How to Play Go: Basic Rules and Game Overview

How to play Go

Go is often played on a board with a grid of 19×19 squares. On the boards, there might be designated locations that serve as reference points for the participants (and also to place the the handicap stones). The stones are lens-shaped disks that are black and white in color. When the game begins, black has 181 stones and white has 180, making a 2-1 difference. Starting with a 9 by 9 board, we recommend that beginners learn the fundamentals before progressing to a 13 by 13 board after a few games.

Game Play

The opening move is made by the person who has the black stones in his or her possession. Following then, the players representing white and black alternately make their moves. By laying a stone on an unoccupied intersection, you can make a move in chess. After a stone is played, it cannot be moved again unless it is captured as a prisoner and removed from the game board. A player may choose to pass (i.e., not make any moves) at any moment since laying a stone in a surrounded region may result in a loss of a point.

Tutorial Video

The player who has the most territory (points) at the end of the game is declared the winner of the match. Points are earned by gaining control over adjacent region.


Territory consists of vacant areas that are totally surrounded by stones of the same hue, both on the edges and all around. As a result, the board’s edge serves as a natural border. Diagram 1 depicts nine points of area defined by the stones. In addition, because they are empty, the board’s edges serve as boundaries, and hence count as points. The stones in figure 2 represent four distinct locations of territory. Here are a couple of instances of completed games. The game is over when all of the vacant spots are encircled by either one of the players or both players.

It is important to note that laying a stone inside a region that you have previously surrounded will result in a one-point deduction from your total score.


Intersections with stones of the same hue on each side of them are linked together to form a group. The connection can be horizontal or vertical, but not diagonal, because the connection must follow the lines of the drawing.


Liberties are the vacant areas between stones that are designated as such. Four freedoms are contained inside a single stone. When two or more stones are joined, the group’s freedoms are shared amongst them. The stone that a player installs (or the group to which it is related) must always have one liberty left on it when the stone is removed.

Capture a stone

When a player captures an opponent’s stone (or set of stones), they must place a stone on every libertiy of the opponent’s stone (group). The seized stone or group is then removed from the board and placed in the possession of the player who captured them. At the conclusion of the game, the captured stones are moved into the region of the opponent in order to lower the points. This means that a captured stone can be considered to be worth two points (1 point for the vacant space and 1 point for the decrease of points at the finish).

They have been fully encircled.

When a group has just one liberty remaining, we refer to this group as being in atari, which signifies that it is vulnerable to capture the following round. When you position a stone, you count its caputures first, then its liberties, and so forth.


The term “eye” refers to a solitary vacant spot among a cluster of stones. To catch a group of people, all liberties (which cross junctions) must be completely filled with rocks. While it is necessary to surround a group on the outside, it is as important to fill any vacant neighboring spaces within the group since these gaps represent freedoms as well as restrictions on their movement. Diagram 7 depicts an eye formed by a single empty spot within the white group of dots. In order for a group to be able to survive, it must have at least two distinct areas (eyes).

The fact that this move could not be made while white had one liberty left from the outside was due to the fact that laying a stone where it has been captured is against the rules (suicide).

Two Eyes

Groups with two eyes are unable to be caught because those eyes cannot be filled with enough material. If we were to put a stone in one of the eyes, the group would still be there since it still has one liberty (the second eye). We are unable to set this stone since doing so would constitute suicide. The ability to produce adequate eye space for your groups while also preventing your opponent from making eyes is essential in the game of Go.

The Ko

In diagram 10, the color black has the ability to place a stone in the eye of white. This will capture the white stone, and he will be removed from the situation (diagram 12). Now, white may place a stone in the eye of the black group (diagram 13), which will capture the black stone and give it to the white group. When the black stone is removed, we are back to diagram 10. This can be repeated indefinitely, and the situation is referred to be “ko.” Another regulation is in place to prevent similar scenarios from occurring: if black captures, as in figure 11, white cannot recapture immediately but must wait at least one move before doing so.

A Seki

If white chooses to play, black will be able to entirely capture the white group. As a result, white is not permitted to play or even pass. If black just plays one stone, white will be able to capture and eliminate the black group. When white makes two eyes and places one stone (diagram 17), black tries to prevent them from doing so. However, white may lay stone 4, making it impossible for black to capture the white group. Take a look at diagram 14 once again. If the color white is used, the entire group is caught.

Because each player that plays in that region will forfeit their right to play in that area, no player should make a move in that area.

Because the vacant areas are not encircled by either side at the conclusion of the game, neither player receives any points.


Read on for more information.

How to Play Go: Basic Rules and Game Overview

At first appearance, the game of Go appears to be deceptively easy. This most ancient of board games may be played with just a piece of wood and some stones (as well as the presence of two players). At first appearance, the guidelines appear to be straightforward.

