Scoring and random invasions at the end of the game

I was winning a game and passed then suddenly my opponent made some doomed invasions in my territory, I entertained them and took the stones. Suddenly though the score swings their way?? So captures mean nothing and ridiculous random invading at the end of the game is rewarded??

Seems ridiculous to me that scoring is terrible

You placed 3 more stones in your own territory than your opponent thereby reducing its size by 3. You played with japanese rules, so that was entirely expected.

If you don’t want that to happen, you can switch to chinese scoring, then you can place stones in your territory if you want.

You can inform yourself here about the differences.



Thanks for the advice. Yeah Japanese rules seem dumb I’m going to make sure I play by Chinese. Took me by surprise I’d never seen that before seemed ridiculous that spamming at the end should swing the game.

In most typical situations, the differences in the scoring systems won’t make a difference in the outcome of the game.

With Chinese scoring, you aren’t directly penalized for placing extra stones within in your territory, however if those moves are wasted for not playing on neutral (dame) points, it can still effectively cost you one point per stone.

“Dumb” is the wrong word to use here; if you use the same number of stones (or fewer) as the invader to refute their invasion, as would be typical, then the margin stays the same or increases. That is, you lose one point for each stone you place, but gain two for each dead invading stone. In the case you’re asking about (game link: you made a bunch of unnecessary moves: minimally 61, 63, 65, 67 didn’t need to be played (which would have kept the margin about the same), and looking at it quickly I don’t think you needed to even respond to the invasion at all, at least until a few more steps after that stone. I’d recommend reading some about life and death, and doing some life and death problems.


Thanks for the advice. Yeah that’s the game, mostly just have been told to learn by doing but have just had an embarrassing streak of games today. Will look up some literature and problems on life and death to try and see if it’ll fix this. Will stick to Chinese rules though it seems to make more sense.

Even under Japanese rules, as long as you don’t play extra moves in your territory, your score won’t decrease. If you passed on move 63 in the linked game, right after your opponent passed, you’d lose 3 points for the stones you played inside your territory, and gain three points for the three extra captures of your opponent’s stones at the end of the game, resulting in no net change to the score. You don’t need to actually capture those stones. They’re dead and will be removed from the board (and added to your prisoners) at the end of the game.

With Japanese scoring you’ll gain points if you don’t react to your opponent, your score will stay the same if you react exactly once to each of your opponent’s “extra” moves, and your score will decrease if you play inside your territory more times than your opponent (which is what happened). There was never really space for your opponent to live, so you could’ve just passed on move 55. That would’ve increased your score by 1, since you’d get an extra capture for free.

The difference between the two scoring methods is basically that Chinese scoring doesn’t care about anything that happens in your territory. You can fill it all in with stones (as long as you leave two eyes), and still get the same score. In Japanese, you’re rewarded for accurately reading the safety of your territories. If they’re safe and you don’t need to play an extra stone, you effectively get a point for doing so. If your opponent plays a stone that you know is dead, and you don’t react, you get a point for not flinching. I think Japanese scoring rules are excellent for learning, since they encourage a bit more reading, which will make you a better player.


I suggest you take a look at the excellent tutorials by Mark5000, under the Puzzles tab: “Exercises for Beginners,” :“Stone Development for Beginners,” and (on page 2) “Tactics Tutor.”

As I know,Chinese go has been played for gamble in the past.So Chinese make their best to prevent cheating.The result doesn’t depend on the died stones.In the end both sides fill their own area with their own stones and the winner is the one whose stones are more on the chessboard. The winner is clear and both sides are difficult to cheat but a little messy.If they are lazy to fill their area, it will become like Japanese rules.
Finally the underlying principle of chinese rules is that “all go problem must be solved by playing in the board provided the game can be over, the
lived stones never be killed and died stones must have a way to be killed.”

I see that you and your opponent were both 25k. Although @ckersch88’s comment is strictly correct, there is a chance that your opponent wouldn’t have accepted that those invading stones were dead unless you actually killed them (which would require the extra stones in your territory.) All of this is to say that I think you should require Chinese rules until your opponents are better than 20K or so. It avoids unnecessary arguments.


“Yeah Japanese rules seem dumb.” AdamReal

The rules have worked for the Japanese for 1400 years.


I agree that it will decrease unnecessary arguments, but in the situation you stated, it’s the invading sides responsibility to create life. Which means he will be the one making the extra moves