Question about how to count scoring/points


I’m sure that there is another post - but I’ve searched and can’t seem to find it. I’m wondering how the final points are calculated. I understand the concepts of eyes and secured territory, etc. But it would seem to me that in a 19x19 game, the final score of both players would add up to 361. Why doesn’t it? Could someone explain the points system?

For instance - I just finished a game where the final score was White - 63, Black - 93.5… We both clearly had more territory and stones played safely than that! The whole board was filled up…



I’m assuming you’re using the default Japanese ruleset which does not count the stones on the board and only the empty points on the board so it is a fallacy to think it points will add up to 361.

For Chinese however, it does and always will add up to 361 since stones and empty points are counted so the entire board is counted. Dame is extremely important in Chinese since you do count every area on the board. Convenient thing is that you can get the score by only counting one player’s score and subtracting it from 361 to get to know the difference. Alternatively you can just memorize the winning score and calculate the point difference from there. There also is no chance of cheating with captured prisoners in Chinese (since it doesn’t matter, only on-board stones and space are counted) so it’s convenient when the board gets messy or if you do not trust your opponent’s integrity when you leave the board.


It only adds up to 361 if you are using Chinese rules. If you are using Japanese rules your score is counted by only counting the empty spaces + the number of stones you captured.