However, Go’s seeming simplicity conceals a level of strategic intricacy that is unsurpassed by practically any other board game now available. Reading this article will help you get started on your quest towards genuine Go mastery, which will require years of practice and dedication.

How to Play Go: A Game With a Legacy

Go is a game that has a history that dates back more than four thousand years, making it almost as old as human civilization itself. In China, it is known as ” weiqi,” and it first gained popularity in Japan 1,500 years ago, when it began to develop popularity in the country’s other major city, Kyoto. Throughout the decades that have passed, Go’s irresistible combination of depth and simplicity has made it a worldwide phenomenon. Go masters are now ranked with dans, similar to how martial artists are graded.

Minutes to Learn, A Lifetime to Master

In recent years, many individuals have referred to Go as the “Eastern version of chess.” Both games have a lengthy and illustrious history, as well as high-level tournaments involving peerless great masters, as well as an almost endless diversity and depth of strategic possibilities for players to choose from. Similar to chess, understanding not just the laws of the game, but also the opponent, is required in Go to be successful. It is essential to learning Go that you have the ability to think tactically and anticipate your opponent’s reactions and tactics.

When it comes to complicated artificial intelligences, chess players from all over the world have suffered loss.

Learn how to play Mancala, which is related.

The Rules of Go

Go is, at its most fundamental level, a game about one’s environment and surroundings only. Indeed, one of the meanings of the ‘wei’ character in its Chinese name is “to encircle,” which is an appropriate description. In principle, this fundamental idea of laying stones in an attempt to seize territory appears to be straightforward. In practice, however, this is far from the case.

  • The game of Go is played on a board made up of crossing lines that form squares. Furthermore, while the game can theoretically be played on any size board, regulation boards are available in nine-by-nine, thirteen-by-thirteen, and nine-by-nine sizes. The 19-by-19-inch board is widely regarded as the industry standard for competitive play. Stones: Generally speaking, go stones are available in two colors: black and white. The white stones are given to the more experienced player, and the black stones are given to the less experienced player. The black stones are always the first to depart
  • The advantage obtained by the black player by starting the game is made up for at the conclusion of play if both players are of approximately equal skill levels. When the game is over, the black player has the option of either subtracting seven and a half points from his own score or adding them to the score of his opponent. In order to lay stones, they must be placed on an open point of intersection between the lines on the board, provided that point has nearby vacant points (referred to as “liberties”) attached to it (see “Placing Stones”). It is important to note that in Go, only the cardinal directions, as represented by the lines on the board, are taken into consideration. Players take turns placing their stones one at a time on any open intersection of lines in the order described above. Once a stone has been set on a specific location, players are not permitted to move it or change their minds about it. In general, it’s a good idea to set your stones near to other stones that you’ve already placed. To capture as much land as possible, the game of Go has a specific goal. Claiming Territory: Claiming area at a point of intersection, or even a set of points, is equivalent to claiming the territory around that point. In the meantime, however, as long as there are points with open liberties in the claimed region, any player can continue to place stones inside that territory in an attempt to claim some of the points for themselves. It is possible to capture stones by completely surrounding them with opposing pieces, earning one point for doing so
  • However, this is not recommended. The “ko” rule is as follows: With its name derived from the Japanese word for infinity, the ko rule is meant to prohibit players from continually capturing and recapturing the same single stone pieces, thereby impeding the progression of the game and preventing it from moving forward. The ko rule specifies that after a player has been taken, he or she must wait at least one turn before attempting to retake control, even if they have the power to do so immediately. It is important to note that the ko rule only applies to single stone grabs
  • Otherwise, For each junction point in claimed territory, as well as for each enemy stone taken, one point is awarded. Remember that after a stone has been successfully taken, it is removed from the game board, resulting in the open point vacated as a result of the capture being counted as a point for the player who captured it. The Three Phases of the Game are as follows:
  • Taking territory on the empty board is a distinguishing feature of the opening phase of play (Fuseki). Because side and corner points offer less liberties in the early parts of play, players prefer to grab control of corners and edges in the early phases of play. As soon as all of the sides and corners have been seized, players begin to battle for points, and they move into the second stage of the game, which is characterized by considerably more intense competition for territory. Players continue to vie for the few remaining places that are still up for grabs as open territory becomes increasingly difficult to come by (Yose) as the game progresses. This is the phase in which the majority of players seek to hold on to as much of their already claimed territory as they can against their opponent’s attempts to take their land. In either case, the game will continue until either side is unable to conquer any more land, or until both players agree that there is no longer any advantage to being in the game.
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  • ‘In atari’ refers to a stone (or group of stones) that has just one liberty remaining, and the move that comes immediately before the capture move is known as the ‘atari move.’ Atari move: It is characterized as a self-atari to place a stone in such a way that one of your own pieces is exposed for capture when you have just one liberty. Unlawful Point: Placing a stone at a location where there are no liberties is referred to be an illegal point. Sente: The player whose turn it is at the moment
  • Gote: The player who will take the next step
  • A snapback (recapture) is when you give up one stone in order to capture a larger set of stones on your next round. Liberty is defined as the number of free points that are directly related to a point of intersection. A other word for the handicap rule is komi.

