GO TERMINOLOGY AND LINGO

  • Aji: Aji means latent potential. For instance, if a black area has bad aji, there's a potential for white to get a good profit from using that aji in one way or another.
  • Atari: Atari is a move that removes all but one liberty from a stone or group.
  • Attack: An attack is the process of threatening the life of the opponents groups.
  • Baduk: The Korean translation for go/igo/baduk/weiqi/wei-chi. The reason why the name of this website is learnbaduk.com is because "go" is such a common English word which makes it hard to search for using search engines.
  • Capture: A capture has taken place when a player has removed all the liberties of the opponents stone or group, taking the stone or group off the board thus capturing it.
  • Damezumari: Shortage of liberties.
  • Dead group/stone: A group or stone is said to be dead if it cannot avoid getting captured.
  • Dame: A dame point is the same as a vacant point. These points are points that doesn't have any value for either player. A notable exception is the Chinese scoring system, where dame moves are worth 1 point, since each stone adds to the end score.
  • Diamond: A shape where 4 stones of the same color are next to the same empty space.
  • Empty triangle: 4 stones touching each other makes a square. In an empty triangle one of these spaces is empty, resulting in a triangle like shape. Because this shape has few liberties, it's generally considered bad shape.
  • Eyes: Eyes are "holes" in groups. In other words, an eye is an empty space, or many empty spaces surrounded by either white or black stones. If a group has two holes in it, it has two eyes. Also note that for a group to be alive, it must have two or more eyes.
  • Go: The English translation for go/igo/baduk/weiqi/wei-chi.
  • Goban: The go board.
  • Gote: Gote is the opposite of sente. A gote move is a move that the opponent doesn't have to respond to. By playing gote, one is losing sente.
  • Hane: A move played 45 degrees of a friendly stone, turning around the other players stones.
  • Hamete: Trick play, which is a move fooling the opponent into playing incorrectly.
  • Hiraki: An extension along the side, often a big fuseki point extending from a wall or 4th line stone, which outlines potential territory.
  • Hoshi: The star point.
  • Igo: The Japanese translation for go/igo/baduk/weiqi/wei-chi.
  • Joseki: A joseki is a sequence of play which professionals have thoroughly studied, and decided are even for both players locally. Josekis can also be considered as "optimal lines of play". Choosing a joseki can be difficult, since the value of it depends on the position of the whole board. Therefore, deviating from joseki will sometimes be a better choice.
  • Jubango: Jubango is a ten-game match between 2 players.
  • Karui: A single move that may cause a flexible shape.
  • Karui katachi: A flexible or light shape. A light shape can easily live, run or be sacrificed. A light shape is the opposite of a heavy shape(See "Omoi katachi")
  • Katachi: Katachi is any formation of go stones, also known as "shape". A shape can be either heavy, light or somewhere in between. For an explanation of heavy shapes see "Omoi katachi", for an explanation of light shapes see "Karui katachi"
  • Kakari: A move that approches the opponents corner. For example, if black already has a move at the 4-4 point, playing at the 6-3 point would be kakari for white.
  • Keima: The knights move.
  • Kiai: Kiai means fighting spirit. If a player has much kiai, he/she is playing aggressively, while a player with little kiai, is playing passively.
  • Kifu: A record for a game of go.
  • Kikashi: Kikashi is a forcing move. The difference between a kikashi move and a sente move is that responding to kikashi moves is a definate must.
  • Ko: See the go game rules section for explanation of ko.
  • Komi: Komi is a relatively new concept which is extra points given to the white player. Komi is usually 6.5 in even games, and 0.5 in handicap games. The .5 value is to avoid draws. The reason komi exists is because black has the advantage of going first.
  • Komoku: The 3-4 point.
  • Korigatachi: Korigatachi means over-concentration. This happens when a player has more stones that necessary in the same area of the board.
  • Kosumi: A diagonal play.
  • Liberty: A liberty is en empty intersection on the goban next to a group or stone. A single stone that is not in contact with any other stones therefore has 4 liberties.
  • Living group/stone: A group or stone is said to be alive if it either has two or more eyes, or can easily manage to get two or more eyes if the opponent tries to attack it.
  • Miai: A player has miai if there are 2 possible moves on the board relatively equal in value for a certain group or stone to either live or get a comfortable position. If the opponent takes one, you can take the other. It's therefore no urgency to immediatly occupy any of these points. The term "miai" can also be used when there are two big points on the board of equal value.
  • Monkey jump: A monkey jump is a type of end-game move made on the first line, that securily "jumps" into the opponents territory.
  • Moyo: A moyo is a large framework of a players go stones that is not yet solid territory. What makes moyos great is that even though the opponent can live inside your area, you will get a good compensation from threatening his/her group.
  • Myoushu: A myoushu is a brilliant move.
  • Nigiri: A method for establishing which player gets what color before the game starts. One of the players grabs some go stones, and the other player guesses whether the number of stones are odd or even. If he/she guesses correctly he/she gets black.
  • Nikentobi: A two space jump.
  • Nobi: A one space extension.
  • Ogeima: A large knights move.
  • Omoi katachi: Omoi katachi means "heavy shape". A heavy shape will have problems forming eyes, and cannot be easily sacrificed.
  • Overplay: A greedy move that is hoping for too much.
  • Ponnuki: The process of capturing a single stone resulting in a diamond shape. It's said that a ponnuki in the center is worth 30 points.
  • Rengo: In a rengo game, 2 or more people play for each color alternating turns. It's not allowed for teammates to discuss moves.
  • San-san: The 3-3 point.
  • Sabaki: Sabaki means developing a flexible or light position quickly.
  • Seki: Seki is a go term for a position where a white and a black group is keeping each other alive without having two eyes. A seki takes place when neither player can play another move in the local area without dying.
  • Sente: When a player is said to have sente, it means the player has the initiative. A sente move is a move that should be responded to. Having sente is therefore important for controlling the game.
  • Shicho: Also known as a ladder. This is a way of capturing a stone where the capturing pattern resembles a ladder.
  • Shodan: Another word for 1 dan.
  • Tenuki: To tenuki means playing elsewhere on the goban. If white does not answer black locally, but instead plays somewhere else, white just tenukied.
  • Territory: Territory is an area that will turn into points at the end of the game. During a game, for an area to be qualified as territory, it must not be invadable.
  • Tesuji: A tesuji is a skillful move not immediately obvious.
  • Weiqi: The Chinese translation for go/igo/baduk/weiqi/wei-chi.
  • Wei-chi: Also a Chinese translation for go/igo/baduk/weiqi/wei-chi.
  • Yose: The end stages of a game, also known as "the endgame".
  • Yosu-miru: A yosu-miru is a probe. A yosu-miru or probe is a forcing move that has many answers, and depending on that answer, the probing player will know where to play next. In other words, it's a move that asks the opponent what he's planning to do.
  • Zengo: The same as rengo, but with an odd number of players. In zengo every player alternate playing black and white. It's therefore possible to punish your own mistakes.