How to count the final score?


I’m new to Go. I just started learning yesterday. Could someone please tell me how the score counting works?

Many of my black stones were counted as a score for white. I don’t understand.

Any help you can provide would be great.

Thank you :slight_smile:

Those stones are “dead”.

It means that if white played more stones, there is no way you could stop them begin taken. So they might as well just count for white immediately, and not waste time actually taking them.

They are dead because they can’t make “two eyes”.

The top group quite obviously can’t - it only has two spaces in it’s one eye.

The right group is less obvious, but there is a sequence starting with white playing M3 or M7 that causes that whole group to collapse.


and welcome to Go and to OGS :slight_smile:

Just to pitch in as well:
The auto scoring can on occasion be wrong or - when playing against another human - there is a “remove dead stones” phase where you can change the status of the groups if you think they are marked incorrectly - but that is not the case here - the game is scored “more or less” correctly.

  • The game was unfinished, there is still a one stone ko in the upper part of the board - that should be resolved before passing.

I took the liberty of illustrating GaJ’s answer in the reivew if you prefer visual clues. Once you see it, it should soon be appareant, that black has no way of saving either group.

Also - the obligatory warning :smiley: :slight_smile:
Beware of plaing against robots. I know some people prefer the “no pressure” approach of playing a machine, but unfortunately we do not have a really “beginner-like” robot and even Master Mantis will usually just crush you and never tells you why. Which can slowly become very disheartening.

If you want to, just ask for a teaching game here at the forums, there is usually several players happy to provide. Or if you insist on a robot maybe an android apps like “Go Free” or “CS Lite” would provide a more even opponent to learn the game gradually. - Both are free

Anyway, have fun :slight_smile:


Thank you @GreenAsJade.

If white plays M7 isn’t that a suicidal move?

And if white plays M3 black would lose stones at L2 + L3.
White could then play N4 and black would lost the stone on M4.
Isn’t that where it would end? There is an empty space at M7. It looks like a suicidal move but could white play that as its next move and take all those pieces after the N4 move?

Also, what is the difference between what’s happening on the right side of the board, where white attains all the black pieces and on the the top left side of the board, where white retains all of its pieces? Is that because there are empty spaces at D8, C8, B9 and A10 and are therefore not gettable for black?

Thanks again for your response. I really appreciate it :slight_smile:

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No. If a move captures something it cannot be suicidal (it always ends up with at least one liberty)
That is very important and a reason why you need TWO eyes to live. with only one eye the whole group can be captured after it is fully surrounded on the outside because the eye will be the last liberty and therefore NOT a suicide.

The white stones on the left side (while pretty surrounded) are alive, because they have at least two solid eyes. Meaning black will NEVER be able to capture them. Just try it in analyze mode. Even if white never responds there you will eventually end up in a situation where each attempt to take away a liberty will be a suicidal and therefore illegal (and nonsensical) move.

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Yes - in addition to Adam’s input and link, your reasoning is sound.

When a group has two separate empty spaces in it (eyes) then it can’t be taken because if the opponent plays in one of those spaces, the group will still have a “liberty” in the other space.

With the top right black group that is dead, it is dead because white plays at say L13 and black says “hah hah you can’t take me, I take you first” and plays at L14. Then white plays a L13 again and this time black’s group has no liberties so it is dead.

That is why you need two “eyes”.

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Thank you so much, @GreenAsJade and @AdamR. You’ve been an enormous help! I really appreciate you taking the time to go through all of that with me :smiley:

And AdamR, thanks for the tip about playing against the computer. I’m winning maybe 25% of games against it but, considering I started learning yesterday, that gives me great hope that I’m not a complete idiot :laughing:


Actually, that sounds like a great idea. I’ll try that now