Is there a complete (or as complete as possible) list anywhere of all named shapes?

For example, this is a lot of common corner shapes, but I cannot find a list (ideally a hefty hardback reference book - or volumed encyclopaedia would be nice) of all known, named shapes in Go. Does anybody know of anything even like this? If not, would people be interested in beginning to build one, as a community project, with a view to eventually ending up with a wiki style (could even use wiki software to build it) database of shapes, which could eventually lead to a beautifully stab bound set of books with shodo titles and marbled end papers and, and… aaaand I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

What do people think?

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Welllllll… I think you already linked to that ultimate Wiki, namely Sensei’s Library. It’s quite chaotic, but amidst the chaos you can find many little orderly “islands”, many of which are connected by “bridges”.

Best I could think of would be to create a new page on SL, but first to search, and to search again whether there are already such pages, I’m quite sure there have been several attempts. (I’ve been searching for the same things in the past few days, and the page you linked to is still open in a tab because I was thinking about my next {probably animated} project :slight_smile:)

Another “but”: Problem is, I think, that many shapes have different “meanings” when they appear in different contexts … so, for example, I was told that what I had lightheartedly called “stretch/nobi” in one of my recent Go pictures, would, “in the wild”, have different names (push, Iron Pillar, etc.), depending on the game situation and location on the board. Another, more extreme example would be the Empty Triangle which is quite bad shape when everything is easy and the opponent’s stones as well as our own ones are lightly distributed, but which can be “eye-opening” and life-saving when the situation is tight, especially close to the edge. Therefore I believe that some of the “chaos” we find on SL is actually an order of another order :wink: And taxonomy gets more complicated the more one dives into the matter, never mind whether it’s biology, linguistics, information science or learning theory, etc.

And how do we explain a multi-dimensional thing by using less dimensions than the described thing? If we show a game situation AND we say whose turn it is, is there an easy answer to the question whether we need to know the last move, or the order of the played moves? (Even if we exclude Ko?)

Me, I definitely like to have a good repertory of technical terms — they make talking about things a LOT easier. I’ve also thought about a “Happy Families” kind of card game (“Quartett” in German) to memorize certain shapes and terms …

So, I guess I’m saying … good idea, but let’s study other attempts in depth first (just see how many pages we can find here), and then find out how to make it best. SL would still be my first address for anything of this kind, I think, just to add new orderly chaos there :slight_smile:

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An excellent reply! having followed you last link I discovered that there is already such a book (albeit a more basic version, without the beautiful hand binding or calligraphy). It is here and shall certainly also e in my house somewhere too.

I think that the approach of this book informs us pretty well of what you have already said, that each shape can have different meanings or uses in different contexts. For instance, the 64 (!!!) usage examples and explanations of Kosumi.

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I’d just like to point out several facts that may or may not be relevant to the original question.

  • Most groups of stones (which is what I think you mean by shapes) have no name. Go is too complicated for all groups to have names.

  • The most important groups that have names are already much published: the groups that are good for linking one group to another, and the groups that determine whether groups that surround them are unconditionally dead.

  • Names may depend on the language you prefer. Many go players use Japanese names, but such a choice is not required.

  • There is a go convention not to assign different names to special groups that depend on symmetry. It is nontrivial to understand all the symmetry translations inherent in go.

  • The concept of “good shape” is different from the concept of named special groups. The two concepts overlap independently.

  • I think the concept of a large book of special groups makes no real sense. Does a group along the edge that can be killed by a hane deserve a name? Most groups used in go examples simply don’t deserve their own special name, in my opinion. You’re not supposed to memorize them, you are supposed to recognize them, according to what may happen (such as life and death, connection, surrounding territory, etc.). Learning go is complex and naming groups that are not basic to go is probably a waste of time. The basic groups are all listed in most elementary books on go, and many go instructional websites. Again, they deal only with linking of groups and the “dead shapes” related to life and death struggles of surrounded stones of one color.

I apologize if I’ve made any mistakes in this posting; I’m a beginning player.

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