CHARLES WILLIAM WASON
GOLLECTION ON CHINA
And THE CHINESE
PRINTED IN U.SA
Goh or wei chi :a handbook of the game a
3 1924 023 392" ^yg
The original of tliis book is in
tine Cornell University Library.
There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.
Handbook of G H
or WEI CHI.
The Great Military and Stragetic Game of Eastern Asia.
Aaapted for European Players.
Historical Notes and Appendix.
Printkd bv Taylkr Bros.,
Western Road, St. Leonards-on-Sea.
A HANDBOOK OF THE QAME
FULL INSTRUCTIONS FOR PLAY,
HORACE F. CHESHIRE, F.I.C.. B.Sc, etc,
Lecturer to the Japan Society ( London), Hastings Chess Club,
Tunbridge Wells Chess Congress iqii, etc.,
Editor of The Hastings Tournament Book iSg^.
Author of " Sociable Chess," etc.
INTRODUCTION & CRITICAL NOTES
Prof. T. KOMATSUBARA,
of Japan and London.
DIAGRAMS AND PLATliS (25), ILLUSTRATIVE GAMES (12),
WITH NOTES JAPANESE AND ENGLISH, MANY
POSITIONS AND PROBLEMS DISCUSSED.
Published by The Author at Hastings.
London Ag-ent: Frank Hollings, 7, Great Turnstile, Holborn.
66pVRl6ilT, 191 I, BY
tfoRAtE F. CHESHiftE,' " Rdtliesay," Hastings".'
.1. ' : ^■
Pi'iWisl'i'ed' Aug-ust', igii
WILSON CREWDSON, Esq, J;P., M.A.,
Chairman of the Council
The Japan Society, London,
The Author Respectfully Dedicates this Book.
It scarce!)- needs an apolog-y to have broug-ht out a
handbook on such a subject as the present, especially as
nothinsj of the kind existed, available in this country. The
game has only to be generally tried to become universally
popular, and it gets fascinating to a degree to all who study
it. It perhaps never will take the place of our evergreen
chess with its infinite variety, but it should at least make a
very worthy companion.
I can claim some acquaintance with chess and draughts,
but have also played this game with considerable pleasure
for over thirty years, and my information is from both
Chinese and Japanese sources.
The game is treated stragetically, and in this respect in
three degrees. The first part " How to play," is elementary,
treated so as to leave no lurking doubt in the minds of
beginners, the second part "Tactics" is more advanced,
and the most advanced considerations come on later. A
special marking of the board has been adopted and the rules
have been drawn out with the greatest care and consideration
for the Western mind. The new marking of the board
should help to acclimatise the game by enabling it to be
played on a smaller scale by those inclined. In fact it can
be played on so small a scale as an ordinary draughts
board with ordinary draughts men, and should appeal very
strongly to draughts players generally. The game is quite
simple in its preliminaries, and soon gets away from mere
book knowledge, and a draw is extremely rare. Careful
attention has been given to the discussion and explanation
of local positions designed to illustrate special points, avoid-
ing in these cases the grand combinations, which to a
beginner appear more like grand confusion.
The book is intended for the student, but I hope that
all but the champions may find something interesting, and
perhaps the originality of the treatment may interest them
too, even if the Historical notes and the Appendix do not.
I would remind my critics also that I am tr)'ing to
give a successful example of the art of the teacher. I want
my readers to learn the game and with this intent, the
principles have been generalized as far as possible to be
helpful, rather than discuss a few special positions which
may never occur.
The language has been made English and where it
seemed desirable there has been no hesitation in supplying
appropriate terms. Great care has been taken too in finding
the best logical arrangement and in checking the positions
and games. Criticisms and suggestions are freely invited.
I have the honour of offering my best thanks- to Mr.
Wilson Crewdson J. P., M. A. for doing so much to popularise
the game and for allowing me to copy for the purpose of
this work his valuable sword guard with its two Goh players,
also to Professor Komatsubara for his appreciative intro-
duction with the notes on the Japanese practice of the
present day, nor must I forget Professor Joly's kindness.
TA3LE OF CONTENTS.
How to play
Taking (and eyes) ...
Illustrative positions and further discussion
Fortification (and pockets) ...
See saw ...
The last word
Japanese illustrative games
The Rules ...
LIST OF PLATES AND DIAGRAMS.
2. Chinese Saucer
3. Two tsubas
4. One tsuba
1. Tile Goh board.
2. Group.s of arre.sted men.
3. Groups of nearly arrested men.
4. Example of using the squares.
5. Types of continuous double eyes,
6. Discontinuous double eyes, etc.
7. Sound bases but requiring' attention.
8. Combination board sliewing the notations.
9. Score of a game on a diagram.
10. Chains or connecting links.
1 I. Vo illustrate a forcing position.
12. See-saw between fortified camps.
13. See-saw to a tottering camp.
14. Critical position to shew proper treatment.
15. Neutral territory.
16. Problem: Can White fortify ?
17. A nearly arrested camp shewing fight.
18. Problem : Can Hlack save himself?
19. Surrounded single spaces.
20. Ditto with intruders.
21. Arranging the board for the score ...
PROF. T. KOMATSUBARA,
(OF LONDON AND JAPAN),
WITH NOTES ON MODERN CUSTOM, Etc.
It is gratifying- to hear that an English handbook is
being prepared on the great tactical game of Eastern Asia.
The venture will carry with it the good wishes of the
Japanese people, who will hope to see it followed by a
general adoption of this instructive and fascinating pursuit.
In our country it is treated as of the greatest importance
and plays a considerable part in the mental training of the
people. It is played by the comparatively educated middle
and upper classes ; especially it is a favourite game of
persons who retire from active busy life.
Handicap is freely adopted and accepted to give equal
chances and greater interest to the two players and the
stronger player always gives at least the first move. But if the
difference of strength is pretty great, the weaker player
stations two to nine black men, according to the degree of
inequality, on certain marked points before they commence
the game. In that case White starts instead of Black.
The game is often compared with military manoevures
and its principles are thought to be similar. Necessarily
there are many differences in detail, but the detached battles
at first apparently distinct, then spreading their influence
more and more till they become one general whole ; com-
pelling- attention from tlie verj' beg-innins^, to llie ultimate
effect of one on the other, reminds one very much of what
must he in the mind of the General on the genuine battle
Good players are alwaj's giving- heed to the general
situation of both sides on the whole board, while bad players
are very busy in one corner only. We must make a point
of securing as great an enclosure as possible. It is also of
great importance that we strengthen our own men on the
one hand while we strive to make an attack on the weak
points of the opponent on the other. As will be seen, the
four corners are the strongest and most important places,
so that if a player starts from the middle of the board it is
a great disadvantage for him. The most common mis-
conception for beginners is the idea that the occupation of
the middle part will surely lead to victory. At first sight it
seems to be a big field worthy of contending for (aid
certainly it is in some cases), but in reality tlie important
dominion to be conquered lies in the corners and sides of
As in a real battle, the connection of the moving men
must be complete in order to effect a safe capture of the
opponent's camp. Of course every line of moving men
must have a safe base ; otherwise it is sure to be taken
prisoner. The safest way of establishing the connection
between the moving men is what is called " bamboo knot
moving." Suppose there are already men on d^ and dz
we move to f^ with one point between these two men.
However much the opponent strives to break the connection
he cannot do it. Again there are moves called " Knioht
move" and great Knight move." If there is a man on
d4, f3 or f5 would be a knight move, two paces in advance
and one sideways, like a knight in the English game of
Chess, whilst g3 or g5 would be a great knight move, with
three paces in the advance. Sometimes in our anxiety to
extend as quickly as possible, we move to the third or
fourth point on the same line as to g4 or h4, when the
support of other groups render it permissible.
In the beginning of the game, when we are busy in
occupying the camps — I mean the establishment of the bases
for action — these moves are often adopted and prove very
effective. By studying the game of experts it will be found
that they are almost invariably opened by taking possession
of the corners, a little skirmish soon arises in one ot them,
but does not long remain confined to that quarter. Here
are some specimens of the Japanese style played quite
recently in Japan by very strong players with a translation
of the criticisms by a champion on two of the games.
The game resulted in a win on Black's side by 5 points
in the one case, while in the other it was slopped before the
finish for there was no hope for Black. It was clear that
White would win by more than 17 points.
We score by enclosed unoccupied points only, without
counting the men played. We stop when there is no point
left to be gained by either side. Otherwise both players
must go on alternately ; neither side is at liberty to omit
his move while the opponent is going on. As strong
players can forsee the final result — even the exact score —
long before the finish, they stop much earlier than moderate
players would do.
At the finish there may be some points or "me "left
unoccupied on either side. These points are called " da
me'' which means "me" of no good. As these do not
affect the score at all they can be filled by both sides
irrespective of their turns, simply for the sake of making the
counting- easier and 7ve never deduct points for isolated
Before counting up the "me" at the finish, the
opponents fill the enclosures of each other's dominions with
the prisoners. If there are some spaces left on both sides,
then the difference in the numbers of " me " is the score of
the game. For example, if the "me" of the White are
30 and those of the Black only 5, the score is 25 on the
White's side. If again either side of the opponents fills up
the other's enclosures with the prisoners taken and still has
some more left, then the number of those left in his hand
must be added to the number of points in the enclosures he
occupied. For example, if White fills up the enclosures of
the Black and still has seven more prisoners left in his hand,
while the Black cannot fill up the White's enclosures, say
leaving 20 points, then the score is 27 on the White's side.
The recognised form of the board itself is slightly
oblong, I shaku 4 sun in length, i shaku 3 sun 8 bu in
width, and 6 sun in thickness and they vary very slightly
(i foot = 1-0058 shaku ; i sun = iV shaku ; i bu = i^sun.)
It is often made of the wood of icho (gingko biloba) or of
the kaya (torreya nucifera).
The spaces between the lines are squares or slio-htly
oblong and now there is no sentiment about the colour of
the men. Fancy patterns are met with, such as small
thin folding boards for travelling purposes and musical
metal boards. Some of the noble families have even gold
and silver men in place of the ordinary black and white
This brief title, short as it is, stands for a g-reat deal.
It is an Enjjlish equivalent for the Japanese name of tlieir
great national game which nobly takes its place in the
economy of that Oriental people as their Royal game, like
chess does with us.
It has a truly aristocratic lineage, dating bdck some
forty-two centuries, and like most of the ancient accomplish-
ments is of Chinese origin, the invention, we are told, of one
of their Empei ors. About our Saxon times it filtered through
into Japan and has become firmly implanted there and some-
what modified, being eminently suited to the • thoughtful
temperament of our friends. It has hitherto been little
known in this country, though the author has played it for
many years with a great deal of pleasure. The Hastings
Chess Club was honoured by a demonstration on January
6th, 191 1, by two Japanese experts through the good offiices
of its president, Mr. Wilson Crewdson, J. P.
Besides its patriachal origin, it is a game of enthralling
interest, destined to become more popular in this country for
its own sake, in addition to the interest it must awaken as
the intellectual practising ground of our brilliant allies.
Its rules are simple enough and can be easily under-
stood and learnt ; any child can play it after a style, getting
plenty of amusement out of it from the first, so that the
learner can start his practical play at a very early stajje of
his studies and leave the more subtle strategies for a later
stage in his training. This is a quality of the game which
will commend itself to all, and should be an effective factor
when realised, in making it universally popular.
Avery considerable influence in its sluggish introduction
into Europe is the current exaggerated idea of the difficulties
of the game, partly no doubt owing to its being compared
with the Eastern form of chess which is ver}' different to our
game ; a form very complicated in its own way from the
enrolment of prisoners, though falling far short of ours in the
limited scope of the pieces. But it is in the complications
and finesse introduced by the skilled player that the brain
wracking thought-inazes of Goh arise, producing positions
and cosiderations of most absorbing interest to those that
It has been described as the most complicated board
game known to civilised man. Its votaries claim that it is
even more difficult than our chess to play well and tfiat it
admits pf greater intricacies ; but as in all mental games
it is largely whatever the players like to make it, simple or
complicated according to the nature of the effort made and
the attention given, or to the temperament of the player.
Those who play such games lightly, find them .simple if the
preliminaries are simple, as in this case, and do not put more
into them than is tasteful ; those who give more profound
thought find in them all they desire. When once the learner
is past the preliminary stage and begins to see a little into
the tactical points of the game, he gets his pleasure out of it
pleasure suitable to his point of view. As he becomes more
expert, rendering the shallower strategies obvious or insipid,
he dips into the deeper recesses, sipping stronger nectar
and profounder joys.
In the East proficiency in Goh is one of the best
recommendations to hig-h places. It is considered as good
an indication of mental ability as a successful examination
in our subjects of standard knowledge does with us. In fact
classes are held to teach it and diplomas of advancement
were till within the last few years, awarded in Japan, the
people being' ranged into nine classes or grades, according
to the degree of their expertness. It is a great favourite in
military spheres and is associated with all official life. A
certain standard of excellence in the game was in ancient
times almost essential to officials of every description,
especially in China, and it still takes a high place.
In its orig'inal form, with the imagination characteristic
of the Eastern nations, it was supposed to represent a
contest between darkness and light, figuratively describing
a struggle of a kind that is always going- on in this world,
not only on the physical earth, where night, symbolised by the
black men, is overcome and dissipated by the day, whilst the
night is always starting again to commence another tussle,
but a strug-g-le that is continuously g^oing on more or less in
The symbolic markings on the native boards show that
day and nig^ht formed the primary idea, for the chief points
of vantag-e on the field of battle, are not left to knowledge
or memory, but are indicated on the board and given
geog-raphical or astronomical names. In the modern forms
especially in Japan, these markings become mere landmarks,
and the special names are practically lost sight of.
Goh differs from chess and draughts in some character-
istic particulars. Not only is it, as we shall find, played on
the intersections of the lines instead of in the squares, but
the men are not shifted about, prisoners are taken for
subsequent use and above all we do not come to the boaird
to find a camp already formed for us with a supply of men
that cannot be reinforced. At the start, the board is a clear
field ; we have to form our own camps, attacking and
defending the while. The army is continually augmenting
and the fight ceases when there is no more territory to fight
about. Prisoners are then returned and the reckoning made.
A careful study of the game will well repay the time
and attention given to it, and the board and men may be
bought or are easily made, so we will now proceed with : —
HOW TO PLAY.
Goh is played in this country on a board of the ordinary
type, or with a special ruling, like our chess or draughts
board, except that it is ruled into eighteen (or ten) squares
each way, which were slightly oblong in the Eastern board,
to give a fanciful significance to one direction, though their
notation, to be given presently, carefully avoids, any
distinction. ( See diagram i.J
The two necessary perpendicular sets of parallel straight
lines which torm the squares, of course intersect at 19
multiplied by 19, that is 361 places (or 121). These
intersections are technically called "me,"' or rather that is
the usual English way of representing the Japanese word, it
is pronounced something between a final syllable in German
and an acute accented French " e." There is no suitable
translation of the word " me " and the use of the imitation
of the original, causes difficulties with the plural, so the
author suggests " mee," plural " mees," as an English
equivalent, and this will be used as an English word
throughout this little handbook.
English forvi of the Goh Board.
The Eastern fornix have no thickened lines, but variously
placed dots, mainly on the points where the thickened lines
intersect. See diairravi 8 where the Japanese dots are given.
The quarter board has only ten squares each way.
It is more in accordance with Western sentiment to
play on the squares, and there is no real reason why this
should not be done if preferred. The ideas of direction that
belong- to the lines then become, along the rank and along-
the file, and the mee then becomes the square. The board
also would have to be a little larger to yield the 19 (or 11)
squareseach way. In the East the larger board is almost
invariably used, but there is also this smaller board used in
China, known as a quarter board (with its 11 lines each
way) which still allows of interesting pla.y, and. is preferable
for beginners, whether they ever aspire to the larger fields
or not. The special ruling that we have adopted enables
what we call a " limited game " to be played on the centre
twelve square board, ignoring the other three lines.
THE MEN AND THE MOVES.
The men are black and white or dark and light, but
there is no distinction of rank amongst them, though those
of the Eastern people often differ in size and shape amongst
themselves, nor is there any idea of promotion of any kind.
There is no real reason why green and yellow or any other
colour should not be used by us, the more practical if less
sentimental people, though it loses the old poetic idea of
day and night, not that our friends now make any objection
on the question of colour. One hundred and eighty men of
each colour are supposed to make a full set, but about 150
will be found ample for the large board and 60 for the small
one ; beginners require more men than experts (they take
more prisoners and fill up the board more).
The men are played onto the mees, not into the squares,
alternately, the dark colour commencing (unless, of course
a board is being used for playing on the squares). fSee
diagrams.) If in a one-sided game one colour should
run short, it will be found that many men may be spared
from a secure district, which is then marked off as won, that
is to say, not liable to assault by the adversary, or prisoners
may be exchanged in equal numbers.
When once a man is placed he never moves, though
under certain circumstances he may be removed from the
board by the adversary, such as when he has an adverse man
on each of the four adjacent mees, but this will be given
more in detail presently. A man never plays from om mee
to another, and if he is taken off tlie board he goes into the
box or ranks as a prisoner to be returned at a price into his
camp at the end of the war, or to count in the score.
A placed man, as long as he can stop where he was
put, takes possession of that mee for his side and the object
is to capture as many of the mees as possible, placing one's
own men and removing the adversary's as we shall find, by
making prisoners and enclosing small districts into which
it would be useless for the adversary to play. A man may
be played on to any of the mees whether it is enclosed or
not, the only restriction being that a position must not be
exactly repeated, as would otherwise sometimes be possible,
by playing a man on to a mee from which a man has just
beeii removed by the adversary and at the same time
picking up the adversary's man which he has just played.
If this were allowed, a game might be drawn by repetition
of move and position, or the player with the weaker position
might force his more fortunate adversary to abandon some
of his advantage to avoid the draw which would be
threatened. This restriction may sound rather difficult, if
so, ignore it till you come across it--no difficulty in recog-
nising it then. Such a position is called a see-saw.
TAKING THE MEN.
Although the men never move, they are supposed to be
able to, as it were, and every man must have an unoccupied
mee next to it or be able to reach one by travelling in
imagination along the line of its friends. The development
of the camps by extending the lines is looked upon as a
movement of the men and they must be free to thus develop.
To put it differently a man must be able to reach in
imagination an unoccupied mee by travelling along the lines
of the board without stepping on to or jumping over one of
the adverse men. Men or a group of men so placed that they
cannot do so, may be said to be arrested. If you are
playing on squares the imaginary journeys are in the same
directions, never oblique.
This is a great point of the game and one which gives
rise to most intricate manoevurijig ; the preservatioji of and
the blocking up of the unoccupied spaces so necessary to
life, and keeping open the communication with the outposts.
For whenever either of the players having placed his man,
or before doing so, in his turn to play can shew that any
adverse man or group of men are without open spaces in
their midst and are wholly surrounded by his men, with or
without the assistance of the edge of the board, that is
that they are placed in a position of arresl, he picks up
these men and retains them as prisoners as a part of his
move, leaving the mees unoccupied. The unoccupied mees
are immediately available and may be played onto by either
colour, exactly as though they had never been occupied.
In Diagram 2 we find certain groups of black men all
arrested by wliite men. They would be immediately picked
up by White. It should be carefully noted that in no case
in this dia;,Tam could a black man reach the open air with-
out crossing the enemy's lines.
Diagrams 2 to 5.
i \ 4
i 1 h
fc i k
Diagram 2. Groups of arrested men on the quarter board.,
,, J. Groups of nearly arrested men.
,, ^. /y No. J again on squares for mees.
,, J. Types of continuous double eyes.
We see here the somewhat rare case of an enclosure
within a surrounded enclosure. The unoccupied mee in the
centre is a protection to White but not to Black, for his men
would not be able to get to it. His surrounded district is
In yVo. J we find some groups, not quite but nearly
arrested, there is an unoccupied mee which should be readily
found in each case. If it is White's turn to play he can
pick up any of the black groups after placing a man on the
right mee. In one of the groups there are seven detach-
ments liable to immediate arrest.
'We repeat this diagram as No. 4 on squares and the
reader who prefers that method will then have no difficulty
in translating the other diagrams.
When there is an open space either player is at perfect
liberty to fill it up partly or wholly, the one to strengthen
his position and the other to bring about the downfall of an
Thus the game proceeds, placing men, capturing the-
adversary's, and enclosing districts till neither party wishes
to play another man. It is obvious that neither party will
wish to put his camp into a position of danger (he may if he
chooses) by filling up his own open spaces to spoil his score
and to render his camp liable to capture by surrounding, nor
can he be forced to do so by an adversary who claims that
he wishes to go on.
When the game is thus complete, or a complete state is
agreed upon, the count up begins. Each opponent picks up
any prisoners, or opposing men that have been abandoned
as such and after that usually returns the prisoners he holds
to their friends, filling' up vacant spaces. Then each scores
for every vacant mee (or square) enclosed by his own men
and for any prisoners he may have over. When men have
been borrowed an allowance must be made accordingly.
When the game is sufficiently far advanced, a good deal
of time is saved by abandoning' men that obviously caimot
be defended, and agreeing that they be taken prisoners and
that the mees they occupied should be counted to the
opponent ; but any doubtful cases should be fought out.
Men which are inside an opponent's enclosure, not forming
one themselves and that could not be defended, are picked
up at the end of the game without a formal arrest.
