The black shape in the upper left would be considered dead, correct? So is that space counted as 5 territory for me or should I have placed at A9 to capture the black stones, making it 4 territory and 2 capture points for me for 6 total? Or would it just be 2 territory points and 2 capture points making it 4 total points? Sorry for my inexperience, that was only my fourth game.
You’re right, these 2 black stones are dead, and you have 5 points at A8, A9 and B9. If you played another move at A9 to capture, you would have only 4 points, 2 for the captures, and 2 for the empty points they leave.
Super noobie question here. So does playing at A9 to capture gives you less points? Don’t you control the exact same amount of territory either way? What is the difference?
This depends on the scoring system. Under Japanese scoring, you get points only for empty points of territory and captured opponent stones. Under Chinese scoring, you get points for territory and your own stones on the board, but not for prisoners.
So under Chinese scoring it wouldn’t matter if you captured at A9. But this game was using Japanese scoring, where you should not play inside your own territory if you can help it. Usually both systems give the same result with the same margin.
The top left corner, if you left it alone, would be worth three points of territory, plus the two black prisoners, for five points. Capture at A9, and it’s only two points of territory and the two prisoners. You’d lose a point by filling in your own territory.