The site also has a really neat feature that can help in this regard - if you open any game, and look at the toolbar on the right side, you’ll see a little widget that looks like a spedometer:
If you click that, it will give you the current estimate as to what the score might be, based on what the site’s AI thinks might be securely defended on both sides.
A FEW CAVEATS!
Because scoring a game of Go includes lots of complex elements, this score is not always correct! It is useful as a guide or a shortcut, but you still have to pay attention and make your own judgment about things.
- If you try and auto-score a game that is in the early stages, you’ll see big chunks of the board that are simply not scored, even though one side might have more stones in there. The AI is basically saying that there are too many gaps in the group’s defenses right now, and there’s no way to tell if it might get invaded in the future
- Most of the time, the site AI is pretty good about detecting dead stones and false eyes (i.e. groups that can’t make 2 eyes and will end up dead). However, if the dead group in question still has a lot of liberties that haven’t been taken away, the site might falsely believe that group is alive, etc.
- The site AI will use either Chinese (count stones and empty spots) or Japanese (only count the empty spots) scoring rules based on how each person set that game up, so you’ll see some variety, but really - all that matters is how far ahead one side is over the other. It doesn’t matter if the score is 135.5 to 128 or 35.5 to 28, one side still wins by 7.5 points.
It’s also a good tool to use in the middle of your own games, as a way of seeing
- which areas need to be secured before they can count as “yours”
- which areas of your opponent’s need to be approached or invaded so they don’t get too big, and (most importantly)
- as you get towards the end of the game - does it make sense to work and sweat through the endgame if you’re going to end up 20 points behind anyway, and you might as well just resign and start a new game