In No. 5 diagram we see some continuous double eyes.
They are all impregnable. They are said to be continuous
when all the men coniposirii'' the structure are connected
along the lines and no part could be arrested without the
others. Some of them are complete also, but this is a
matter of little importance.
Small enclosed open spaces are technically known as
'■ eyes," and it will be found that a camp, however large, that
has only one open space or eye, with no prospect of forming
another, can generally be captured, by first of all surrounding
it, and then filling up the eye mee by mee (or square by
square). When the last mee (or square) is filled the camp is
arrested and may at once be removed as prisoners. It is
true that in filling the eye the man or men doing so are
ciiemselves placed in a position of arrest, but there is no
penalty for so playing, and as by picking up the camp,
abundant open space is at once provided before it is the
adversary's turn to play.
If an arrested camp is not picked up when it should be
and subsequent moves are made, these must not be retracted,
a move once made is final.. Either player when it is his turn
to play may pick up any 'arrested men however long they
have been there, and in the meantime, such men, whilst on
the board, have their full power in occupyingf mees or
effecting the arrest of others and might gain their release in
When you have occupied all but one of the mees (or
squares) of an eye, the adversary may if he choose place a
man there and pick up your men, opening the eye again and
relieving the camp, but you could now start once more
filling the eye, which has become smaller by one mee (or
square) than before, and every time the adversary carries
out the manoevure one is lost till at last the camp falls.
In practical play however, such a tedious performance would
only be possible with the veriest beginners.
On the contrary it will be found that a continuous camp,
having two or more eyes, is always impregnable, however
they are arranged, for to sieze it all the eyes must be filled.
They carniol all be completed at the same moment, in one
turn, therefore one must be filled absolutely before the
second one is complete, but these men filling the eve will
be in a position of arrest where they will be picked up by
the adversary. Which ever one you first fill, that one is
released before the second one can be filled, and so the camp,
even without any care on the part of its owner can never
A discontinuous camp, with two or more vacant mees
may also be impregnable ; we may then call it a fortification.
In diagram 6 some small examples are given. The essentials
are that the vacant mees must form two groups, not be all
continuous one with another, and that the isolated parts
which may be single men, must all be adjacent to two of
-p-< »-[-< H H-p-
A^ g i
Ik i k J 1
i k d k O
i h i
A II II U
*> ' k II II
n on II
\ i k jk ' h 1 h
r\ A lb
1 b 1 1
i k 1 h
dk i k
i k i k
Ik A 1 k
i t A
< » — f
' • <n> — L_L
All quite secure without attention.
It is good practice to try these to see that they cannot be
arrested. One of them has a man more than is necessary.
Which is it? (See the end of the book.)
those groups. If any part is adjacent to one only of the
\acant groups, it can be arrested, unless of course the
structure can be sufficiently enlarged or strengthened while
the siege is going on. Some of these camps will stand a
little variety of structure and therefore the}' need not be
completed at once, unless beset. They will all stand the
enlargement of their spaces or eyes, though in some cases
attention then becomes necessary. They are given in
condensed form and should be carefully studied.
On diagram 7 are given some camps in which these
alternative squares are marked with stars. Directly one of
these starred mees is taken by the adversar}' the other must
be taken by a friend. Others are more complicated and
advanced but they can all be easily saved after the attack
A later chapter will deal with the more advanced tactics
of the game and some hints given towards pla3'ing well ; at
present we must be satisfied with how to play at all ; but it
will be only too obvious that the formation of double eyes
forms an important part of the game, for anything not
associated with at least two eyes can generally be arrested
and anything directly joined to or sufficiently associated with
two eyes cannot be arrested, and forms a part of one's
permanent possessions, in fact the only part we can keep at
all in the finish. These two eyes may be as far apart as we
please, as long as they are sufficiently connected or can be
connected when an assault comes.
Well ! That is the game, described with a main
thought to the quarter board, though all that has been said
equally applies to the full one. The game does really depend
largely on the size of the board and we have already given
our orpinion that the smaller board is large enough for
— 1 O-
it it o
n — it — i.y-^
o o o
o 1 o
i k i k
Jk Jk ik i k
Any of these could be picked up if no attention is given
but not with attention. Where there are t-Mi slurred meeSy the
second one must be taken immediately lohencver the first is
taken by the adversary.
Their investigation makes good practice.
beifimiers or for an occasional short game. What is called
the Inner bo.ird is a little larger and will be described later.
Tne few diagrams will help to make the things clear and
make sure that we know what we are doing ; the positions
could be set up on an actual board, or may be studied
from the diagrams.
THE CENTRE of the board has a peculiar property in
symmetrical positions which will be amply indicated by the
following ancient story.
It is said that a certain Chinese Wei Chi champion,
whose fame had spread far and wide, was sent for to Court
to play with the Emperor and show his prowess. Rather a
ticklish job, for to beat the Emperor was sacrilege and to lose
was disgrace, it was in fact one of those delicate and exciting
positions in which he was very liable to lose his head and to
do so might be fatal. He might be quite willing to show
his skill but not to kill his show ; but the Emperor had laid
his plans well. He wished to see the skill of the player, but
quite realised the difficulties of the case, and had no wish
to deprive the country of such an acquisition.
The Emperor started the game on the centre mee, for
etiquette would naturally give him the initiative. The
expert, doubtless with mixed feelings, placed his man, and
the Emperor promptly placed one of his exactly opposed,
and whatever the champion did the Emperor paid him the
compliment of imitating him by taking the mirror position,
the one on the line through the centre and the same distance
the other side. He was thus able to watch the expert's
manoeuvres and at the same time to avoid defeat, for whatever
advantage could be claimed by the champion in any part of
the board coulJ be claimed by the Emperor in the
corresponding po.iition opposite. Therefore, as far as the
gfame was concerned, honours were easy, except that the
Emperor retained unpaired the centre mee and won by the
odd point, according- to the then method of scorings,
honour and everything else was satisfied, the Emperor had
won, and the champion had only yielded the odd point to the
great Emperor, having taken the second move. According
to the modern method of scoring this would be called a draw.
Unless there is some restriction this cannot be
prevented either on the large or the small board. If the
game is played for amusement only, or for study, this would
not be done, but in a match where the sole aim was not to
lose regardless of points, it might be. It is a defect in the
game which in the East does not matter.
The difficulty could be got over if necessary by ruling
that the centre mee was not to be played upon at any time
when the position was symmetrical through the centre, or
perhaps better still, within a certain number of moves.
Bilateral symmetry is of no account, because the centre line,
being single does not allow of duplication.
We cannot discuss positions very well till we have a
notation. Our Chinese friends first divided ths board into
four quarters and numbered the lines towards the centre, the
outside lines being i and the middle ones lo. The quarters
were named variously according to the times and the
country, we will call them A, B, C, D. Everything rotated
in the positive direction (the reverse way to the hands of a
watch lying on its back). The top right-hand corner will be
Aj the left-hand B and so on. See diagram 8.
Full board marked for the three notations^ Chinese,
Japanese and English.
The Chinese takes the A B C D and the numbers i to to
giving the files and ranks in rotation.
The Japanese takes the letters for files atid the numbers
I to igfor ranks.
The English takes the districts i 2 j 4 for hundreds,
the numbers i to 10 ( oj of the ri,tnks for tens, and the filei
On the board are a number of men, the position of
which will be C 4 4, C 5 6, C i 8, D 3 10, D 8 8, D 5 6,
A 5 8, A 8 2, A 1 1, B 10 2, B 1 6, B 9 2. It will be noticed
that the men on the 10 or middle lines may be located in two
of the quarters, D 3 10, is also A 10 3 and B 10 2 is also
A 2 10. The middle mee is simply lo 10 and is equally
located in all the quarters and could carry any of the letters.
It must be noted that no preference is given to the
horizontal or to the vertical lines, but that the numbers of
the lines are always quoted in the positive direction. There
is certainly an advantage in this method in that the mees
with similar properties in different quarters are similarly
indicated as regards numbers. The Chinese mark the
centre and the 4 4 mees, the Japanese the 10 4 mees in
addition and the Koreans add the 7 4 and 4 7 mees, making
17 marked points in all.
The modern Japanese have now broken away from this
method and have adopted one on similar lines to what is
known as the German Chess notation ; they indicate the
vertical lines or the files by the letters of their alphabet right
to left (as is their custom) and the ranks or horizontal lines
by their numbers downwards. To indicate a particular mee
the letter of the file is given with the number underneath, for
example if one sees an upright cross, like our plus sign,
surmounted by a letter something like an Australian
boomerang, it means the sixth file from the right and the
tenth or middle rank. In other cases we actually see our
Arabic numerals used for the files instead of their letters,
somewhat in the same way as we might use Greek letters.
In those cases we find a Japanese number surmounted by an
Western players would also prefer to look upon the
board as having sides home and away, and give up the
rotary idea, and we here suggest and adopt the following
convenient and concise notation : —
Number the four quarters i, 2. 3 and 4, so that 2 comes
under i and diagonally opposite to 3. Number the ranks
and files of each quarter separately from outside towards the
centre and reserve the nought for the middle lines, instead
of 10. The centre line number for the smaller boards would
be 6 (or 7),
In any quarter give the rank first and the file following
and so indicate the mee by a number of two digits. When
it is necessary to indicate the quarter also, prefix this,
making three digits. The mees of the middle lines are
referable to two different quarters, but we have now every
mee numbered with a three figure number which is easy to
find and easy to write and print.
The men of diagram 8 would then become 244, 256,
2x8, 403, 488, 465, 358, 382, 311, 120, 161 and 129.
This is the notation that will be used in this handbook.
The modern Japanese notation is also convenient,
especially for the smaller boards ; letter the files from right
to left and number the ranks downwards from i to 19, then
for any mee give the file and rank ; the men on diagram 8
would then become p 16, n 15, 1 19, c 10, h 12, e 14, h 5,
b 8, a I, j 2, s 6, k 2. Some of the illustrated games will
be given in this notation.
In this and in our notation some might prefer to quote
the sign of the rank and file in the reverse order or to treat
the score as if it had been given so. There is no objection,
the game comes out equally well, but in our notation initial
2 would have to be read for initial 3, and 3 for 2, so that
326 would become 226 and 252 would become 352 ; tlie ones
and the fours of the hundreds would remain the same.
When the quarter (or hundreds) is not indicated such as
" 78 '' there is no correction to make. Or better still simply
change the places of Nos. 2 and 3 districts on the board.
Put No. 3 district under No. i and read the next figure of
the number for the file and the last one for the rank. The
mees along the bottom row of the board from left to right
would become 311, 321, 331 431, 421, 411. It has only
the effect of turning the board over. The point is : — If the i
and 2 districts are placed downwards the numbers must be
read along but if i and 2 are ranged along the top the
numbers must be read downwards. The men on diagram 8
would then be recorded as 192, 102 or 202, 285, 118, 228,
230 or 430, 488, 456, 365, 344 and 381. In the case of the
Japanese notation also the letters can be put in our order if
preferred which again only has the effect of turning the
To convert our notation for the full board if you wish
into the Chinese put A for 300, B for 100, C for 200, D for
400 and reverse the tens and units when the hundreds were
I or 4, also put 10 for o, and reverse the process to get the
other way. To convert ours into the Japanese is more
difficult. When the hundreds are 1 or 3 leave the tens
figure as it is but when the hundreds are 2 or 4 subtract the
tens figure from 20, putting in each case ib for o. For the
unit figure when then the hundreds were i or 2 put s for i,
r for 2 j for o, etc ; when the hundreds were 3 or 4, put
a for 1, b for 2, c for 3 and j for o ; omit the hundreds
altogether. In going the other way reverse the process and
put 2 or 4 for the hundreds when the number of the rank is
subtracted from 20 and put i or 2 when the letter was s to j and
3 or 4 whea a to j. Som.ewhat similarly for the smaller sizes.
We recommend that for European players the board
should have the middle and the 4 lines conspicuously
marked with no special points at all as iu diagram No. i .
They are efficient landmarks which never get covered over
and save a good deal of counting up. They are particularly
useful in playing over games or scoring one's own. The
intersections of the lines give the nine points of the Japanese
board. The Japanese black dots also act as landmarks, but
they frequently soon get covered over, especially in handicap
games. The " Four line " give's an "Inner board" which
can be used for a limited game and we have found by
experience that although tiie quarter board on account of its
restricted area gives a t;anie more resembling the play in one
corner of the full board without the grand combination
effects, the slight increase in size to the 12 square board
alters the character of the game fundamentally. If then we
use the " Four line " as the boundary of the " Inner board "
we get a 12 square board and a game which is more a
miniature of the full game and similar in character. Some
games will be found given in that size at the end of this
As regards the rival notations, the original Chinese is
somewhat confusing. The Japanese is the most simple to
follow but letters fail to give to the average person a correc
relative idea of position ; and the four corners being
differently noted, the similarity of play in them is masked.
Our notation is perhaps slightly more difficult to follow but
it brings out strongly the similarity of the diflferent corners
and the relative positions of the mees. It also avoids the
objectionable mixing of letters and numbers. The iilustrative
games will be be given iu these two last uotatioiii
In writing- down a position our notation gives a concise
method. For an example which will sufficiently explain
itself the position after b 5 in sjame 5 is ; — B 1/367 445 556
64 7567 2 65 567 43457 25 3/26 3456 436 6456
746 453356 4345 3123 224 14 W 1/26 467 57
6567 734 2/6467 545 46 367 3/33 45 53 725
4/63456 54 46 3456 25 '5- This means that the
Black men are on 136 137 144 145 and so on.
In writinjj down a g-ame the successive squares are
noted down as the men are placed on them, either in single
or ill double column ; preferably in double column, Black
first and then White, or the two numbers may be run
together as six fig-ure numbers. The opening of a game
niii^ht then appear as : -
234143 c 4 p 3
254434 e 4 c 16
353334 or o 17 q 16
393454 1^ 17 e 16
430145 CIO p 5
The moves may also be written in line, then the comma
should always follow the white move thus : — 234 143, 254
434. 353 334- 393 454- 43° '45- and so on. This
method is convenient for recording analyses. If the numbers
are run in together then no commas are necessary as
234143 254434 and so on. If in this case single moves
are recorded they should be given thus — 143, 254 — . The
colour of a move can also be indicated by placing " W " or
" B " before it thus : — W 143 B 254.
Weak moves are commonly marked with a "?"
whereas the "!" is used to, indicate either a particularly
strong, one or y. surprise.
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Gavie 12 scored on to a paper board used for the purpose.
This method is' a very ancient one. The odd numbers are
Black's moves and the even ones W hite's.
The Eastern people use a curious method for publication
or recordinsf purposes, they give a diagram of the board
with each mee marked with the number of the move made
on it. The odd numbers are Black's moves and the even
ones White's, game 12 has been treated in that way as an
illustration on diagram g.
On your quarter board place black men as 223, 224,
225, 226, 425, 424 and 423, and white men on 222, 232,
242, 252, 263, 264, 265, 266, 465, 464, 463, 452, 442, 432
and 422. Here we have a somewhat artificial jiosition but
illustrative, seven black men in line with twenty different
ways of fortifying on the outside line if they are left alone.
Yet White can easily prevent them all. He plays 213 (or
413), 214, 216, 415, 413, preventing an immediate double
eye, if now 212 412 (or away), followed by 211, 221, 231,
and takes all the corner unless Black fills up, leaving one
eye only. Should Black now play to prevent White forming
a double eye on the edge in the 400 district he must
commence with 421 next door but one as it were to the
boundary which counts for either colour as a confining
influence; White may follow on with 431, and can after
Black's 451 form a double eye there without materially
extending his line by say 461. If White followed 421 with
451 Black plays to 431.
But he probably would leave that alone and having
obtained an eye on the outer edge would immediately
commence the struggle inside the line ; there is also room
here, ample, if not interfered with, and as White was bound
to attend to the outside promptly it will be Black's first
move. First of all investigate it and then follow our
analysis. Suppose 235 to form an eye either side of it, he
only wants one and there appears to be plenty of room.
The eye need not be complete, one corner may be mi.ssm<f.
White plays say 245, Black !>oes on with his i(Je;i 435 445.
244 243, 255 246, 455 465 ! Evidently we must be
more bold if we would succeed. Try 245 246, 244 243,
236 234, 233 and succeeds. I'ry 245 246, 244 233,
234 •236, 445 435 ! and stops him this time. Try 245
246, 236 234, 233 244, 445 456, 444 434, 433
443. 435 ! Instead of 456 try 444, 456 434, 455 255,
435 235 ! that's better. Let us try a more central position
246 256 (?), 245 445, 244 ! Try again 246 245, 445
444, 434 436, 235 and still succeeds. Anotlier idea
246 236, 235 435, 434 445, 455 444 ! Instead of
434 how about 444 445, 455 456, 434 445, 435 454,
445 and agfain succeeds. Just one more, try, 246 236,
235 245, 435 445, 444 455, 255 244, ! ! !
It will be readily seen from this •'hat the play in such
cases is delicate and very difficult to forsee the correct result
of a fight, especially true wlien the surrounding- lines are
rugged. One eye was formed on the edge of the board and
the whole safety of the black camp depended on whether
this second eye could be formed or not. This position will
be referred to again in a later chapter and discussed more
It has been said that a position must not be exactly
repeated and perhaps it would be as well now that we have
a notation, to make this clear also by a position, and we
again leave the student to set up his own. To take a
simple case, place black men on 33, 35, 44 and 24, and
white men on 45, 36 and ?5, as a part of a larger position
perhaps. White to play may place a man on 34 and pick
"P 35. but if Black then plays to 35 and picks up 34, White
may object as it repeats the position. Suppose however,
after 34 picking up 35, sa_y 43 for Black and 54 for White,
now Black may play 35 picking- up 34, as it does not repeat
the position owing to the extra men and it is White who
now cannot repeat with 34 picking up 35, until something
else has heen played. This we have proposed to call a see-
saw and it will be discussed later in reference to its effect on
the score. Sometimes a move that would otherwise repeat
also arrests other men, it is then quite legal.
Except perhaps for reading the rules, which are to be
found in a concise form at the end of this book, the student
is strongly advised to play several practice games now, at
first certainly on a small board only, even on an ordinary
chess or draughts board, before proceeding further. He
will not play perfectly but who does ? It is all a matter of
degree. He will get to see the idea of the game with some
of its difficulties and beauties. When he feels more at home
he may continue the book, and after reading the section on
tactics, try the full board. A beginner plays so many more
men than an expert that he would find the full board top
wearisome at the start.
We therefore give for this purpose, eusurlng that our
readers shall start out with a right idea, three games on the
quarter board (in the various notations) in which the play is
intentionally made simple, all the deeper complicated
manoeuvres and open play of the expert are avoided and the
easiest games are set first. The quarter and an inner board
should be marked for the three notations. The middle lines
will be "6" and "7" or "f" and "g" respectively.
Then follows four games of aibetter type played on the
iinier or 12 square board as marked on the full board.
We hrfve given nothing' on the ordinary 8 square chess
and draug-hts boards but that is no reason why they should
not be used extensively. In playing over the games for the
first time it would be well to carefully follow the notes and
after that play them over trying to see more into the plan of
the game and to find the defects of the simple .tactics. Try
different variations and show how materially a small
departure from the line given alters the subsequent moves.
Note also should be carefully taken of the evil effect of
playing too close up to the enemy when there is no proper
BEAR IN MIND.
You start with an empty board and unlimited men.
The men are alternately placed on the board, black or
the dark colour commencing.
The object is, to surround areas and to take prisoners.
The game stops when there is nothing more to do or
when both players are satisfied.
All surrounded abandoned men are then taker> up as
Prisoners and properly enclosed mees both count
towards the game.
The player that has the higher score wins.
If the Chinese method which is more simple for small
boards is adopted either player may miss any number of his
moves, allowing his opponent to go on till he is satisfied and at
the finish of the game all the mees occupied or surrounded
count towards the game but the prisoners do not.
GAME NO. I.
English notation. Quarter Board.
124 125 Black starts building a wall and White tries to
144 154 Going round to stop him.
155 164 Taking Black's line.
165 255 Quite satisfied.
145 136 To guard these.
335 346 With sinister designs.
345 356 Following one another up.
366 355 Threatening the two.
354 344 Going in behind.
334 343 To save his man.
365 364 Black has designs on the 125 group.
363 454 Again to save his man.
333 342 Joining up.
362 332 After one another now.
322 452 Quite a skilled stroke.
461 451 Threatening the group. Black leaves them to
245 256 Hoping to get Black into difficulties
436 445 To join hands with his friends.
444 435 For safety and with designs on 444.
425 434 Compelling Black to save his man
443 442 The chase has changed hands.
433 424 Attack and defence.
432 351 Taking five.
4 '4 32^5 An attack oa the jailors.
Black took seven.
The 245 group is captured but so is this.
To start another camp.
Black took three.
He must attack.
234 It should be hopeless, there is no room for a
244 The only hope is to catch Black napping.
Looks very hopeful now.
White captures the 221 group and saves his own.
At the finish White takes up 5 more men
making 15 prisoners in all. Black has taken
10 prisoners. White's territory is worth 26
and Black's 27.
White wins by 4 points.
GAME NO. 2.
