What is the most popular rule set?

I do admit my English isn’t the best (as it’s not my native language), but I don’t see why the phrase inside the parentheses must automatically refer the last noun used outside of it, in any language. I neither used “it” nor any demonstrative pronoun that could be referring to the noun outside the parentheses (i.e. I never specified what I was referring to). So I believe there is no mistake in my English there.

You just assumed I was referring to “japanese rules”. It was, however, very clear I couldn’t possibly be referring to that, so I’d say it was a problem with your interpretation.

Not that I’m an expert in all the languages to know that rule doesn’t exist in ANY language but apparently we have the greatest polyglot of all time in our midst.

For the record, yes it does affect it since it’s used directly after that statement. That’s how brackets work (adding additional information to supplement the sentence and not referring to something else completely, which is what starting another sentence is for).
No need to make excuses for your mistake and try to blame my interpretation or the rules of the language.

Even if you meant it for Chinese, you used brackets wrong and no amount of false confidence or technical terms you try to throw into your statement will correct your mistake.
Also, if it was truly meant for Chinese, then your statement of [quote=“rafaelclp, post:20, topic:9754”]
just saying that Chinese rules seem more natural.
[/quote] doesn’t make any sense either. Chinese seems more natural yet you don’t like it’s ruleset (of filling dame and giving opponent free attempts in your territory)?
What rubbish your argument is.

Well no matter, I was only trying to helpfully correct you about the rulesets but if you want to be in denial to save yourself from embarrassment then so be it.

I feel like I shouldn’t keep responding to this since it’s so off-topic and not an interesting reading for anyone else in this board (plus, from experience, I know this kind of discussion goes on forever until a third party stops it). However, despite my intentions to stop it, you are being way too rude for me to just ignore and move on.

I’m not “the greatest polyglot of all time”. Maybe I am wrong about that statement: perhaps there is some language where using parentheses immediatly sets the subject of the phrase inside it to the subject of the phrase outside it. I wouldn’t know, so using “any” was a bit over the top. I just assumed it wouldn’t make sense in any language, but who knows…

However, I’m not really making excuses about my usage of the parentheses. Like you said, the parentheses are used to explain whatever is outside it. And that’s what I did. I tried to explain why I don’t dislike japanese rules by saying what I dislike about other rules that the japanese rules fix. I also never said I don’t like the chinese rules, I just said I don’t like some consequences of it. Concluding I’m saying I don’t like something because I said it’s not perfect is a bit excessive, wouldn’t you agree?

By the way, when you criticize someone else’s English, you should pay attention to yours.

[quote=“hiryuu, post:18, topic:9754, full:true”]
Being able to play out disputed positions without drawbacks is certainly an advantage of Chinese however it’s a misconception that you can try everything within live territory without punishment. It’s actually the opposite. If it’s at the end of the game with no moves worth points on the board, no matter how much you pass in Chinese rules when your opponent plays a ridiculous invasion, you don’t gain extra points. You do get an extra point for every move you ignore in Japanese though.
[/quote]Notice how you were referring to the Chinese rules when you said “it’s a misconception that you can try everything within live territory without punishment”. No ambiguity there. When I first read your reply I tried to consider “is he talking about japanese rules here instead of chinese?”, but I couldn’t see how to interpret it that way, and that’s why the confusion went both ways (you thinking I was talking about japanese rules when I was talking about chinese, and the opposite for me).

kay, my bad.

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If you [quote=“rafaelclp, post:21, topic:9754”]
in any language.

Well you sure sounded real confident here with your bold text and all.

Ok I concede I was a bit vague in your quoted text though I did clarify it in the next sentence but dang I never knew being vague equated to making mistakes in the language.
Also do notice that my statement makes sense if you think about the two choices. You’re bound to understand it unlike some statement written by others that makes zero sense no matter which ruleset you’re looking at it from. I notice you didn’t reply on the basis of logic in your writing which you clearly failed?
Here let me remind you again and make sure you don’t forget it.

[quote=“rafaelclp, post:17, topic:9754”]
Not saying I don’t like Japanese rules (I don’t really enjoy having to fill the dame or seeing my opponent try everything inside my territory without being punished for that), just saying that Chinese rules seem more natural.
[/quote] Notice filling dame AND trying everything in your territory without punishment belongs to TWO rulesets? I’m sure you do. You just ignored it and hoped I wouldn’t bring it up again to look like you actually make any sense.

And another quote from myself because I’m not going to repeat myself

Also regarding politemess,

Are you kidding? I should be using that line when I pointed your mistake out but you being in denial about your mistake (ruleset wise, language wise and logic wise.) instead accused others for your mistake instead of admitting it immediately. I would say that in most cultures, accusing well meaning people back when they point out your mistakes (correctly I might add) is rude.

Politeness goes both ways. You don’t deserve it when you weren’t the politest guy ever in the first place.

We can end this. I was already willing to end it in the earlier post. Who knows I just might not reply your next one if you do. Let you get the last reply in to make you feel better.