One constant in Go is that there is always something new to learn, whether you’re a beginner wanting to learn the basics or a seasoned veteran looking to progress from the intermediate to advanced levels of the game. A refresher course in some more advanced play methods never hurts, though. For those who believe they are truly prepared to proceed, we recommend that you read Part Two of How to Play Go, in which we detail the inside information you will need to advance to the next level of competition.

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How to Play

Despite the fact that the standard Go board size is 19 by 19 lines, it is feasible to employ lower board sizes. The game may be played in a short amount of time on a 13 by 13 board without sacrificing any of its fundamental characteristics. The examples that follow all make use of a 9 by 9 board. The 9 by 9 board is recommended for beginners, with a 13 by 13 board being introduced after several games.

A 19 by 19 board should only be used if you are capable of playing a full game in under 15 minutes and are acquainted with some of the strategic principles discussed in the previous section. This series of photos depicts boards of various sizes; the dots represent handicap points (see below)

The rules

A game of Go begins with a completely blank board. Each player has an almost limitless supply of pieces (known asstones), with one player taking the black stones and the other taking the white stones. With your stones, you must create territories on the board by enclosing any unoccupied spaces on the board. This is the primary goal of the game. It is also possible to completely encircle your opponent’s stones in order to seize their stones. Every round, each player takes a turn, placing one of their stones on an empty place on the board, with Black taking the initial turn.

  1. They may, however, be caught, in which case they are removed from the board and taken into custody by the player who seized them as captives.
  2. The person who has the most territory plus captives at the end of the game is the winner.
  3. On the board, black has encircled 15 points of territory, 10 of which are in the bottom right corner and 5 which are nearer to the top.
  4. Black now has a total of 16 points after including this prisoner.

Capturing stones and counting liberties

The empty points which are horizontally and vertically adjacent to a stone, or a solidly connected string of stones, are known asliberties. An isolated stone or solidly connected string of stones is captured when all of its liberties are occupied by enemy stones.
Diagram 2 Diagram 3 Diagram 4

Diagram 2 depicts three separate white stones, each with a cross indicating the freedoms granted to them. Stones that are placed near the board’s edge have less liberties than stones that are placed in the center of the board. There are three liberties on a single stone on the side of the table, and only two liberties on a stone in the corner. Similarly to Diagram 2, Diagram 3 depicts the same three stones from Diagram 2, each with just one liberty remaining and hence vulnerable to capture on Black’s next move.

Diagram 4 depicts the situation that would happen if Black were to continue to play atbin.

If this were a true game, Black would have retained possession of the seized stone as a prisoner.


Stones occupying neighboring spots form a string of stones that is tightly interwoven. Diagram 5 depicts two examples of such strongly connected strings of stones that are solidly attached. Please note that only stones which are directly close to one other on a vertical or horizontal axis are considered securely linked; diagonals do not count as solid connections. As an example, the two designated black stones in the upper left of Diagram 5 are actually two different strings, rather than a single string as previously thought.

A group of strings is commonly used to denote a collection of strings that are close together and belong to the same musician. As a result, these two strings are combined to form a group.

Capturing strings

When it comes to capturing, a string of stones is handled as if it were a single unit of play. A string is seized in the same way as a solitary stone is captured when all of its rights are occupied by enemy stones. The strings ofDiagram 5 have both been reduced to a single liberty inDiagram 6. It should be noted that the black string in the upper right corner has not yet been caught due to the internal freedom atf. Atgorh, the two stones at the upper left of Diagram 6can be grabbed independently of one another at the same time.

The last black stone might be caught if you work hard enough.

Self-capture is defined as playing a stone into a position where it would have no liberties or forming part of a string where it would have no liberties unless and until one or more of the stones surrounding it are also captured by the player.

In Diagram 8, White may not play atiorj because any of these moves would result in self-capture, and the stones would then have no freedom to move across the board.

Life and death and the concept of eyes

Because these moves result in the capture of the neighboring black stones in Diagram 9, White was allowed to play atiandj in this position. Because White’s plays catch some stones, they do not count as self-capture in this situation. Diagram 10 depicts a very different situation. White’s ability to play at bothmandn would be required in order to grab the black string in this position. Because the first of these plays would be a self-capture, there is no chance for White to complete the capture in this scenario.

