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Baduk Terms
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J-ashi (), C-bu (), K-

The speed at which important points on the board are occupied.

There are Japanese and Korean expressions ashi ga hayai (J) and (K) meaning literally the pace is fast, and ashi ga osoi (J) and ١ meaning the pace is slow.

Paired moves

J-miai (̸), C-jianhe (?), K-º

1. Two moves that can serve for the same purpose.

missing image file Dia. 1

In Dia. 1, a and b are equivalent because they both work to settle the black stones in the corner.

2. Two moves that can get almost the same amount of profit though the purpose they serve is not the same.

missing image file Dia. 2

White 1 in Dia. 2 aims at both starting a ko at a and invading at b, and the expected profits from each of them are almost the same. So in this sense, a and b are paired.


No J, C-fangqizhuoshou (ۯѥ), K-(ѥ)

To give up ones turn to play.

The player who says pass cannot play until the opponent makes a move. If the opponent also passes, then the game is ended.


J-joseki (), C-dingshi (), K- ()

A formulaic sequence of moves which is established for giving equal outcomes to both players.

Actually, the concept of pattern does not indicate just one pattern, but also a group of patterns that share characteristics or a core move.

missing image file Dia. 1

The sequence shown in Dia.1 is one of the most popular patterns played in professional Go. In this pattern, Whites profit and Blacks influence have the same value.


J-nozoki (Ъ), C-dian/ci (/), K-鿩

A move that is made adjacent to a cutting point and threatens to cut.

The diagrams below show several examples of peeping plays that aim at the cutting point a.

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

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

Picnic ko

J-hanami ko (̸̤), C-wuyou jie (?̤), K-ɳ

A ko where one player will not be damaged even if he loses it, while the other will be damaged more seriously.

missing image file Dia. 1

For the side that has nothing to lose, it is the best type of ko possible, because anything he gains from it will be to his benefit and he riskes nothing. The ko in Dia. 1 is a picnic ko for White. The Japanese hanami(̸) and the Korean ɳ̡ mean flower-viewing, which comes from the spring picnic where people drinks rice wine under the cherry blossom. The Chinese wuyou(?) means no worry.


J-hasami (), C-jia (?), K-()

A play move attacks an enemy stone from both sides as Black 1 does in combination with the marked black stone in Dia. 1.

missing image file Dia. 1

One-space pincer Two-space pincer Three-space pincer

missing image file missing image file missing image file


J-hasami kaeshi (), C-fan jia (?), K-

A pincer that made against the opponents pincer

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

White 2 in the two diagrams above are counter-pincers.


J-jyakushu (), C-zhuo shou (), K-()

To put a stone on the board as a move in a game.

Strictly speaking, all the moves in Go are not move but placement. They dont actually move as the Chess pieces move from their previous location, but are picked from a bowl and newly placed on the board. Even, it is illgal to move a stone after it is placed except when it taken off from the board.

Play elsewhere

J-tenuki (), C-tuoxian (?), K-ջ

To ignore the opponents last move and make a move in another part of the board.

The Japanese and the Korean terms literally mean take the hand away.

Play inside

J-nakade (), C-dian yan (), K-ġ ()

To place a stone in the middle of an opposing groups eye shape in order to prevent the opponent from forming two separate eyes.

missing image file Dia. 1

White 1 in Dia. 1 hits the vital point of the black stones in the corner and so kills them.

missing image file Dia. 2

However, playing inside doesnt necessarily mean that the move will always kill the opponents stones. It is a move that makes the opponents settlement not impossible, but difficult. White 1 in Dia. 2 hits the vital point but Black still has a chance to save his group with ko or dual life.

The Chinese character , usually means the middle or inside and ѡ means eye shape. So the literal meaning of those three terms is put a stone inside of an eye shape.


J-ten , C-dian (), K-()

An intersection where two lines meet.

This is where stones are played and it is also the unit by which territory is counted.


J-ponnuki (ݫ?), C-bahua (), K-

A move that captures an opposing stone with only four stones.

missing image file Dia. 1

The resulting shape of this move radiates influence in all directions, so it is considered a very good one. There is a proverb that says A ponnuki is worth thirty points.

missing image file Dia. 2

Strictly speaking, if White has the marked stone as in Dia. 2, it is not a ponnuki, though it is called one in practice.