Japanese notatiim (English equivalent ), quarter board.
b 3 f 6 Black starts a fortification in the corner, White
apparently would like the whole board, but
b 2 b 4
c 4 b 5 Barkis is not willing.
c 5 b 6 Nor yet.
c 7 c 6 Black has a brilliant idea but White comes out.
d 6 b 7
b 8 d 7 A palpable threat.
c 8 d 5 An acceptable recognition from his first love.
e 6 e 5
e 7 d 8 To save his man.
e 8 d 9 Necessary to save his group. Black's next is
wealt; he should have played b 9 and perhaps
got time in that case to arrest the group.
e 10 eg
b 9 b ID With dire intent.
c 10 a 9 Strong.
e 4 a 8 Taking four men, but Black has been improving
the shining hour too.
f 5 f 7
d4 f8 Black took two men.
eg f 9 Following him down.
d 10 f 10 To shut Black off.
en g 6
c 1 1 g 5 Each playing his own game.
f 4 g 4 Creeping slowly along.
g 3 h 3 To secure as much of the corner as possible.
His other camp can form two eyes when
they are wanted.
h 4 i 4
h 5 h 6 He should occupy the i column in preference.
is J 5
h 2 i 6 Taking three men.
13 h 4 For the purpose of holding h 3.
■j 4 j 3 Attacking two at once, j 4 was weak,
i 2 k 4 Taking one.
i 9 g 2 After three. He leaves Black to his new
f3 h I
fa g r White cannot live without support,
f I j 2
i I j 9 Black has taken three more men and White
comes to look after him in his new quest,
j 10 i 10
k io i S
k 8 h 9 Black has picked up two but he must not let
White pick up i g.
J 9 J II
ill h lo
k 1 1 h 1 1 Black takes one
j 6 j u White does not see Black's ingenious idea to
save i 8
i 7 h 8
k 6 h 7 White could still have spoilt things by j 7, a
vital square for the opponent, thus j 7, k 7
(taking- one) h 7, j i perhaps (j 7 is useless
as it blocks up the second eye absolutely) i 7
and captures the camp.
To an expert the game is now quite finished,
Both combatants have 8 prisoners but Black
has 19 mees to White's 15, therefore Black
wins by 4 points,
a 1 1 and k 5 are neutral mees.
GAME NO. 3.
Chinese notation (English equivalent). Quarter Board.
B 44 D 35 Each taking his own corner,
B 46 D 54 and fortifying it.
C 44 C 45 They clash.
C 55 C 56 White wishes to check Black and to keep up
communications with his own forces.
C 35 C 46
C 66 B 65 To drive Black if possible.
B 55 D 56 To relieve the pressure on his B 65.
B 56 B 54 Continuing the line.
B 53 B 64 63 was not sufficiently tempting.
B 63 A 35 Holding him in, all he can.
C 36 D 52 The attack has shifted ground. Both are
anxious to get round now that they think
Whine's other group is secure.
1 1 1
Giving Black a chance at A 45 but he missed it.
Winning three but still leaving A 45 open.
Both declared themselves satisfied. White
picks up two men making five prisoners and
Black has none. Both have 42 mees so
White wins by 5 points.
Black being the loser ought to have tried for
a fortification within White's lines.
GAME NO. 4.
English notation. 12 square board.
He is rather bold and comes to grief.
Steering towards the open field.
Gaining time by attacking 125 which cannot be
White is in terrible danger. This gives an
additional oujlet and a threat.
White finds local disaster inevitable so indulges
in ambitious schemes, elsewhere.
346 344 Constantly following his great idea.
343 342 Starting another local fight. The position is
352 332 Not too happy here.
323 324 White is anxious to get round here as there may
be a chance of saving the lost group.
A bid to save his hopefuls.
To confine Black's range.
Just to hinder.
Threatening the 155 group.
Both are very dangerously placed. Neither '.
proper breathing space.
325 314 237 236 446 246
341 372 226 227 467 152
453 162 436 225 466 366
445 247 426 216 142 163
Neutral mees are 177 266 375. Black wins by 16.
GAME NO. 5.
Japanese notation. 12-square Board.
d 3 ill They both take the corners. It's a good way.
j 4 c ID
k 10 j 9 Starting the fight.
kg j 6 Exerting influence in two directions at the same
j 8 k 8 Friendless.
18 18 Black took one man.
k 8 16 Suggesting the possibility of enclosing Black's
e 1 1 k II
d 9 c 9 For defence.
d 5 d 8 Running between the two Black camps to
prevent the enclosure of a strip of territory
f 5 d6
Under the support of friends but
Easily shut off.
An attacking defence.
As White's friends are near he hopes to get the
better of this fight.
No spaces are being enclosed but prisoners are
Bidding for a central patch.
Quite time this was attended to.
Towards holding Black back.
All right this time apparently.
If a 13, c 13 a II, b 10.
a 1 1
A sharp counter threat.
No time for a 13.
Nor has Black either.
A lot of hard hitting and no time left for either
to play a 13.
Which wins ?
Black finds it necessary to defend his group also.
Just time for this.
Again quite necessary.
He guards against this incursion.
m 9 ■ e 5
d 2 b 3 A fortuitous after-thought.
b 2 :i 2 Which however, Black meets correctlx' for the
c 3 b I
c 2 e 12 White realises now that the a line is hopeless
unless he can capture a jailor which he now does. Black
should have played here but in the pressure of minor
worries which were serious enough in their way he missed
it. This limb of the prison has no eye. It was secure while
the white group could be picked up in. a move or two but
now that it has extended so much towards a i, the arrest
which looked sure enough has become a long process. Black
cannot now save the e group and so gracefully resigns.
The position at this point is : —
B b 12 c 1123 d 3457910 6678911 h4 156 J45811
k 678910 18. W a 112 b 103 c 678910 d 68 645
g 34912 h 56711 1789101 j 679 kii 16.
Black co:Tipels a 10 to reduce White's enclosure.
There is no time for 313.
b 8 is th2 k3y square of this enclosure the only
one that will allow it to be formed into a
Black is playing this part in first class style.
White has given up his big group on the a line.
To shut off the two black men and save the
The following games are again of a rather better type
and again played on the 12-square or " Inner board." The
full meaning of these may not be appreciated by the tyro
until he has gained some experience. The notes are placed
at the end of the game so as not to disturb the student and
are of a less elementary character.
f 46789 lOI
(read along (he line.)
366 1 66
The prisoners were now placed in their camps when it
was found that
Black still had 23 vacant mees.
White still had 31 vacant mees and wins by eig-ht points
366 Attack on the lower side because although there
are white in easier proximity in this direction, on the whole
Black is the strong'er on the upper side. The next move is
an attacking one with the idea of catching' some of the
white men. A player in a more cautious mood might play
164 156 would not save the camp and only lead others
into the mees.
264 Black was anxious not to let White get an
253 White is not strong enougli to go further afield.
262 Tlie only move. If 456, 252.
464 White judges that the gain is greater in this
corner tlian in 100.
425 and 433 These keep possession of this corner.
Black does not attack at 424 and the two men at 445 and
444 are doomed.
345 This Iceeps White out of 356 for the present.
347 It was necessary.
316 Indirectly protecting the important connection at
136 and securing this territory. White's reply threatens to
break outand thesubsequentmanoeuvrelosesnothingto White
416 417 would be bad. 417, 216 416, 424,
442 A sacrificial check and it gives time under a
threat to capture the whole contingent. Black gains one
point by the manoeuvre.
162 White has made a bad slip here. He reckoned
that his prospective attack at 122 would suffice to protect
him and to gain more territory.
161 Chipping bits off the opponent's accumulations.
The position after 466 434 was B 1/345 434 5367
6457 757 667 2/44 545 64 746 6456 536 44.
W 1/25 37 4567 545 3/64 567 44 2/26 335 456 56
656 75 545 4356-
GAME NO. 7. (read along the line. )
d3 k 10 in C5 J3 cii en k5 g3 g 10
gii i 10 J5 J7 fg gg g8 f7 g6 g7
h7h8 f8h6 d5d6 e7f6 g5 e6
i6i7 k4d4 esfs e4c4 l5e3
f4f3 ^4^2 k6c3 c6d7 e8c7
d8c8 cgk7 b8b7 kiihii hi2fii
f 10 g 12 f 12 g II i 12 j II j 12 j 10 I II h 13
k 12 g2 1 10 Ig h5 e 12 d 12 f 13 dii a8
bgh7 i7h3 i3i2 J2J6 i5li4 i4l8
iih2 him7 16di3 ci3ei3 ci2iri
I i-J. i 13 & 13 m6 mS ag a7 m 10.
g- lo As second player he is anxious to avoid a
symmetrical division of districts which is liable to favour the
j 5 And Black is shutting White off.
j 7 Having a friend here he can certainly take the
d 5 If i 7 i 6, i 8 h 9, and the group falls presently.
c 4 This attack and counter attack on isolated units
is difficult to calculate.
d 2 He has no time to defend k5, but counter attack
is equally effective.
c 7 Perhaps better than d 8.
h 1 1 White hopes to cut off this section of the black
f II Half measures are of no value.
i II Plunging into Black's game disturbing the eye
* . . .
Position after j 12 j lo, is B 1 5 k 4611 j 3512, i 61112,
h 12 (twelve) g 34.568, f 4891012, e 457811, d 58, c 69, b 8,
Wb7 c 34.57811, d 2467, 636, f3567ii g79ioiii2
h 6811 1710 j 71011 k 710.
k 12 If i 13 then k 12, g 13 1 13 etc.
d II d 13 would come to grief.
h 7 The chief thin^f that made this worth closing was
the pressure that wrould be brought to bear on White's
position by Black after the capture of h 6.
i 5 He cannot allow this to be taken because of the
g 3 group.
f 2 Necessary.
Black wins a good game by three points.
The invention of this notorious g'ame has been ascribed
by Chinese Historians to two different Emperors and to a
layman, all just about the same period, all dating' back more
than two thousand years before the Christian Era. The
Emperors are both said to have taught their sons, and in
one case in order to improve his mental powers. Looking
at the nature of the evidence and the probabilities of the case
not forgetting their strong ideas on parent and ancestor
worship, it would seem likely that the layman was the real
inventor and that it immediately, or at least soon, received
royal favour, and it miglit have been devised for the former
of the two Emperors and even submitted to the second in
answer to an enquiry or demand. It is reasonable to
suppose that an Emperor's part in any invention deemed to
be important would be exaggerated a little, and an adoption
of an obscure invention is very likely to grow to invention
itself. The son portion of the story is far from doubtful but
is handing down from father to son was 'the corre ct thing,
more credit might have been given to the accuracy of the
itory on this score than is deserved.
Its imperial patronage would ensure its importance,
especially in official circles and this as a reaction made it
advisable that all officials even the Emperors, should be
skilled in degree according to their rank. A story is
reported of an Emperor, and given in another part of this
book, that he summoned to court an expert player whose
fame was over the land to play him a game. Rather an
awkward position for the expert, who doubtless attended
with much misgiving, but the Emperor had laid his plans so
well that he neither robbed his country of a treasure nor lost
his own dignity.
' ^^^hj^^*:. ^'^Ij
Goh in China. — See Appendix.
If the game is to be generally adopted in this country
as seems likely, some title was necessary, and in these cases
it is better if possible to avoid too great a multiplication of
terms, Its title should be suggestive but not undignified.
For an English name it is proposed to use " Goh ". Of
the three modern Asiatic names the Japanese is the best
known in this country and they are now taking precedence
in the game itself,' but "Go", the best representation of
their orthography is obviously unsuitable to English speak-
ing people, especially as it might well be taken as
representing an incident of the game.
Various names hrfve been given to the game of old, but
the modern ones are, for China " Wei Chi"; ( Wei to sur-
round, Chi - a game, it is pronounced like "Way Key"; for
Japan " Go "or " Goh ", meaning five from the five points
marked on the Chinese board, it is pronounced as spelt, and
for Korea " Pa Tok ", (pebble game). Stewart Culin and
others, tell us of various ways in which it is said to have
crossed to Japan, extending over a period of several hundred
years. They are at first sight apparently contradictory,
but these old records are probably all substantially correct.
Although those people with their ancient civilization must
not be judged by the condition of the Western world of that
time; they still were distinct branches of the race, still with
very conservative notions as regards innovations and it is not
to be expected that a foreign game, however good, would
firrrily establish itself at once on the first introduction. The
infiltration and acclimatization would take time, It would
be rather extraordinary unless several visits were necessary
before it was welcomed with opened arms and adopted.
The strong'hold that it had upon China would enhance its
chance and the intercourse between the neighbouring peoples
would iine-viilably cause it to be seen in Japan now and again.
The early board had but seventeen lines each ■way
instead ot nineteen, possessintj some characters not common
to the larg-er one. Taking into account the symbollic ideas
held by the ancients concerning numbers, it was to be
expected that an odd number would be chosen and in
preference a prime. Now seventeen gives a middle line the
ninth from the edge and it woiild be fought for as two rival
camps approach from the sides; again a central line of
importance between that and the edge on each side of it (the
fifth) and so on till every line is taken up. This was
probably a part of the idea.
It would very soon be found in practical play that the
absolute bar of the edge of the board was so much stronger
than the command of a central position that the vantage
distance was somewhat upset or strained and that really the
the fourth line from the edge became important instead of
the third. Then after a time, somewhere about our Christian
era, an additional line was added all round to restore the
balance, so that the nineteen board may be looked upon as
the old seventeen board with an extra line all round, at
least that is a suggestion; it is difficult to build theories
on events so long ago. It is quite possible that the sole idea
was that of making the lines number one to nine to the
centre and the subsequent increase simply to enlarge the
scope of play, or perhaps the indefinite division of the
sixteen squares was responsible for the first choice of number.
If a line has been added all round to both boards it
fully accounts for the eleven line board being called a
quarter, for whereas in the full one the centre line is the
ninth, in the smaller one there were nine lines all told and
the orignal small board was exactly a fourth of the size of
the larger one. The quarter board seems not to have been
adopted in Japan.
In any case the middle line has become the tenth, the
vantag"e or important line from the boundary the fourth.
The Chinese named the four corners of the board after the
points of the compass, N.E., etc., and the centre point is
the centre of the universe. The Japanese named their nine
points after the sun and moon and the seven stars of "The
Plough ", the constellation which indicates the position of
the Pole star. But now they are adoptingf a method very
similar to what is known by chess players as the German
The Chinese boards are usually of paper and the same
sheets may be used as scoring sheets by writing the number
of the moves on the successive mees. The Japanese Tplay
on thick wooden blocks, sometimes mounted on feet; in
Korea the favourite is a metal board on feet; it makes a
metallic twang when played on. This would be a little
irritating to Western nerves but it would have the effect of
attracting the attention of the waiting adversary if necessary
perhaps from a doze during his opponent's deliberations.
This thickness and mounting enables the board to be used
with comfort when they are sitting on their mats in native
fashion, and it is obviously far more steady than the old
paper ones. The board used for an exhibition game by the
Japanese expert.s at the Hastings Chess Club, was kindly
lent by the Japanese Consul General. It was a handsome
piece of furniture of highly polished hard wood, with the
lines regularly ruled, so that the outside measure of the
hoard proper was i6^ inches one way and I5|^ inches the
other, giving oblongs approximately 12/14 by 13/14 of an
inch. It was mounted on four handsome legs or feet. The
boards vary a little in size but usually have somewhere about
this extent. The men, contained in two handsome covered
jars, were all exactly alike in farm, being like a short focus
double convex lens. The white men were highly polished
pieces of a shell and the black ones were of stone. This was
placed on a low table and our friends sitting- at it in the
ordinary European fashion took the men as wanted neatly
between two fingers and placed them where they were
required. The play was rapid and consumed about thirty
minutes each game. The first game, however, was played
on a large wall show board which had been prepared, with
two inch squares and men that could be easily attached.
The game is now occasionally played at the above Club.
The method oT scoring has changed somewhat also since
the early times. At first every mee captured by occupation
or enclosure counted, and as there are an odd number of
mees the win must always be by an odd number. This was
tedious and it quickly becomes obvious that the difference of
of the number of men on the board can be made out by
counting the prisoners; for the difference of the prisoners
will give the difference of tlie men on the board, or within
one. The next step, to drop the one (an improvement) and
count by adding the prisoners to the enclosed unoccupied
mees was easy. Then by filling up the opponents enclosed
spaces with the prisoners you have taken, the counting is
easier still, and a drawn game .has become possible and the
uninteresting old filling up of the spaces between the camps
at the conclusion of the game is avoided as not counting to
either party. Originally too a point was deducted for each
isolated camp, that is every camp that is separated from the
main body. This has been quite dropped and makes an
improvement as the deduction told less against Black than
against White, who already suffers sufficiently from the
second move. This difference in the method of scoring has
made a slight difference in the tactics but not so much as
masght be suppose'd.
A few minor points of tactics have already been brou<fht
out and we hope fully appreciated. Formerly our thought has
been chiefly for the" smaller board, now our thoughts must
be chiefly for the larger one, where the finer points of the
game are alone possible. It is evident that having to cover
as much territory as possible the men must be placed to the
greatest possible advantage where they exercise the greatest
influence on the game. To find the most powerful posts is
the problem of the expert, the result of brains, study and
practice. Another most important consideration is the
question of capture. If a man is so placed that it
produces a threat, or increases one already existing to
capture a group of men or even a single man, the opponent
becomes constrained, and if the position requires special
attention in one direction owing to the threat, it cannot be
developed in another, his men cannot be played with freedom,
the threat must be attended to or disregarded. If the former
course be determined on, time and opportunities are lost;
while a breach is being repaired at one point the attack of
the adversary is being strengthened in another; if the latter
course is adopted there is immediate loss of territory. The
other side of the picture tells us that we must guard
sufficiently against capture ourselves. The group at the
upper right hand corner of diagram 2 to occur in actual play
must have been treated with extraordinary carelessness, as a
man placed anywhere in the larger eye at any time during the
lining process would have made its arrest impossible, for the
lining must then have become a complete filling. Besides
which the lining could ha^ been arrested the moment it was
A man played where it is at all liable to a serious threat
thereby acquires an element of weakness which must be
balanced against any advantage attributed to its position.
On the other hand it will admittedly sometimes pay well to
plant a man or even a small group where its eventual capture
is certain or practically certain, if it requires immediate
attention and demands the playing of at least as many men
on the part of the adversary to stop the mischief as are
engaged in the manoeuvre. Occasionally a man or even two
or more can be left for capture to give time to surround or
capture the capturing group. A forlorn hope is sometimes
justifiable. For example, an attempt may on occasion be
made with advantage to force a double eye somewhere,
where with correct defence it cannot succeed, buf- the
attention required must be demanded immediately. It is
useless and a suicidal waste of effort, if the opponent can
wait till he has finished a scheme elsewhere. All men played
after the mainplay is finished, count as nothing. Even when
two or three men must be placed before the threat has to be
attended to, the manoeuvre may easily become questionable.
Judgement and experience alone can guide. The point is to
hinder the opponent or to give him something to think about
and attend to. He must not be allowed to work unmolested
on any account, a judiciously placed man popped in here and
there that demands notice may prove of the greatest value
more particularly when two camps are approaching each
other. Look out for the vacant spots vital to the adversary
and consider the advisability of planting one of your own
men there; it at least prevents its iminediate occupation and
the picking up of the man may mean the closing of an eye
that it is necessary to keep open.
A threatening- attack is often met by a counter threat,
in fact one great difficulty in an attack with the idea of
destruction, is to advoid getting a lot of little isolated bits
which become more and more involved with the enemy's
forces, more and more insecure, till the downfall of some
indispensable part upsets the whole scheme and establishes
the enemy's position. When you are sorely pressed by
these active little flying contingents, go for them, make a
raid amongst them; counter attack has saved many a camp.
"The attacking party wins " has much truth in this game,
liable as it is to lead one to " Death or Victory " where the
former is tolerably certain. The more desparate the position
the greater is the justifiable risk. Time and opportunity are
easily lost, never to return.
There are then three main considerations in placing a
man: — (i) Its attacking and constructive power forwarding
your own game. (2) Constraining or hampering your
opponent. (3) Its safety. The balance of these
considerations is the power of the man or of its position.
It is evident also that a man on the outside line only
exerts an influence on one side. It shuts off no space and
with very little defensive power from its constrained position
impossible of support on the off-side, it is particularly liable
to arrest. Men on the second line are distinctly better off in
all these respects, and so on. But it is sufficiently apparent
that as the space between the men and the edge of the board
increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to defend the
enclosed strip of territory and also increasingly difficult to
defend loose men, rendering it necessary to build the fences
more solidly. Experience and investigation of the pros and
cons show that the fourth line is the important one in regard
to the edge of the board and its early command becomes vital
to success. If nearer the centre it takes longer to run
pai titio.is CO tlie edge and there is room to form up behind.
Modern strong play tends to show that in face of attack it
is g-enerall}' better first to occupy the third line as perhaps
safer than occupying the fourth at once. The points
where the four lines cross at the corners, are known as the
vantage points and are usually marked on the board when
the whole line is not marked. Play generally commences by
taking possession of the neighbourhood of the vantage
points. As the rival camps approach, the central point
becomes important and the mees or squares where the fourth
lines cross the centre lines are also generally marked.