  • Known as an alive string or live group, any string or collection of stones that has two or more eyes is forever protected from capture and is referred to as an alive string or live group.
  • It is so named because it is hopeless and unable to prevent capture.
  • It is necessary for Black to play ato in order for his string to have two eyes.
  • It would only expedite the string’s demise if Black played atporq.” Despite the fact that there is a White stone within one of its eyes, the black string at the top left ofDiagram 11is already alive and well.
  • Players are not required to complete the capture of an isolated dead string in the course of a real game once both players have determined that the string is dead.

The scenario in Diagram 11 may be left as it is till the end of the game if White has played ato after the first move. When this occurs, the hopeless strings are simply taken off the board and counted along with the other prisoners held by the capturing player.


At the top of Diagram 12, Black has the option of capturing a stone by using the atr move. As a result, the condition depicted at the top of Diagram 13 occurs. A White play atuinDiagram 13 can capture this stone, but it is also vulnerable to being captured by another stone. Unless White is allowed to regain promptly atu, the position will revert to that seen in Diagram 12, and there will be nothing to stop this cycle of capture and recapture from continuing endlessly. This pattern of stones is referred known as ko, which is a Japanese word that means “eternity.” On the right-hand side of the illustration, you can see two alternative possible forms for a ko: on the edge of the board and in the corner.

After then, Black has the option of filling the ko, but if he does not do so, instead responding to White’s intervening turn somewhere else, White is then able to recapture the ko.

Seki – a kind of local stalemate

Normally, a string that is unable to form two eyes will perish unless one of the surrounding enemy strings is also unable to form two eyes. In many cases, this results in a race to catch the other string, but it may also result in a stand-off condition known as asseki, in which neither string has two eyes, but neither string can capture the other because to a lack of liberties. Diagram 14 illustrates two different types of seki. Neither player can afford to play atx,yorz since doing so would give the other player the opportunity to make a capture.

The end of the game

You pass and deliver a stone to your opponent as a prisoner instead of playing a stone on the board when you believe your territories are all secure and you are unable to win any more territory, diminish your opponent’s territory, or capture any more strings from your opponent. The game is over after two consecutive passes. Any hopeless strings are cut, and the convicts are taken into custody. If you and your opponent cannot agree on whether a string is dead or alive, you should continue playing; you will then be able to complete capture of contested strings or affirm that they are dead.

Now you know how to play. However there are a few other things you should know:

As previously said in the introduction, one of the most appealing aspects of the game of Go is the handicap system that is in place. Depending on the situation, a weaker player may be granted an advantage of up to nine stones. Black’s initial turn is replaced by the placement of these cards on the board. It is White’s turn to play when all of the handicap stones have been set in their proper positions. Through the use of the grading system, any two players may quickly determine the difference in their strength and, as a result, how many stones the weaker player should take in order to make up for the difference in their strength between them.

When it comes to the placement of handicap stones, there is a well-established pattern that can be seen by looking at the dots that are indicated on any Go board.

This is illustrated in Diagram 15 (in which black is facing the board from the bottom) for each of the handicaps ranging from one to nine stones.


When it comes to playing first, black has an inherent edge. Consequently, in games involving players of similar strength, it is customary to compensate White for the disadvantage of playing second by increasing White’s score by a certain number of points. These points are referred to as komi. Based on past experience, the value of playing first is around 7 points, which corresponds to the typical size of the komi. In competitions, the komi point is frequently set at 7.5 points in order to avoid ties.

Next: An Example Game

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The Board

Go is often played on a 19×19 grid, also known as a board. Diagram 1 depicts a board that is completely empty. Take note of the nine things that have been highlighted. These points are sometimes referred to as the star points because of their shape. In handicap games, they serve as both reference points and markers, on which the handicap stones are set, depending on the situation.

The Stones

Stones are lens-shaped disks that are black and white in color and are utilized in this project. Black begins with 181 stones, whereas White begins with 180 stones. In the normal 19×19 go board, 361 stones are used, which corresponds to the number of crossings on the board. Near the board, the stones are normally placed in wooden bowls to keep them from being lost in the crowd.

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How Go Is Played

At the beginning of the game, the board is empty.One player takes the black stones, the other player the white ones. The player with the black stones, referred to as `Black’, makes the first move.The player with the white stones, referred to as `White’, makes the second move. Thereafter, they alternate making their moves.

It is possible to relocate an interesection by placing a stone at the intersection. A player may choose to play on any vacant junction he or she choose. After a stone has been played, it cannot be moved again unless it is caught and removed from the board.

