Play To Draw

A common Go strategy. If you play to win in Go, either by annexing territory or by attacking your opponent, you lose. While you waste your time attacking, the other player takes the big points. While you waste your time annexing, the other player cuts out your eyes.

To win you have to play to draw: you only try to win by the amount of territory that the other player throws away by his mistakes. The greatest games are thrilling to the last stone and are won by only a handful of Stones.


"PlayToDraw" is kind of misleading. In GameOfGo, the idea is more to PlayWithBalance?. In reference to GameOfChess, PlayToDraw means specifically that -- to play with the intention of obtaining a draw: simplifying exchanges, leaving opposite colored bishops on the board etc.

As a beginning (12-kyu) Go player with little chess experience, the phrase PlayToDraw immediately set me thinking along the right path. The two-paragraph discussion above only put the finishing touches on the insight. Perhaps if I'd been a chess player, I might have interpreted the phrase PlayToDraw differently. --BenKovitz


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