The pon- in the Japanese term and - in Korean term are onomatopoeic words describing a hitting sound, and -nuki and are words that mean taking off. The Chinese ba hua () means taking off to make a flowerlike shape.

Positional judgment

J-, C-xingshi panduan (??), K-Ǵ (Ө)

Evaluating the state of the game or estimating the territorial balance.

Cf. overall position

Potential erasure

See potential trouble.

Potential trouble

J-aji (ګ), C-weidao (ګԳ), K-, ޸

Unpleasant possibilities remaining for one player in a position, after a local sequence has been played out.

The potential trouble is not for immediate but for later use.

Literally aji, weidao, and mean taste.

The corner white stones in Dia. 1 have potential trouble at a. White cannot block with 2 in Dia. 2 because then Black will push up with 3 and cut with 5. It is inevitable for White to just connect at 2, as shown in Dia. 3 but, after Black goes over with 3, White has to worry about lack of a base.

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

Potential trouble is always unpleasant. If there is potential trouble, it works unfavorably for the player who has it in his shape or framework. Therefore the most correct expression about potential trouble should be like there is potential trouble in Blacks position, or potential troube remains in Whites framework.

There are expressions like / in Chinese,warrui (ª)/yoi in Japanese and /ڴ١ in Korean which literallt mean good/bad potential trouble. However, they are just rhetorical expressions. When potential trouble is good, that means actually there is not potential trouble, and when potential trouble is bad, that means there is potential trouble.

Potential erasure

J-aji keshi (ګἪ), no C, no K

A move that looks good because the opponent has to answer it, but actually just removes potential trouble remaining in the opponents position.

There is potential trouble of being invaded at a in Blacks territory of Dia. 1. White can take a big profit by playing 1 and 3 in Dia. 2. In this case, if White pushes at 1 as in Dia. 3 because it is sente, it is potential erasure.

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

There is no word equivalent to the Japanese aji keshi in the Korean and the Chinese terminology. Korean ˡ, which literally means to hit (the opponent) fruitlessly, can be a possible translation for it, but actually ˡ is just a rhetorical and not a technical word. I think the reason why the Korean and Chinese terminology dont have a word meaning the same thing is that aji keshi is not a term. It is only a compound of two words aji meaning taste and keshi meaning erasure and the meaning of this word is just the same as what it literally means.

In Korea, there is another kind of getting rid of potential trouble. This is called ϼ(ʦ) which is an additional play to defend a weakness. It differs from aji keshi which affects badly the player who made it. See extra-defense.


J- kake (Ъ), C- ya (?), K-

To prevent the opponents stones from coming out toward the center by blocking them from above.

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

White 1, 3 and 5 in Dia. 1 and Black 1 and 3 Dia. 2 are pressing the opponent.


J-Yosumiru (ƪ̸), C-shi yingshou (??)K-Ÿ ()

A move to see how the opponent will respond.

It is played before one decides the next move.

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

White 1 in Dia. 1 sounds out whether Black would play at a or b. If Black answers with a, then White cuts with 2 in and takes profit by playing 8 and 10 in sente as in Dia. 2. If Black answers with b then White jumps at 2 as in Dia. 3, being satisfied with the fact that his outside influence has become stronger.


J-jitsuri (?), C-shili (?), K-Ǹ()

Realized territorial gain

Profit is the opposing concept to influence, which has long range but uncertain effect. While influence is made toward the center where the potential can be most powerful, profit is usually made in the corners and on the sides. The stones making profit are usually located on the 4th line or lower.

Proper move

J-honte (), C-benshou ()K- ()

A play that is correct in a situation, rather than obvious

missing image file Dia. 1

Black 1 is an example of a proper move. It is not inevitable, but the best move to settle the Blacks position.

Pull back

J-hiki (ڪ), C-tui ()K-

To draw back in the direction of a friendly stone.

missing image file Dia. 1

White 1 in Dia. 1 is a pulling back.


J-oshi (㪷), C-ya (?), K-д

To put a stone at the side of the opponents stone from a friendly stone located diagonally behind it

missing image file Dia. 1

In Dia. 1, White is pushing with 1 and 3. Push is distinguished from press by the fact that the player pushing always has to be one line behind than the one pushed.

