouble and follow-ups in the position, instead of leaving them for later use.

It is not usually good to do this, except when one is certain of his lead and doesnt want to leave any kind of uncertainty, even it is favorable to oneself. In Dia. 1 Black 1 concludes the position and eliminates almost all of the potential in this position. Without the exchange of Black 1 and White 2 in Dia. 1, Black has a possibility of playing 1 in Dia. 2.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2

Opp. reserve.


J-tsugu (Ī?), C-lianjie (), K-(̿)ϴ

To join friendly stones which are separately located.

So far, no fine distinction has been made between connect as a general term denoting all kinds of moves that join stones with each other and link as a term specially indicating a move that physically puts stones into contact with each other. However, to connect stones does not only mean to put them together in contact. For example, the two stones in a diagonal move dont touch each other, but they cannot be disconnected if proper measures are taken. In this case the stones are also considered connected.

Knights connection

J-keima tsugi (ةĪ), C-fei bu (ޫ?), K-

A knights move that defends a cutting point.

The knights move of Black 1 in Dia. 1 defends against a cut at a.

missing image file Dia. 1

Solid connection

J-katatsugi (̱?), C-danzhan (?), K-

A play that defends a cutting point by linking the stones as White 1 does in Dia. 1.

missing image file Dia. 1

Tigers connection

J-kaketsugi (ЪĪ), C-hukou (Ϣ), K-ȣ(Ϣ)

A way of defending a cutting point with a diagonal play.

missing image file Dia. 1

White 1 in Dia. defends the cutting point at a with a tigers connection.

There are another English terms such as hanging connection and diagonal connection. The tigers connection is translated literally from the Chinese and the Korean terms.

Double tigers connection

J- rappa tsugi (ë?), C-shuang hukou (?Ϣ), K-ȣ (Ϣ)

missing image file Dia. 1

Blak 1 in Dia. 1 defends the cutting points at a and b simultaneously.

Continuous atari

J-batabata (ЫЫ), tonton (ȫȫ), oiotoshi (ڪժȪ), C?jiebugui (?), zhuisha (?), K-˼, ܼ (Ӥ)

A move where a connection to save a small part of a group in atari leads to another atari of an even larger group that includes the former one.

Therefore if a part of a group is caught in continuous atari, it has to be given up to avoid further damage.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2

In Chinese terminology, they classify the situation with subject of an action. Namely, jiebugui(?) explains the situation where the player in atari. Black cannot connect at 2 in Dia. 1, because an even larger group will be killed. While, zhui sha(?) means the player who gives atari to the opponent. White plays successive ataris with 3 and 5 in Dia. 2 and kills the black stones.

Connect-and-die has also been used for this situation, and that is a translation from the Chinese jiebugui(?), while, continuous atari is translated from the Korean ܼ (Ӥ), Chinese zhui sha(?), and the Japanese oiotoshi(ڪժȪ). The other words such as the Korean ˼ and the Japanese batabata describe the players action of giving atari with an onomatopoeic term. Both the ˡ and batabata imitate the sound of wood chopping.


J-sumi (), C-jiao ()K-

An area of the board where two sides meet.

The corners are strategically important for settling stones or earning profit because only two walls are needed to stake out territory there. There are four corners on the board: the upper-right, the upper-left, the lower-right, and the lower-left.

<ٵ ׸>

Cosmic Style

J-uchuryu (׵), C-yuzhou liu (׵), K-ַ (׵)

An opening style pioneered and preferred by Japanese professional Takemiya Masaki. The most obvious characteristics of his style are use of the three-star formation and the consistent use of large-scale frameworks.

The game shown below was played in 1990 between Takemiya as Black and Kim, Soojang of Korea.

missing image file Dia. 1


See atari.


See bend.


See capture.


See cut.


See pincer.


J-keisan (ͪߩ), C-shumu (), K-谡 (ͪʫ)

To enumerate the pointsof territory that the players gained in a game.

It is usually done at the end of a game in order to decide the winner. However, the players mentally do this many times during a game in order to make a strategy.


J-fusa (), C- feng (?) / zhao (), K-

To put a stone more than two lines upper the enemy stones to prevent them from coming out toward center.

missing image file Dia. 1

Black 1 to 5 covers the white stones.

Cranes nest

J-tsuru no sugomori (ͪᵪ), C-wugui bu chutou (???)K-ȣ

A shape in which three stones are surrounded by the opponent as the Blacks in Dia. 1 and killed by the sequence shown in the next diagrams.

The Chinese term means a turtles head that doesnt come out.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2 missing image file Dia. 3


J-hai (Ϫ), C-pa ()K-

To play along the first or the second line under enemy stones.

It is not good to crawl because it helps the opponent build a strong wall and gets little profit.

missing image file Dia. 1

Black 1, 3, and 5 are crawling along the second line.


