Stay Off My Turf!

When I have a good territory bordered, players try to make a play in there even though both of us know it can’t be taken. Sometimes I wonder are they right in doing this?
Are they reducing my territory?
Though of course they are reducing it, but do the territory I lose compensates for the stones that I capture?
Should I do the same?
Lots of questions!

Try to be more specific, preferably with actual positions. It is hard to know what you are referring to because we don’t know how you understand your terms and concepts for things like a ‘good territory’. It sounds like you are referring to what I refer to as an ‘encore invasion’: an invasion that takes place in the late endgame when the surrounding stones are very strong and the border is very secure. These invasions should not work, in general.

If they play a stone that winds up dying and your respond with a move in your territory, there should be no effect on the score in general. If they play a stone that winds up dying and you don’t respond because you don’t have to because the stone is that pathetic, then you gain a point for each move in japanese rules because of the extra prisoner. In area scoring you will also be able to gain points as long as you have a move which expands your area.

3 Likes after move 29.

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Yes, that counts as encore play in my book, though the term has more meaning on a full 19x19 board where the endgame stage is more sharply defined. The trick is that Black can produce excellent eyeshape and connect all the stones very rapidly by capturing the e2 stones, while White’s other two stones don’t have enough room to make sufficient eyeshape and are just a stick at present. Black should ignore the g3 move because it has no imminent threat to change the status of Black’s surrounding stones and play a move that actually has potential value instead, such as a4 (solid and steady) or d7 (which could be risky and requires more reading).

When you ignore pointless moves like g3, g3 is worse for your opponent than a pass. Think about that: a handicap stone is basically a pass at the opening stage of the game. Though late endgame passes are generally worth a bit less than opening passes, you can see how the accumulation of such ‘pass’ moves and the failure to punish them when they are played against you can sum up to a lost opportunity for playing evenly at a higher rank.


Thanks for the in-depth explanation. I will cherish this advice for all games to come.

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