Etiquette - winning by tedium

I appreciate that in Go you need to be paying attention until the end of the game. But sometimes, in endgame, your opponent starts playing inside your territory, even when you are all connected. I’ve had players do this and then move to playing in some other territory and win because I have stopped paying attention.

I find this really annoying, I think people should limit themselves to one random hopeful invasion attempt in endgame, and if they fail and they know they have lost, they should resign rather than forcing their opponent to secure every last point.

I know it’s possible to win in endgame but I don’t know why people waste their time in endgame when they are 20 points behind, just hoping for a mistake. Resign and start a new game, or play some tsumego, it will be better for your ranking in the long run than playing every last point and winning by virtue of your opponent’s boredom.


To avoid this kind of behavior the best is to get stronger.
It’s hard to intervene as long as moves are legal but the more experienced your opponents are the less you will be confronted to that kind of problem .


Although in spirit I agree with you, and would personally not extend a game I felt I have lost, the real heart of the situation is that you only have won a game if you can manage to defend your territory. When the mistake occurs in midgame, and you end up with not enough points, it might feel fairer, but it is not much different than making a similar mistake in endgame that loses you a similar number of points. It’s just that you’ve counted the game as over before it was actually over.

Try to see it as endgame training, or as applied tsumego problems. If you can beat them, you won the game, if you can’t, you apparently still have something left to work on (such as not getting bored by endgame :wink: ).


Just looked at your last game on OGS. At least for this game, sorry, I can’t agree with you. It’s not merely a matter of attention. I’d attribute your loss mainly to your not strong enough shape intuition.

Also I think allowing your opponent to finish endgame (everything before dame under Japanese rules and dame Chinese-like rules) is also an etiquette.


Yeah I looked at the game too, it looks like that white group on the bottom mid-right needed an extra move to stay alive. Looks like a legit endgame loss. Happens to me all the time.


The question of what are “stalling moves” or “time-stealing tesuji” will always be with the Go community, because the answer usually depends on context and rank.

Different federations and servers have different views on the matter. It was heavily discussed in The Heartbroken Go Player last month.

Kaniuk’s referee exercises provide a related example as well:

One way of resigning is to clearly place two stones together inside your opponent’s territory. Sometimes one wishes that one’s opponent would resign, because the situation is clearly hopeless. Some think that you can signal in this case by placing a stone at the 1-1 point inside your own territory. Two shodans had got into this state, but both thought they were well ahead. Black placed a stone at the 1-1 point. White took this as a resignation, stood up and shook Black’s hand. They cleared the stones away, and they each separately reported a win by resignation to the Draw Master


One thing that helped me with battling that psychology I used to go into when trying to close a practically won game, was realizing that they are the ones suffering on the board when they are trying to scrape for the last half-chances. That is their choice. As the side who is ahead, you can coast to glory in a noble but realistic fashion and enjoy yourself much more than they do, by reassuring your win with solid moves while they get more and more desperate. As long as they are not taking lots of time to play their unrealistic moves, this is not a bad situation to be in and if you are able to enjoy it, you’ll also be able to handle that part of the game better.


This!!! I also have a tendency to shut my brain off during the endgame and think of the game as “over”, so this is a good reminder for me

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Tactically you could do two things if you were so sure you were winning big:

  1. Just spend a move to connect.
  2. Read out before hand where exactly to add a move to make live that particular group. You can spend opponent’s time on this. Then it’s unlikely to make the blunder under the time pressure.

Keep in mind, in a live game, it is difficult to know for sure how much one is behind/lead. Be cool with your opponent’s decision. I’ve made a conscious decision not resign in live games, because I got it wrong so many times, unless it is too obvious ofc.