Some Go Terms You Must Know

Posted in Webpage on Dec 13, 2010

Please make sure you can understand these terms correctly before watching my videos.


fuseki: opening

joseki: an established sequence in local which is considered to be equal for both sides

tesuji: skillful move

moyo: a large influence that potentially could become one’s territory

moku: point of territory

dan: expert rank

ko: two alternating single stone captures could repeat the original board position

san-san: 3-3 point

komoku: 3-4 point

tengen: the center point of the board

seki: mutual life


atari: threat to capture at next move

nobi: a play directly next to another stone of the same color

kosumi: diagonal move

hane: a diagonal move which leaves a cutting point to the opponent

keima: knight’s move

ogeima: large knight’s move

kakari: corner approach

shimari: corner enclosure


sente: taking the initiative to choose where to play next

gote: losing the initiative to choose where to play next

tenuki: not answering the opponent but to play elsewhere

aji: possibilities in a position

miai: two options equal in value and whatever the opponent chooses you can always get one

honte: the proper move in local

sabaki: make use of the opponent’s shape to settle a weak group

tewari: change the order of moves to make the analysis easier

tennozan: a vital point that concerns the development potential for both sides

kiai: it’s an emotion: “How dare you ignore my move!”


ni-ren-sei: a fuseki that one side has two star points in a row

san-ren-sei: a fuseki that one side has three star points in a row


* Since English is not my first language, please tell me if I made any mistakes.
* This page may be amended from time to time.
* If you want to learn more about Go terminology, here is a good website, although some explanation are not technically perfect: http://senseis.xmp.net/?GoTerms


Standard Go Coordinate

Please use the coordinate below in discussion, so people will not be confused.

Standard Go Coordinate

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5 Responses to “ Some Go Terms You Must Know ”

  1. Ethan says:

    Your English is quite good – certainly much better than my Chinese!

    In this case at the very end, however, where you have the link to Sensei’s Library; the proper word is “technically” (meaning: “in an exact sense”; also can mean “as if said/done by an expert”) not “technologically” (meaning: “in a manner having to do with technology”)


    countsheep Reply:

    A slip of the fingers:) I have corrected it, your explanation was clear and useful, thanks.


  2. Ted says:

    As an English teacher in Korea, let me assure you that your English is just fine – you are easy to understand and you communicate complex ideas in a simple, easy to understand way. Speaking on behalf of the larger go community, we greatly appreciate you and your work! Thanks a lot!


  3. carl says:

    I think “honte: the proper move in local” Is wrong.
    You have to say “honte: the proper move locally”.

    Ps: This page is really great!


  4. Larry H says:

    sabaki: make use ==> making use
    tewari: change ==> changing

    degiri = to push through and cut the opponent’s group in two, aiming to capture the weaker group