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Go Board Game Footer Start VideoGo - Basic Rules
Unlike chess, the number of potential moves is so great that even modern computers cannot beat most professional human players.
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Privacy Statement. The Game of Go. Official Club. See System Requirements. Available on PC Mobile device Hub. Similar remarks apply to the other two positions in these diagrams; the corresponding plays at w and v in Diagram 13 must also be delayed by one turn.
Usually a string which cannot make two eyes will die unless one of the surrounding enemy strings also lacks two eyes. This often leads to a race to capture, but can also result in a stand-off situation, known as seki , in which neither string has two eyes, but neither can capture the other due to a shortage of liberties.
Two examples of seki are shown in Diagram Neither player can afford to play at x , y or z , since to do so would enable the other to make a capture.
When you think your territories are all safe, you can't gain any more territory, reduce your opponent's territory or capture more strings, instead of playing a stone on the board you pass and hand a stone to your opponent as a prisoner.
Two consecutive passes ends the game. Any hopeless strings are removed and become prisoners. If you cannot agree whether a string is dead or not, then continue playing; you can then complete capture of disputed strings or confirm they are alive.
Playing during a continuation does not change the score as each play is the same as a pass. Since Black played first, White must play last and may need to make a further pass.
As remarked in the introduction, one of the best features of the game of Go is its handicap system. A weaker player may be given an advantage of anything up to nine stones.
These are placed on the board in lieu of Black's first turn. Once all the handicap stones have been placed in position it is White's turn to play.
Through the grading system, any two players can easily establish the difference in their strength, and therefore how many stones the weaker player should take in order to compensate for this difference.
Since a player's grade is measured in terms of stones, the number of stones for the handicap is simply the difference in grade between the two players.
There is an established pattern for the placement of handicap stones, shown by the dots which are marked on any Go board. This is shown in Diagram 15 Black is facing the board from the bottom , for each of 1 to 9 stones handicap.
Diagram Black has a natural advantage in playing first. So in games between players of the same strength, it is usual to compensate White for the disadvantage of playing second by adding points to White's score.
These points are called komi. From experience the value of playing first is about 7 points, so this is the normal size of komi.
In tournaments, komi is often set at 7. A few simple rules These images show boards at different sizes - the dots are the handicap points see below The rules A game of Go starts with an empty board.
Diagram 1 At the end of the game, the players count one point for each vacant point inside their own territory, and one point for every stone they have captured.
Neither player wants to play on a circled point, because doing so would allow the opponent to capture.
All the other groups in this example, both black and white, are alive with at least two eyes. Seki can result from an attempt by one player to invade and kill a nearly settled group of the other player.
In Go, tactics deal with immediate fighting between stones, capturing and saving stones, life, death and other issues localized to a specific part of the board.
Larger issues, not limited to only part of the board, are referred to as strategy , and are covered in their own section. There are several tactical constructs aimed at capturing stones.
Recognizing the possibility that stones can be captured using these techniques is an important step forward. A ladder. Black cannot escape unless the ladder connects to black stones further down the board that will intercept with the ladder.
The most basic technique is the ladder. Unless the pattern runs into friendly stones along the way, the stones in the ladder cannot avoid capture.
Experienced players recognize the futility of continuing the pattern and play elsewhere. The presence of a ladder on the board does give a player the option to play a stone in the path of the ladder, thereby threatening to rescue their stones, forcing a response.
Such a move is called a ladder breaker and may be a powerful strategic move. In the diagram, Black has the option of playing a ladder breaker.
Another technique to capture stones is the so-called net ,  also known by its Japanese name, geta. This refers to a move that loosely surrounds some stones, preventing their escape in all directions.
An example is given in the adjacent diagram. It is generally better to capture stones in a net than in a ladder, because a net does not depend on the condition that there are no opposing stones in the way, nor does it allow the opponent to play a strategic ladder breaker.
A snapback. Although Black can capture the white stone by playing at the circled point, the resulting shape for Black has only one liberty at 1 , thus White can then capture the three black stones by playing at 1 again snapback.
A third technique to capture stones is the snapback. An example can be seen on the right. As with the ladder, an experienced player does not play out such a sequence, recognizing the futility of capturing only to be captured back immediately.
One of the most important skills required for strong tactical play is the ability to read ahead.
Some of the strongest players of the game can read up to 40 moves ahead even in complicated positions.
As explained in the scoring rules, some stone formations can never be captured and are said to be alive, while other stones may be in the position where they cannot avoid being captured and are said to be dead.