In the Chinese terminology, the three cases below have different name individually.

Push up Push down Push along the side

C-tie (?=attach) C-dang (?=block) C-pa (=crawl)

missing image file missing image file missing image file



An official position setup in China for cultivating the professional players and serving the Emperors with Go during the Tang and Song Dynasties.

Its literature meaning is to wait for the order of serving the people in the Emperors Palace. Actually, the qidaizhaos were the earliest professional Go players. The system of qidaizhao was established by the Emperor Xuanzong at the 8th century and the first qidaizhao appeared in the history book is Wang jixin.

Quick game

J-hayago (ѳ), C-kuaiqi (Ѥ), K-ӱ(Ѥ)

1. A game that is played with a short time limit, usually enforced by the clock. Often called lightning Go

2. A game that is played very quickly, not because of the time limit but because the players do not spend much time in thinking.

Rabitty five

J-hana gomoku (), C-daoba wu (), K-õȭ ()

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

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

The Chinese daoba () means a handle of a knife used in chopping vegetables and the Korean ȭ () means flowers of a peach tree. The Japanese hana gomoku also refers to the Blacks shape in Dia. 2.

Rectanglular six

J-kushigata (), itaruku (), C-banliu (?׿)K-Ƿ(?׿)

An eye space made up of two by three points of rectangle.

It is called six-point plank eye space in all three Asian countries. In Japan and Korea its also called the comb shape because Blacks shape in Dia. 1 looks like a traditional hair comb.

missing image file Dia. 1

A rectangular six on a side or in the center is always alive as it stands, but in a corner it can be killed by a move at White 1 as shown in Dia. 3.

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


J- yomi (?), C-shumu (?)K-б

To analyze a position and anticipate the results of moves.


J-keshi (Ἢ), C-qianxiao (?), K-谨()ϴ

To prevent the opponents territorial framework from expanding by playing moves above it.

missing image fileDia. 1

White 1 in Dia. 1 reduces Blacks influnce on the upper and the right sides.


J-toryo (), C-renshu (??)K- / ŵδ

To admit the fact that one has lost before the game is actually finished.


J-horyu (׺), C-baoliu (׺), K-(׺)ϴ

To leave a local position as it is and wait to see how the situation around it develops before playing .

missing image file Dia. 1

White can choose to play at a or b. If the upper side is going to be bigger, then he will play at b and if not, he will choose a to live in the corner. Therefore, White doesnt need to play a or b immediately and can wait until the outside condition is decided. He reserves a move here.

Opp. awaken

Reverse sente

J-gyakusente () / gyakuyose (), C-nishou guanzi (ί)K-() /

An endgame move that gives up sente to prevent the opponent from playing a sente endgame.

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

Black 1 in Dia. 1 prevents White from playing 1 and 3 in Dia. 2 in sente.

A reverse sente endgame is usually considered as gaining double points than it gains in actual, because the opponent could have played it in sente and then played another endgame of the same value.


See base.


See floating.

Rotation Ko

J-, C-xunhuan jie (?̤), K-ȯ

One type of super ko shown in Dia. It is also called as round-robin ko in English, but because the Chinese character literally means rotating, I decide to translate it as rotation ko.

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

In Dia. 1, it seems that Black can kill the White stones with a throw-in at 1. If White captures it as in Dia. 2, his stones will die. Therefore, White must play 2 as in Dia. 3. If Black then captures the two white stones with 3 and White also captures with 4, the resulting position will be almost the same as in the first diagrams. Now Black throws in at 1 as in Dia. 4 and White plays 2. If both players continue this cycle, the game will be declared to be no result. If Black feels that he will win, he can always capture the stone at 2 in Dia. 4 with 3 and and live with a dual life as shown in Dia. 5. If he feels that he will lose, he would be happy to accept a no-result.

Rotten axe

J-ranka (ʯ), C-lanke (ʯ), K-(ʯ)

A literary name for Go, taken from an Asian Rip van Winkle story of a wood chopper who encountered two immortals playing Go in a forest. He stopped to watch the game, and, when it was finished, he found that his axe had rotten and more than 100 years had passed.

The Chinese ʯ means a rotten axe handle.

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