Diagram 2 shows the beginning of a game.Black plays the first move in the upper right corner. White plays 2 in the lower right corner.Black plays 3 and White plays 4. This is a typical opening where each player has staked out a position in the two of the four corners. Next Black approaches White 2 with 5 and White pincers 5 with 6. Black escapes into the center with 7 and White stakes out a position in the bottom right with 8.Next Black pincers the white stone at 6 with 9.

The Object of Go Is to Control Territory

The goal of go is to have more control over your opponent’s region than he does. At the conclusion of the game, the player who has gained the most control over territory is declared the winner. On a 9×9 game board, we will demonstrate how territory is established in a game. Although go is often played on a 19×19 board, it may also be played on a 9×9 board or any other size board from 5×5 to 19×19 or larger. Explanation of the rules on a 9×9 board is advantageous since the game is completed fast and the newcomer may rapidly comprehend the overall flow of the game as well as how the score is calculated.

An Example Game

Figure 1 shows Black’s opening move on the 4-4 point, followed by White’s move on the same position.

Thereafter, both sides continue to alternate in making their moves. With White 6, the territories of both sides are beginning to take shape.Black has stake out the right side and White has laid claim to the left side.Once you have mapped out your territory, there are two basic strategies to choose from.One is to expand your own territory while reducing your opponent’s territory. The other is to invade the territory your opponent has mapped out.
Black 7 in Figure 2 follows the first strategy:Black expands his territory on the lower right whilepreventing White from expanding his own with a move at White `a’.White must defend at 8 to block an incursion by Black into his territory on the left.Next, Black reinforces his territory on the right with 9.
It is now White’s turn to expand his territory.He does this by first expanding his centerwith 10 and 12 in Figure 3, then expanding his upperleft territory with 14. Black must defend his top right territory with 15. The points around `a’ at the top and bottom must now be decided.
The moves from White 16 to Black 19 in Figure 4 are a common sequence.The same kind of sequence is next played at the bottom from White 20 to Black 23.By playing these moves, White is able to expand his territory while reducing Black’s.
White 24 to White 26 in Figure 5 are the last moves of the game. It is now possible to determine the winner. In this case, counting the score is easy.
Black’s territory here consists of all the vacant points he controlson the right side, while White’s territory consists of all the vacant point he controls on the left.More precisely, Black’s territory is all the points marked `b’in Figure 6 and White’s terriory is all the points marked `w’.If you count these points, you will find that Black has 28 points,while White has 27. Therefore, Black wins by one point.

A few of the rules were not followed because it was such an easy game. You will, however, learn more about Go by simply going through this game. In Go, the capture of stones is a crucial rule to understand and follow. We will first demonstrate how stones are caught, followed by an example of how this occurs in a game.


Diagram 3 shows that the lone white stone has four liberties. Specifically, the four spots denoted by the letter ‘a’ in Diagram 4. If Black is able to occupy all four of these spots, he will be successful in capturing the white stone. Take, for instance, the case in which Black occupies three of the liberties shown in Diagram 5. An example of this white stone is inatariand. On his following move, which is 1 in Diagram 6, Black would be able to seize control of the situation. When Black had finished with the white stone, he would take it off the board and place it in his prisoner pile.

  • A stone has just three liberties when it is at the edge of the board.
  • Diagram 9 shows that it has three liberties at position ‘a.’ The white stone would be inatari if Black were to occupy two of these freedoms, as shown in Diagram 10.
  • Diagram 12 illustrates the outcome of this capture.
  • It is on this place that the white stone appears in Diagram 13.
  • In Diagram 16, the color black catches this stone with the number 1.
  • Also feasible is to seize two or more stones if you possess all of their freedoms at the same time.

The position of two white stones inatari in Diagram 18 can be found in three different configurations. In Diagram 19, the color black catches these stones with the number 1. Diagram 20 depicts the outcomes of the experiment.

Any number of stones making up any kind of shape can be captured if all their liberties are occupied.In Diagram 21, there are four different positions.Black 1 captures twelve stones in the upper left, four stones in the lower left, three stones in the upper right and three stones in the lower right.When you capture stones in a game, you put them in your prisoner pile.Then, at the end of the game, these captured stones are placed inside your opponent’s territory.Let’s look at a game to see how this actually works.
After Black plays 3 in Figure 7, White makes an invasion inside Black’s sphere of influence with 4. White 10 ataris the black stone at 7.This stones has only one liberty remaining at the point `a’.If Black doesn’t play his next move at `a’, White will play on this pointand capture the black stone at 7.
Therefore, black connects at 11 in Figure 8,but White ataris again at 12.The marked stone cannot be rescued, so Black has to sacrifice it.
He plays his own atari with 13 in Figure 9. White then captures with 14 and Black ataris two white stones with 15.That is, he threatens to capture them by playing at `a’.
With 16 in Figure 10,White maps out the territory on the left side,and Black expands his territory on the right side with 17 to 21.The moves from White 22 to Black 24 are the same kind of endgamesequence we saw in Figure 4 of the first game.
White 26 forces Black to capture two white stones with 27. in Figure 11.Next, the moves at White 28 and 30 each reduce Black’s territory by one point.Black 31 ataris the two white stones at 26 and 30, so White must connect at 32 to save them.Finally, Black 33 reduces White’s territory on the left by one point. The game ends when White blocks at 34.
Figure 12 show what the board looks like at the end of this game.White has one black stone in his prisoner pile, while Black has two white stones in his.
In Figure 13, each side places his prisoners in his opponent’s territory. White places his one black prisoner (the marked black stone) inside Black’s territoryand Black places his two white prisoners (the two marked white stones) inside White’s territory.
It is customary to rearrange the stones a bit to make the counting of territory simple and rapid. In Figure 14, the three marked black stones and the two marked white stones were moved.Calculation of the size of the territories can now be made at a glance.Black has 23 points; White has 24 points. White wins by one point.

