Is the old philosophy in Go irrelevant?

Well, you know, I guess. All those high-flown comparisons with chess, where everyone says that go is a game of creation and not destruction. I got them, but what do I see.
Yes lol, the same as in chess. From the 4th move, everyone starts to fight. Peaceful games are held, only, probably, at 18kyu. And considering that only high dans fight without big mistakes, it turns out that a typical game ends after ~30-50 moves, when you or your opponent made a mistake so that the result of the game is a foregone conclusion. I don’t understand what’s the fun in this kind of games, kill the group quickly and end the game?

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I disagree with that statement.


You look from the perspective of an experienced dan player. Like I said, dan players make fewer mistakes and obviously have fewer group deaths in general. I watch from my level, where players can die in a group in 15 moves and that’s it.

No I don’t. Even if you die at move 30, your opponent may also make many mistakes later and you may have a chance to kill back later.


What about this game?

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Is the old philosophy in go irrelevant?

A generation which ignores history has no past – and no future.
– Robert A. Heinlein


Speaking as a kyu player, the vast majority of my games are not over after 50 moves.

About fighting, one comment I have seen from a dan player about kyu games is that we tend to engage in unnecessary fighting, when the situation could be resolved profitably without fighting.


I don’t see that trend (8 kyu). My games don’t end after 50 moves. Have you considered that it’s maybe your own style that leads to all or nothing fights in the beginning of the game?


I’m around 7k and I disagree as well.

On the contrary I would say it’s pretty rare for a game to be decided after 50 moves (let alone 30), and that this holds true at any level (though for different reasons).

An explanation could be that you are very quick to engage into fights and to resign if it doesn’t work out, so of course you rarely experience any reversal.

I randomly looked at your last game : you made a 30-points mistake and resigned immediately… even though you were still ahead by 14 points !

Previous game, same pattern. You make a mistake in the mid-game and resigned immediately, while you were just losing by 5 points which is nothing.


I dont know about the philosophy, but yeah i think the meta has become more territory-oriented in the modern post-alphago era.

When i was just learning the game, things like influence, frameworks, and moyos were seen just as important as solid territory. I remember being told in teaching games and reviews things like “don’t invade there yet, you should build up your own potential first, its too early to jump into 3-3, the outside wall is easily more useful later on than the few points of territory there”, stuff like that.

I feel like nowdays most people are way more territory-oriented, they try to grab as much territory as they can, and when they notice that opponent has gotten more points they immediately invade and start fighting for life.

I’m not saying that there isnt any more games or players who have the so-called “build and reduce” mindset, but most of the games i’ve played in last few years have been way more territorial.
Also i think many of those old fusekis like san-ren-sei, kobayashi, chinese variations etc. have become pretty rare. Its just not about falling out of fashion, but most people simply do not want to play moves which develop frameworks for later use when they could just gain easy territory for instant profit.

In case you want to have games like “in the old days” i recommend trying out those bit older fusekis from 1900’s where move 5 was often played on the side at 4-10 placement. Set your colour as black and play the san-ren-sei or high-chinese, im sure it will lead into more diverse games than the modern cornerterritory-oriented matches


As a DDK, there’s really no need to resign before move 100. Too much undecided on the board.


In this game Jd you lost by time, but maybe you thought you were dead. If my assumption is correct then this was not the case: you could have survived like this:

Capture d'écran 2023-08-14 162134

Of course, living small in the corner isn’t ideal but this is not the end of the world, the board is still so much open that many oppotunities can arise later.

If you want to avoid having to solve tsumegos, then don’t get surrounded, go to the center. Earlier you could have played like this

Capture d'écran 2023-08-14 162308

By putting pressure on the two black stones, White secures the group C17 while making influence.

Now, one of my games played in 2021 (2k vs 1k): jlt vs. jw978931. At move 151 Black was dead and behind by 63 points according to AI.15 moves later Black survived while capturing white stones and was ahead by 7 points.


I used to quit early all the time to learn joseki from AI.
And how to punish when my opponent messes up.

Better to play until scoring so you learn to punish those truly big mistakes which happen in end-game when the outside liberties are running out ^___^


Yeah, but openings are easier to remember.

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Hah yeah, but the worst mistakes you can usually do in the opening are only about 6-7 points (passing is like giving away komi and its hard to make bigger opening mistake than passing), but the largest mistakes in end-game can be well over 100 points, depending how big dragon is going to die ^___^


tbh, from my investigation of AI, it suggests the 4-5 may be underrepresented in the history of go study.

And it’s not necessarily that influence is dead, but that the enclose-side extension theory can often be made inefficient, if you extend too short, there are attachments to make it overconcentrated, if you extend too far it tends to be very profitably invadeable. There’s also the change in 3-3 variations, but that’s in part due to a weakness in the old joseki that seemed insane to us before (especially when we would hane on the second line because “the territory cannot be ignored” and gave the opponent the hanging connection

Now, enclose-extend theory is very old, and I think dates back to dosaku iirc, and it’s a big shakeup to unlearn, but you also see bots play with insane influence strategies sometimes against other bots


You should be careful in punishing. Not all failures in joseki involve a dramatic loss, it could be just a ko threat less, or a point or two.

Well a go game is opening and middle game and end game. It’s crucial to be strong in all and hold the heat to the last move.

Years before when Japan was advertising go to the west, if you consider the professionals of that time, there was much more variety as what was teached to us amateurs. Sakata played sansan regularly, cho chikun had very poor openings but took revenge in the middle game etc… So old philosophy was not always strictly applied in those games.


I think Lee Sedol also is documented talking about how his opening was bad
Lee Changho had a special talent of avoiding most fights altogether (until Sedol came along)
Dosaku was a tactical mastermind (as well as father of opening theory)
Masao Kato “the killer” got that nickname for a very good reason
Go Seigen completely revised theory with his “Shin Fuseki” movement, which incorporated both 4-4s and 3-3s, as well as changing how we look at influence in general
Takemiya Masaki was a great fighting player and used his “Cosmic Style” to accent that (influence is for fighting!)

If you wanna talk about “old style” white players prior to the invention of komi frequently made use of an “amashi” style which was very territorial in nature, influential frameworks are the newcomer in all this (thanks in good part to Go Seigen)


I’ve seen these comparisons… Made by go players who feel the need to criticise chess because they’re jealous that chess is more popular than go.

So I wouldn’t put too much credit into any chess/go comparison. Both games have notions of initiative, influence, developing your pieces/groups, keeping your stones connected/protecting your pieces, etc.

One thing that is objectively true is that in chess, the board starts full and you spend the game emptying it; while in go, the board starts empty and you spend the game filling it. I don’t know what philosophy you can base on this difference. For instance, shogi is pretty similar to chess, but in shogi the board doesn’t really empty as the game progresses, since captured pieces are parachuted back on the board.