each other, merely fence in parts of the board without regard to each other’s play, a most uninteresting game results, and the Japanese call this by the contemptuous epithet “Ji dori go,” or “ground taking Go.” I have noticed that beginners in this country sometimes start to play in this way, and it is one of the many ways by which the play of a mere novice may be recognized. The best games arise when the players in their efforts to secure territory attack each other’s stones or groups of stones, and we therefore must know how a stone can be taken.
A stone is taken when it is surrounded on four opposite sides as shown in Plate 2, Diagram i. When it is taken it is removed from the board. It is not necessary that a stone should also be surrounded diagonally, which would make eight stones necessary in order to take one; neither do four stones placed on the adjacent diagonal intersections cause a stone to be taken: they do not directly attack the stone in the center at all. Plate 2, Diagram iv, shows this situation.
A stone which is placed on the edge of the board may be surrounded and captured by three stones, as shown in Plate 2, Diagram ii, and if a stone is placed in the extreme corner of the board, it may be surrounded and taken by two stones, as shown in Plate 2, Diagram iii.
In actual practice it seldom or never happens that a stone or group of stones is surrounded by the minimum number requisite under the rule, for in that case the player whose stones were threatened could generally manage to break through his adversary’s line. It is almost always necessary to add helping stones to those that are strictly necessary in completing the capture. Plate 2, Diagram v,