New player's question about scoring

I’m very new to go and very confused about scoring of games. Example attached - why is the marked area white and not black when it is completely surrounded by black stones? And why isn’t the white stone on H1 marked as dead? I tried to understand it from the go rules, but I’m obviously missing something. Any help much appreciated.


Since this is area scoring, it’s fine to continue playing if you and your opponent disagree on what’s dead. This would result in Black being captured, which is why your opponent (and probably the auto-score) marked it as dead.


If h2 or j2, then j1
if g1 or j1, then h2


Understood, thanks a lot!

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Among the most useful things a beginner can learn are the basic, dead shapes. See this page in Sensei’s Library: Killable eye shapes at Sensei's Library


I’d like to add that “dead” is technical term in go. It means that a group of stones cannot avoid getting captured (assuming both players play correctly).

“Dead” is a group “status”. The other possible group statuses are “alive” and “unsettled”. Normally play continues until the status of all groups on the board is either “alive” or “dead” (according to both players) [Status at Sensei's Library].

Then during the scoring phase, players should mark which groups they consider “dead” (the computer may automatically do some of the marking, but the players should always check that, because the computer marking can be wrong).
When the players are in full agreement, the computer can count the score to determine the result.

If there is a group status disagreement between the players during the scoring phase, the proper continuation depends on the scoring rules of the game. Under area scoring rules (such as your case), the game can just be resumed until the players are in agreement. Under Japanese rules it is advisable to pause the game and call a moderator to resolve the situation.

More experienced players are usually able to tell the status of common shapes [Life and Death at Sensei's Library]. In this case it seems your opponent was familiar with this shape and they correctly marked it dead [Bulky Five at Sensei's Library]. Until you are familiar with such shapes, I recommend you to keep playing under area scoring rules, so you won’t need moderator intervention when things aren’t clear to you, and you can just resume play until things are clear.

You can do puzzles to train your life and death skills. Such puzzles are called “tsumego” in Japanese [Tsumego at Sensei's Library]. OGS also has many of such puzzle collections.

Also see the FAQ about the scoring process on OGS.