Page:Smith - The game of go.djvu/57

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31
RULES OF PLAY

swer is, he cannot so demand, and his adversary is not bound to play on this point, and the hopeless or abandoned stones are removed without further play. We might call such groups “dead.” They may be distinguished from stones that are “taken,” because these latter are removed at once, whereas “dead” stones are removed only at the end of the game.

As a corollary to the rule for surrounding and taking stones, it follows that a group of stones containing two disconnected vacant intersections or “Me” cannot be taken. This is not a separate rule. It follows necessarily from the method by which stones are taken. Nevertheless in practice it is the most important principle in the game.

In order to understand the rule or principle of the two “Me,” we must first look at the situation shown in Plate 3, Diagram i. There, if a black stone is played at F 15, although it is played on an intersection entirely surrounded by white stones, it nevertheless lives because the moment it is played it has the effect of killing the entire white group; that is to say, a stone may be played on an intersection where it is completely surrounded if as it is played it has the effect of completely surrounding the adversary’s stones already on the board. If, on the other hand, we have a situation as shown in Plate 3, Diagram ii, a black stone may indeed be played on one of the vacant intersections, but when it is so played the white group is not completely surrounded, because there still remains one space yet to be filled, and the black stone itself is dead as soon as it touches the board, and hence it would be impossible to surround this group of white stones unless two stones were played at once. The