Gentlemen, gentlemen please!
Why don’t we just agree that it is my English, that is the most proficient here and let’s stop confusing all the beginners who read this and now have no idea what the difference between the two rulesets is.

Both of you seem to know the difference and now you are just pointlessly arguing about sentence formation in a forum that is supposed to be about go :stuck_out_tongue:

Let me just try to sum it up for you (and others) and let’s move on:

in chinese rules:

  • captured stones are not worth any points
  • playing in your territory does not lower your points
    Therefore @rafaelclp thinks these are good for beginners as you can play out any situation without really changing the resulting score.

in japanese rules:

  • each captive is worth one point
  • playing in your territory reduces your score
    This puts more pressure on the players’ understanding of living and dead groups as playing an unnecessary move in your territory is detrimental to your score and playing inside opponents’ territory (providing he/she does not have to answer) gives him/her a free point. which @rafaelclp liked because one can not try anything unreasonable in opponents’ territory without punishement (but again it is harder for new players to understand). While in real life disputes can be played out on a different board to prevent changing the score, on the internet this might potentially lead to problems, because if one is forced to play in his territory to resolve a dispute and the opponent does not answer the move the first player effectively loses a point (for example). In such a case administrator needs to be called.

(note that the two rulesets differ in komi as well <---- fun fact)

Did I get it right? Feel free to correct me if not, but don’t any of you dare to try to attack my English or I shall color all your mistakes in previous articles in red and display it here for everyone to see. :stuck_out_tongue:

And to be completely honest @hiryuu I do feel like you were a little too aggresive for something that was a simple misunderstanding.

And to get back to the original topic I have no idea which is the most popular or how would you even score that, but my favorite are Ing rules, where you can self destruct your own groups (suicide is allowed). For some reason I find that incredibly funny (you know when your opponent almost has you surrounded but you take away all the joy of killing your stones by forcing them to commit seppuku) :smiley: in real I preffer japanese though.


You summarized everything I said very well, thanks! Wish I knew how to be that clear :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, for anyone who thinks Area scoring (Chinese-like) rules are hard to count, protip: You only have to count for one colour. From Black’s score, subtract half the komi, then if Black ends up with more than 180.5, Black wins, exactly 180.5 and Black draws, less and Black loses. If you’re counting White, add half the komi to White’s score, again 180.5 to win. This works because black score + white score is 361 points, the total area of the board.

If you want to avoid the fractional points, add/subtract to the threshold instead of the count. For 7.5 komi, Black wins with more than 184.25 and loses with less than that, so 185 points or more is a win, 184 or less is a loss. For 7 points exactly as in NZ rules, 184 is a draw.


There is one minor difference that has been left out, I think. In Japanese rules, an eye in a seki group does NOT count as a point, whereas in Chinese rules it does count as a point.

Let’s make some distinctions and clear up some confusion:

Area scoring: Score is territory + stones on the board (prisoners do not matter directly). Chinese rules use these, but not only the Chinese rules do. For example, Chinese rules have no superko: triple ko is voided under Chinese rules, the same as in Japanese. In almost all internet servers, this is not the case: The “online servers” Chinese rules use Superko, which is not supposed to be the case. That is the case for AGA rules though, which use Area scoring + Superko.

Territory scoring: Score is territory + prisoners. “The Japanese” way. However, there are rulesets which use territory scoring but are not the Japanese rules, and avoid the formal complications in Japanese rules (these rulesets are not commonly used in practice: the Lasker-Maas rules are one example).

There is a common misconception that AGA rules uses “something between area scoring and territory scoring”. AGA uses Area scoring. Under AGA rules, you should fill the dame or you are losing points. Notice that AGA rules require the use of passing stones when counting the Japanese way. When counting the Chinese area score, passing stones are not used. That makes clear that the AGA score is just the normal Area Score, as in chinese rules, but AGA’s passing stones are a nice trick that allows counting in the Japanese style, but getting the same result as by using area scoring. So you can for example play with Chinese rules and count with Japanese style (although nobody usually does that because it is not traditional), as long as you use the passing stones trick mentioned in the AGA rules. But this is just a counting trick: If the AGA rules said “always just count area” instead, the result would always be the exact same result.

Japanese (and/or Korean, since they are the same nowadays) is by far the most common ruleset worldwide. The reason is that Japanese, and not Chinese, were responsible for most of the game spreading throughout the world (think for example of players like Iwamoto, that travelled to teach go).

The formal problem with the Japanese rules is that you have to understand and define in the rules when something is dead. The ruleset is super simple if we all agree to when things are dead, but exactly understanding that is not easy, and depends upon “hypothetical play with no ko-threats, and the special ‘ko-pass’ rule” (this is required to understand why positions like bent-four in the corner are unconditionally dead in japanese rules, no matter if there are unremovable ko threats anywhere else: japanese rules determine life by local perfect play without ko threats).

