Stone scoring (group tax)

I am very surprised they don’t use this rule set in world championships.

Can we please have this available in OGS

thank you very much


I’m not surprised. Stone scoring is tedious with the need to fill in your territory.


You don’t really need to fill in all the territory to score the game once both players agree that it’s over, just like most versions of go. I think “group tax” gives this game a bad rap, and it would get better publicity if we called it what it is: “cutting bonus.”

(And it’s not as if there aren’t go rule-sets without the cutting bonus that do require filling in all the stones: Ing SST.)

ETA: I would love to see this rule-set available on OGS also.




That rule was created to develop the stones factories. (And some mechanical go bowls).
Useless now with internet.

(Not joking here:)
First WMSG in Beijing 2008. I dunno if they kept it in the next occurences?

Not at WMSG 2012 in Lille which I attended.


I don’t like being penalized for playing in my own territory

also, stone scoring isn’t that bad, you just play like normal and then when it’s time to fill in your territory, you just play back and forth really fast, no need to really think

group tax is the “natural” rule

also, i’m surpised that offsides is illegal in soccer :slight_smile:

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while i love the meme… the white also only has one group ^^

There’s Chinese rules, Ing SST, and New Zealand, none of which penalize for playing inside your own territory.

But I’ve heard interesting things about how the style of play in machine-learning develops differently for e. g. KataGo when trained up on the cutting-bonus rule. Apparently it’s a very different style, and I’m curious to learn more about this.


It hardly matters what rules you are using, you are still usually penalising yourself by playing in your own territory!


I do, playing unnecessary moves should be worse than not playing unnecessary moves. It’s like rounding times in a 100m race up to the nearest second: if I can run it in 11.3 seconds I want to beat someone who runs it in 11.8 seconds.

Pehaps that needs some clarification. With area scoring rules and stone scoring rules, when you add a (living) stone outside your area, you increase your score by (at least) 1 point, but when you add a stone inside your area, you don’t increase your score.

The only situation where it doesn’t matter anymore if you play inside your area, is when there isn’t any place left outside your area where you can still place living stones to increase your score. So the only situation where you can play inside your area with impunity is when it’s the last move of the game, or when there is nothing left but an even number of neutral points. So the game needs to be pretty much finished.


The only main difference between the area and territory scoring rules (regarding playing inside one’s territory) seems to be at the end of the game.

This produces situations in which, for example, Chinese rules would allow one to defend inside one’s territory when uncertain of aji remaining at the end of the game (e.g. defending against a potential seki, kill or invasion, if there are an even number of dame remaining, or after all dame are filled), without losing any points.

I’ve noticed this can actually matter occasionally in close 9x9 games, for example.


the object of the game is to get the most stones on the board, this is the most pure rule there is

and what leads from this is a group tax

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Oh, I don’t think a ruleset of a game that people play is ever going to be anything anyone could call pure. It’s just an interesting alternative ruleset, with an interesting effect on machine-learning play trained up on it.

And I still think you’re going to get a lot more traction for your stone-scoring evangelism if you stop calling it group tax and start calling it cutting bonus. You get two points extra on the margin each time you split one of your opponents groups in two: what could be fairer than that?

Fair, i dunno in which sense. Without the cutting bonus, it seems it’s still better strategically to not be cut in many groups anyway.


In fact, I think (could be wrong) that this was the original form of scoring, before the game escaped from China. So definitely didn’t help mechanical bowl makers :slight_smile: But still could have helped stone makers, I guess.


now as this thread has died out, I’ll take up the nominclature discussion with you

when ppl say group tax, everyone knows what it means

while tax is a “bad” word lol, you’re going to be missing a lot of clarity for a little bit of sunshine imho

secondly, cutting bonus, I do not like

my choice would be connectivity bonus, and then you’d probly have to reply to the reply’s telling that connectivity bonus is group tax



WMSG 2008 used Ing rules as far as I remember.

Welll not exactly but quite similar (ing bowls…). They even published the specific ruleset in a booklet for the participants and proposed a first day training to assimilate it.