Much of the practice material available to players of the game comes in the form of life and death problems, also known as tsumego.
Tsumego are considered an excellent way to train a player's ability at reading ahead,  and are available for all skill levels, some posing a challenge even to top players.
In situations when the Ko rule applies, a ko fight may occur. If the opponent does respond to the ko threat, the situation on the board has changed, and the prohibition on capturing the ko no longer applies.
Thus the player who made the ko threat may now recapture the ko. Their opponent is then in the same situation and can either play a ko threat as well, or concede the ko by simply playing elsewhere.
If a player concedes the ko, either because they do not think it important or because there are no moves left that could function as a ko threat, they have lost the ko, and their opponent may connect the ko.
Instead of responding to a ko threat, a player may also choose to ignore the threat and connect the ko.
The choice of when to respond to a threat and when to ignore it is a subtle one, which requires a player to consider many factors, including how much is gained by connecting, how much is lost by not responding, how many possible ko threats both players have remaining, what the optimal order of playing them is, and what the size —points lost or gained—of each of the remaining threats is.
Frequently, the winner of the ko fight does not connect the ko but instead captures one of the chains that constituted their opponent's side of the ko.
Strategy deals with global influence, interaction between distant stones, keeping the whole board in mind during local fights, and other issues that involve the overall game.
It is therefore possible to allow a tactical loss when it confers a strategic advantage. Novices often start by randomly placing stones on the board, as if it were a game of chance.
An understanding of how stones connect for greater power develops, and then a few basic common opening sequences may be understood. Learning the ways of life and death helps in a fundamental way to develop one's strategic understanding of weak groups.
The strategy involved can become very abstract and complex. High-level players spend years improving their understanding of strategy, and a novice may play many hundreds of games against opponents before being able to win regularly.
In the opening of the game, players usually play and gain territory in the corners of the board first, as the presence of two edges makes it easier for them to surround territory and establish their stones.
Players tend to play on or near the star point during the opening. Playing nearer to the edge does not produce enough territory to be efficient, and playing further from the edge does not safely secure the territory.
In the opening, players often play established sequences called joseki , which are locally balanced exchanges;  however, the joseki chosen should also produce a satisfactory result on a global scale.
It is generally advisable to keep a balance between territory and influence. Which of these gets precedence is often a matter of individual taste.
The middle phase of the game is the most combative, and usually lasts for more than moves. During the middlegame, the players invade each other's territories, and attack formations that lack the necessary two eyes for viability.
Such groups may be saved or sacrificed for something more significant on the board. However, matters may be more complex yet, with major trade-offs, apparently dead groups reviving, and skillful play to attack in such a way as to construct territories rather than kill.
The end of the middlegame and transition to the endgame is marked by a few features. Near the end of a game, play becomes divided into localized fights that do not affect each other,  with the exception of ko fights, where before the central area of the board related to all parts of it.
No large weak groups are still in serious danger. Moves can reasonably be attributed some definite value, such as 20 points or fewer, rather than simply being necessary to compete.
Both players set limited objectives in their plans, in making or destroying territory, capturing or saving stones.
These changing aspects of the game usually occur at much the same time, for strong players. In brief, the middlegame switches into the endgame when the concepts of strategy and influence need reassessment in terms of concrete final results on the board.
In China, Go was considered one of the four cultivated arts of the Chinese scholar gentleman , along with calligraphy , painting and playing the musical instrument guqin  In ancient times the rules of go were passed on verbally, rather than being written down.
Go was introduced to Korea sometime between the 5th and 7th centuries CE, and was popular among the higher classes.
Sunjang baduk became the main variant played in Korea until the end of the 19th century, when the current version was reintroduced from Japan.
It became popular at the Japanese imperial court in the 8th century,  and among the general public by the 13th century. In , Tokugawa Ieyasu re-established Japan's unified national government.
Despite its widespread popularity in East Asia, Go has been slow to spread to the rest of the world. Although there are some mentions of the game in western literature from the 16th century forward, Go did not start to become popular in the West until the end of the 19th century, when German scientist Oskar Korschelt wrote a treatise on the ancient Han Chinese game.
In , Edward Lasker learned the game while in Berlin. Two years later, in , the German Go Association was founded.
World War II put a stop to most Go activity, since it was a game coming from Japan, but after the war, Go continued to spread.
Both astronauts were awarded honorary dan ranks by the Nihon Ki-in. In Go, rank indicates a player's skill in the game.
Traditionally, ranks are measured using kyu and dan grades,  a system also adopted by many martial arts. More recently, mathematical rating systems similar to the Elo rating system have been introduced.