J-wataru (Ԥ), C-duguo (Ԥ?), K-dzʰ

To pass over the opponents stones in order to connect with an isolated friendly stone, usually using the space near the edge of the board.

The literal meaning o all the three Asian terms is walk across.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2

Black 3 in Dia. 3 and Black 1 in Dia. 2 are examples of crossing.

Bridge is also used in the English usage.

Knights crossing

J-keima watari (ة謹), C-feidu (?Ԥ)K- dzʱ

A knights move that connects two groups of stones.

missing image file Dia. 1

Black 1 in Dia. 1 connects his two stones on the left with the stones on the right.


J-kirichigau (ު), C-niuduan (?Ө), K-²

To cut the opponents bend as White 1 in Dia. 1 resulting in the separation of the stones of both players.

missing image file Dia. 1

It is distinguished from a normal cut which usually doesnt run a risk of friendly stones.

Crude play

J-zokusuji (), C-sushou ()K-Ӽ ()

A bad move, or a series of bad moves, that looks skillful, but actually is not.

Black 1 in Dia. 1 seems to be a good move because it reduces the Whites territory in the corner and takes profit as shown in Dia. 2. However, it is actually a crude move because it is not taking a global view of the board. It is much better to simply attach at 1 as in Dia. 3 and force White to make eyes with 4 and 6, then to take a good point at 7, a big endgame move against Whites territory on the side.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2

missing image file Dia. 3


J-kiru (﷪), C-duan (?)K-

To separate the opponents stones, which are related with a bend, with Black 1 in Dia. 1.

missing image file Dia. 1


J-kirikaesu (﷪), C-fan duan (?)K-Dz

A cut in response to a cut.

missing image file Dia. 1

The cut of Black 2 in Dia. 1 responds to the cut of White 1.


J-kiritoru (﷪), C-duan chi (?)K-

To cut off the opponents stone(s) when the cutting is killing as well.

missing image file Dia. 1

White 1 in Dia. 1 cuts off the black stones on the second line and kills it as well.


J-ishi no shita (പ), C-daotuoxue (?)K- ()

A sacrifice tactic that lets the opponent capture some friendly stones, but then cuts and captures the opponents stones in return. In the diagrams below, Black sacrifices four of his stones. After Black 6 in Dia. 3, White captures four stones with 7 in Dia. 4. but Black can come back and cut and kill two white stones with 8. Black now has two eyes

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2

missing image file Dia. 3 missing image file Dia. 4

This is also called under the stones in English because that is the literal meaning of the Japanese word ishinoshita. However, because the Korean , which literally means a play that cuts afterward, is a more accurate description, I suggest the use of cutback for this kind of sequence. I got the idea for using this word by analogy with snapback.

Cut through

J-degiri (﷪), C-chongduan (?Ө), K-

A cutting tactic that uses the cutting points created when the opponent blocks a thrust.

missing image file Dia. 1

White 1 is a thrust and 3 is a cut.


J-dan (ӫ), C-dan (ӫ), K-dan (ӫ),

A ranking scale more advanced than kyu, running from 1-dan to 9-dan.

Dansoo (K)

See atari.


J-shini (ݪ), C-si (), K-

A state in which stones cannot live.

In contrast to stones that are alive, dead stones have neither two separate eyes nor the possibility of making them. There is a specific case of stones being dead in which stones are taken from the board when their last liberty is filled. Stones like that are called captured.

missing image file Dia. 1

The Black stones in Dia. 1 cannot make two separate eyes, so they are dead. Note that the point a is a false eye.

missing image file Dia. 2

The two marked white stones in Dia. 2 are dead because there is no possibility for them to make two eyes.

Decided territory

J-kakutei ji (), C-shikong (), K-Ȯ (ʫ)

Territory in which no potential trouble and no danger of being invaded remains.

missing image file Dia. 1

A framework becomes a perfect territory only when a game is over, but during a game there is a time when it is useful to know how many points the each side has. To know this, we have to count only decided territory to avoid miscounting. For example, the corner framework of Black in Dia. 1 can be said to have 14 points of decided territory because it is almost impossible for White to reduce it to less than that.


J-fukai (䢪), C-shen (), K-

Going too far into the opponents area of influence to reduce it and being unable to easily escape.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2

White 1 or a in Dia. 1 can be a proper reduction, while White 1 in Dia. 2 is too deep and cant come out from Blacks area.


J-fusegu (), C-fangshou (), K-()ϴ / Ű

To protect stones or territorial framework of ones own from the opponents attack or invasion.

Opp. attack


J-sagaru () / tachu (), C-li (ء), K-

To stretch down toward the edge at the first or the second line.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2

Especially a descent to the first line can be a brilliant move. For example, Black 1 in Dia. 2 is aiming at both saving the three black stones in the corner and the big endgame move at a and so it is sometimes called by a specific name. In Japan, a descent to the first line as Black 1 in Dia. 2 is called stand (tachuء) instead of descend (sagaru). By contrast, in China, they call it always stand (li) and in Korea only descend and stand ().

