# Lost by 0.5, how could I have clinched it? 25 k vs 23 k

Genuinely curious. This was a great game and my closest ever and the closest mathematically.

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Playing j5 instead of j4 for you last move. I guess you had in mind making an eye but you gave up one point of territory in the process. Your group was already alive so just think about how to gain most territory rather than making single point eyes.
I didn’t go back further in the game but looking at the AI graph you can see where the game swings back and forth. Each time it does that was a mistake by one side or the other and I guess each one could have been a game clincher.

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I have left you a review. As you will see, there were numerous points in this game where you could have won the game, as well as played stronger moves. I give a great deal of suggestions in the chat. I will now copy and paste some of those suggestions here. Just in case any other new players might be reading this but choose to skip the review.

This game was using Chinese Rules, where a single stone is worth 1 point. Under Japanese rules, these extra stones wouldn’t have mattered as much. If you are unsure of how Japanese and Chinese rules differ, you can refer to this thread which should make it crystal clear on how they differ and how points are calculated in each.

You can easily learn to recognize situations like this by practicing Tsumego Problems. They train your mind to “read” the board. You can learn more about them, and several other newbie friendly resources, in this thread.

The actual post that mentions Tsumego is linked in that thread. Here is a direct link to the Tsumego thread. The best Tsumego Collection to start with is Walken’s version of Cho Chikun’s Encyclopedia of Life & Death. You can find those here and read why they are the best version on OGS here.

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Thank you so much! This is quite helpful and I’ll do more problems and I wasn’t paying attention to ruleset, how do I figure it out during a match?

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There is an ‘i’ on the right hand side, showing game information.

But there is no reason really to worry about chinese vs. japanese rules. The difference only comes into play at the very end of the game. Other than that there are only very few cases, where they can make a strategical difference. (I haven’t encountered one so far, neither in my own games nor in any I have watched.)

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I maintain that Chinese rules are easier to understand for a beginner. Calculating score by quickly scanning the board is easier, and the concept of not filling in your own territory is difficult for beginners to understand. I have also found my students do better with Chinese rules in the beginning than they do with Japanese. I discuss beginner perceptions at great length in my guide: What Are The Differences Between Japanese, Chinese, & New Zealand Rules?

For these reasons, I think Chinese rules are a better place to start. That is my personal opinion and has been my experience. I would like to point out that New Zealand are my favorite rules on OGS and that I’ve run a New Zealand Tournament Group for close to a year. Point of brining that up is that I do, very much, drink my own kool-aid

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with Japanese rules. The concepts of scoring are just a bit harder to wrap your head around when you are just starting out. But choosing them will not put you at a disadvantage or lead to anything negative. I am not advising you to steer clear of Japanese rules, though I am whole heartedly endorsing Chinese and New Zealand rules. To better understand the difference between these two, you can read more here: Are There Legitimate Reasons To Choose New Zealand Over Chinese?

There are a few different places where you will see which ruleset is being used. Within an active match you will find this in the Game Information panel.

You can access this panel from collapsible Side Panel during a match.

The other place you will see the game ruleset being referenced is where you go find or create Go matches. For matches that are open awaiting a player to join, it is the last column of information.

On this same page you can choose to create a custom game. After clicking on that button, you will have the option of selecting the ruleset you desire for the custom match.

On the same page where you can create a custom game, there is also a settings button for Quick Match Finder. Opening that up will reveal an area where you can select which ruleset you prefer to use.

Finally, when someone sends you a challenge, it appears on your Home page. In this window, it lists which ruleset the match utilizes.

When you receive a challenge, it will produce a notification. When you view that notification menu, it will also list the ruleset being used.

I think that is all of them

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Just to prevent potential misunderstandings for beginners (as this part of the difference is often misrepresented/misunderstood in these rule comparisons - and also as it has become kind of a pet peeve of mine).

Playing a stone inside of your own territory costs you a point under both Chinese and Japanese rulesets. UNLESS all borders are clearly defined, every stone settled and every dame filled. Then and ONLY THEN is there a difference because it will no longer matter under Chinese rules.

In all the other cases the difference is purely cosmetical as under Japanese rules you lose one point of territory by filling it yourself, and under Chinese rules you do not get an extra point you would have gotten for the live stone elsewhere. It is a distinction without a difference.

My completely personal advice is not to get hung up on the rulesets (unless it is fun for you to deal with the technicalities). Just pick one and focus on the game. It does not really matter.

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I definitely agree. Still a beginner should not worry about different rule sets. Thoughts like ‘I know what to play under Chinese rules, but would it also be a good move under Japanese rules?’ have a chance of 1000000:1 of being pointless unless in the very late endgame. (And even there the chances for that are high.)

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