As the great aim is to enclose much territory not to
build solid walls round small plots, the enclosing fences
should be of the lightest possible make. As few men as can
resist assault must be employed, with due regard to the
chances of capture and collapse. The size of the enclosure
must be guaged against the number of men necessary. The
wider the strip the further removed is the fence from safety
and the better built must it be. On diagram 5 near the
centre we saw a good solid completed double eye, perfect in
make and serenely secure but taking thirteen men to enclose
only two empty places. Such a structure, in one sense ideal-
is rarely if ever seen in practical play, it would take too
many men: the object of the game is not to get peace of
mind but territory, and while these solid structures are
being built the opponent will be throwing a light fence round
some extensive possessions.
If a lightly constructed fortification is somewhat doubt-
ful in the matter of its security and is attacked, generally the
best policy is not so much to strenghten its walls but to
extend it and to counter attack the rival attacking forces.
In this way other eyes may often be formed, flimsy perhaps
at first but servingf the purpose of saving' the situation and
capable of being strengthened later. This question of
attack on the attacking forces is never absent from the mind
of the skilled strategist, but a well planned attack may
compel the opponent to close an eye and make the fortress
more vulnerable, which may well be worth the cost of a few
Place white men at 26, 37 and 46, with black ones at 25
34, 45 and 36. If it is White's turn, he may play 44 and
pick up 45, but if it is Black's turn he is likely to close up
the eye by playing 44 to connect the loose man.
On diagram 6 we had some incomplete discontinuous
double eyes, which, however, were quite secure.
, Diagram 7 gives some still lighter structures which are
not quite so obviously safe, but which are quite safe in
reality. Directly there is any danger they can be joined up
and made as solid as may be necessary. Without care they
may fall, with care they never can and these are therefore
equally reliable bases for attacking outworks. Positions
might have been given of the very flimsy type much more
often met with. It is always a question whether some of
these last can survive an attack at all.
In high class practical play most of the enclosed spaces
are at least at first scarcely more than imaginary, but within
the light films must be the ability to form the all absorbing
eyes when called upon, and the player who can make and
defend his enclosures with the smallest number of men will
get the most for his pains; for the men are played alternately
and each get the same number of moves. Of course if the
films are too flimsy some parts will get arrested, and every
chance of capturing ill considered trifles belonging to the
enemy must be eagerly seized upon. The destructive as
well US the constructive and defensive quality must be given
full scope in this class of contest. It is astonishing how much
territory' may be affected by a break through a lig'ht wall.
The relative importance of districts must receive its due
attention. In fighting a new district the stake is probably a
large one, as the fij^ht proceeds the issue becomes
more definite and the undecided portion of the stake
grows less. The wise player will then leave it for another
battle-field where the stakes are higher or the attention
relatively more urgent; as the position developes the original
fighting ground again becomes the most important for a
time, till everything is sometimes whittled down to a race
for single points. A skilled player therefore often dots about
over the board always giving his attention where there is
most to be gained. The importance of a position may be
enhanced by its neighbourhood to another critical one and
its consequent influence over it. To a beginner this is
distinctly puzzling and is one of the great reasons of the
greater appreciation of a smaller board in the early stages of
Let us discuss the position of diagram ly, supposing
ihat the other men are too far off to interfere. Black may
have played three men away and then tried to form a
fortification behind White, who has played one elsewhere, so
we will clear the board of other men. Black has now, we
win say 12 men on the board and White whose turn it
is, II. Black has a single eye nearly but not quite closed
in. The White man at 12 has been wisely placed to prevent
the formation of a double eye internally in the immediate
corner. White may now at once bring about the arrest of
the black camp by playing 11 and 13, Black not being able
to offer any resistance quickly enough to be effective. But
seeing that the battle at this spot is decided, he may
determine to make the best of his opportunities elsewhere and
get a considerable start of White as compensation in another
quarter of the board. For this reason White may wish to
leave it to a later stage, but if so, he must not neglect to
secure the loose man at 17 by playing to 27, or the position
would be liable to a very serious attack. Having done so
the position may well wait till the final stages or until it is
seriously assaulted. Black's only even apparent chance of
recovery is to be able to capture the four men of the right-
hand section or of course the six of the other, which however
could be joined up at 35. Should Black attempt to forestall
this by placing one of his own men at 35, 46 would settle
matters at once, but White's 36 or 45, if he chose to risk
one of them for the chance of gain, would lead to some brisk
play very dangerous to Black, but largely depending for its
results on the position of other men on the board. The real
danger to White, however, is practically nothing, as he can
always arrest the 14 group in two moves. In an open board
even after 36, Black's men fall as follows: -27, 35 36, 45
55, 46 47, 56 66, winning in the far corner (if Black
continued so far). If Black had a man placed suitably in
the road, say on 244, it would save the situation in that
variation. In such a case White might vary with 56 instead
of 55, then perhaps 55 66, 65 75, 6| 74, 63 (if 73 63, 53 62,
52 15, wins the group) 73, 72 (if 62 then 72 shuts them in,
for if any serious attempt is made to capture the 41 group
White picks up the 21 group) 82, 81 92. White by hugging
more closely, would not get so good a game 27, 35 36, 45
56, 55 65, 54 63, 64 74, 66 75, 46 57, 47 (if 53 52 in time)
48, 58 67, 38 (76 is to slow and loses ground quickly) and
White must give up something to save the 17 group; he is
forced to make the two moves to pick up the 14 group at a
critical juncture. White could with advantage give a wider
berth to Black. After 45 for 36, the play might go 36 47,
37 38, and settles it at once, or as before a more open
formation could be adopted.
The position illustrates another point. If White's last
move was 17 as the appearance of the board would suggest
it was bad, 27 was much better; it does not close the enemy
in quite so quickly, but it is more secure and more useful.
Should Black then play to 17, White replies with 28 or 29,
obviously keeping Black in, unless there are some Black
friends along in that direction: in which case White would
head off the line. If, however, after W 27, B 28 then 17,
and uses the white base to support an attack against 28 and
friends without loss of time or undue risk. Time rightly
understood is a great element in this as in most games of
skill. Not time in the sense of speed of play, but in the
sense of the number of moves made. Making a few moves
say to build a fence that might have taken more is gaining
time. Lightness combined with strength is the aim of us all
but the privilege of the few.
Examine carefully all the cases of enclosures near the
fringe of security. Remember that sometimes a fortification
can be destroyed by attacking an eye in detail, capturing a
detached portion. Remember on the other hand that a single
eye wide open may generally be doubled internally, and again
very particularly that if there is only one way of doing it,
the chance of bringing about the double may be spoilt by an
adverse visitor dropped into the critical position.
FORTIFYING ENCLOSURES. In forming or
leaving an unsupported enclosure not to be fortified till it is
attacked, it is very necessary to know what will stand
securely against assault. One with more than seven vacant
mees is safe and it would be sheer waste to strengthen it,
(except to prevent neutralisation to be explained presently)
always supposing- of course, that the walls are continuous or
could be made so when required, without reducing the
vacant mees to less than 7, but when the number is not
greater than 7 it must be examined.
Starting from the simplest case it is obvious that a
camp with only a single mee, or with two, cannot be fortified
internally. When we come to three mees (enclosed by
friendly walls or the edge of the board) the case is quite
different ; with the move these can always be fortified by
playing into the middle one of the three. So, when the
move is against you the opponent can always prevent the
fortification by playing on to the same spot : he has then
only to fill up the enclosure to arrest a surrounded camp.
-Four mees depend entirely on their position, if they form a
continuous line, straight as 33 34 35 36, or crooked such
^s 33 34 44 45 they can maintain themselves even
against the move ; for a man placed in either of the two
intermediate mees will divide the enclosure into two.
Whichever one the opponent takes, the other is available.
But if they happen to be in a square form they cannot fortify
even with the move ! Into whichever corner a man is
played the adversary has only to take the opposite one.
Therefore although when a three enclosure is formed or is in
formation it must be attended to at once, a four in a square
may be left by an opponent as long as it remains a square.
The weakness of the square formation is handed on to
larger spaces containing it and it is curious to note that if
an opposing man is played into the square leaving three
mees unoccupied, this remaining part cannot fortify, though
in a sense a three. A part of the wall is not friendly. A
formation like a stunted " T " 33 34 35 44 can be fortified
(at 34) with the move but not against it. Five men in line
(without doubling' on themselves) will of course be as secure
as four, and may even wait for action till there are two
invaders, but when they take the form of a Greek cross as
33 34 35 24 44 they can be fortified (at 34) but cannot
stand assault and the same may be said of a square with an
extra mee at the corner; the critical mee this time being the
corner of the square adjacent to the extra mee. In this last
.case, in filling up, caution begins to be necessary, care must
be taken to leave the extra mee or the one diagonally opposite
to the critical square till last or the four mees when picked
up will leave a fortifiable enclosure. Now we come to a six
mee space. There is one form in this set that will not stand
against assault and this is like a square with the two extra
mees adjacent to on the two sides of the same corner ; the
critical spot then being the said corner. The enclosure
might be 24 33 34 35 44 45, the critical mee is 34. All
other forms of six have at least two fortifying mees. In the
case of two parallel rows of three whether evenly placed or
not, the middle of each of the three gives what is wanted,
to be backed up by any mee of the other set and so on.
Diagram 19 collects these forms with some others.
In all cases as hinted above care must be taken as to
the order of filling both by friend and foe, and the friend
must be careful that he is not called upon to pick up a group
that will leave an unfortifiable space. In sound forms it is
always possible to form a double eye when the enclosure is
clear of the enemy to start with. When there are more
than 7 mees in the enclosure it is always possible to double
and therefore to arrest any adverse men that are played into
It seems difficult to give a general rule but the following
is the author's aid to memory:- "After the opponent has
played his one man there must remain either three vacant
mees in line or an open pocket. " An open pocket being- a
vacant mee surrounded by three triendly men and another
vacant mee. Then a double eye can always be accomplished
by playing to the centre mee of the three or closing- the
When the space is already occupied by some adverse
men as will often be the case especially if we have also been
surrounding- the enemy, the question becomes more complex
but the same principles apply. If the number of mees is
more than 7 we can simply wait events and fortify by
defiance if we cannot get a double. Should the enemy go
on filling up we could -wait till there is only one vacant mee
left and then arrest the invaders. It is never possible for
the enemy to subdue the fortification by exhaustion from a
large number as it is possible at any time to form a double
till we get down to a 7 mee space. No clear 7 space camp
can be arrested but there is one form in which a double can-
not be secured. This is when the space is two squares of
four superposed at one corner say 23 24 33 34 35 44 45 ;
the enemy 'occupies 34 it cannot wait and we play -24 33,
35 (or 44) +4 (or 35) and in either case we hold the position
by defiance for if he play another man we pick up and secure
a four in line space. In all other 7's a double can be forced.
If we are compelled to try the defiance method with not
more than 7 mees (vacant or occupied) in the enclosure we
must struggle to obtain a sound form for the pick up. If
we get one, the camp is secured.
In securing camps and in many other cases the idea of
open pockets is a useful one, they always add security, and
a line space owes its strength to its having an open pocket
at each end. In fact the whole line is simply a closed long
pocket which may be cut in two at any time. Perhaps we
may be forgiven for illustrating their influence on the game
generally by discussing briefly the formation of eyes within
the larger enclosures. We take the intractible case of
a square i6 with its corners say at 33 36 63 66. We
first essay at 46 to form a pocket which must be closed by
the adversary at 35, we then elongate our pocket at 45 ; it
already has a man in it, but this does not matter, there is
room for another. Once more it must 'be closed. Elongate
again at 44 and finally play 43 or 33. Another scheme
would be to play to 45 suggesting a long pocket two ways.
Adversary goes to 46. We then take 56, following it up by
35 or 36 without leaving the corner and so on. When our
space is partly filled by the enemy we must devise a plan
which avoids him if possible.
Now for the purpose of further illustrating the principle
let us consider a case from the other point of view. An
eight is being formed of a square nine with one corner miss-
ing and we have the opportunity of planting two (or more)
men in it while it is forming. Can we prevent a double eye ?
The enclosure may be 23, 24, 33, 34, 35, 43, 44, 45. It is
clear that 34 is important. If we allow the adversary to
occupy it he makes two pockets. Suppose we took 23 and
45 to close the pockets before-hand he could still take 34
followed by 33 or 34 doubling the space. No. We must
take 34 for one ; 43 to spoil both threes is useless for the
other, as he has 33 and 44 or 24. Try therefore 33 and 34
if he then plays to 35, 44 will prevent him forming an eye or
or in any way doubling the space. He dare not play another
man, he is thrown back on defiance at once. If we had the
opportunity of placing more men it would be of no use
unless we could tempt him to play another man within and
reduce his space to 7, even then it must not be at 33, 34 or
44. In filling up a not more than 7 space we should if
possible adopt forms that will grow through the indefensible
ones to the indefensible six.
We must not leave the question of fortification by
defiance without pointing out the danger of allowing a one
space camp to be lined and also the danger of allowing even
a single eye to be formed within it.
If such a process is going on, projections should be
thrown out. Suppose our square i6 above to be lined to
the extent of 33 43 53 63 64 65 66 we play to 35 perhaps,
bringing 46 then to 45 followed by 44 or 45 and there is no
room for mischief, if 35 is replied to by 44, 55 must be played.
If however it was still the opponent's turn to play and he
occupies 35 the position is more delicate. It is no use try-
ing to form a line so we occupy 45, 46 56, 36 34. Or if
35 45, 44 55 ! (to stop the eye) followed by 46 or 56, but
in this case 46 for 55 would be fatal enough, for after 46, 55
36, 34 there is no fortification by defiance for when the
enemy completes the lining at 56 a pick up is effected.
In conclusion then : — Any space of more than 7 mees
with continuous walls is defensible whether occupied or not
unless lined or with an opposition eye within it. All 7 mee
spaces are defensible if clear at the start. Certain forms
with less than 7 are not defensible against the move and as
a further aid to memory, these are all included in : — A square
nine with three or the four corners missing and any of the
mees between the missing corners also. This will be found
to include all these forms and no other.s. The only case in
which the edge of the board materially interferes with any
of the above considerations (except by breaking the con-
tinuity of the walls) is in the corner when it is sometimes
very serious. This is more deeply dealt with at the end of
the Tactics section. See Diagram 19 mtd zo.
When the adversary is trying- to form up in any con-
fined space, play men on to squares that are important to
him, such as the corners, or better still the middles of the
sides of his prospective eyes and the positions necessary to
join up his men, especially when to pick up the man he must
play into an eye that is better left vacant. It is often good
to play into a mee (or square) next to one the adversary
wishes to keep open.
A good deal of nice play often arises in fighting in en-
closed spaces. When a space is temptingly large but
irrejjular, there is room for a considerable amount of judg-
ment as to whether the attack should be begun at once or
be kept waiting till the play is complete in other parts.
If the attack demands immediate attention and counter-
play within the same enclosure it is generally well to go
ahead and to continue as long as it does command it or as
long- as the issue is still doubtful. When success is assured
(or doubtful) and it becomes only a question of a few places,
its importance must be weighed in the usual way against
the prospect in other battles. If ultimate defeat is evident,
of course no men should be wasted on the camp unless the
play strictly involves one for one.
Another case in which it may be necessary to proceed
at once is when the defence could quickly spoil the chance by
a judiciously placed man or so, and has the time to do it,
then to wait is to abandon it entirely.
After the general play is finished, there may be nothing
to lose and a possible gain in attacking any open space in
in which there is room to form a double eye or a chance of
breaking through, but while there is anything else to go for,
temptation must be borne quietly* and not easily yielded to.
It has been said that when the first enclosures have
been made there are the points between them to be fought
for, but when the frontier posts are thinly placed the dis-
puted territory becomes very ill defined and as some sort of
claim is at once thrown out, from the very beginning, almost
the whole fight may be said to be really for the spaces
between the ill defined boundaries and foi the breaking down
of the boundaries themselves. The modern scoring has
avoided the tedious, one and one, picking up of the last
points between the camps where there is no room for an
Practice and experience show that a fence thrown out at
about half strength is secure, that is, man and space
alternately. The adversary generally cannot play between
without loss, but if they are further apart a fight for the
intervals is quite feasible, the prospect of .success depending
on the positions of the other groups. Of course if friends
are near, the lines can well be thinner than when the enemy
or the boundary has to be faced and there is no support to be
In playing to hinder the development of an adverse
man, in a clear field it is not generally good to play next to
him, as he immediately begins an attack that may be dis-
astrous to you ; but it is better to leave a slight space
between the men and then his attack would be too slow for
complete success. For example, a lonely mkn is on 44, you
may play to 46, 36 or perhaps 55, but 45 would be bad and
43 very bad. The proximity of other men introduces other
considerations which may outweigh the one just given, and in
crowded positions it is swamped. This is why in starting
a game modern players tend to prefer 34 to 44, following it
up presently with 54 if no adverse man has appeared to
disturb the harmony. The 44 is on both vantage lines, but
being at the corner, having to guard both ways, often finds
itself overtaxed and generally needs the support of 34 or 43
later on. The 34 is nearer the edge and can so much sooner
form its eyes on the boundary, that this advantage, lessen-
ing the attention that is demanded, weighs heavily
against the more commanding position. The more cautious
move also will better bear leaving in the event of its being
attached whilst urgent business is demanding attention
elsewhere. The 34 is generally held in check with 53 and
the 44 with 63 or 64. It should be noted in this connection,
both for attack and defence, that for the formation of a
double eye in the corner the possession of the 4 line is not
necessary either way. A secure fortification can be built
outside both these lines in two different ways [see diagram 6).
Don't be too easily led away from a profitable scheme
to dsfend something which is of little value or is indefensible,
especially if your opponent is the stronger player he may see
that success awaits you and is bluffiing. Even if he attacks
a stronghold, let him go on, examine it carefully and don't
disturb him until it is necessary if there is anything else to
be done. On the other hand it is general!}' right to follow
your opponent up and not leave him a free hand, at any rate
when he changes quarters always look for what he seems to
be up to and if you are doubtful take the best chance and
follow him up. He has left the other district and when he
goes back you can go too if you then think well of it.
It is very important not to get too absorbed in any local
affair, every little bit is a part of the whole struggle and
affects more or less the whole field, but guard against the
other extreme, which is sometimes met with, of jumping
about all over the place for the mere sake of doing so.
Don't leave a keen struggle simply because it is keen or long
and you think it is time it slacked down or because you
are anxious to open an account somewhere else. By all
means give a good look round but deal efficiently with
what you have in hand before leaving it for less urgent
cases ; lean towards friendly camps and even one solitary
man in a corner is sufficient encouragement to steer the
conflict into that direction, this slender promise of help is
quite sufficient. When the ferocity of the fight calms down
a little then is the time to look tor opportunities to pop down
a man here and there. This is often where the main
advantage of a fight comes in, having the grip and so being
able to spare a move now and then for other fields. Gener-
ally these corner fights divide honours in the way of giving
a camp to one, and to the other the outside berth which is
not to be despised, it is much more powerful than at first
sight appears. Whichever way the predominance turns
towards other corners or to the centre, it lends material
assistance to all friendly forces in that direction, whether it is
an attack or an extension in a superior position or a defence
against an inferiority. If one player gets the outside berth
at all the corners he has probably lost a considerable amount
of property there, but he is sure of getting a very large share of
the centre field. Besides capturing men and territory, one aims
at driving the opponent's walls in to lessen his, and this
is especially true when he is seizing the centre field.
The same principle applies to its not alwaj's being good
to attempt to hurry on a capture too much but to play round
at a respectful distance. The argument on the position of
diagravi ly shows it to some extent. White instead of play-
ing to 27 had played to 17 to hurry on the arrest, rendering
the weakness liable to serious attack. The consideration of
influence indicates that 27, if feasible, is better then 17,
taking a more outside berth (towards the centre). When
White plays on to the one line, Black is naturally forced on
to llie two line and a free field ; but if White is on the two
line Black is driven in to the one line and a confined space,
leaving- the free field to White. If Black comes out into the
open he still has to face a White line. The more the fight can
be brought away from the edge, the more territory is involved
and the greater the reward of success, in addition to the
greater influence of the man played, but we must give the
everlasting warning against over-doing it, success must not be
thrown away. The play to defeat 35 in the position is also
significant in this connection, 36 the move natural to a novice
in direct contniuity and defending the weakest side, is just
good enough, 54 is distinctly better, but 46 still more out-
side and into ihe unfought field does the business at onre.
A rather larger ring round the black man is more efficacious
still and encloses some acceptable territory.
USE OF NEUTRAL MEES.
When the game is practically finished, really you think
quite finished, but your opponent is not satisfied and wishes
to go on as you must do if he demands it, play as long as
you dare into neutral mees between the territories as evefy
man you play into enclosed territory of either side lessens
your claim by one ; and ;dthough by playing men that are to
be arrested eventually he is fully making up for the deduction
by taking equally from his claim, you might just as well
save what you can and so help the final differential score.
If both go on playing into enclosed districts man for man the
final difference is not affected, for although you are filling up
your enclosures, the prisoners you take will fill up his to the
same extent, or if you play into his enclosures your own men
become prisoners to be handed over by your opponent to fill
up yours. And similarly whether he plays into his own
enclosures or into yours.