Questions and Answers

In Figure 8, why didn’t Black attempt to flee with his marked stone after White 12 was defeated?

Black could try to escape by playing 1 in Diagram 22,but White would pursue him and the black stones would stillbe in atari.If Black persists with 3,he can atari the marked white stone,but White captures three stones by taking Black’s last liberty with 4.

When looking at Figure 9, it appears as though the two White stones in atari may escape by extending to the letter “a.” However, this is not the case. Why isn’t White attempting this?

The reason he doesn’t try to escape is because he can’t, unlessBlack blunders.If White extends to 1 in Diagram 23, he increases his liberties tothree but Black pursues him with 2 and, after 4,White is at the end of his rope:he has no way to increase his liberties. If White plays 5,Black ataris with 6 and captures with 8.
However, Black must not play 2 from the outside as in Diagram 24.White would then turn at 3 and now the two marked black stoneshave only two liberties,while the white group on the right has three liberties.White captures the two marked stones with 5 and 7.

Is the color black 25 in Figure 10 absolutely necessary?

It certainly is. If Black omitted this move,White would atari the marked black stone with 1 in Diagram 25.If Black tries to run away with 2 and 4, White pursues him with 3and 5, forcing the black stones into the cornerwhere they run out of liberties.White would then capture four black stones with 7.

The majority of the rules of go may be summarized as follows: There is one more rule: the ko rule, which bans the capture of the same object more than once. The rule is straightforward:

The previous board position cannot be recreated.

In order to learn the game of Go as a beginner, we recommend that you begin with the bookGo: A Complete Introduction to the Gameby Cho Chikun, which served as the basis for this brief introduction. KISEIDO Kagawa 4-48-32 (Kagawa 4-48-32) Chigasaki-shi, Kanagawa-kenJapan253-0082;FAX +81-467-28-5811;

Rules of Go – introductory at Sensei’s Library

The rules of Go are explained on this page. These regulations will help you to get started playing your first game as fast as possible.

1. Players

Go is a game in which two players compete against each other, known as Black and White.

2. Board

The Go board is made out of a grid of horizontal and vertical lines, as illustrated in the illustration below. It is customary for the board to be 19×19 inches in size. There are a variety of board sizes available, including 9×9 and 13×13, which are typically used by novices or players who want shorter games. On this page, examples are displayed on a 5×5 board, which is rather modest in comparison to the board sizes that players are used to. The rules are unaffected by the size of the board in any way.

3. Point

Intersections occur whenever the lines of the board cross or come into contact with one another. A point is the name given to each junction. Points are also used to refer to the intersections of the four corners and the edges of the board. Go is a board game that is played on the points of the board rather than on the squares. The points on the sample board total 25. On the board, the red circle represents a position that is close to the center. A point at one of the four corners is indicated by the red square.

A string of stones is a collection of stones that are all near to one another.

The two black stones are not directly across from one another.

4. Stones

The color black is made up of black stones (). The color white is made up of white stones (). The following illustration depicts a game situation including four black stones and three white stones. The points on which a stone is placed are referred to as occupied points. All other points are referred to as “unoccupied” or “empty.” It is not necessary to utilize Go stones in order to play Go.

You may play Go using whatever you seem to have on hand, such poker chips, beads, buttons, money, and so on. Additionally, you may play Go on paper by creating a grid and placing O’s and X’s on the intersections as you go along with your opponent.

5. Play

The players take turns throughout the game. The player who is taking the turn places one of his or her stones on an empty point on the board. When a player has to finish a move, he or she may have to remove stones from the board. There are several points that may not be played on a given turn at the discretion of the player. A player may also choose to pass instead of placing a stone on the ground during their turn. A stone is placed on the board and does not move unless it is captured by another stone or removed from the board.

