How to score a game

I did the same to learn Go and think it’s a very efficient way for beginners.

On my phone I played against app “Go free” (android) which also has many levels of strength, so you can increase difficulty when you need.

I believe that the actual strength of the AI is not really important for beginners: also in live games they have to face many wrong moves made by their opponents. Fighting against a pro-level player is just frustrating. To learn something you have to play against players that are a little stronger than you. Then you’ll improve and you’ll look for even stronger opponents.


I agree actually. Especially for 9x9 it’s not that important, but for 19x19, playing stronger bots helped a lot to get a feel for global strategy and when to consider something is settled. In my experience GnuGo and lower levels of CrazyStone (i.e. mobile phone) tend to follow your lead to much.


I see your point.
Actually I only played 9x9 on my phone. When I got stuck (unable to beat stronger levels) I quit and started playing humans.

I learned elsewhere fundamentals in strategy on larger boards (trial and error, youtube videos and so on).


Again, thanks to all of you for the answers.
I Will try to play online in OGS.
See you there!


Hi again!
Black moves next. What do you think…
Is it posible to preserve the left upper corner?
Or are those stones dead?

3 is the most spaces black can surround in the upper right, therefore the group is dead (unless white ignores multiple moves).

3-space-groups.sgf (542 Bytes)


Very Clear. Thanks!
And what about this one:

The three stones at the Upper left corner again… are dead?

Dead. See

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Yes, i had pictured that. Thanks

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There are a lot of shapes in a corner that look a lot more promising, but still are dead. Here’s a list of common shapes in the corner. You could explore the links there to see how to kill / make life in corners. You always need two eyes to live, but even with as many as six open spaces in the corner it’s possible to kill the shape in certain situations.

If you want to get good at these kind of problems, they are called life & death puzzles. There are a lot of them on this site. This is a good one to start with, it has explanations for each solution. Getting decent at life & death certainly will improve your games.


Here is another interesting reference.

It goes to show that some minimal footprint is necessary to build a living group with two eyes. Other than that only living in seki is possible with smaller groups.


Hi again. The puzzles were very intetesting!
I have this game. Think black wins. Is it?

are the two white stones on the left dead?

Can they make two eyes? Can they capture anything?

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I think can’t make two eyes or capture anything. Just checking, cause i’m so new. A way yo learn from others. :wink:

If you are white and you are not really sure if those stones are dead, don’t pass in that situation, just play on. (Especially when playing a computer-opponent, who will never run out of patience! :slight_smile: )You will quickly learn to recognise totally hopeless groups that way.


In this case i’m black. So if i count those two white as dead, i woned this game.

Could you help me scoring this game, please?

White has 5 captured pieces and black has 6 captured pieces.

The key thing is that all the black stones in the top left group are dead. They only have one eye (near the centre) so white can capture them all eventually.


I thought the same but it is hard to tell which colors line is the strongest one sometimes…
Probably you are right

But here is the first example:

How come you are not counting this black line?
Sometimes it feels like it depends on your point of view how you count the points. Could someone kindly give me an explenation why the white line was counted instead of this black one?

I’m a beginner go player and I do not completely understand the scoring in some situations.

Players receive points for areas of the board that they control. This usually requires that, should the opponent disagree and try to continue playing inside this area, the player is able to eventually capture all opponents stones inside the area.

An important detail is that stones connect vertically and horizontally, but not diagonally. In the lines you drew, can you spot a point where the connection fails due to this?

If play were to continue, what do you think will happen to the black stones on the bottom?

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