The modern scoring- by enclosures only in the place of
scoringf by men and enclosures together as some readers
will have been in the habit of doing, affects the tactics very
slightly and not to the extent one might at first sight
suppose. It might be imagined for example that the pro-
jection in such a formation as 64, 65, 76, 67, 68, was useless if
it eventually became necessar}- to fill up the vacant mee by
playing 66, but that is not so. It would not have been
necessary to fill up the gap unless the adversary was at close
quarters. Allhough the projectinjf mee does not count to
you it pushes the adversary back and so impoverishes his
territory. There is no serious difference in the tactics
brought about bj' the different method of scoring. You can
practically alwa3's play just as if the occupied mees scored
just as much to you as the vacant ones Neutral mees are of
course useless as regards the ordinary score, but sometimes
by playing into them you may force your opponent to occupy
a mee of his enclosure and save a point.
Difficulties arise with the " see-saw " position sometimes,
the position in which repetition is possible, and it is not ,
easy at first sight to see how the score is affected. There
is a natural disinclination to block up one's own enclosure,
but under every circumstance of the score it will be found
that it always pays to do so rather than let the opponent
take another swing, unless there is more important work
elsewhere. The vacant mee becomes occupied but the
prisoner is held (or saved) and the opponent in general
makes a corresponding move. In the middle of the game
it makes a difference of two points whether you give or take a
see-saw position. There is no question of vacant mees and you
give instead of taking a prisoner. It however occupies moves,
and may well not be worth while to take it when it is formed.
At the end of the game when all other districts are
quite settled the taking of a see-saw already formed may
mean one point only, or three. Let us examine the position
on diagram No. 12. Suppose it is the end of the game and
j'ou, Black, seize the see-saw by 19 and ask White to con-
tinue, he plays to a neutral mee and you close by 18, hold-
ing the prisoner, on the other hand if you were last occupied
on the other part of the board and White closes the see-saw,
there is no prisoner ; a difference of one point only. Let us
imagine with this position that there are some neutral mees
with everything else settled and quits, with White to play.
White hesitates to fill up his mee and make a draw we will
suppose. So he plays to a neutral mee ; Black now seizes
the position with 19 and calls upon White to continue, then
plays to 18 and wins by one point, his prisoner. If, how-
ever, he also hesitates and lets White in again, we get a
draw. If there are no neutral mees at disposal, or they are
not used, it makes matters worse and two points are at
stake. Should White hesitate to close and be foolish enough
to play to an enclosure, there may be no neutral mees, he
loses 3 points, two for the men he plays and one for the
prisoner in the see-saw.
These arguments have shewn that when there is
nothing particular about, it is always worth while to take or
close a see-saw as the case may be, but its value may well
be over-estimated. The point of view mostly presented in
practice is : — Here is a see-saw already formed with play
going on elsewhere. There is no question of territory or
the safety of that particular group. What has been done is
done with so far. What is it worth to take it and what is
the cost? If I take it and let my opponent take it back
again there is no direct effect on the score, only whatever
disadvantage may arise in the matter of the order of the
moves — this may be very slig^ht or serious. If I leave it
my opponent blocks it al the expenditure of a move. If /
take it and block it I gain one point (the prisoner) at the
cost of tviro moves.
Therefore in such a case merely to take it and let it go
again is not generally good and to take it and block it costs
three moves, two for oneself and one saved to the opponent.
In the early part of the game it can rarely be good to take a
mere see-sav*r, but as the moves get less valuable it becomes
more and more worth consideration.
In an ordinary case there is no question of security
because the mees being filled up brings the rival camps into
close proximity without spaces, whoever effects the block,
but when it does occur the matter must be viewed in a
When a see-saw appears there is naturally a wish to get
the chance of seizing it and its point, but it is necessary to
be cautious. Suppose this see-saw above discussed were
suddenly brought on in connection with position No ii of the
same sheet. White may not repeat the position with i8, but
plays 32 in the other position, obliging 31 then seizes the
see-saw to hold it, unless his opponent can make a similar
manoevure in his turn elsewhere. Hence tentative positions
of this character have their disadvantage, and should be
closed (in this case by Black) as soon as a fitting opportunity
Here is another interesting position also illustrating the
question of safety, on diagram 13. Black plays to 12 taking
the see-saw and threatens White's whole camp. White now
searches for a forcing position to be able to play as before,
a move that compels his opponent to reply on the spot ; if
he succeeds, then he takes up the see-saw again, threatening
to establish his position by picking- up Black's man on 23
and gives himself a nice double eye. But now it is Black's
turn to find a forcing move against White if he can and so
on, as long as such positions are to be found, and probably
it will not be for long. The first one to fail loses the position.
That is if White first fails he loses his camp and if Black
first fails White secures his camp. The Japanese word for
see-saw is " Ko.''
We often come across what might be termed a half see-
saw which only g'oes down at one end, If white men are at
56, 66, 65, 64, 54 and 53 and Black ones at 34, 35, 36, 46
and 55 as part of a larger position. Black may block as
before at the cost of one move or White may take the man
and secure the mee at the cost of one move only as he need
not block. The bargain therefore is two points for at the
most two moves, a much better speculation than a proper
see-saw. In the above position 34 and 35 may be white
men and the question is not affected. The question of
security may well come in here also as the mee acquired is
an eye and may be vital to White. The original vacant
mee at 45 was neutral.
A see-saw at the end of a game sometimes swings back-
wards and forwards for many turns whilst each player in
turn finds a forcing move that would not be worth while
under ordinary circumstances.
These stragetic schemes for construction and destruc-
tion may be gathered into what may be called a
THEORY OF CHAINS.
It is required to connect two points having we will
suppose, somewhat the relation of 21 and 04. What sort
of chain can we use to make a fence across the gap ? Nine
patterns from the strongest to the most flimsy are given to
choose from on diagram 10, and are discussed.
b 1 ^
Chains ; or strings of men of various forms connecting
No. I is complete and continuous but elementary and
extravag'ant. It is scarcely a cliain at all but a good all
round ready made permanent fence. Its solidity is unques-
tionable. It is absolutely secure against an assault, unless
it can be entirely surrounded, and is equally reliable for
attack or defence. Nothing can break it. It requires no
attention whatever, but it costs many men, the full nimiber
for the route including the deviation from the direct line.
It is so thoroughly stiff also that it would be difficult to
build in the face of an active enemy. It is an ideal which,
though always kept in mind, is seldom aimed at for any con-
siderable length of chain and still more seldom obtained.
In short pieces it abounds in ever)- game and occasionally
we do see it in longer lengths winding snake-like in and out
of the adverse forces.
No. 2, a diagonal chain, is a revelation to a novice and
should be carefully examined. We find here the other
extreme of flexibility and freedom. Not one man is joined
up, yet every line is taken possession of ; the enemy cannot
bridge it without destroying a part of it by picking up the
men. Yet is quite secure, every pair has two vacant mees
in the angles, the occupation of either of which joins up the
men as in No. i. If the enemy takes one we can occupy
the other, even if it would not pay better to attack the
intruder by threatening its arrest and so gain more territory,
perhaps at the cost of a link or two of the chain, instead of
joining up at all. Its angles form so many traps, and it is
particularly entangling at the bends where it forms open
pockets. One often uses the short length formation of three
men as at the top end of the chain given wherever the
pressure is not too great, it is better than a direct line as
keeping the enemy more at bay and securing an extra mee if
it can be maintained. It is wider ia its influence on thq
board, but as it does on occasion require support, it is not
so strong as No. i. True every addition that has to be
made is in reply to the opponent's move, one for one, but
the demand may come at a time of great pressure when the
opponent's move means more than the mere threat on tiie
chain, whilst if it had been complete as in No. i, the
supporting man could be available in another part of the
board, even if the attack had not ceased to be worth the
opponent's while. However, very little attention i-^
demanded to keep it intact and there is a distinct saving of
force owing to the deviation coming naturally.
We see from this that the angle men in No. i are not
immediately necessary, they can be put in outside or inside
of the angles whenever the pressure comes, if at all. In
building a wall it follows from this that the next man need
not be directly ahead, but may deviate to one side or the
other giving a choice of three squares and relieving the
stiffness. Short lengths of Nos. i and 2 work well together
and form the staple of close fighting manoeuvres.
No. 3. As the general principles of chain formation
have been sufficiently discussed in the foregoing, it is only
necessary to indicate the peculiarities of the remaining
Here we have a useful, open work form, using the same
number of men as No. -z and wider still in its influence,
though it will not take a full diagonal course. When the
line is direct the security is obvious. It seems to invite the
enemy through, but he cannot accomplish the feat. In a
clear field he may be allowed to go so far as to fill both the
ntermediate mees and join on at one end, but he is stopped
at the other by a man that immediately joins to one of the
two sides. Nor is it much less powerful when oblique. In
the diagram, let White play 87, Black places a guard on 88
or 85 according to which is the dangerous side. With
friendly neighbours White may be allowed to occupy 86, 87
and 88, but he is still caught. It is a ver}' useful idea when,
working amongst the enemy, and it rarely wants patching,
for the adversary dare not play into the meshes.
This lends some additional glory to two men side by
side in any position, it shows that not only are they mutually
supporting jbut that they form an effective part of a line
practically in any direction.
No. 4. Still more economical ; nearly as strong as No.
3, it is easily turned into it, and only uses three quarters of
the men. If there are no adverse men actually amongst it
at the time of building, it cannot afterwards be disturbed.
Say an attack takes the form of 44 45, 43 42, 33 22 ! If
one wishes to build a strong wall in front of a threatening
fortification this is the pattern to adopt. In practice it
proves even stronger than it appears on a cursory examin-
ation, there are so many ways of patching it up and of
turning attacking parties on to its own base to be efficiently
No. 5. Those on the lower half of the- board are lighter
in character and as they belong to the nimble family less is
expected in the way of sturdy resistance. Their use
will depend on circumstances. This one is useful, being the
strongest with so little material, it takes only half the com-
plement of men and can quickly be augmented into No. 4 or
any of the preceding. The mee between the two men can-
not be seized by the enemy without adequate support. It is
the form to adopt when a strong base is contemplated in
some position where there is no pressure yet, but will
certainly come, such as commencing in the corner. Two
men so placed constitute a splendid foundation for a base
that cannot be overcome unless deserted by its captain for
other loves. This form of development is in constant request.
Three men say at 64, 44, and 46 are very stronjf, and
another at 55 renders them impregnable.
No. 6. A much used modification of No. 5, allowing-
of deviation without waste of material. It bears somewhat
the same relation to No. 5 that No. 2 does to No. i, but
without the great difference in strength. It may equally be
filled in to become any of the upper forms, but there is less
choice of method of change than with No. 5. It will be
used when the fighting is already going on in the district,
the deviation being made towards the danger side when the
position is strong and towards the safe side when the
position is weak.
No. 7 and 8. Still more rapid and slender and at the
same time much weaker. A sort of giant stride, one direct
and the other oblique. There is a great choice of places for
inserting strengthening men, but it cannot withstand attack
without them. Useful when sallying forth from a friendly
base into a new field, perhaps the centre, or sometimes in
throwing a rapid fence from corner to corner to enclose the
side territory. Sometimes also by way of an advanced
guard to meet an advancing foe. The stronger the base
and the weaker the present opposition the longer the forward
stride may be. It is attacked by placing a man each side of
the gap and is liable to be used too freely.
No. 9. Scarcely more than an indication of claim to
acquire territory, but often effective for all that, especially
when it associates two friendly bases. (See remarks on Nos.
7 and 8). It has the advantage of readily becoming No. 5
or 6, being in fact a transition form. In using' it we must
bear in mind that the long-er the linlc the more necessary is
it to incline towards the safe side. This is still more liable
to be used too freely. In joining- two friends at a distance
by say three links, it is best to take the middle one first
leaving the adversary less room than by taking an end one.
GENERAL. It need hardly be pointed out that chains
may be and are, of necessity, forged of mixed pattern-^.
We must fit in our links according to space and other
circumstances, We use the lighter transition forms in open
field and, as far as possible, the denser forms for the close
fight. The great aim is to be able ultimately to construct a
fence of sufficient strength without putting too much into it
in the early stages. Needless attention, when there is any-
thing else to do, means loss in another place. The whole
art of the game lies behind that. The most important job
must be done first. Which is the most important ? "There's
the rub." One difference that distinguishes a good player
from a bad one is his ability to judge these things correctly.
And the ability to judge is chiefly made up of knowledge
and the mental power of the individual, the one can be got
by study and practice, and the other by close attention during
play. Never make a move without a reason and always
work out as far as you can into the result ot any contem-
CHECKING PLAY and destructive tactics are converse
to development and construction and they are to a great extent
directly opposed, but are in other respects intimately inter-
woven. This side of the play is the more difficult. We have
the building and the defence to consider with almost as much
attention as on the other side and much more besides. We
use all the art of the builder for our own structure and learn
from it how we can best get in his way. Perhaps we think
our opponent would be assisted by the possession of a certain
mee, it is one reason and a strong- one why we should play
there. If the possession of the mee is vital to him this
consideration becomes paramount. From its dangers to
you, however, or from the more seductive attractions of
another, you may be content with simply making it danger-
ous to him to occupy the mee. He replies, when and if
policy dictates, by placing a support that would suflRciently
increase the safety of the move. You then increase the
danger till the position is either occupied by the one or the
other or abandoned altogether.
The two pace oblique link of No. 6 chain is appropriate
as a checking move in many cases, and especially when both
the enemy and ourselves are weak or thinly represented as
at the opening of the game. The man also ckecks the direct
advance in two places and is itself sufficiently out of danger.
It is the staple checking move. A direct two pace opposition
(as 46 to 44) is a slightly greater check, as it also directly
commands three places and it is in the direct line itself; on
the other hand, though it completely checks the important
two pace advance in one direction, it is in one direction only,
not two like the oblique does. Experience shows that the
direct opposition without support, whilst being very little
more check than an oblique one, is in too dangerous prox-
imity to the enemy, and this is certainly a question that
experience must decide. From a self defensive point of view
it is distinctly nearer to the enemy, being reached in one
pace instead of two. If it is attacked it must be defended
at once, not leaving its captain liberty of action elsewhere
and to be bound down to take up a defence at the opponent's
bidding as to time and place is a serious general weakness.
When, however, there is but one fellow soldier in the district
this closer opposition may be adopted. In all cases where
there is more support, internal or external, the closer
oppositions are used till in a mixed medley or when a
friendly contingent is within say two paces, the close up
contacts, diagonal or direct, should be freely adopted. The
diagonal contact (say 55 to 44) is avaifable for checking
purposes with very slight support in a thin field, it is not
the same thing as a diagonal constructive chain.
If your opponent throws out a long link it may generally
be threatened by placing a man somewhere in its midst not
quite in the direct line, and probably a second man to the
other side to cut off communications when there is no
support near. The men must be attended to quickly or they
will be able to break the chain. But when we think we see
a weak spot somewhere or a bit of fencing too lightly con-
structed, we should attack it, but not clumsily, caution is a
prominent virtue in these matters ; it is of no use challenging
to an unequal battle and bringing about disaster.
The destruction of a short link open fence is, we have
found, quite out of the question, unless we have friends at
Court, but that does not prevent us sending the friends on
ahead if it suits our plans elsewhere. Generally the support
must be provided well before the attack is commenced to
avoid the risk of a disastrous collapse and care may be taken
not to alarm the enemy before it is too late for him to save
the situation. He has much to consider all over the board
and it is not wise to over advertise our schemes. With so
many things he wants to do at the same time you may find
it possible to attract him where you don't mind him, away
from where you don't want him. Absence is often highly
Sometirhes in an attack to capture a whole camp, the
question arises in reference to a roomy avenue for an escap-
ing development. There should not be too much haste to
bar the way at close quarters. Choose a place of economy
and as far from the enemy as practicable, as this not only
encloses for yourself a larger territory but takes longer for
the enemy to reach you. It requires a width of three mees to
form an eye and they are easily stopped in that space with
care, but there are many tricky little structures which require
If your opponent begins running out a line in close
formation into an open field, perhaps to escape suffocation
from a one eye camp which j'ou are surrounding, vou can
generally adopt the two pace direct advance with advantage,
it turns him at once. e.g. Suppose Black has men at 12,
21, 22, and 31 ; White at 13, 23, 33 and 32. Black plays
to 41, now if the force to be met in the distance is white, by
all means play to 42, but if it black it would be fatal to allow
the meeting and we (White) play to 52, bringing about an
arrest of the camp, it leaves two outlets but both are under
complete control. Another example away from the side of
the board is met with in the discussion of No. 4 chain (22).
Too much of this may bring trouble ; suppose in the above
after 14 25, 24 35, 34 45, 44 53, 43 42, 52 ! Detached men
are also liable to attack, but a little practical play will shew
this at once without exemplification here.
The discussion on the chains and checking moves will
have given already a good idea of the opening of the game,
but there are still some difficult considerations. On the open-
ing the whole history of the subsequent game depends.
There is the very troublesome question of the amount of
attention that is desirable before leaving a camp temporarily
for other fields, and the checking and counter checking of
the first comers. It is clear that when two men hold the
fort they require no assistance till the enemy comes. But
the player of the two men is two moves behind elsewhere and
is probably already involved in a fierce fight. Each will
strive to get ahead in some quarter and force the fighting ;
when the enemy begins to get tied up it will give an
opportunity to put " a stitcli in time " where the stitch is
needed. Thus we must not be too hasty in establishing a
two-man camp. On the other hand the two established
occupants are ready to begin a fight to great advantage
directly an enemy ventures into their neighbourhood. They
form a dangerous group to tackle till support appears in the
way of a growing base, and as such are generally better
left alone by the opponent till such support arrives. The
enemy being the two moves ahead should be able to get a
predominance somewhere which will enable hicn to lay siege
in a suitable manner.
When a claim is laid to a corner district, then we must
decide whether we put in a check or leave it alone. Again
perhaps 34 has been met by 53, 42 can now be played in
diagonal contact as a counter check, constructive as well as
restraining, being an important step towards a fortification
and at the same time, though sufficiently safe itself owing
to the company of 34, it renders 53 very unstable. The
white man, besides suff'ering from a diagonal contact with-
out support, is out-numbered, it demands immediate attention
and if White does not respond to the call, local trouble is
likely to follow.
If this or some other counter check is not played. White
may take up the running by playing 45 with even greater
effect. It is particularly important in the opening develop-
ment to get in these double-barrelled moves. All our
checking moves should assist our constructive schemes as
far as they can possibly be made to do so, and even in
our purely constructive manoevures the restraining' influence
must be kept well in mind.
A camp of a solitary two, gives a g-reat temptation to
throw out a long' link too early, perhaps 34 and 54, sup-
plemented by 49. It is the correct way to treat it, but it
should be a long' time before an effort can be spared from
other districts. Already two moves behind, every attention
should be g^iven to the other camps till the fury of the fig'ht
In checking' and I'naking' 3. g'uard in the corner, keep an
eye for the outside berth and whenever you start with a
preponderance of force it should be easy, as your opponent
by reason of his weakness, is forced towards the side for
fortification purposes ; in itself a sufficient reason for leav-
ing a two man camp alone. You may be able to approach
later on, with a strong base behind you.
Instead of giving an attacking check in such a case as
after the 34 53, we may adopt a purely constructive policy
with 45, which is equally useful in another way, bidding for
the outside berth instead of a fortification in a cramped
position. Let us see what the experts do, and to avoid com-
plications we will dissect the opening used in the various
corners in some games played by Japanese players, they
form our best model and at present practically our only one.
Later on there ijiay be an English school as in other games
of skill. A few running notes will help to extract the lessons
and the removal of the other play will intensify the special
part that we desire to illustrate. The numbers of the moves
in the games are given to show whether the position was
pushed along keeping others waiting, or was itself con-
sidered able to wait whilst others were in active play.
Having^ appreciated llie local Lreatiiient of the corners, then
the student will be better able to study with advantage
the games given. It will be noticed that White often treats
the opening more boldly than Black ; this is partly due to
necessity, White being beliind wants to catch up, and some-
times White ni;iy have a feeling of superior tactical strength
and so be prompted to be less cautious than Black would be.
A'dash is used with the ordinary meaning of the move being
No. 1. 1. 34 — , 2. 54 — I being well away from the
enem}^ this formation is adopted : 3. — 39 approach from a
distance, 30. —73- 31. 37 5o, '32. 28 — , 33. 93 75- 34. 95—.
White is strong below and has played to separate the Black
forces. Black equally plays to prevent White from making
an enclosure by leaving bare room.
No. 2. 1. 34 — , 2. 54 — , 6. 03 — . the camp this side is
two of the enemy. 8- 69 to meet a similar advance, 67, the
first check and to prevent too easy a junction. 9. 65 87,
10. 05 47, fencing through, 11. 78 77, and a furious contest
raged around this position. Wliite is forced into building a
No. 3. 1. 53 — , a little variety, rather more enterprising,
3. — 34, the two friends were in the far comer, i. 93 — , and
it was now left till 55. 37 45, 56. 30 73. Practically two
fights have developed in one corner.
No. 4. 1. 34—. 2. 54—, 3.— 39- IS.— 30, 25-— 06,
26. 03 another respectful approach.
No. 5. 1, 34 — ; 2. — 53, i. 93 — , one white man in this
direction. 12. — 45, taking the outside berth, 23. 42 52,
24. 44 54, 25- 43 25, 26- 55 24. White does not succeed in
preventing the fortification but limits its extent.
No. 6. 1. 34 — , i. 54 — , 7- 83, the camp below is held by
the enemy. 80- 38 — . and it was left for some time.
