Counting of Stones

In the following game, why does Black loose the game, Black has much more Stones, why didn’t it Count them?

Kind regards

Because the game was played with japanese rules not chinese. In japanese rules you count territory and prisoners and do not count stones on the board. Does this answer your question?

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yes thanks

Because the game was played with japanese rules not chinese. In japanese rules you count territory and prisoners and do not count stones on the board.

Is this a correct answer?

I thought that (1) Chinese and Japanese rules lead to the same result in most cases, and (2) when a person passes in Chinese rules, he must give the opponent a stone that counts in the score.

So the result would have been same or very close under Chinese counting.

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Yes, that is the correct answer in this case.

The use of passing stones is a feature of the AGA ruleset. This, together with white having the last pass, allows the same result with area or territory counting.

Filling your territory under the Japanese ruleset will cost you a point. This is one of the areas where you will get a different result.

Traveller, are you saying that Chinese result would be different?


On a 9x9 board, there will be a total of 81 points divided between the players. (Ignoring any seki. Dame are required to be filled in.)

In this case, the Japanese scoring works out to white with 12 points (10 territory, 0 prisoners, 2 komi) and back with 4 points (3 territory, 1 prisoner). Result is W+8.

Chinese scoring will result in white 25 points (23 area, 2 komi) and black 58 points (58 area). (Area is stones on the board plus surrounded territory.) Result is B+33.

The AGA ruleset allows either territory or area scoring. The ruleset requires the use of a “pass stone”, a prisoner given to the opponent when a player passes and requires that white make the last pass. In this game (with the extra pass to end on a white pass), area counting will result in white 31 points (23 area, 2 komi, 6 for the extra black stones due to handicap) and black 58 (58 area) with a result of B+27. Territory counting yields white 13 points (10 territory, 1 prisoner - different from above due to pass stone, 2 komi) and black 40 points (3 territory, 37 prisoners - includes 36 pass stones) with a result of B+27.

The ruleset can make a difference. This instances of this are rare, but they do occur.

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Wow. In this case it’s a huge difference. Learned something today.

What’s the advantage of japanese scoring? Wouldn’t the Enemy (white) be forced to Play his Stones in the black side?

I don’t feel qualified to answer that one.

My understanding is that, if no unnecessary move is made inside your own territory, there are few differences in outcome. One player can force a play inside the territory of the other, but only by playing there was well and that would balance out in the end. If one can force an internal play without their own play in the same territory, that internal play was necessary.

From Sensei’s Library:

See also:
and especially this comparison page

The advantage of the japanese scoring is that it punishes the unnecessary moves. So you are forced to distinguish between necessary and unnecessary. This improves your understanding of the game, allows you to have more fun and makes you stronger.

If White plays unnecessary stones in Black’s territory she risks to lose points because those stones can become prisoners which are counted.

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