Here is a glossary
of common Japanese
terms used in the game of Go
. In Chinese the game is called Wei Qi
) (literally:"game of encirclement")
existing in a situation.
Ajikeshi (aji erasure):
A play which removes aji.
Aji ga warui (bad aji):
A position which leaves aji for the opponent to use.
Aki-san-kaku (empty triangle):
The shape of the three Black stones, the point 'a' being vacant. Generally bad shape, see guzumi.
A shape where a player may feel he has made good moves, when in fact he has accomplished little.
An immediate threat to capture; a single liberty remains. A verbal warning is often issued when placing an opponent into ate.
Atekomi (aim inside):
Uncertain, but seems related to a peeping move.
Strong formation of stones facing the center or facing along a side.
ikken basami: 1-step pincer (on 3rd line); taka-basami (4th line)
- niken basami: 2-step pincer (on 3rd line) " "
- sangen basami: 3-step pincer (on 3rd line) " "
-bane, -basami, -biraki:
See hane, hasami, hiraki.
A capping move.
A connection which forms a wall of three stones.
Extra count-down time after regular clock time has elapsed.
Eternal life; a rare position involving repetitive capture.
The middle game.
Chu oshi gatchi:
Early victory by a large margin.
Daidaigeima (very large knight's move):
Four across and one vertically (or vice versa).
A neutral point, territory for neither; a liberty.
Shortage of liberties.
Dango (dumpling shape):
A solid mass of stones; a very inefficient shape. The Whites stones show this.
De (go between):
A move which pushes between two enemy stones.
A sequence of two moves which push and cut.
Exchange (of territories).
The opening moves of the game where influence and territory outlines are formed. (literally: 'spread out stones')
Geta (clog, like the shoe):
A method of capturing a enemy stone; a net trap. The shape of the stones resembles a wooden clog.
Defensive play, loss of initiative. (Literally: 'lower hand')
Gote no sente:
Gote move with sente potential.
Guru guru mawashi:
"spinning around (into dango)". A series of attacks leading to a loose ladder and capture.
A good empty triangle.
Fall into a trap.
A diagonal move played in contact with an enemy stone.
Hane-dashi: Outer hane.
- Hane-kaeshi: Counter-hane.
- Hane-komi: Hane between two stones.
- Hane-tsuki: Belly attack.
- Shita-hane: Hane underneath.
Hanami ko (flower-viewing ko):
Ko where one player stands to lose a lot, but the other only a tiny amount. See ko.
Hasami (pincer play):
A play that attacks by preventing the opponent's extension down either side. (see Basami).
One point diagonal jump.
3rd or 4th line extension.
The proper move.
A single stone played as a sacrifice.
Hoshi (star point):
An alternative name for Go.
One point extension.
One large area.
Under the stones; a tesuji.
Ji Dori Go:
Derisive term for 'ground-taking go'.
Drawn game (by equal territory).
Double empty triangle (4 in a "T").
Joseki (established stones):
Known sequences of moves near the corner which result in near-equal positions for white and black.
Jun Kan Ko:
A very rare position involving repetitive capture.
A move that attacks a single enemy corner stone. Prevented by shimari.
Katatsuki (shoulder hit):
A play on a diagonal of the opponent's stone.
A solid connection.
Kaketsugi (hanging connection):
A open connection. An example is three stones surrounding an empty point. There is promise for forming an eye shape, but it can be attacked.
The shape of the stones.
Sabaki: Quick development, light shape.
- Karui: Single move basic to formation of flexible shape.
- Omoi: Heavy, clumped shape.
Knight's move extension.
Knight's move connection.
Connection at edge of board by keima.
A forcing move, usually made outside the main flow of play. Often answered, then ignored; to be used later in the game.
Cut. Like a sword cut.
Cut then extend.
Repetitive capture. (Literally: 'eternity')
Intervening move (that one hopes will force a reply) before a ko can be recaptured.
To go into.
Score adjustment usually penalizing black for playing first. Often 5.5 points.
Komoku (small point):
Korigatachi (frozen shape):
Inefficient or ugly shape.
