Question about OGS rules/etiquette for scoring

Of course, asking another person for advice about a game in progress is cheating.

What about games at the scoring stage? Imagine a game between two TPKs or weak DDKs where all borders have been settled, but it is unclear to both players whether a corner group is alive, dead or in seki.


It depends on the rules being used, and the specifics of the situation.

Under various area scoring rules, such as Chinese, AGA, Ing, New Zealand, play should continue to settle life and death disputes. The player(s) claiming that some disputed stone(s) are dead should play out the moves to capture those stones. Any disputed stones there were not able to be captured are then ruled as alive.

Under Japanese and Korean rules, life and death disputes are trickier to resolve. Under strict application of the rules, play should not be resumed to settle life and death disputes. This is for two reasons: 1) actually playing additional moves to capture stones would reduce one’s territory and thus affect the scoring, 2) the determination of life and death is considered under hypothetical continuations that apply a different ko rule (where only passes can be used as ko threats). Another tricky aspect of these territory rules is that sekis need to be identified in order to not count any eyes that those stones might possess.

If two beginners are confused about how to resolve a life and death dispute under Japanese or Korean rules, then they should call a third party, such as a moderator or tournament arbiter, to help resolve the dispute. Some weird things can happen under Japanese rules, such as leaving an unresolved shape that could cause a game to end with both players lose.


Between beginners (or a bit less) it’s sometimes hard to get the right scoring and i would push them to call a moderator to help.
I would even say that if both agree to be helped by someone else as a mod, it’s ok to me. I mean that’s not like using an external help for cheating but for understanding how to finish it.