No. 7. As in No. 6 but 13. 47 37 a fierce fight ensued.
No. 8. i. 34 — , 2. — 53, i. 93 — , 9- — 36 there isafriend
near. 12 — 45, a furious fight is going on in the far corner.
23. 42 52, and now it begins here.
No. 9. 1. — 44, 6. 63 46, 29. — S3, close contact as he is
well supported. 30- 64 84, H. 04 — .
No. 10. 1. — 44, 13- 83 — , 38, — 63,40. 0694, to localise
the struggle as far as possible.
No. II. 1. — 35, 3- 43 — , 7- — 73i there are three friends
and four opponents in this direction. 8- 54 46, 9- 56 57,
10- 66 67 and so the fight began,
No. 12. 1. — 43, 5- — 45> 7- — 83 three Black men in this
direction. 27- 84 75, Black has fairly near supports but
White attacks. 28- 96 97, 29- 07 — , 30- 93 — , 31- — 86,
32. 95 — . 33. 98 — a furious fight is going on, on this side.
It was now left for a long time.
No. 13. 2- 43 — , 3- 35 — , i- — 64, one white man in this
direction. 5- 45 44, supported on both ^ides he may boldly
play in. 6- 54 34 «"'' some hard hitting ensues.
No. 14. 2. 43 35, 4- — 30j two black men this way,
8. 54 — , 9. — 93, two black and one white over here. 12. 38
55. 13- 65 56, 14. 58 64, 15. 63 74, 16. 73 84 and so on.
No. 15. 2. — 53, 27- 45 34 again a No. 6 support allows
diagonal contact. 28. 35 24, White being on tlie border
side must play closer. 29.49 — > black friends in this direction.
36. —93. 37. 95—- 'W-— 74. 53. 83 03, M. 84 25, 45. 37—
when more attractive fields drew away the combatants.
No. 16. 2. — 34> *■ — 54. 5. 30 — , 6- — 93, facing an
opponent in the neighbouring' corner. 7- 37 — > 25- 89 — , a
desperate struggle is in progress in the lower corner and
Black rightly or wrongly is taking opportunities. 71- 64 — ,
72. 53 43. 73. 55 44. Ti- 45—. 75. 52 42, 78.-63, 79- 83 62,
80- 94 03, 81. 96—.
No. 17. 3- 34 — , 13. — 54 the bulk of the men are in this
direction, ii. 73 44, Black might have played closer up.
15. 35 33, 16. 23 42, 17- 32 43, Black takes a square useful
to the atlversary. 18. 22 46 murii better than close up. 19.
75 36. 20. 26 — . 21. — 27, 22. — 25, winning 26, etc.
No. 18. 3. 34 — 1 5. 45 30, one white man this way.
7.-37. 8. —74. 9. 43—. 10- —54. 11- 36 47. and was left
for a very long time.
No. 19. 3. 34 53. 5. 45 30. 9- 43—. 10- -54- H- 36
47, the old story.
No. 20. 4. 35 54. 5. 43 53. 6- 44 55. 20- 84—, two
black men and one white over here. 23- 93 67, most of the
men are this way. 24. 86 75, 25. 85 06, 26. 03 38.
No. 21. i. 53—. 6. —45' 7. 34 35. 8. 24 39, three
black and four white this way, all well back.
No. 22. 3. —35. 9- 43 54. 10. 53 74. H- 64 65, 12. 63
75. 13. 83 30 two black in this direction. Now left.
No. 23. 1. —34, 2. 53 73. 4. —54, 5. 43 44. 6- 33—.
1£. 24 2 -, 16. 23 36 and left.
No. 24. 1. 43—, 2. —35, i. —64, 5. 45 44. 6. 54 34.
7. 55 53. S- 63 52, 9. 74 37. 10, 65 42 and left.
No. 25. 3. 43 — 11. — 35, two biai'k men over here.
12. 39 54. IS. 53 64. 14. 63 74, I5. 73 84, 16. 93 39 in the
next corner, 17. 34 :!4, 18. 23 44, 19. 33 59 in the next corner,
20. 36 26, 21. 45 25 22. 37 46. 23. 47 56. 24. 57 2o, 25- 66
55, 26- 29 78, 27- 68 77, 28. 79 and it receives no more
attention yet awhile.
It will be seen'that a close contact check is never made
in the early stages. Should it be adopted it should be
immediately countered ; say 43 44, 45 and Black must benefit
by White's difficulties.
One learns that there is a great choice of play not only
as regards tiie squares to play to but in general treatment.
One may adopt the old 44 opening or the more cautious 34
or tlie more enterprising and consequently more risky 35 or
even 45 without infringing much on good ta.ste. Certain
formations are more urgent of treatment and others can
wait. In any case it wants an appreciable disadvantage to
mean serious disaster. A camp can generally be fairly
easily saved, with careful play, and experts rarely for that
reason get the opportunit]' of taking, any considerable batch
of prisoners. Nevertheless it pays to attack a weak position
to curtail its ijifluence as a saving of vacant mees is as
useful as acquiring them. Prisoners of course count double
in a way, one for the man and one for the mee acquired, this
doubling being discounted by the mees you have to fill up in
effecting the arrest.
One lesson that the study of the local treatment of the
openings strongly exemplifies is that in playing a man two
mees off you are preparing the formation of an eye, whereas
in playing two mees oflf the adversary you hinder iiim from
carrying out a like manoevre, by curtailing his space. Don't
make a close up assault unless you believe it will succeed.
Defeat loses ground. Make a finessing move to bring up
reinforcements or an attacking one to compel a defence that
will give you time. The exception is the planting
of a man into the midst of a hostile camp to force
Of course the whole treatment, especially after the first
few moves is sublimely influenced by the position of other
camps, but the first thing- to learn is local government, the
imperial may follow.
The gfeneral management of the full board will be
illustrated by the g^ames which follow, but it is exceedingly
difficult to dictate about the opening moves which are very
largely a question of fancy and style. The test of a good
opening is a good position to follow and the general com-
mand of the board, and the central position must be balanced
against e.N.tra mees acquired by tiie other side.
The game after all is in three stages ; the opening is
but to lead to the middle game where the main play arises,
sometimes quite general and sometimes patchy, followed by
the end game or scramble for the few odd points remaining,
which with experts is a very short affair. All we need say
is, if you hold enough to win, play safe and hold it. If you
are behind, then is the time for risk. The middle game will
soon show for example whether, between any particular
pair, 43 or 44 is better; the safe, or the m6re enterprising.
What pays in one case is not permissible in another.
THE LAST WORD.
(and a few others ! ).
Practice ! Read, but practice ! In writing this hand-
book an honest endeavour has been made to make the
principles clear but nothing- can avail without practice. If
you find it tiring because too complex on the full board, as
well a beginner may, play on a draughts board. The practice
on the smaller one will soon make you want the full one.
It on an occasion, after having attained some proficiency, you
have no time to play a steady game on the full board, and
have no taste for the lightning style, play the limited game as
before advised on the inner board, your boundar)' is clearly
indicated by the special ruling.
On the sheet now presented, have been gathered a
few positions for study or iUustration. They are more or
less critical or interesting, some of them have already been
discussed, and all will repay attention. The analyses of
such as will be worked out are given in such a way as to
show how positions should be examined. They have each
been composed with the idea of shewing some point of
importance or interest, and of giving a further insight into
the intricacies of practical play.
No. II. Black has two eyes but they are not connected.
He can do this at any time and there is only one point at
stake. He can play to 32 and enclose three mees in all, at
the cost of one move, or he can wait till White plays to 32
and still remain with two mees by playing to 31 at no cost
in moves. That is, as far as the score is concerned he need
not attend to it till other fields do not involve a stake greater
Diagrams 1 1 to 18.
Diagram ii. A useful forcing position.
Diagram 12. A see-saw bctioeeii fortified ca?nps.
Diagram /j. A see-saia on a tottering camp.
Diagram 14. A critical position to sheio treatinent.
Diagram i ^. Neutral territory.
Diagram 16. Can White fortify ?
Diagra?n ly. A itearly arrested camp that can shew fight.
Diagram 18. Can Black save him-self against the move ?
than one point, but in this class of position the immediate
score is not the only consideration, for its being left open
gives White an option that may come in useful. If it is
White's turn to play he can at any time go to 32 and force,
in general, an immediate reply, move for move, docking
Black of one point at no expenditure of moves. It would
therefore seem that there is no reason why he should wait,
especially as by doing so, he gives Black the opportunity of
saving the point. On the other hand, by leaving this class
of position as long as Black ought not to avail himself of the
chance given, he not only gives Black the opportunity of
doing badl)', a consideration which may perhaps not be
objected to as unworthy in handicap play, but he also keeps
the opportunity of forcing Black, should an important see-
saw come along.
No. 12 is a see-saw attached to a fortification. It means
one point only and would generally be left till the game is
Xo. 13 is a see-saw attached to a tottering camp whose
life depends on securing it. It has been discussed in the
No. 14. This position supposed to be unassailable
from the sides, as it generally would be in practical play,
may give a little further help. White is in danger, and
could save the situation at once by 63, but unless pressure
from without forbids, 84 or 93 must be better, not only in
playing out more into the field and so gaining influence, but
in tending to enclose more space. 94 would in general be
better still, depending on the neighbours near and far ; Black
could not venture into 83 at once, nor ev°n after taking the
man by 91, because of 93 in reply. After any of three moves
suggested for a pieliminary White suggests to block the
see-saw by gi. Say after 94, Black plays away, then gi,
White may ig-nore the position for a time, it will wait,
yet he has scarcely time for 91 at once, 83 93, 84 94, 85 86,
95 and if 05, 04 : but if the mee 91 had at this point been
vaCfint for a breathing' space, then now 96, 75 65, etc.
Breathing- spaces must be Icept open until they are done
No. 15 is a curious position. There are within the
enclosure three vacant mees and nine unfortified men of each
colour, 21 in all, yet the first one to play into it loses the
camp, the whole 2t points, to the adversary. Eleven by
way of mees and ten by prisoners. The position is neutral
in its own right without any question of eyes elsewhere, and
it was constructed to illustrate this possibility.
If the position be opened out one space and two men of
each colour be filled in so as to make the halves exactly
alike, then a see-saw man placed in tlie centre will give a
position in which the first to play into it wins the camp
instead of losing it. (The ten inside men on one half of the
position would be on 85678 957 05678). See the end of this
chapter "Neutral territory."
No. 16. Here we have again an interesting problem.
The student should examine it very carefully before looking
at our analysis. Can White fortify or must he lose his
camp ? Like most of the positions of its class, it is capable of a
good deal of play. Try 03, 82 92 (nothing bettter), 72 and
White is helpless. There is no time for 03. Try 72 (82 is
useless as it only encloses a square) 03 (time for this as it
forces 02) 02, 04 as Black now threatens to play to 92 win-
ning a section, White must go to 92 or gi, 62 71, 81 or 82
accordingly wins. If instead of 71 White try 61, then 51 71,
8 1 or 82 and it is not much better; but if instead of 71
White is less ambitious and is content with 81, he saves his
camp. Tliere is therefore no time for 04, he was right in
taking the see-saw because it forced a reply and drove a
a man into the camp ; also if White has to take it back he has
lost time unless the 02 forced on him was quite useful. Trv
(de novo) 72, 03 02, 62 63, 74 6i, and White is all right,
but if we plump riifht in, as it is often good to do, and for
62 play 92 04, 82 White is crushed. Black is a little too
strong for White. Let us shift 73 of tiie diagr:im back to
74 or nearly the same thing, imagiiie that Black stops to
strengthen his position at 74 after White's first move
of 03. We then get 03, 74 72, 62 71, 61, 63, 82 8i, 91
Black wins. No time for 63 try 92, 91 01 (not 81), and
succeeds ; or again 82, 8i 92, 91 01, and again succeeds ;
or 92, 82, 81, 91, 01 or 92, 81 82 and wins. It is now for
Black to improve his play if he can. For 6t try 92 91,
82 02. and still White wins, but after 91 92, 81 82, 01
02, 91 63, S3 Black wins. Going further back, if instead
of 71 White tries 91, we get 03, 74 72, 62 gi, 82 71, 6i 81
and still White wins. And so on.
No. 17. Let us take another look at thisposition and
suppose it is Black's turn to move. It has been discussed
somewhat before. We may get 27 18, 28 19, 29 and
evidently Black gets another eye and fortifies : 18 was bad ;
try 27 28, 18 19, 37 17, 36 35, 38 39, and Black's inside
camp falls. In this last, instead of 38 try 18 38, 17 (must)
47, and again there is a fall. Once more, 27 28, 37 47, 36
35, 18 38, as before. A more open style for White is even
stronger, 27 28, 18 37, now if 17 38, 19 20 or if 36 then 17
and 27. It is increasingly evident that Black has no time
for the 18 so try 27 28, 36 35, 37 18, and White can still
pick up the camp, but Black will b-e much better placed.
In this instead of White's last move of i8, try 48, 18 38,
1719, and Black is much better shut in. Instead of Black's
last 18, try 47 57, 38 39, 18 (must) 29, 58 49, 56 67, 66 and
Black is out agpain.
Of course instead of White's 57 he could have played 17
and picked up the inner camp. Or 19 instead of the 49.
No. 18 has already been discussed somewhat except that
the White line has now been put further off and onl)'
indicated. The two men however are quite sufficient to
keep off interference from outside. It has been shewn that
White with the move can prevent Black from forming- more
than one eye on J;he first line, it will then be Black's turn to
commence operations on the inside of the arrangement. It
will be evident by now that 46 is the best try, being a central
position and standing towards the enemy. Then if 46 45,
36 47, and there is no room. Try 46 45, 47 48, 38 36, 35
and succeeds. But if 46 45, 47 35, 36 (if 48 36, or if 39 48)
38, 39 48, 55 44 and stops him. Accomplished without help
from the top line by occupying mees important to the
opponent especially the middles of the sides of his contem-
plated eyes. After 46 White could also try 36, but 47 35,
44 45i 55 ^^^ succeeds. It is instructive to note that Black
is the strongest on the margin side.
NEUTRAL TERRITORY. In a territory that is
mutually abandoned as dangerous, or neutral, the vacant
mees do not count, as they are not surrounded by men of
one colour, the walls are mixed but it is not always easy to
see when a position is liable to be neutralised, or what is the
effect on the score.
This important consideration occurs in the fortification
by defiance when neither double nor arrest can be effected.
The camp has been saved but the territory is lost. Neither
paity can be forced to play into it and neither will choose to.
The men occupying it may have scored indirectly but the
mees left vacant are noutral. It is quite possible that a tyro
may agree to a position as neutral that could be won one
way or the other as some care and insight is needed, and
still more likely that a camp may be allowed to lapse that
should have been secured.
An enclosure that should be neutral may easily be lost
by trying to win it or to arrest some prisoners. In these cases
the ultimate result is largely dependent on whether the camp
is wholly invested or not and the neutrality of the mees is
not quite so absolute as with those between camps. We
will now consider a one space position with the conception
that it may not be wholly invested.
Suppose II, 12, 13, 21, 22, 23, 31, 32, 33 form the territory
of a sole enclosure in our white camp which is surrounded
or destined to be. We itnow by the size, 9 mees, of the
enclosure that the camp is safe (even if it is occupied by
several men not able to form an eye). It is quite necessary
to watch the enemy when he begins to play into it as an eye
is possible here in the corner. It is clear that if he be
allowed to take 12, 22, 32, cutting the enclosure in halves, we
cannot double and our only chance is in defiance. With
that idea perhaps we play 21 with the idea of preventing an
eye, then 31 clearly brings down the camp, unless we have
at least four moves margin from the incomplete investiture,
whether he arrests 21 or not. If he refuses to occupy 31 we
do so and defend by defiance if necessary, as he cannot
assume an indefensible six. Even if the margin is ample we
cannot arrest his three men for the sake of the score and
defy on the resulting positions as would at first appear, and
if we allow the eye at 21 the camp evidently falls with or
without a margin. This should be looked at very carefully ;
if the investiture is not complete, he first completes and
then fills the space, or if you arrest liis four he imm.ediately
plays to 2 2. •
If he is only allowed two men start, he may occupy two of
12, 21, 23, 32, to prevent you doublinsj by pocket b)' occup}'-
ing one of them yourself. Say he takes 12 and 32 you play
22, 23 21, 33 31, winning-. It will be found that the only
two mees that give him an)' real chance of subduing the
camp are 12 and 21, and as these form an eye they are
dangerous especially if the investiture is complete. We play
22, 32 23. 31 forming a defiance if there is no margin, but a
margin of one point gives White the victory by 33, even if 31
is not played, owing to his three men being separated and
not forming part of a indefensible shape on account of 22
being occupied. If this were in the centre of the board, 11
would now win for White, as it would be in continuity with
the walls. Separation of the intruders is generally a weak-
ness. Even if Black starts on a clear field White's play
must be correct. Suppose 12 21, 22 32, 23 11, 31 2:, 11
and defiance by 31 is all that is left for the investiture is
supposed complete. If instead of the first 11 we tried 13 we
could not arrest his men and still nothing better than defiance
is left. No. The play of the defence is wrong. We had
a large enclosure free of the enemy and a double must be
possible. We must answer the 12 attack by 23, 32 22,
followed by 31 or 12, or by 22, 21 13. To secure the
neutralisation simply, 22 is the strongest and is effective,
22 23, 12 32, 21.
In large spaces so much hampered by the opponent's
men that a double is not possible, it is necessary to fall back
on a neutralisation of territory but the opportunity for a
double should not be allowed to slip.
It therefore in general often becomes a sort of debtor
and creditor account between the arrest within tlie camp
and the completion of the investiture outside. When the
latter is complete both sides gfet pulled up when two vacant
mees are left. The only point that can arise for scoring-
purposes is : — What is the nature of the g^roup that can be
taken up as prisoners and what territory is to count? But
it is really more simple than it looks. If the camp has a
double and no part has been made neutral it takes everv'thing-.
If a double is possible it should be made (or shewn). If there
are intruders that form an eye or one dare not pick up they
cannot be claimed. If one enclosure is within another the inner
one counts but not the space, if any, between the rival walls.
The treatment of neutral territor}' is the only case which
has been much affected by modern modifications. For
beginners there is no effect on the score in playing- out a
doubtful position if both play into enclosures. A local
position can be tried, if it is wished, without interfering with
the g-eneral position or the score, by using- coloured counters
or anything different to the men.
We give diagrams showing the principal forms concerned
ill this neutralisation.
On diagram 19 are collected all the single spaces alreadj'
discussed that cannot double against the attack if closely
invested, and in addition the corner positions (not dependent
on the square nine) which are altered in their character from
the fact of their being where they are. They should all be
well known and attention must be drawn especially to the
three using- the boundary at the corner, the results are curious
and unexpected. In all cases as an aid to memory the
property of the enclosure is indicated on the diagram by the
chai'acter of the men forming it and the critical mees are
indicated. The play of the four in the corner is easy when
The set of single space enclosures that cannot be' doubled
against the attack.
If they are closely surrounded : —
The black ones are indefensible even •with the move.
The crossed ones are indefensible against the move but
could double with if.
The white ones could doubli -with the move and neutralise
the possibilities are pointed out. The play of the six is 12
22, 13 ! If then nothing, the fill up continues by 11 and 21,
then after the arrest by 23, 12 kills. The play of the seven
is very touchy ; say 13 12, 22 11, 21 12,11 and the camp
falls : the only way is 13 22, 12 and then the only chance is 1 1,
2 1 and he must not play another. If Black starts in with 22
he will fail to neutralise. To make this set really complete
there should be added from amongst the higher forms the
square nine or three rows of three in the corner, the eights
derived from it by putting an additional man in any one of
the corners and certain of the sevens. In these cases the
attack can neutralise but not capture the position by starting
at 22 the middle mee. Those sevens formed by the extra
men being placed in the nine at 11 and 12, 11 and 33, 13 and
33 or 22 and 33, and their inversions are capable of neutralis-
ation, all the others can clear themselves.
When the extra man to form an eight is at 33 the
position is very weak and the defence difficult. It is so left
as problem No. 2 with the solution at the end of the book.
Also in a variation of the above positions a very curious
result can be obtained, a sort of paradox. It is left as problem
No. 3. An enclosure of more than nine mees is never liable
to neutralisation if clear at the start wherever it is located.
The effect of the corner is very striking and these
positions should be carefully noted as the greater part of the
close play in a game occurs in this region. The peculiarity
mostly arises from the eye 12 21 which becomes possible to
the attack and weak for the defence as it has not the direct
support of the walls. Although the corner square is
generally weak and should be left as an eye it must not be
taken for granted that is always so, occasionally it is strong
play to occupy it especially if 22 is occupied by a friand. It
may prevent the eflfective adverse occupation of 12 or 2i.
If an enclosure gets surrounded before the walls are
complete there may be great danger of collapse. In general,
if any part of the wall could be cut off by two adverse men
played successively it is fatal unless the enclosure is large
enough to admit of internal fortifications after securing the
section of the wall by playing to the second of the two
places, the opponent having taken the first. If three suc-
cessive riien would be necessary the camp may generally be
saved, or if it is very small, such as a zig-zag four, it can be
On diagram 20 will be found some illustrative positions
up to nine mee spaces with intruders, making them incapable
of doubling against the attack when closely invested. Again
tlie properties are indicated by the nature of the men and
again those using the corner are of special interest. The
partly occupied six mee space is curious, although the form
is one tliat could be arrested in the ordinary way, the presence
of a man already in the corner proves an effective hindrance
instead of a help as might have been expected ; the
iieiitralisation and the defence of the camp are left for the
student to work out as problem No. 4. How is it done?
