How do you know when players should agree to stop playing inside a territory?

I read the rules and it said something about a territory enclosed by “dead” groups. I’m not sure how to spot this and how to agree when play should stop INSIDE of a territory…

If a group is dead, then it does not actually enclose any territory. Instead, it’s enclosed within the opponent’s territory and gives the opponent further points as they will also be counted as captured stones at the end of the game. A group has to be alive in order for the points it surrounds to be considered territory.

Ultimately, a group is alive if it can eventually form two eyes or connect to another living group, and a group will die if it is cutoff from other friendly stones and cannot form two eyes. That’s somewhat simplifying things, since there are some other tricky situations to watch out for, such as false eyes, seki, capturing races, and ko fights.

Determining whether a group is alive or dead can be tricky, since it’s not always obvious whether a group will become cutoff or whether it can make two eyes. If the status of a group is not clear, then it may be worth playing further until the situation becomes clear (at least as a learning exercise). However, keep in mind that playing further when the situation is futile may only waste initiative and/or give the opponent more points (if adding more prisoners). Outside of games, it’s worthwhile to try life-and-death problems to train your ability to read these situations more effectively.

If you are able to make a living group inside your opponent’s “territory”, then that space no longer becomes your opponent’s territory. However, it can be difficult to make living groups inside territory that is solidly held by your opponent. First, you need enough space, since living groups can only be so small.


its kind of cool. you dont have to agree.

the real question is how do you determine whether

  • its useful to play inside an opponents territory
  • there are internal weaknesses that allow an invasion
  • you can safely ignore an opponents move in your own territory

as yebeliz says, its most just a question of life and death, or whether
or not internal stones can become connected. there is another interesting
bit referred to as semidori, where the internal stones, while dead, can require
the opponent to respond to external forcing moves against them, and thus
lose a point for each move.

regardless, you have to read it. but if you cant, there is no harm in playing things out. just
try to leave the situation in sente.

oh right, the only other downside to continuing to play a losing internal fight like that
is that you might be wasting some good ko threats

1 Like