Dan grades abbreviated d are considered master grades, and increase from 1st dan to 7th dan. First dan equals a black belt in eastern martial arts using this system.
The difference among each amateur rank is one handicap stone. For example, if a 5k plays a game with a 1k, the 5k would need a handicap of four stones to even the odds.
Top-level amateur players sometimes defeat professionals in tournament play. These ranks are separate from amateur ranks.
Tournament and match rules deal with factors that may influence the game but are not part of the actual rules of play.
Such rules may differ between events. Rules that influence the game include: the setting of compensation points komi , handicap, and time control parameters.
Rules that do not generally influence the game are: the tournament system, pairing strategies, and placement criteria.
Common tournament systems used in Go include the McMahon system ,  Swiss system , league systems and the knockout system.
Tournaments may combine multiple systems; many professional Go tournaments use a combination of the league and knockout systems.
A game of Go may be timed using a game clock. Formal time controls were introduced into the professional game during the s and were controversial.
Go tournaments use a number of different time control systems. All common systems envisage a single main period of time for each player for the game, but they vary on the protocols for continuation in overtime after a player has finished that time allowance.
The top professional Go matches have timekeepers so that the players do not have to press their own clocks.
Two widely used variants of the byoyomi system are: . Go games are recorded with a simple coordinate system. This is comparable to algebraic chess notation , except that Go stones do not move and thus require only one coordinate per turn.
Coordinate systems include purely numerical point , hybrid K3 , and purely alphabetical. The Japanese word kifu is sometimes used to refer to a game record.
In Unicode, Go stones can be represented with black and white circles from the block Geometric Shapes :.
The block Miscellaneous Symbols includes "Go markers"  that were likely meant for mathematical research of Go:  . A Go professional is a professional player of the game of Go.
Although the game was developed in China, the establishment of the Four Go houses by Tokugawa Ieyasu at the start of the 17th century shifted the focus of the Go world to Japan.
State sponsorship, allowing players to dedicate themselves full-time to study of the game, and fierce competition between individual houses resulted in a significant increase in the level of play.
During this period, the best player of his generation was given the prestigious title Meijin master and the post of Godokoro minister of Go.
Of special note are the players who were dubbed Kisei Go Sage. After the end of the Tokugawa shogunate and the Meiji Restoration period, the Go houses slowly disappeared, and in , the Nihon Ki-in Japanese Go Association was formed.
Top players from this period often played newspaper-sponsored matches of 2—10 games. For much of the 20th century, Go continued to be dominated by players trained in Japan.
After his return to Korea, the Hanguk Kiwon Korea Baduk Association was formed and caused the level of play in South Korea to rise significantly in the second half of the 20th century.
With the advent of major international titles from onward, it became possible to compare the level of players from different countries more accurately.
His disciple Lee Chang-ho was the dominant player in international Go competitions for more than a decade spanning much of s and early s; he is also credited with groundbreaking works on the endgame.
As of [update] , Japan lags behind in the international Go scene. Historically, more men than women have played Go. Special tournaments for women exist, but until recently, men and women did not compete together at the highest levels; however, the creation of new, open tournaments and the rise of strong female players, most notably Rui Naiwei , have in recent years highlighted the strength and competitiveness of emerging female players.
The level in other countries has traditionally been much lower, except for some players who had preparatory professional training in East Asia.
Go is an easy board game to learn but difficult to master. Since the goal is to have more go stones on the go game board than your opponent there is a lot of strategy offensively and defensively.
When you dominate the board and control more game pieces than your opponent at the end of the game all spaces are filled you are declared the winner.
The game is easy to learn however will require years to master, if you ever do.Electronic databases can be used to study life and death situations, josekiGo Board Game and games by a particular Scharade Beispiele. It is therefore possible to allow a tactical loss when it confers a strategic advantage. In Bozulich, Umsonst Lotto Spielen ed. Common tournament systems used in Go include the McMahon system Swiss systemleague systems and the knockout system. Developed by Chris Bordeman. Kim, Janice ; Jeong, Soo-hyun Once placed on the board, stones may not be moved, but stones are removed from the board if the stone or group of stones is surrounded by opposing stones on all orthogonally -adjacent points, in which case Kostenlose Casinospiele Ohne Anmeldung stone is captured. Available on PC Mobile device Hub. These ranks are separate from amateur ranks. It is possible to play Go with a simple paper board and coins, plastic tokens, or white beans and coffee beans for the stones; or even by drawing the stones on the board and erasing them when captured.