The solution will be given in the " Answers " with the others.
In all the cases the attack must be careful to select the right
moves and play tliem in the right order.
Neutralisation and reductions may cost men as prisoners
or rarely gain them. It may therefore become doubtful
with some whether they are worth while, making it necessary
lo calculate the profit and loss. Now a neutralisation is
always at least just worth it, for it cannot cost so many men
as the number of points neutralised. But a reduction by
exhaustion when the opponent obstinately defends becomes
somewhat appalling in the number of men that must be
thrown into the morass, so that it wants looking- at.
Single space camps with intruders.
If they are closely surrounded :
The crossed ones are indefensible against the move but
can double with it.
The white ones can neutralise against the move and
double with it.
The spotted one is neutral in any case.
The corner is the most economical place for the enemy
and allows of the most extensive destructible enclosures.
Here the largest enclosure that can be brougfht down is one
of six mees in the corner of diagram 19, or the one of seven
in the opposite corner when one man of the attack is already
in occupation. Let us calculate these as a test and to show
how to calculate in similar cases. The reduction of the six
will require 5 + 4 + 3 + 2+1 men, total 15. The opponent
must play 5 men and the least number of men to form his
enclosure is 6, we gain these with 1 1 mees into the bargain
and rob him of 6, total 28 points showing a handsome profit.
In the seven, the mees required will be 21 less 1=20,
and the gain is obviously greater.
There is just one other consideration ; a filling up in
one stage costing inen may become a neutralisation in the
"second stage perhaps costing more men ; but it will be found
that no form costing more than one prisoner to reduce it, is
a possible outcome of the previous filling which always has a
margin. It can then confidently be stated that these pro-
cesses whether neutralisations or actual winnings are always
worth while and cost in all cases less than they gain.
The following- are by Japanese experts and played
recently in Japan. The notes to the last two are Japanese
also. They were sent by Professor T. Komatsubara and are
mentioned in his introduction at the beg-innin^ of the book.
The notation is alternately Eng-lish and Japanese.
It is good practice for learners to finish out these games
to what they consider completion and to make out the score.
Diagram 21 in the " Rules " may help in this.
if any difficulty is found in following- the score of the
long- games correctly it is a good idea to use two boards and
men. Play on one up to say 20 moves, then on the other
board plaj' the same ?o moves perhaps more deliberately and
compare the two positions and correct any errors on both
boards and play another 20 and so on. It is a good and
instructive plan in any case and variations can then be
freely tried on one of them. In Goh it is not so easy to
replace a position as in Chess and Draughts.
A few simple notes have also been added to the first
three games with the idea of helping the young student
rather than criticising the play, and different phases of the
tactics have been given prominence in each case.
English notation whicli may be taken either way. If it
sliould be preferred that 134, 135, 136, should read down-
wards No. 3 corner is in the S.W. If they are to r.ead
along- the row, No. 3 corner is in N.E.
The position after 50 moves is :
Black 1/32467 4345 67 77 835 9560 0460 934789
82367 7248 5367 43570 3258 234 2/34 4^ 54 63 4/496 386
White 1/39 42678 53745 656 879 035789 956 845
73579 623578 5250 426 36 256 2/35 475 743 03 64 59
It will be seen the Black opens cautiously taking the
corner districts where it is easier to form enclosures on
account of the assistance accorded by the boundary. An
early attempt to form a larg-e enclosure in the centre is
bound to be frustrated by the enemy breaking- in on one of
the four sides. White is a little bolder with his 44 and he
elects to start checking his opponent and separating the
black forces at the second move thereby giving up the
initiative in three out of the four corners.
Black's third move fairly establishes that camp but
leaves him in arrears in the others. This corner is likely to
be left alone for some time.
White's fourth and fifth are a little extraordinary so
early in the game and aim both at attacking the enemy and
long enclosures for himself.
B 7. Black might have continued in the 4 district with
47 or with 35 threatening 45 ; 145 would also have been
useful but he prefers to strengthen his position elsewhere.
Amongst so many good things choices differ.
W 7. Not too closely as there are two blacks to face.
B 9. Black must be careful to keep sufficient control to
avoid being crushed and his eleventh move is double
barrelled, threatening to break into White's claim at the
same time. This is the first close contact with the enemy
justified by the ample support.
W 12. Black's last move suggested the smothering of
two different White outposts which were weak, the after
play continues the suggestion and the first serious battle
commences. White getting the outside is able to involve
the No. 3 district and except for No. 2 the fight becomes
GAME 8 — continued.
ji. The communication through to 324 is now
secure and this move looks to the possibility of saving the
352 group. If he can cut off 383 from 304 the former camp
falls. In any case he compels defence and strengthens his
own position in doing so.
W. 53. To play 304 would be premature with 394
unsupported and this move makes a bid for joining on at 373.
W. 53. Securing both 397 and 394 now that Black has
joined forces. It would be of no use to attack at 344 or 345
as Black can always form an eye by 344 or 343 in conjunction
with 345. But the 323 possibility as a preparation is worth
keeping in mind ; at present it would be useless. The
point is that Black can pick up the 352 group in less time
than White could take the 342 group.
B.- 58. Lookhig towards his two men in here. Also
closing- round the White forces but with no hope of winning-
them, for they have 169 or 168 besides the move chosen,
hence the respectful distance of 106. Had White been weak
in that camp, closer play would have been desirable. There
is as well, the idea of cutting off White's growing line from
their friends in No. 2. His next move caused a little
attention to be given to the slighted corner which was then
drawn into the general mel^e.
There is plenty to do at the other end of the board still,
but the undecided prizes are greater in this district for the
W. 65. Of course White designs a large territory here
leaving the smaller bits to the adversary.
W. 66. This slip-in behind Black's forces robs him of
some valuable mees, especial!}' if he waits to pick up 484.
The student should examine this carefully as similar oppor-
tunities often occur, and as often have to be guarded against.
Such a mancevure may even bring down a camp by reducing
its eye-making- power. The power of such an outpost to
join the main body is extraordinary and to a beginner quite
unexpected. Black could have avoided it by 462.
W. 70. The take at 461 is not so valuable as it looks,
as White immediately counters and each fill a mee, but for
all that it was left too long, as White must counter at once
or lose three points by Black's two moves 461 and 471, and
further, when White closed, it practically forced the reply
428 or something- of the same nature at once.
B. 81. This provides an iiiteresting- see-saw which
involved more than the one point on account of the isolated
inen on the boundary line.
Japanese notation which may however be taken either way.
Either set of lines may be marked with the letters A to s,
begfinningf at either end and the other set i to ig backwards
or forwards. The various positions obtained are inversions
and equally intelligible.
This was a fragrnent of 50 moves only, so we have
suggested a completion and taken the opportunity of
illustrating- some of the points in end game strategy.
W. 18. A confining move but also to give stability.
This corner is very critical especially in regard to the di;^
and di4 groups and demands attention from both sides.
W. 25. Splitting in between the two camps to jeopardise
and prevent enclosures.
W. 49. To prevent 02.
B. 53. Allowing the capture has fatally weakened any
chance of saving di3 group.
W. 54. To bi4 was much better, threatening to pick
up in two more moves and giving more space.
B. 61. He could have encroached at nig with
B. 65. Something was necessary to save 018 and ig.
The position after 75 moves is : —
B. ai8, b28i28, C14712348, d2389i37, 6457146, f6i47,
gi3468, h6i67. 1345118, ji78g, k5i378, I3414567, m6i478,
n5i2, 04189, P591467, q579i58. r7i68.
W. bioi567, C91057, diioi2456, 612389103, f47i3,
g356i29, h3i38, i2i267g, J3146, k3ig, li8g, m45i256g,
ni3478g, o37gi3567, pi02, q4io3, r456i45.
It will be seen that in giving the position we have used
a contracted form such as would be used in writing. For
example, P591467 stands for p5, pg, pi4, pi6, and pi7 :
in the event of i occurring without tens it should be indicated
as by a comma or underlining.
GAME 9 — coiwhidetl.
76- nil nio. 98. ky k8. 120. c8« bg.
77. mil ho. 99. j8* k6. 121. a8 aiy.
78. In kii.» 100. j6 fi2. 122. li mi.
79. kio jio. 101. ei5 ki4. 123. sio sii.
80. kg li2. 102. I13 J4. 124. sg 57.
81. jii mi3. 103. J5 J2- 125. s8 s6.'
82. ki2 hi I. 104. hi5 h4. 126. q3 q2.»
83. hio fii. 105. g:7 f8. 127. r3 r2.*
84. gfioi g:g. 106. I18 fio. 128. S3 s2.
85. mio hg. 107. gr8 fg. 129. 01 pi.
86. ig mg. 108. "3 "2. 130. ka ji.
87- I9 m8. 109. P4 02.. 131. si5\ SI4.
88. I7 n8. 110. 114 1112. 132. S16 di8.»
89. on 010. 111. p2 p3. 133. ei7 ei8.
90. pii qii. 112. 113 114. 134. fi8 cig.
91. 06 p7. 113. J13 hi4. 135. eig big.
92. q6 q8.% 114. ji2 hi 2. 136. dig £5.
93. r8 p8. 115. 117 g-ii.\ 137. e6 P15.
94. rg m3^ 116. iio kI.^ 138. qi4 ri3.*
95. I2 I5. 117. 115 j'5- 139. P13 012.
96. k4 16. 118. ag^ no. 140. qi6 014.
97. m7 18. 119. aio an. 141. ais bi4.i
W. 78. White is striving to confine Black, and Black
to get out or join up another force.
B. 84. Black is not gaining much territory but he has
driven ver)' far into the ground that White was hoping to
W. 92. .'\n important cut.
W. 94. Both sides are probably watching- the com-
munication of the p9 group. Only one eye is possible on
the margin and if White started blocking off, no further eye
would be possible in the neig-hbourhood of 05, but in the
event of violent play m4 and 5 would be weak. Therefore
White strengthens these at the same time forwarding his
game towards the margin. The only possible break in
Black's line however, is at n6, but White cannot play into it
without preparing at n"], which would be too glaring. If he
sacrificed a man at n6 he could not afterwards close the eye.
He presently suggests to break in at my.
B. 99. The natural k6 would give White a line across.
W. 109. Not necessary yet, 19 was better.
W. 115. This forces move for move but serves no
immediate purpose. The eye could be forced to close at any
time and the move might have become useful in a " see-saw "
struggle. In addition to this he throws away kg which he
now cannot close by 08.
W. 116. And here li was much better. Why not?
B. 118. But here, aio could be answered by ag.
B. 120. If bg c8 spoils it.
W. 126. r3 would lose by q2 followed by 01 and ni.
W. 127. pi would lose by 54. Black loses nothing by
B. 131. 112 is met by k5.
W. 132. Another of those tries that cost nothing but
only want to be carefully met.
W. 138. Threatening ri3.
W. 141. ai4 would lose this camp.
Englith notation which may be taken either way. If it
il culd be piefered that 134, 135, 136, should read down-
wards No. 3 coiner is in the S.W. If they are to read
along the row, No. 3 corner is in N.E.
B. 22. By giving up trifles W bite hopes to be more than
recompensed elsewhere. His policy is to concentrate attention
here where he is letting things go, whilst he gains elsewhere.
B. 28. This sort of thing- early in a game is bad, unless
either the forced move (241) is otherwise necessary or a
further move is forced on the opponent. In this case both
B. 32. White has lost nothing by the attack. The
prisoners are more than compensated for by mees occupied. •
233 cannot be held.
W. 37. He could still have won Black's camp by 312,
313 (315 is no better) 311, 321, 315. Black's save is a good
example of taking the corner square to guard the adjacent
ones. 314 was useless.
VV. 44. It was to tempt Black to lose time but 416 was
B. 46. Better 424 and if then 416 (?), 414 418, 428419,
429 210, 219 220, 230.
W. 52. A preparation for entering 296.
W. 54. Being isolated he must hug the boundary.
W. 57. As Black essays to join camps White prepares
W. 60. Against two blacks and more near, he is not
strong enough for 390, and he dare not risk letting in No. 3
B. 62. Probably 494 was better to make sure of the
W. 64. Stronger than 485, it prepares 497.
B. 67. Black is squeezing White up to lessen or destroy
W. 75. The manoevuring here about has been very
delicate and complicated. The black camp is nearly cut off.
The new eye at 329 is in imminent danger of being forcibly
closed. Black is compelled to ensure his safety by his next
move. What is it to be ?
The position after the 75 moves is :
Black 1/38 52 680 70 83 gx 023578 924 8346 75 69 53789
423 327 223 113 2/1542 2421 39432 4943 59 6987 93 4/82
798642 69531 5642 451 3954 24.
White 1/369 43489 734 84 934 046 9589 82 7268 6134568
52 4450 33489 Hf 2/16 275 351 4852 586432 653 79 89 4/71
68 5973 4643 373 23.
GAME I o — continued.
1 1 1
W. 76. He is cuttinj>- through the centre and he may
save something for himself. He still wants to join via. 278
or somewhere thereabouts.
W. 78. This, by forcing 138 secures the termination of
W. 83. Each with his own devices. White here is not
only forming an enclosure but there was some chance of
getting sufficient support at 462 etc., to save the 432 group by
B. 86. Here loi was desirable to prevent the enemy
slipping across and joining with the other detachment, so he
first plays 191 gaining at least one point thereby.
W. 90. Purely to cut into Black's enclosure who should
have closed 196 in preference to 108.
B. 99. If he is to pick up these at the end of the game,
he must prevent an enclosure which 412 would form.
B. 107. An extraordinary looking move, but 183 was
already gone, and 182 is compensated for by 172.
W. 1 16. He might have blocked the see-saw instead
B. 119. Threatening 481.
W. 120. Again very forcible and may gain a point for
time. If he allows the capture and occupation of 314 there
is neither gain nor loss, but he may hold it gaining a point
for two moves net, as against Black occupying 314.
B. 122. If 228, 227 threatening 219.
W. 136. He dare not allow White here.
B. 139. Absolutely necessary.
A few moves have been added for greater completeness.
GAMIi I I.
Japanese notation which may however be taken either way.
Either set of Hnes may be niari<ed with the letters A to s,
begiiinip.fj: at either end and the other set i to 19 backwards
or forwards. The various positions obtained are inversions
and equahy intelligible.*
Translated from the Japanese.
B. 5. This was apparently played to secure a large
dominion but it would have been better to occupy the point q^.
B. 7- It should have bj^jn 03 and the game would
probably proceed as follows : — 04, 113 pa, 114. n^, m^ n6,
m6 nj. Here Black takes the opportunity of occupying q 13.
If White comes out to P15, Black may well move to qio
leaping over two points. But if White takes the step of
obstructing the movement at mj instead of n7 when Black
has moved to m6 then Black must break White's connection
B. 8. Better to have taken J5
B. II to 13 are not good. First he should coma out
diagonally to dg ; then he can send out a scout to _!,'-r3 to
observe the opponent's movements.
B.21 to 23 are also bad. He had only to obstruct the
opponent at b3 and if the reply was to 05 he should move to
d4 to keep his connection unbroken.
W. 25. This should be g5 ; and if the opponent repels
the attack at g4 he should make an invasion at b6. But if
the opponent connects the line at c6 then he can also connect
his line at b5. There is no risk of losing his men in the
middle field. If again the opponent comes down to b8
instead of connecting the line at c6 then the moves would
be as follows : — c6, e6 f6, 65 b5. In this case, too, the big
white group in the middle field is quite safe and the dis-
advantage is on the opponent's side. Suppose for a moment
that when White moved to g5 the opponent moves to b8
instead of gj, then White can himself go to g4 and he has
The result of White's moves 25 to 35 prove to be bad,
especially 33 (b6) which is very bad. He should have moved
to g6 which would save his men. •
W. 36 to 54. These also are not good. He ouglit to attack
the opponent at n4 or save his man at a2, or come out topij
The position after 60 moves is .
Black a4 bi,258 C45679103 d2368 0489 £359 g345 I1411
ii.38 J2357810 ki34568i7 I417 m45i68 1135 0417 41034.
White a2 b346 C2316 di,579 e267i6 fi,278 gi,2679
h235789 12456717 j6 k7 I236718 1113617 1126178 035 P35135 qi6.
GAME II — continued.
97. SI I qi5 and Black resigned.
B. 74. He should have played to I15 and would have
been crowned with a decided victory if he had only aimed at
the safety of his men. It is a great pity that he challenged
the opponent to an unnecessary battle which turned the wheel
of fortune and precipitated him from the glorious heights to
The fight has been largely round the black nii group
and the white nio group, both of which were insecure but
only one could fall. N14 prevents the eye but he could not
sever connection at m 15 on account of the reply n 15. The white
camp can be cut off on the j or i line. White's last move
however wins the 010 group and so saves the other. If now
13 no, rii s8 or if s8 no followed by q3. [Ed.
English notation which may be taken either way. If it
should be preferred that 134, 135, 136 should read dovvn-
If they are to read
. 3 corner
corner is in N. E
Translated from the Japanese.
B. 14 and 15. These are bad. He must obstruct the
opponent's movement at 474. In that case the opponent
could not come to 478, he had nothing else to do but 438.
Then Black moves to 483. That would be a better plan
than that which Black adopted ; for the situation thus
created is almost equal to that which would come out when
Black 12 plays to 474, White to 448 and Black to 483.
Black's gain is probably mote than his loss ; he gains 445
and 438 while he loses 447 and 437.
W. 22. This is very bad. 489 is the point he must
move to, at least he ought to establish the safest connection
at 488. If he did not move to 489 his 26th move might be
omitted and he could move to 134 instead, one move earlier.
Indeed he has left many other bad effects. To s>ay that this
move was the cause of the defeat may be an exaggeration ;
still there is no dojibt that it brought about a great dis-
GAME 12 — continued.
by 5 points.
W. 30. 236 was better. Then the opponent might
move to 283 and White must come out diagonally to 164.
As it was, White lost 237 and 228 while he only gained 450
and 429. Was it not a great loss ?
W. 52 and 53 are also bad. For the 52nd , 162 was
better. In short at first Black committed a gross mistake
in his 14th and 15th moves and the situation of White
was rather g'ood. But as the game went on White incurred
a heavy loss as you can see from the criticism I have
just made and became the loser of the game by 5 points.
No. p is a diagram of the foregoing game in the Easterji
style as mentioned in the article on notation. Each mee is
numbered with the number of the move played on to it.
Black and White play alternately in the usual way and
the moves are numbered seriatim. It enables the position to
be set up at any move. We repeat it below. [Ed.
I I I I
llk IIS-\- sit SS -i-tf
'ef-\-//z III J3-\-iff
•lino u uti^if^iet
tin llf Ifi -j — 1-4-/'^
I B I I »*J IVV 1 1 /^/ I ^ ■'■ -
--ittX-io yti p--\-ri—
' ssn'9 y ^sllSil:^-
Hi icy 2c/ n /«» //» -X-iyi -| 16a 200 -I — I- « f - —igs'i^i
y wb ts rf iiy lY' 11,1 lus lyii'jL,
/i M II f /fo/ss
iqy n 8 10 ii'i-
ui i^f\ — (- -I-/.)*-
miiiip-\r-yi 'i' /If
luu tb its
^!i4 is lof 6y-
iql^- «y Af if l^i yii^'*
■ -20/4 — [- \-'*i-
^/bb X- ih fi iipio III /hi
60 Ybb ' '
()b Hqi d yi
tju fS 6^ -j.
st> — 21 J? /ly-
/hni/itt /a uit-i^iifi--ybm yy/ii
■u 1 /<}/ /IO ii'ii ib -\
/■ih-X-iiit-- ii XI u3-\-ii /-» iy t*o
hynmsX--- ibno /f-j-4 '*'~\ —
n^/hsiibh.— -lilt /f iy-\—is -\-iY9-
_|-/3'-j V2S 2u 2i It 2b-X-y lyt //.
^ /h b ie Tj 2y 2i--\-t-^/yy/yi>
' In, /2(j/io&if-\ — V-20S2eit<)Ci it T(j
J I I I — I — I — Ljflj-l no ^ (
pUbES, 1|JDEX, Etc.
There is very little to say under this heading. Let no
one be too proud to receive the odds that would make the
chances about equal, it is much more interesting to both
players, especially to the stronger one. There is not much
glory or pleasure either, in flogging a lame horse ; the game
is not spoilt in any way -by the odds.
In giving odds it is of course necessary to play a more
forward game than when on equal terms ; greater risks can
be and should be run ; a fortification that would not be good
enough for an equal, may be quite good enough against the
play expected of the odds received. The extreme of running
bad risks, however, should not be indulged in unless the
game is desperate. The risks should generally be on
small stakes and numerous, rather than on long ones, small
in number. One or more risky shots may then receive pun-
ishment without disaster. Especially should the odds-giver
run for enclosing long strips.
If, and when the odds-giver equalizes the position so
that the odds disadvantage has disappeared, then steady
going is the thing.