A diagonal play next to one's own stone.
A kosumi which is also a tsuke.
A play which turns a group, forming a corner.
Mirror go. White playing symmetrically opposite black.
Mannen Ko (10,000 year ko):
A special formation where whoever starts the attack must find the first ko-threat.
Eye or point.
Me ari me nashi:
A semeai in which one player has one eye.
Two points which accomplish the same result; if deprived of one, the other must be played.
Same as me.
Large potential territory.
Symmetrically opposite komoku played in fuseki.
Literally "no-win-loss". Abandoned game (due to triple ko or similar).
Unsettled eye shape.
Adjacent extension from a non-contact point.
Nidan bane (double hane):
Two sucessive hane plays by one player.
Nidan osae (double osae):
Two sucessive blocks by one player.
Equivalent of coin-toss to decide who starts. One grabs a handful of stones; the other guesses odd or even.
Ni ren sei:
Fuseki with two corner star points on one side of the board.
An extension away from an opponent's tsuke, cross-cut, etc.
Extend into the enemy's territory.
A peeping move which threatens to cut.
Large fuseki point.
Ogeima (large knight's move):
Three across and one vertically (or vice versa).
A method of capture where stones are sacrificed to destroy the enemy's eye shape.
Placement. Playing on a vital spot (to kill eyes).
Large avalanche joseki.
A blocking move which prevents extension along a line.
Large end-game plays.
The shape of four stones after capturing one stone.
Light play; disposable stones.
To descend straight toward the edge of the board.
'Three crows'. 1. Three stones in a diagonal line. For example a corner enclosure by 5-3, 4-4, 3-5 points. 2. A group of three top players.
Three point interval.
San ren sei:
Fuseki with three star points on one side of the board.
Sei moku (Star points):
A situation where neither player may place the other in ate without placing himself in ate. Stalemate, with no territory awarded.
Seki-to (stone tower):
Sacrifice of two stones at edge of board.
Race to capture.
Threat forcing direct response, creates initiative. The right to choose where to play next. Opposite to gote. (Literally: 'first/leading move'.)
Ladder breaker. A stone played in the path of a potential shicho, threatening to make it fail.
Shimari (corner enclosure):
A two-stone corner formation. May not secure the corner, but attacker is at a disadvantage. Opposite of kakari.
Kogeima shimari (small knight's enclosure): The 3-4 and 5-3 points.
- Ikken shimari (one-point enclosure): The 3-4 and 5-4 points.
- Ogiema shimari (large knight's enclosure): The 3-4 and 6-3 points.
A revolutionary 1930's strategy. Now blended with traditional strategy to form the modern style.
Eye forming sequence (when under attack).
Extension adjacent to centre.
A joseki arising from an ignored low kakari to 4-3 point.
Takamoku (high point):
Black playing the same in opposite corners.
The very last move (in a certain sequence of 'good moves').
The centre point of the board.
Ignoring opponent's last move to play elsewhere.
Tesuji (strong move):
The best play in a local position; skillful tactical move.
Tetchu (iron pillar):
Two stones placed in line vertically and near the edge.
Analysing by removing irrelevant stones.
Tobi-dashi: Jump out.
- Tobi-komi: Jump into enemy space.
- Tobi-magari: Jump at right angle.
- Tobi-tsuke: Jumping attatchment.
Torazu San Moku:
A very rare position in the corner, where either side may capture first, but would lose points to do so.
Attatch. A play made in contact with an enemy stone, but not in contact with any friendly stones.
Tsuke-atari: Bang against (head-on).
- Tsuke-giri: Attatch then cut.
- Tsuke-kaeshi: Counter-attatch.
- Tsuke-koshi: Attatch at keima waist.
- Tsuke-nobi: Attatch and extend (handicap joseki).
Extension preventing an enemy extension.
Life and death problems.
Slap against (sideways).
Sacrifice on first line to make an eye false.
Invading enemy territory.
Wedge between two stones.
A wedging move which has room for expansion in either direction.
To connect underneath.
A ko of little value.
Probe; to see opponent's response. May be sacrificed.
False or vulgar style.