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Baduk Terms
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Elephants move

C-xiangbu fei (ޫ)

Chinese ޫ which means large diagonal move that looks the same as move of elephant in Chinese chess.

We can find this kind of coinage also in knights move.

See large diagonle

Empty triangle

J-akisankaku (߲), C-kong sanjiao (߲)K-ﰢ

A shape made by the three black stones in Dia. 1.

It is called empty because the intersection at a is not filled.

missing image file Dia. 1

It is usually considered to be an inefficient and bad shape, but sometimes it can be a good move as shown in Dia. 2.

missing image file Dia. 2

Empty corner

J-akisumi (), C-kong jiao (), K-

A corner where no stone has been played yet.

Enclose (a corner)

J-shimaru (ު), C-shoujiao (), K-

To secure a corner area by placing stone(s) near to a friendly stone already located in that corner.

Literally the Japanese term shimaru means to close up, the Korean ١ means to harden or to consolidate and the Chinese shou jiao means to defend a corner.

Although the term enclose can be applied to all the moves that secure territory by surrounding a certain area, in Go it is used exclusively in a corner situation.

Diagonal enclosure

No J, C-xiaojian shoujiao (), K-

missing image file Dia. 1

Black 1 in Dia. 1 defends the corner with a diagonal move from the stone on the 4-4 point.

Knights enclosure

J-kogeima shimari (ة), C-xiaofei shoujiao (?), K-

missing image file Dia. 1

Black 1 in Dia. 1 defends the corner with a knights move from the 3-4 point.

Large knights enclosure

J-ogeima shimari (ة), C-dafei shoujiao (?), K-

missing image file Dia. 1

Black 1 in Dia. 1 defends the corner with a large knights move from the 3-4.


J-yose (), C-guanzi (ί), K-

A series of moves that ultimately decides the outline of territory.

It is usually played at a closing stage as the term itself says, but also can be played at any time during a game.

It is possible to gain points through good endgame play; it is also possible to loss points through bad endgame play. Therefore, good endgame technique can be important in the closing stage where there are chances for profit or for loss in a game that is very close.

Eternal life

J-chosei (), C-changsheng (?), K- ()

One of the super ko.

The Chinese literally means a long life. It is so called because it repeats capture and recapture. Black plays 1 to kill the surrounded White stones in Dia. 1. White cannot capture Black 1 with 2 in Dia. 2, because his stones will then die after Black makes a dead five-point eye space with. Therefore, White will play 2 as in Dia. 3, and Black takes two white stones with 3. After White 4 and Black 5, it reverts to Dia. 1. This repetition will continue unless one of the players stops. In that case, the rules state that the game is no result, and the players must play again.

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

missing image file Dia. 3 missing image file Dia. 4 missing image file Dia. 5

Even game

J-tagaisen (), C-huxian ()K-ȣ ()

A handicap rule of alternating Black and White, which is applied when players have equal strength.

In an even game, Black has to give compensation to White in exchange for the advantage of playing first.

The literal meaning of ໡ is to take turns playing first. In the past it didnt imply giving compensation.


J-kokan (), C-jiaohuan (?), K-ȯ ()

To proceed with a set of moves before playing an important move or turning elsewhere, when the result of the moves can be expected by both players.

Cf. trade


See extend, stretch


J-hiraku (Ҫ), C-chai (?), K-

To lengthen a framework by playing a move on the third or the fourth line along the side.

missing image fileDia. 1 missing image fileDia. 2

Cf. stretch

One-space extension

missing image file Dia. 1

Two-space extension

missing image file Dia. 2

Three-space extension

missing image file Dia. 3


No J, no C, K-ϼ (ʦ)

To spend an extra, non-urgent move and suffer by ending in gote in order to erase potential trouble in ones own position and guarantee safety.

missing image file Dia. 1

Black 1 in Dia. 1 can be called an extra-defense. It prevents White from invading at a, but is not compulsory. There is potential erasure as an opposite concept to it. See potential trouble.


J-me (), C-yan (), K-

An empty space or intersection where the opponent can neither play on nor force it to be filled.

As a rule, stones on the board can live when they have two separate eyes. The three Asian terminologies commonly have the metaphoric term eye.

missing image file Dia. 1

A is the simplest form of an eye.

Break an eye

J-me kuzure ( ڪ), C-po yan (), K-ȣ()ϴ

To prevent the opponents eye shape from being an absolute eye and cause the stones having the eye shape difficulty in living.

missing image file Dia. 1

White 1 and 3 in Dia. 1 both are moves that breaks the opponents eye.