Diagonal move

J-kosumi (), C-jian (), K-ø, Ա [Ϣ]

A move diagonally adjacent to a friendly stone, or the shape that is made by a diagonal move.

missing image file Dia. 1

Diagonal attachment

See attach.

Diagonal connection

See tigers connection.

Diagonal enclosure

See enclose.

Diagonal jump

See large diagonal move.

Diagonal opening

J-tasuki gata (), C-duijiao buju (?)K-밢 ()

An opening style in which Black and White both make their initial plays on the diagonally opposite corners.

missing image file Dia. 1

As long as the stones of one side keep the diagonal relation, it doesnt matter whether a stone is played 3-3 point, star-point, or 3-4 point etc.

Dipping knights move

J-nagare keima (׵ة), C-xiaogui kanmen (С?)K-ó

A knights move that is made toward the edge of the board as Black 1 in Dia. 1.

missing image file Dia. 1

The Chinese xiao gui kan men (С?) means a little goblin who watches a gate. It has been also called foot sweep in English.

Direct ko

See ko.



J-haiseki (), C-peizhi (), K-輮 (),

1. The shape how stones are positioned.

missing image file Dia. 1

missing image fileDia. 2

The sequence shown in Dia. 1 would be normal if the two marked black stones were not on the board. In this position, the two stones would be isolated on the left side when White pushes up with 4. Therefore, Black 1 in Dia. 2 is the correct move. It takes into consideration the two marked stones that work with Blacks stones at 1, 3, and 5 to build a large framework toward the top and the center. Thus, the distribution of stones is an important consideration to decide where and how to play.


J-wariutsu (ܪ), C-fentou (), K-ġ

To occupy an empty area on a side where the opponent made a loose framework in order to prevent it from becoming one big framework.

missing image file Dia. 1

In Dia. 1 White 1 divides Blacks formation into two which could have been one big territorial framework

Double approach

See approach.


See atari.


See bend.


J-ryoko (?̤), C-shuangjie xunhuan (?̤?)K-

Two kos which serve the same purpose, happening simultaneously in the same place, and working as a substitute for each other.

missing image file Dia. 1

In Dia. 1, if White wants to capture the black stones, he has to make a a false eye. However, White should play a ko threat and come back to play , while Black can just play b without playing his ko threat. Therefore, it is impossible for White to win this ko or kill Black. However, if there happens another ko on the board, it could give White a big supply of ko threats.

Double-ko dual life

J-ryoko seki (?̤), no C, K-

A situation that is considered to be a dual life because it contains a double-ko.

missing image file Dia. 1

The black and white stones in Dia. 1 dont have two eyes, but one cannot kill the other because there is a double-ko. They are considered to be alive in seki.

Double self-ataris

See self-atari.

Double tigers connection

See connect.

Double tigers mouth

See tigers mouth.


J-jigo (ѳ), C-heqi (Ѥ)K-

A draw is the result of a game in which both players have the same number of points of territory. The convention of adding point to all compensations was invented to prevent this.

Cf. no result.

Draw back

See pull back.


J-aoru (࿪), C-gongbi (), K-

To force the opponents stones to run in a certain direction by threatening it.

It is a knack to make the opponent hurry to escape and be unable to make two separate eyes or a base. As a result, the stones driven become in danger of being a big unsettled group.

missing image file Dia. 1

In Dia. 1, White is driving the black stones out into the center with the sequence to 15.

Dual life

J-seki (), C-shuanghuo (), K-

A situation in which two combined opposing groups without two eyes cant kill each other because the internal liberties cant be filled, so both are considered to be alive.

The charater for the Japanese seki is 򥡯 which literally means to possess. The Korean is derived from the Korean 衯 which means a draw. However the Chinese shuanghuo() has the meaning of both parties are alive and gives a clear idea of what the situation is. Therefore I chose dual life as a translation of the Chinese term.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2

Both diagrams show examples of dual life.

Dual life with a bend

J-hane-seki (ԯ), no C, K-

A rare position shown in Dia. 1.

In Dia. 1, both of the Black and White stones are alive in a seki, because neither player can play at a, so the position should remain as it is.

missing image file Dia. 1

If Black captures three white stones by playing at a, then his group loses the capturing race because the eye space of the Black stones is smaller than the eye space of the White stoens. On the contrary, if White plays a, then Black will recapture four white stones, so the White stones in the corner will have fewer liberties the Black stones, so White will lose the capturing race that will follow.


J-dango (?), C-tuanzi (ӥ) / ningxing ()K- () /

A clump of stones with no eyes that are not surrounding territory. An in inefficient use of stones.

missing image file Dia. 1

The shape of White in Dia. 1 is a dumpling.

The Korean ̡ literally means bunch of grapes. The translation of dumpling comes from the Chinese and the Japanese ӥ.

Cf. over-concentration

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