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6. Game Start

A game of Go begins with an empty board, and the first player to act is Black, unless the player is playing with a handicap. As seen in the example, Black decides to begin at the point. The players may choose to play with a handicap if one of them has more experience than the other. In this scenario, the less experienced player holds the black stones and the game begins with a few stones already on the board. The handicapping system makes Go more pleasurable for players who have a significant gap in ability.

7. Capture

The capture rule states that if a player completely surrounds an opponent stone or stones by playing on all nearby points, the opposing stone or stones are considered captured and are removed from the board. Every stone or string of stones must have at least one adjacent point that is not occupied by another stone or string of stones. This vacant space is referred to as aliberty. The liberties of adjacent stones in a string are shared, and the stones are referred to as having liberties. It is not necessary to remove stones from the board if there are no unoccupied places adjacent to a stone or string of stones (i.e., no liberties).

Example 1: capture of one stone

The white stone is almost completely encircled. There is just one vacant spot nearby, which has been noted. As a result, the stone only has one liberty. It’s important to remember that only nearby spots may be liberties. As a result, the points highlighted are not liberties. The last liberty of the white stone is totally encircled by Black’s move, which completely encircles it. As a result, it has been caught and will be deleted from the board. The stone that was captured has been taken from the board.

Example 2: capture of three stones in a corner

The three white stones are next to one another and share the same privileges as one another. The stones act as a string, standing or falling in unison. Black’s move takes advantage of their final liberty and captures them, thereby eliminating them from the board altogether.

Example 3: capture of two strings

It is possible for a move to include many stones at the same time, even if they are not all connected by a single thread. Only two different threads are allowed here, with the four white stones on top and one white stone in the centre serving as a point of liberation.

The move of Black collects the five white stones that surround him. Because of this, Black has taken over their final liberty. They are taken into custody and deported since they no longer have any freedom.

Example 4: capture by a stone with no liberties

Using this example, we can demonstrate the rule that a capturing stone does not require a liberty until all of the caught stones have been removed. The White move takes up the final liberty of the two black stones, thereby capturing them in the process. It should be noted that this is a legal move, despite the fact that it has no liberties when it is performed.

8. No Repetition

The repetition rule states that a move that duplicates a previous board position is not permitted to be played. This rule stops players from capturing and recapturing a stone indefinitely and back and forth between them. White’s move results in the removal of a stone. The stone would be removed if Black made his move. However, it would also be repeating a previous position – the position that came shortly before this. Because the rule bans the repetition of a board position, Black is unable to play at the moment in the example below.

It is important to note that the same move may become available as a valid move on later turns because it will not be duplicating the same board position.

Ako clashes are one of the most thrilling sections of the game because they take place in a circumstance where repeated grabs of the same stones would be conceivable if there were no special rules in place.

9. Ending a Game

The following is the winning rule: The player who occupies (controls or surrounds) the greatest number of points wins the game. When neither player is interested in continuing to place stones on the board, they will each take a pass. The passing of the ball is always a lawful maneuver, albeit it is only beneficial at the finish of the game! The person who has the most control over the board wins. There are two methods of calculating points: area scoring (commonly known as Chinese rules) and territory scoring (also called Japanese rules).

The winner of the game is determined by who has the highest overall score among the players in any scenario.

  • A player’s score in area scoring is equal to their territory plus the number of stones that they have remaining on the board. During territory scoring, the score is equal to the territory minus the number of stones seized by the opponent.

The example below illustrates the usage of area scoring. Currently, Black holds possession of six points of land and has seven points of territory occupied by black stones. As a result, Black has a total of thirteen points. White, on the other hand, controls 5 points of territory and has 7 points occupied by white stones in total. As a result, White has a total of twelve points. In this case, Black has a greater number of points under control. As a result, Black is victorious in the game. That’s all there is to it!

10. Further Study

This page serves as a first and most fundamental introduction to the game. When used as an introduction, it does not attempt to overload the reader with a bestiary of bizarre scenarios, each of which is resolved differently depending on how the rules are worded precisely in the first place.

It is possible that exact readers may notice discrepancies in these rules; or that enthusiastic novices will reach a circumstance in their games that they will find unclear; they may desire to consult an expert.

The second video is intended to address frequently asked questions, teach the finer details of creating a consistent rule set, and explain why distinct Go associations may have rules that differ from one another. However, it continues to presume that the reader does not yet possess a strong intuitive understanding of the game. See this if you want to go right into the middle of things. Understanding the rules of Go at a deeper level will not improve your ability to play the game. There are a number of small changes to the rules of Go that exist around the world, however it is extremely unusual for these differences to have an impact on play.

These sections should be of assistance with the initial questions that arise from actual play.

