View Full Version : scoring

21st September 2000, 00:39
could anyone help me as to how Go is scored? I just ordered a board and I have been told that it is the number of remaining intersections, but that also confuses me. Would these be all the extra corners where a stone could be placed? And, also, do you count the area where your stones are?

Any help on this would be appreciated.


aspiring go player

21st September 2000, 04:21
Nick, Welcome!

Scoring for the most part is pretty simple ... howbeit a little more difficult to explain (much easier to show).

There are basically two main ways to score ... it all depends on whether you're playing by the Japanese rules or Chinese rules (the main difference between the Japanese rules and Chinese rules is the scoring). The Japanese rules are the most common and since technically the same result would occur, I'll explain the Japanese scoring method.

1. After two passes in a row, the game ends ... you probably already know that. ;) (Hint: as a beginner, it is easiest to make sure that all neutral points are filled in before passsing. Neutral points are points between the black and white groups that is not territory for anyone.

2. Any dead stones that haven't been captured are removed and added to the captured stones captured during the game. As a beginner, if you're not sure if a stone(s) is dead or not, I suggest you play it out. (I don't want to confuse you about "seki" - a localized stalemate, but stones involved in a seki are not dead and what appears to be neutral territory between the black and white stones in a seki is not neutral territory, but territory that is not counted for either. I'm just talking about seki in case you're curious ... right now don't worry about seki since you'll probably not encounter such a situation early on.)

3. You count the EMPTY intersections controlled by your stones (your territory). Your opponent's territory should be counted too.

4. Subtract your captured stones from your territory. Same for your opponent. This is your score. One with the most territory wins.

Black - 53 points of territory, 5 captured black stones.
White - 48 points of territory, 2 captured white stones.

Score: Black 48; White 46
Black wins by 2 points.

An easy way to do this counting is to fill in your territory with your captured stones. Same with your opponent. The effect is to reduce your territory by the number of captured stones ... basically doing the math for you. In our example, this would yield a count of 48 for black and 46 for white ... the same result.

The hardest part for you would be to recognize what stones are dead and which aren't; in other words, recognizing what is territory and what isn't.

If you see references anywhere to counting stones as territory they're probably referring to the chinese method of counting.

Hope this helps ... if you're still confused feel free to ask further questions and/or I could arrange to play a game with you online. Also, a good source (with diagrams) for learning to count online can be found at: http://www.kiseido.com/ff.htm




[Edited by burp on 09-20-2000 at 11:25 PM]

21st September 2000, 20:55
thanks. I got the 9x9 go learner program, but everytime I beat the computer and try to move up a rank, I get an illegal operation notice. I'll try it on their online server and see if I have any luck against human opponents (though I doubt it).



22nd September 2000, 04:26


Just wanted to mention ... the IGS Go server (located in Tokyo) probably has the greatest number of human opponents on it at one time. It is easy to find an opponent around your strength at anytime of the day / night. You can usually find me there as "burp". Their homepage and details on how to get on the server and registered is found at: http://panda-igs.joyjoy.net/English/

Anyway, just another option amongst many. If you check out back posts, you'll see other servers referenced and linked.