In the opening, the small odds-giver can freely take the
44 in-^tead of 43, or he may take 53 or even 54. A common
opening in such rases is t;-;, 34, 45.
The odds receiver should play his ordinary game, avoid-
ing risky play, but he should hang on to the skirts of his
opponent rather more than usual and try to make his extra
men tell. He should be able to balance his opponent's
forces everywhere and outnumber them somewhere. Don't
be led away from your extra forces altogether and if you
cannot bring your opponent to them, throw out outworks to
enclose territory. Above all don't if you can help it let your
opponent gain a preponderance somewhere to crush you.
The positions for the odds men may be :
1 man (the move) anywhere.
2 ,, ,, 144, and 444.
3 ,, ,, 144. 244 and 444.
4 .. .. 144, 244, 344 and 444.
5 ,, ,, 144, 244, 344, 444 and 100.
6 ,, ,, 144, 244, 344, 444, 100 and 104.
7 .. .. 144. 244, 344, 444, 100, 104 and 304.
8 ,, ,, 144, 244, 344, 444, 100, 104, 304 and 340.
9 .. .. 144.244. 344 444. 100. 104. 304. 34° & 240.
Some give the centre mee when an odd number of men
is given but not when an even number is given. The
stations for 6 men for example would thus be 144, 244, 344,
444, 104 and 304.
1. The Board is ruled into squares, i8 each way for
the full board but one of any size may be used, and it may be
marked according' to the fancy of the players. The inter-
sections of the lines are called mees.
The men are of two colours, unlimited in number, and
are played alternately, the black or dark colour first, on to
the 361 (or other number) mees.
NOTE. For European players it is recommended that on
the full board the middle lines and the fourth from the
edge should be conspicuous. A "limited game" can then
be played on the " inner board " of twelve squares each
way. If it is preferred to play on the squares, it does
not affect the game, but the board should then be 19
squares each way for the full size.
2. If a group of men (or a single man) is blocked up
by the adversary so that it has no vacant mee adjacent to it
(along the lines) internally or externally, it is said to be
arrested. (See diagram 2). The group is taken as a
Either player may remove any arrested men of the
opposing colour as a part of his move, either before or
immediately after placing his man.
NOTE. The test is that the space enclosed by the opponent
with or without the help of the side ot the board and of
whatever shape, must be wholly filled.
3. A man may be placed on any vacant mee with the one
restriction that a position must not be exactly repeated in
the same game.
NOTE. It frequently happens that immediately after one
man has been removed, except for this restriction the
opponent could play into the now vacant mee and by
picking up the opposing man just played, exactly repeat
4. When there is mutual agreement, or there is
obviously nothing more to be gained on either side, the game
stops and each player picks up the prisoners left for
him. He then counts one for each prisoner, and one for
each vacant mee enclosed. The balance is the score for the
winner. Whilst there is anything undecided a pla3'er must
continue as long as his opponent wishes to play another man.
NOTE. There is nothing more to be gained when there are
no longer any doubtful points that are not agreed upon,
and when none of the enclosures contain enough space
for a fortification. There is no hardship in having to
continue play at the wish of an opponent, you cannot be
forced to play to your damage by an opponent declaring
that he is not satisfied. In scoring it is usual to fill up
spaces in the opposing camps with the prisoners held,
before counting up, and then to score by the vacant
mees remaining. (See diagram 21 ).
5. The prisoners are those men arrested during the
progress of the game and such as are abandoned or in a
hopeless position at the end, within the enemy's enclosures,
neither on neutral territory nor in themselves forming an
Neutral territory is that between rival boundaries or
being enclosed and containing men of both colours, is such
Position No. I. The finish of a game. Black to play.
, , 2. The same, more complete to satisfy a beginner.
, , J. The same with the abandoned men taken off
the board and the neutral mees filled up.
„ ^. The prisoners filled in and the remaining
enclosures tidied up for easier counting.
that neither party wishes (dares) to force it. It scores nothing
and the men within it are not prisoners.
NOTE. An enclosure is entire when there is no break in its
walls, when every man is in contact, direct or oblique,
with its neighbour or the boundary on each side (see
chains i and 2).
It follows that if at the end of the game, two entire
enclosures mutually overlap, the whole territory is
neutral, but that if one is wholly within the other, the
inner one scores to its owner but the space between the
rival walls is neutral.
6. Handicapping is done by giving the move, or two
or more men. When two men are given they are placed on
obliquely opposite intersections of the four lines, the next
two on the other two, the fifth on the centre, the sixth and
seventh on two opposite intersections of the four and middle
lines, and the next two on the remaining two of these,
making up the nine points of mutual intersections of the
three lines each way. White follows on.
NOTE. Any system of handicapping may be adopted that
is mutually agreed upon or is arranged by committee.
The time element forms a convenient means. One
player having to move faster than the other.
A difficulty sometimes arises (rarely with experts)
especially on small boards in the "finishing up; when one
player wants to play a number of men, perhaps to arrest a
rival eye of doubtful score within his fortification whilst the
other has no call to play. The adoption of the following rule
simplifies matters very much and there seems to be no objection
"Either player may at anytime in his turn to move, and
as often as he pleases, pass, instead of playing a man, even
after he has picked up prisoners."
No. I. — Diagram 6. The superfluous man is on 481.
No. 3. The position is saved (neutralised) as follows : —
22 12, 21 23, II — , 13 — , 12 — , neutral, but if now 31 3a,
12 21, 22 13, or if 32 31, 22 12, 21 32. The slightest
departure on the part of the defence loses the camp altogether.
No. 3. The invested eight space 11, 12, 21, 22, 23, 31,
32, 33 can form two eyes, one of which is free and the other
neutralised. The play to bring this about is natural, but
not good ; 22 21, 12 32, 23. White dare not play anything
but II, and if he play away Black dare not play into the
enclosures. If White chooses to play 1 1 he only loses a
point by 31 21, so he would be content to score the one point
for the 31 mee, leaving the neutral position in the other eye !
Black's 12 should have been 32 12, 31 winning; and White's
21 should have been 12 to stop the eye and then wait.
No. 4. — Diagram 20. Black must not play the natural
21 22, 31 II, 31 21, the presence of the intruder at 3a actually
assisting the defence ; but 22 12 or 21, 21 or 12 neutral,
though 22 would be useless without the man at 32. The
camp cannot be arrested against a correct defence.
Japanese Sword-guard. — See Appendix.
EXPLANATION OF THE PLATES.
THE PROBABLE ORIGIN OF CHESS AND DRAUGHTS.
The importance and general acceptance of the g-ame of
"Go"''= amongst the cultured classes of the far East is
shewn b}' our special plates. The first of these facing page
143 is associated with the official or military side of life It
is a representation of a valuable Tsuba or Japanese sword
guard in tl.e possession of Wilson Crewdson Esq., J. P. of
St. Leonards, who has been kind enough to lend it for
reproduction to illustrate this book.
Formerly every Japanese gentleman carried two swords,
one being the large one, now made familiar to us by illustra-
tions, and the other a smaller one. These swords had as a
rule, guards and other sword furniture that are amongst the
triumphs of the metal workers' art. The one illustrated
belongs to the large sword and is reproduced about its
nalLuai size. The workmanship is certainly exquisite and it
is beautifully inlaid in gold and other metals. Its beauty
needs to be seen to be full)' realised. These guards were the
pride of the Japanese and nothing was considered too fine
for them. The guaid of the smaller sword of this pair is in
the possession of Chas. P. Peake, Esq.
* Tliougli we have adopted " Goh " to be the name of the English
yanie, we here g'ive what is now preferred by the authorities as the
best Western equivalent of the real Japanese name, since we are
speaking of the Eastern game.
The followinff is the technical description given by
H. L. Joly, Esq., the author of " Legend in Japanese Art."
" Tsuba. Hikone style. Iron perforated and inlaid.
On a verandah Watanabe no Tsuna and another of
Yorimilsu's retainers have fallen asleep over a ij^ame of
"Go." In the background on a huge spider's webb (cut A.
jour) appears in high relief a Bakemoiio (Japanese Ghost)
carrying a Kanabo (iron Club). This is the spider devil
which Watanabe was to slay later."
It will be seen tliat the board or " ban " is of the usual
type, a thick block on four legs and beneath it will be noticed
one of the boxes used for the men with the men spilled about.
The reverse is equally beautiful with the front, shewing the
foliage of the trees and the plants growing on the ground.
The opening in the centre is of course where the
sword blade passes through and the two small openings are
for the reception of the Kodzuha, a knife, and the other for
the Kogai Kodzuka.
On Mr. Joly being appealed to, he magnanimously sent
some more illustrations, and with full permission to extract
anything on the subject (and there is a great deal) from his
unique work for the purpose of this book. Two guards have
been selected and appear on another plate facing page 113
The first represents Kibi no Mabi (Kibidaizin) playing his
life against the Calendar, helped by the ghost of Nakamaro.
The method of handling the men is well shewn. In the next, ,
Sate Tadanobu is using his " Go ban " as an effective check
to the murderous propensities of two enemies. He has his
foot on the neck of one he has knocked down, whilst the
other is for the moment reclining- gracefully under the deftly
thrown board. The whole is a scene of activity, even the
" Go " stones are flying about. It would not be fair to take
further advantage of Mr. Joly's kindness, but our readers,
will find a fuller account of these guards and many others in
his interesting book. It takes a special place amongst art
books in this country, it is thought highly of by the Japanese
themselves, and it is very entertaining- to the ordinary reader.
There will be found among-st many not associated with our
game, legends of sages playing " Go " in the mountain fast-
nesses and receiving unwelcome visitors, players being found
in an enormous orange, horseback experts standing on a
" Go " board, games lasting several centuries, and such like
interesting items all shewing the important and predominant
place taken by "Go" in the life of the Japanese nation.
With the adoption of Western methods the granting of
diplomas for proficiency in " Go " has now ccsased but the
game has scarcely lost any of its importance or veneration.
The next plate facing page 52 is of rather different
type, it connects the game with the social life, and this time
with China. It is a reduced reproduction of an old Chinese
saucer measuring in the original about six inches across.
It will be seen that it represents two /adies playing the game
whilst two others are looking on evidently interested, and a
servant stands at a short distance shewing no concern. The
perspective of the board is incorrect according to our ideas
but the position shews that the game is in the early stages
and h,is been opened on somewhat normal lines, though the
middles of the sides have perhaps received over much
This picture on an ordinary tea saucer at once removes
the game from a mere recondite study and brings it down to
the level of the ordinary human being. To the cultured classes
" Go " or rather "Wei Chi," for this is Chinese, was, and
is almost an essential part of their life, just as truly as it is
in Japan. One would hardly expect a scene of a game at
Chess to be used for such a purpose in this country,
especially for ladies to be playing it.
It seems far from improbable that this game has
given rise in the dim and distant past to Draughts and
perhaps Chess. This game of " the four directions " itself
has been modified but little since its commencement, at any
rate so far back as it can betraced, the slight change in the
size of the board and in the system of scoring being about
all. The game must however have had other trial modifica-
tions, some of which would have died out and others perhaps
survive. Some of these modifications would be in the way
of increased complications and some of simplifications, or
these two may occur together so that the game becomes
more complex in one direction and more simple in another.
Now, one tendency that is noticeable in many of such pro-
gressions or evolutions, is an attempt to save time at the
commencement. Impatient people want to get to work at
once and grudge the time necessary for the opening. In our
modern games we find the position already set up, the open-
ing has been partly played for us as it were. Even in the
old Indian form of Chess in which the pieces are on the
board, but have a very limited range compared to ours we
find that the players might play a certain number of moves
with necessary restrictions, but regardless of each other
before the real fight begins. This tendency to save time
leads in the first place to the men being- put on to the board,
giving- us a start well into the game.
Draughts is played on an eight or a ten square board
and these are the sizes of the quarter boards for " Wei Chi "
of China before and after the enlargement which was made,
probably within about one hundred years or so of the
Christian era. The original quarter board was an eight
sqviare one and the later one had ten squares on the side.
The shifting from the mees on to the squares was natural
enough especially when the rectangular idea of direction
was abandoned for the diagonal one. Take Goh on the old
quarter board and place some meii on it, change the direction
and make the men really move instead of in imagination.
Now decree that for the old idea of keeping open the four
diiections which have disappeared on account of playing on
the squares, it shall be necessary for an attacked man to be
supported on the further side, reinforcements as it were, on
pain of capture and you have something very like our
Draughts. The changes are all natural.
The games it must be admitted are essentially different
in their present forms, quite enough for a distinct origin but
it still seems probable that the one may have been derived
from the other by the gradual changes through forty odd
centuries, more or less helped by the sudden changes,
perhaps through errors that may arise in passing from one
nation to another. When a game is satisfactory, changes
are likely to be slow but any radical change may not work
smoothly at first and the innovation will die unless further
changes come quickly as they would naturally do, till some-
thing of a satisfactory, in other words stable, nature is
arrived at, when the changes are likely to be very slow
again. We may thus see a slight change produce from its
very nature a modification essentially different from the
original type. A new game is produced. Again, changes
are much more likely on a small board than on a large one
where the complications are already sufficiently great, and
ever so slight a change may upset the entire affair making
it unworkable. Whilst in the more simple board game there
is a great incentive to try experiments.
The possibility of slipping away on to the square is
further exemplified in the Chinese and Japanese Chess, both
played on nine square boards, which certainly suggest the
quarter board of eight squares but nine lines with the men
now naturally put on to the squares in the place of inter-
sections when the rectangular direction ceases to be
paramount ; at the same time retaining the correct number
on a slightly enlarged board. In Chinese Chess, the older
form, the movements of the men are simple and there is a
river across the board between the two rival positions. The
introduction of the river may have been the beginning of the
break away. The battle field of the Goh board is uniform,
free from obstacles. This addition of the river being
decided upon, the placing of the men, one group on each
side of it was inevitable. The men being placed with a
definite obstacle to overcome it was an easy step to the
appointment of a leader and ofiicers who would require
diverse powers. In the Japanese game some idea of districts
is still retained but the river is missing and the movements
of the men become freer. Prisoners are taken but instead
of obliterating^ them as dead men as in "Wei Chi"
or using them to plump down into the enemy's camp as in
" Go " they may be compelled to fight for their captors. In
our Chess we have come down to the eight square board
and the captured men are treated as dead but the complexities
are enormously increased again by the much increased
powers of the men themselves. We see greater modifica-
tions, both in Chess and in Draughts of the present day
than is necessary to account for its origin' from Goh.
Draughts has many varieties as well as Chess, a fact
which even strengthens the belief that both are ofF-shoots of
Goh. They commenced in ancient times when there was
not the commercial stimulus to the invention of new (?) games
that there is now. A game was looked upon seriously and
had a meaning. It was a training rather than an amusement.
The chief incentive to change would be in the direction of
being more natural as in adding the river. There is no account
as one might reasonably expect of the invention of Chess
or Draughts to be found anywhere, but if they were originally
modifications of Goh unstable in their early stages, this is
amply explained. True, it may be urged that the early
record is accounted for by the invention of Goh being
attributed to a Chinese emperor who ended his reign in B.C.
2256, and a little later to another, but the argument really
cuts the other way. A new game is invented, a new mental
exercise is available to develop the minds of the people.
It is to be expected that it should sooner or later receive
royal favour and it is also to be expected that its invention
would be attributed in the records to the emperor who
accorded it that favour. It is a natural exaggeration and
just exactly as one must expect. If Chess and Draugflits
had been distinct inventions one might well look for some
records of such important events, old as they were.
Another small but important circumstantial evidence is
the Chinese custom of calling check (I'll eat you) as a warning
to any man or group that was in danger of capture. The
custom, though dying out , still applies to the King in our
Chess, and within the memory of some of us, to the Queen
also — records say in earlier times to the other pieces also.
Nor is this the only evidence of the kind that is forth-
coming. In all the disputations it is pretty generally agreed
that our particular form of the game comes to us from India
through Persia. There have been discussions as to whether
the Persians or Hindus first played it, but the evidence
strongly points to the latter, and for our purpose it does
not much matter which is to have the honour of priority ; it
is the question of language we have to deal with. The early
Hindu word for Chess was Chaturanga. Now looking at
this word as one having a meaning in Hindu, or the parent
Sanscrit, it is a bit of a puzzle as far as Chess is concerned.
The first part of the word evidently means "four," there is
no getting away from that. The whole word is used by the
poets to signify an army, why, no one quite knows. What
does anga mean, to us? It has been suggested by the des-
perates that Chaturanga means the four forces of the army
or of the game — the elephants, horses chariots, and foot
soldiers^rather a stretch, but justifiable as a suggestion in
the lack of something better. There is no suspicion that the
early Chess was four handed or that there was in any wav
four centres of strength.
The early Chinese game was " the game of the four
directions," played on boards of two sizes, and especially on
the larg-er board, invariably started by the formation of four
camps or centres of streng-th in the four corners. Four
battles ensued, which merged at length into a general fight.
The four corners or battle fields were separately named and
marked and separately indicated in the notation. What
could be a more appropriate name for the Chess form of it
as it went through into India than Chaturanga, and Chat-
uranga has been used to indicate an army because it was
distinctly a military game, a mimic war with its mimic
True, the Japanese word "Go" means five, from the
five points marked on the board, but the Japanese tCok this
game after the centre point had been added, which was
possibly done at the time the board was enlarged.
The experts seem anxious to cradle Chess on to
Hindustan, but why ? What is to be said about the evi-
dently more primitive Chinese Chess? We cannot claim that
there have been two separate inventions of two separate
forms, or that Chinese Chess is derived from the Hindu.
The present suggestion is not that Japanese Chess forms
a connecting link, but that it is an off-shoot illustrating the
changes that may take place, a cousin as it were, but that
our Chess comes from Hindustan where it filtered through
(Tibet perhaps) from China, where it was a modification of
the early form of " Wei Chi " on the quarter board by the
introduction of a river that was afterwards abandoned some-
where in its history. Draughts probably came later.
Is it not ag'ain just possible that some of the early
accounts of the passajje of "Wei Chi" into Japan may
really have referred to the Chess form ?
We venture to sug'gest that the invention of Goh mig-ht
have been somewhat on the follovvintf lines. We see around
us a strusi^'g'le continually ffoins;' on between gfood and evil,
between the powers of iijjht and the powers of darkness,
amongst human beini;fs also, between those who are rig-ht,
ourselves, and those who are wronsf, our neii^hbours, and,
before the introduction of long range weapons, we wish to
represent this. We map out a field of battle, and as evil is
generally the aggresor we place a black man to occupy a bit
of territory or spliere of influence on behalf of darkness and
then a white man on behalf of light alternatelv. This would
not make a contest so we allow each to encompass territorv.
The idea for a game now exists but we must define some
limit or test as to the efficiency of the occupations, or en-
closures will be made by more and more delicate fences till
the first man played may claim the whole board. In real
life if two rival, but friendly nations were to be contending
for the territory of an uncivilised tribe, a hinterland we will
suppose, by sending small detachments to occupy and claim
various positions, some test would have to be decided on as
to what was to be considered effective occupation ; for a
couple of men and a flag might be effective enough against
the unarmed natives but not when considered as against
their powerful rivals ; so in our game there must be some
test as to the limit of thinness as it were of the occupation.
It is clear that the force must be capable of maintaining its
freedom, against attack, it must maintain some degree of
freedom of movement, so we decree that a force must be
able to preserve an outlet in some direction, internally or
externally, on penalty of becoming prisoners and our game
is made. It is found to work satislactorily, minor points are
soon settled and the invention is complete. Later on it
receives the royal recognition and becomes k part of the life
of the people.
It is very much like this with nations, they must either
have their outlets free or their internal resources. China
has its internal resources and may long rest content. Japan
is striving to keep up outlets in all four directions and her
internal resources as well.
It is rather interesting to note how closely the strategy
of Goh is reflected in the military tactics of the Chinese
people, their great aim is to cut off communication and to
surround the enemy. If the enemy is too strong for them
they let them go on, apparently most successful, scarcely
showing any resistance, then they slip in behind and the
enemy is surrounded and overwhelmed. Another great lesson
of Goh is the necessity for strong bases and well preparing an
attack before making it, not being too eager to capture
small detachments. Perhaps a careful study of the last great
war of the Japanese people may also reveal the influence of
their great game.
Bamboo Knot, 8
Base, 9, 63, 155
Board, 10, i6, 34, 54, 55,
Camp, 9, 92
Centre, 28, 75, 153
Champion, 9, 28, 52
Check, 86, 152
Chess, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16,
Chinese Emperor, 28, 52
Enclosure, 19, 22, 66
Eye, 23, 97
Fortification, 24, 66
Games, 9, 41, 1 13
Goh, 13, 53, 145
Handicap, 7, 8, 127
Inner Board, 34
Knitjlit move, 8, 9
Men, 10, 20, 55, 146
Mees, 9, 1 6, 18
Neutral Mees, 76
Neutral territory, 102
Opening, 89, 92
Origin, 13, 154
Outside Berth, 75
Positions, 36, 37, 38, 63,
64, 66, 70, 75, 77, 78,
84. 89, 97, 106
Prisoners,' 8, 9, 15, 19, 22,
76. 138. 150
Quarter Board, 18, 149
Rules, 16, 137
Score, 9, 22, 77
See-saw, 19, 38, 77, 98
Wei Chi, 53, 153
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This little book, by the same author deals with the
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