The Rules of Go

The color black is used first. Place one stone at a time, taking turns. Territories in the immediate vicinity. That’s all there is to it! There are no random additions, and there are no complicated norms to remember. The goal of go, as well as the single “rule,” are stated in the ten words above. In the course of actual play. As you progress through the game, you will come across several customs that go players adhere to, such as askomi (compensation for the benefit of making the initial move) and means of dealing with certain specific scenarios that may arise, such as asko and seki.

  • When the situation arises, the more experienced players will provide an explanation.
  • Ing Instructions for Using Goe: Online Tutorial: Playgo.todescribes the rules of the game, as well as other facets of it, in a problem-oriented structure that makes it easier to comprehend.
  • However, because the game’s rules are so easy that no one bothered to write down a comprehensive set of rules until 1949, when the game was first codified.
  • There are at least five different rule sets, each of which is internally consistent but is mutually exclusive from the others, and all of which produce the same result.
  • Some individuals, on the other hand, find the ineffable nature of the rules interesting; and for those people, we provide the most comprehensive rules resource available on the Internet.

Japanese Rules

1989 The Japanese Rules are being revised. A whole set of rules is being revised and replaced with the aforementioned historic first attempt to put them down in writing.

In the West, the Japanese scoring technique of counting territory (empty intersections) is often utilized, as is the scoring method of counting points. WAGC Regulations: The World Amateur Go Championship will be played on rules that are more similar to the 1949 version.

Chinese Rules

Chinese Rules: These are the official rules of the China Weiqi Association, which were approved in 1988. According to Chinese regulations, the whole occupied area is tallied, including stones and seized junctions. In this game, white stones are taken from the board, while Black fills their area with stones; if there are more than 180 stones on the board, Black wins the game.

AGA Rules

AGA Rules in a Nutshell: The American Go Association produced this well accepted rule system, which reconciles the counting procedures used in both Japanese and Chinese games. Several additional Western countries have ratified the AGA’s rules of engagement. AGA Rules in Their Entirety: A more comprehensively annotated version of the AGA Rules. Additional Clarification of AGA Rules: A few minor details have been refined a little more. Note from the AGA Rules Committee on a Change in Komi: A discussion of the concerns surrounding the recent rise inkomi that has been accepted by a number of other go organizations.

Ing Rules

Ing’s SST Laws of Wei-ch’i are as follows: Ing Chang’ki, a Taipei-based philanthropist and go fan, devised a rule set that required each player to have precisely 180 stones, as well as the equipment that made this feasible. He also constructed and manufactured the equipment. These rules have been implemented in a number of significant national and international events when appropriate equipment has been made accessible to participants.

New Zealand Rules

Suicide is authorized under New Zealand Rules, which is the primary differentiating feature of the rules. New Zealand Rules in a Condensed Form: A more concise explanation of the rules of New Zealand. The Tromp-Taylor Rules are as follows: Authors John Trompand is a writer who lives in New York City. “The Logical Rules of Go,” as Bill Taylor refers to this re-phrasing of the new Zealand Rules of Go.

Testing the Rules

Unusual problems: A collection of propositions that are unlikely to arise in a real game, but are certain to baffle a variety of different rule systems.

Background and Commentary

The Evolution of Go Rules: A respected specialist explains how the game of go came to be what we know it to be today. Behind the Game of Go’s Rules: Taking a look at the most important components of a go role set, Charles Matthews comes to the conclusion that they “may be founded on what are essentially basic principles of striking clarity.” Charles Matthews examines the precise ramifications of the idea of “two eyes,” and concludes that it is neither sufficient nor necessary. A comparison of five rule sets is presented.

Six rule sets are compared to each other: This comparison, provided by Robert Jasiekoff, also contains the “IGS Rules” that are utilized on the Internet Go Server.

Other Rule Sets and Variants

Korean Laws and Regulations: Learn about an old set of rules that were employed in Korea more than 1500 years ago by selecting “Korean Rules” from the left navigation bar. Tibetan RulesTibetan rules are mostly of historical importance to rule enthusiasts. Read Peter Shotwell’s essay “Go in Ancient and Modern Tibet” to discover more about Tibetan go and how it developed. The Survivor Wins: A rule system that is extremely succinct. World Mind Sport Games Rules: This document is a description of the go rules that have been accepted by the World Mind Sport Games.

Other go variations include: There are a variety of other games that may be played on a go board.

On the following page from Sensei’s Library, you’ll find a few more creative methods to employ go equipment.

A Goban with no corners is known as a Round Goban.

FreedGo is a three-dimensional version of the game of go. Pente is a patented board game that is based on the Go-Moku game. Diamond Go is a 3D go board that exists in the real world. The following is an Othello-like variant: Conversion Go Gomoku on a 3D board: Gomoku (five-in-a-row) on a 3D board.

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