Power of Go Stones

The role of the pieces in Chess and Go is fundamentally different.

chess board Chess starts off with a populated board and ends up relatively sparse.
goban Go starts with an empty board and  can end up quite densely populated.

Power of Chess pieces

Even those that do not play Chess are likely to have some awareness of the hierarchy of Chess pieces (more information can be found at “Chess“).

Broadly: the King is invaluable being the target of the game, the Queen is powerful and highly valuable and so on down to pawns being of low power and in general terms of low significance.

Chess pieces are manoeuvred during the game so as to combine their strengths and overcome the opponent, during which there will be a series of exchanges to lower the net power of both players’ pieces, jockeying for advantage. On occasions a piece will be sacrificed so as to enable the power of the remaining pieces to overwhelm the opponent.

Perhaps it is possible to say pre-population of the board determines the amount of power available to each side which decreases as the game progresses and the relative rate of decline of power determines the outcome.

Power of Go stones

A Go board starts off empty.  By the above analogy neither player has any power and somehow they have to develop the game so that the amount of power on the board increases and the outcome is determined by the relative rate of increase in power.

There is no hierarchy of Go stones. Individually they are worthless and have no manoeuvrability.  Poor placement does little to increase the power of one side and learning to abandon such stones (not quite the same as sacrificing in Chess) is a necessary feature of becoming a stronger player. Power on the board emerges slowly through placing stones so they are connected so as to maximise their effect.