Eye shape

J-gankei(), C-yanxing ()K- ()

A shape with which one can make an eye or eyes.

missing image file Dia. 1

The white stones would seem to die if Black plays a or b. However, if Black plays on one of them, White will play on the other and make an eye. The white stones in Dia. 1 have lots of eye shapes in it.

Eye Space

No J, C-yanwei (), K-õ ()

A space inside of a group available to make an eye or eyes.

It only matters when a group is completely surrounded and a space in the group is not big enough to live easily. The possibility of living depends not only on the size of the eye space but also on its shape, as can be seen in the case of square four and straight four.

Eye vs. No Eye

J-mearimenashi (ѪѪʪ), C-youyan sha wuyan (?)K- (ʫʫ)

A capturing race in which only one side has an eye.

The side with one eye will win the race if the other side has no eye.

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

Although the four white stones in the corner in Dia. 1 seem to be dead, Black cant capture them, so his stones will die. Even if Black fills the internal liberties with marked stones and Black 1, after White fills the external liberty with 2, he cannot put the four white stones into atari.

Facing 3-4 points formation

J-mukaikomoku (), C-xiangxiaomu ()K-Ҹ ()

An opening in which one player occupies two 3-4 points on one side of the board, placing them farthest from each other, as White 2 and 4 in Dia. 1.

missing image file Dia. 1

Black can naturally approach only on the left side, not on the side facing Black 1 or 3. As a result, neither player can form a large framework of territory and the board will be divided into several parts.

Fighting 3-4 points formation

J-kenkakomoku (?), no C, no K

An opening style in which each player occupies 3-4 points confronting each other on one side of the board as White 2 and Black 3 in Dia. 1.

missing image fileDia. 1

This also can be a strategem for Black to occupy three empty corners. Against Black 3, if White takes the lower right corner as in Dia. 1, then Blacks approach at 5 is a good move. Therefore. White often uses his move of 4 to approach the black stone at 3. This is also a good move, but Black would then be able to occupy the last empty corner with 5 in Dia. 2.

missing image fileDia. 2

The Japanese kenka (?) literally means a quarrel or fight and the Japanese terminology distinguishes this from the facing 3-4 points formation (mukaikomoku). There is no equivalent word for it found in the Korean and the Chinese terminology.

False eye

J-kakeme (⪱), C-jiayan (ʣ)K-

An empty point which looks like a real eye but isnt because that point must eventually be filled or the opposing side will occupy that point by capturing some stones.

missing image file Dia. 1

The black stones in Dia. 1 seems to have two separate eyes. However, the point a is not an eye because Black has to connect that point when the two marked points are filled. The Japanese kageme means a shadow eye.

Farmers hat

J-jingasa (آ), C-dingsi (), K-

A pyramid shape of four black stones shown in Dia. 1.

It is a bad shape because it is a combination of two empty triangles.

missing image file Dia. 1

Fighting spirit

J-kiai (?), C-qihe (?)K-⼼ (Ѩ)

The attitude where a player is determined to win and plays all out.

The player with the fighting spirit doesnt allow the opponent to lead a situation as he plans.

Fighting 3-4 points formation

See facing 3-4 points formation.


Floating stones

J-ukiishi (ݩ), C-fuzi (ݩ)K-

Unsettled, especially when a group of stones doesnt have a base in a corner or on a side.

missing image file Dia. 1

The three white stones in Dia. 1 are an example of floating stones, because it is hard for them to make a base at the top.

Flower four

No J, C-dingsi (), K-ɻ

A four-point eye space shown in Dia. 1 which can be killed if White plays at a.

missing image file Dia. 1

There is no Japanese equivalance for this term. The entry is translated from the Korean ɻ. ɡ means literally flower. The Chinese terminology has a common name, dingsi, covering this shape and farmers hat as well.

Flower five

J-hana gomoku (), C-meihua wu (), no K

A name for the eye shape of five points shown in Dia. 1.

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

The Japanese hana gomoku also refers to the Blacks shape in Dia. 2.

Flower point

See star point

Flower six

J-hanaroku (), C-juliu (׿)K-ȭ ()

The six-point eye space shown in Dia. 1 which can be killed if White plays at a.

missing image file Dia. 1

The Chinese ju () is a prefix meaning poly. Therefore the Chinese ju liu (׿) means conglomerated six while the Japanese hana () means just a flower and the Korean ȭ () mean cherry blossom.