Of course, explaining “local perfect play without ko threats” to beginners is a bad idea and too complicated (it is complicated to some experienced players too: for example, in this position, http://senseis.xmp.net/?SekiWithEyesQuestion6, the two black stones in the corner are alive under Japanese rules, even though it is impossible to prevent white from capturing and making two eyes: the reason is that in such a case white cannot prevent the placing of a new permanent black stone “in the locality of the group”. This possible but very hard to formalize and explain 100% perfectly). So that is why you don’t really teach the full Japanese rules to beginners, and let them learn the exceptional cases later, if ever: part of the difficulty is that this exceptional cases are really exceptional, so many people play a lot and never see them.

In such special cases, understanding the Japanese rules becomes much more complicated than any other ruleset where disputes are just played out, since life and dead does not have to be defined by the rules in such case. In Chinese or AGA rules for example, if there is any dispute, the rules say “ok, just keep playing: when the players pass again, everything still on the board is alive”. That’s it. The rules stay nice and simple and cover 100% of the cases (although not exactly in the same way that the Japanese tradition dictates in the exceptional cases).

I have compiled clear, complete explanations to the most well knows rulesets here http://elsantodel90.tk/go-rules/go-rules.html (unfortunately, it is all in Spanish for now). There you can see that the Japanese rules contain an explanation far larger than all the rest, which has to deal almost entirely with these “exceptional cases”. Other rules have no exceptional cases, and that makes them so much simple formally. It is not the “usual games stuff”, but mainly the “rare exceptions”, where Japanese tradition dictates differences, and that is what make the rules so complicated to fully formalize (since, if you plan to write the full complete perfect Japanese rules, you must account for every single possible case, not just say “well, let the players see if it is dead” without ever explaining how that is done, which is the approach taken in practice when playing “Japanese rules”, that works fine 99.9% of the time).


Is it just me? Those two statements contadict each other.

That makes a lot more sense.

Area scoring is the most popular in rulesets today, it is used in Chinese, Ing, AGA, New Zealand, British, French, computers, etc. As far as I know, only Japan and Korea still use territory scoring.

AGA-style rulesets have special pass rules to make area scoring equivalent to territory scoring.

Well it depends on the definition of “common”. By number of people, China’s huge population might make Chinese the winner automatically.

When defining common by “geographical spread”, Japanese wins hands out.

About those two statements: They are not contradictory, but one has to be careful about what “the most common ruleset” means. I was not careful when I wrote that: what I mean is, Japanese is by far the most (geographically) common ruleset used in actual play. To sum up the following thoughts: Even though some countries’ associations like AGA use Area Scoring officially, the most popular ruleset actually used in western countries like the US is still Japanese.

In the west it is very important to distinguish “actual practice” from “formal rules”. Almost all internet games (except perhaps in China-oriented servers) use Japanese rules (OGS is no exception). Associations like AGA and EGF chose area scoring rules mainly because of the extreme difficulty of perfectly formalizing Japanese rules. Most players use Japanese rules both in US and Europe Go Clubs, it would be simpler to use those rules for formal tournament play also, except that in “western tradition” having the rules formalized for tournaments is very important, and “ok let’s trust tradition” was not the preferred solution (as it essentially is in for example Japan).

For example, in the Seattle Go center, one of the most important in the US, people play by Japanese rules (see Nick Sibicky’s videos). Also, there have been reports of people voiding games due to triple ko in the US Open. In fact, Nick Sibicky himself recently speculated about the possibility of one of his games becoming void because of triple ko during one of his US Open games. That is theoretically impossible, since the AGA rules use Superko! Triple Ko does not void the game, and should instead be fought just like a regular ko. However, most players do not actually follow and know the intricacies of AGA rules (I’ve seen videos where strong players used to playing by Japanese rules are explained about the AGA use of passing stones right there during the game at the tournament).


Also, regarding:

Both systems are made equivalent by forcing the results of territory scoring to give the same result as area scoring, by using passing stones. So it is just a fancy trick (and very nice) to count territory, but get the area score. This is clear if you notice that AGA Rules do not require passing stones to be used when counting Area the Chinese Way, so it is clear that the rules are actually area rules (dame gain points and are ko threats, etc).

In other words, AGA Rules simply use Area Score. The same “passing stones” trick could theoretically be used in China without changing the result of any game at all (but “counting territory” is not traditional, so it makes no sense). So even though it is “in the rules”, since it could be applied just as well to any other area rules without any strategic change, it is much tidier to think of passing stones as just a “counting trick” to count area using “the japanese method” , but remembering that the rules are still Area Rules , and not something different “between both”, which is a common misconception coming from that “reconciliation” of systems.


I was re-reading this old thread by chance, due to some other completely unrelated event, and noticed that I had not payed attention to this particular statement. I just wanted to say that, as far as I am aware, most of South America’s go associations use territory scoring. Specifically, Argentina’s Go Association uses Japanese rules.


Australia use Japanese rules as their official scoring for all tournaments, so we’re territory scoring too.