In the game of Go (Wei Qi/Badouk), territory means empty points fenced in by one player's stones (and possibly edges of the board). Basically, whoever has more territory at the end of the game wins (although any stones of the opponent's that you capture get added to your score as well).

Officially, territory is only determined after the game has ended. However, it is common to refer to an area as one player's territory if it is pretty much guaranteed to still be his (or her) territory at the end of the game. Here is a diagram to illustrate (edge of the goban marked by ###):

#............
#............
#..x.........
#..ox........
#::ox........
#::o.........
#:::oxx....x.
#:::oox......
#::::........
#############

All the points marked with : would be considered White (o) territory, because there is no way for Black (x) to invade or reduce it. At the end of the game, it will still belong to White. It would be incorrect, however, to call the points to the right Black's territory at this stage, because, although Black will likely get some or all of it, there are still possibilities for White to deny Black territory in that area. Instead, the correct thing to say is that Black has a lot of influence over that area (see my influence writeup for more info).

Ter"ri*to*ry (?), n.; pl. Territories (#). [L. territorium, from terra the earth: cf. F. territoire. See Terrace.]

1.

A large extent or tract of land; a region; a country; a district.

He looked, and saw wide territory spread Before him -- towns, and rural works between. Milton.

2.

The extent of land belonging to, or under the dominion of, a prince, state, or other form of government; often, a tract of land lying at a distance from the parent country or from the seat of government; as, the territory of a State; the territories of the East India Company.

3.

In the United States, a portion of the country not included within the limits of any State, and not yet admitted as a State into the Union, but organized with a separate legislature, under a Territorial governor and other officers appointed by the President and Senate of the United States. In Canada, a similarly organized portion of the country not yet formed into a Province.

 

© Webster 1913.

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