Fools eight (in the corner)

J-bakahachi (Ъ), no C, no K

A two-by-four eye space in the corner that becomes a dual life.

missing image file Dia. 1 missing image file Dia. 2 missing image file Dia. 3 missing image file Dia. 4

The Black stones in Dia. 1 seems to have eight points of territory, but, when White invades with 1 in Dia. 2, the situation changes. If Black answers with 2, the corner becomes a ko. In this case, Black 2 in Dia. 3 is a correct move to avoid a ko, but it can still become a ko if Black blocks with 4. The only way that Black can live without a ko is to play 4 and 6 in Dia. 4 and make a dual life, but the eight points in the corner become nothing.

missing image file Dia. 5 missing image file Dia. 6

Therefore, in Dia. 5 Black should not make the fools eight, but instead make two separate eyes by playing 1 in Dia. 6.

Forcing move

J-kikashi (즪), C-shi yingshou (??)K-(()) Ȱ()ϴ

A move which requires an answer by the opponent and gains some advantage even if not followed up immediately.

The side that plays it can gain a lot with follow-up moves when the opponent ignores it.

missing image fileDia. 1

Black 1 in Dia. 1 forces White to answer with 2. Black would not play any futher moves here, but play elsewhere. This exchange of Black 1 and White 2 doesnt seem to mean a lot, but owing to this exchange, Black can attack the white stones with a or c, or make influence with b. The purpose of Black 1 is not to get an immidiate result, but to leave open these possibilities.

The three Asian terms have the common literal meaning of to utilize the situation to the utmost. It means that a player makes all possible moves requiring the opponents answer, if the moves are harmless to his own stones.

Four Accomplishments

J-kinki shoga (Ѥ), C-qinqishuhua (Ѥ), K-ݱ⼭ȭ (Ѥ)

Go (Ѥ) was considered one of the Four Accomplishments in ancient China, one of the worthy pursuits of life - along with poetry (), lute playing (), and calligraphy ().


J-moyo (ټ), C-moyang (ټ), K- (ټ)

A territorial outline, made up of several strategic points that can become actual territory as the game continues.

missing image fileDia. 1

In the diagram above, Black and White have built frameworks that share the board.

Game of peace

No J, C-heqi (Ѥ), K-ȭ ()

A knickname for the game that ends with both sides having the same amount of territory.

It is just after 20c that a half a point was invented to avoid a game resulting tie. It was called as this in the past and was considered a good omen.

Game record

J-kifu (Ѥ), C-qipu (Ѥ?)K-⺸ (Ѥ)

A diagram that shows the moves of a game.


J-igo (?ѳ), C-weiqi (Ѥ), K-baduk

The international name of the game.

It comes from the Japanese pronunciation of ѳ.

Godokoro (J)


An official post taking responsibility for professional go affairs in the Edo period of Japan.

The person who took this position had to be the strongest player of the day.

Go Seigen pattern

A pattern in the Large Avalanche which was invented by the Chinese-Japanese 9 dan professional, Go Seigen (.)

It is characterized by Black 1 in Dia. 1. Previously Black 1 had only been at a.

missing image file Dia.1

Go Saint

J-kisei (Ѥ) / gosei (ѳ), C-qisheng (Ѥ?), K-⼺ (Ѥ)

An accolade given to a player whose strength far exceeded all other players of his generation.

Gote (J)

J-gote (), C-houshou ()K-ļ ()

1. A move which does not require the opponents answer.

2. A position in which one is forced to answer the opponents last move.

Gote endgame

J-gote yose (), C-houshou guanzi (ί), K-ļ

An endgame move that ends in the players gote.

Unilateral gote endgame

J-kata sente (), no C, K-ļ()

An endgame that results in gote and affects the size of only one players territory.

missing image file Dia. 1

It is a unilateral gote endgame for Black to play at a in Dia. 1 since it affects just Blacks territory.

Cf. unilateral sente endgame, reverse sente.

Bilateral gote endgame

J-ryo gote (), C-shuang hou (?), K-ļ()

An endgame that results in gote and affects the size of the territory of both the players.

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

Gouge out

J-eguru (̼), C-tou dian (), K-Ĵ

To cut out a big part of opponents territory usually from underneath.

It is said only when the part reduced is relatively large to the original territory.

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

In diagrams above, White succeeds in gouging out Blacks base from 1 to 7.

Great Slant pattern

J-taisha (), C-daxie ()K- ()

A 3-5 point pattern beginning with Black 1 in Dia. 1.

It is known as the pattern of a thousand variations and is commonly regarded as one of the most difficult to master. The name ء, literally great slant, arises from the large knights move of Black 1 in Dia. 1.

missing image file Dia. 1

The sequence shown below is one of its variations.

missing image file Dia. 2

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