Opponent winning by refusing to accept dead stones

I don’t know if I’m right here with this question. I was playing this game here Where I was about to win but the automatic score calculator didn’t realise a group of my opponents stones was dead, so I marked them dead but my opponent and didn’t accept it. So I made another move to prove it and then my opponent passed and won very closely. I don’t think this behaviour was appropriate, what do you think?

A link to the specific game would be good. This is kind of a tricky situation, because you should have just passed again. If he had not agreed that he was dead, then he should play to prove that he is not dead. If he both refused to play and refused to accept that the stones were dead, then you should contact a moderator. But in this case, it is sort of a blunder by both players.


In case of a dispute use the “call moderator” button on the games page.

You can find the button on the right hand side on desktop and on the bottom for mobile devices.


and i am quite interested in seeing how the computer failed to recognize a dead group before, and after you have placed an additional stone.

I think what OP meant was that playing the extra move meant they lost by 0.5 after playing the extra stone to kill the dead group instead of winning by 0.5 but I could be mistaken, was just how I read it

if that is the case, then it is a very complicated situation even in life game under J rule.

if i understand the rule correctly, the situation is played out, but the original position is used to determine the winner.

I think it’s this game: (Japanese rules)

OP looses after pass, pass, D6, pass, pass by 0.5 points.
SE is unable to recognise death of top left group before D6 had been played.


This is the case in OTB games I believe but unfortunately not the case on our server. It simply wouldn’t be beginner friendly to try and implement.

Good find, seems fitting.

I believe that Japanese rules carefully define what to do in the situation that players don’t agree which stones are dead during the counting phase. In this case, the game is resumed with additional rules in a destinct phase dedicated to resolve those disagreements. During this phase, if I recall correctly, when a player passes they must gift the opponent one prisoner to compensate the fact that a move played during this phase is usually -1 point (neutral points should be filled at this point). Also worth noting, as far as I know, that during this phase, the only Ko threat you are allowed to play is a pass. I believe it’s this curious rule that ensures that bent-4 in the corner is dead under japanese rules, even if there are Ko threats that can’t be removed, like in a Seki.

However, this is off the top of my head, so take it with a grain of salt. I did a quick search on sensei’s library, but couldn’t find confirmation of this rule. It does however make sense to me …

As above.

I think this rule could be implemented in an intuitous and beginner friendly way. If players can’t agree on the result in a certain time frame, the game resumes. The additional rules are handeled by the server, the players just need to keep playing until both agree on the result, or all dead stones are removed.

On a side note, I believe it’s possibly important that both players make the same number of moves during this phase. This could also be handeled by the server, for example by making players pass until this condition is met.

Yes, this is the game

There are 2 possibilities under japanese rules

  1. Article 9.3

    If a player requests resumption of a stopped game, his opponent must oblige and has the right to play first.

  2. Article 9.2

    After stopping, the game ends through confirmation and agreement by the two players about the life and death of stones and territory. This is called “the end of the game.”

    Article 7 states how to determine which stones are alive

    1. Stones are said to be “alive” if they cannot be captured by the opponent, or if capturing them would enable a new stone to be played that the opponent could not capture. Stones which are not alive are said to be “dead.”
    2. In the confirmation of life and death after the game stops in Article 9, recapturing in the same ko is prohibited. A player whose stone has been captured in a ko may, however, capture in that ko again after passing once for that particular ko capture.

OGS implements 9.3 by giving both players the option to continue the game.
The rules given in 7.2 aren’t easy to interpret as you can see in How to score this game? (Japanese rule discussion)


The last stone you played in that game changed the outcome of the game from 0.5 points for black to 0.5 points for white. That’s because under Japanese rules, stones on the board are worth 0 points while enclosed empty points are worth 1 point each. So playing inside ones own territory costs 1 point each time.

Back to your initial question

In general, it’s not appropriate behaviour to refuse the correct score in the hope the opponent plays a score changing move or simply leaves.
On the other hand your opponent could have failed to realize the correct status of the group in the first place and the impact of your additional stone on the final score in the second place.
In either case it’s best to use the “call moderator” button. The mods can keep track if your opponents behaviour is due to disrespect or just miss reading of life and death.


Ok, next Time I’ll call a mod. But they don’t react immediately, right? What happens to the game then?

Sometimes a mod can get there in time, but you’re right sometimes not.

There’s a proposal out there that a moderator call during counting should pause the game. That proposal is stalled over the dilemma what to do about live tournaments.

In the mean time, unfortunately if a mod can’t get there in time and the “wrong” result occurs, the best that can be done is an annulment.

I noticed that this appeared to be a custom game created by you so it might be worth mentioning that you can avoid this situation in future, by using Chinese rules. The extra move wouldn’t have changed the score under Chinese rules.

In short, Chinese rules are much less likely to require the intervention of a mod.

Edit: I am less familiar with AGA rules but I think that would have avoided the problem too. Someone please correct me otherwise.


The case of live tournaments should be trivial to solve.

Simply give the TD the power to adjucate games belonging to the tournament they run. That is quite literally in the job description of a TD.

If you’re talking about daily tournaments… disable the pause function for those if you cannot guarantee that someone’s there to resolve the situation.


TD’s do have the power to adjudicate games.

However, not all live tournies have a TD.


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This is very true. Almost all the live tournaments are auto-sitewide tournaments. It’s very hard to organise a successful live tournament.

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