How can we make this website better? YOU can discuss it today; click here.
Please improve an article!!
Go is a board game played with black and white counters generally referred to as "stones".
All estimates of the birthdate and original form are based on conjecture, but it is proven that Go was in China some thousands of years ago. The spread of Go elsewhere began at least as early as 500 AD when it was introduced to Japan or hundreds of years before that when it spread to Korea. Nowadays, Go is becoming increasingly popular throughout the world as the ignorant are enlightened on the enjoyment that can be achieved through Go. It is still mainly played in the three Go powers of Japan, China, and Korea.
Go has been described as a "Game of War" and is a game of no chance, the winner arising entirely out of skill. It has infinite strategical depth and tactical profundity, therefore making it arguably the most fascinating and exciting of all games.
Go is usually played on a 19 by 19 board, but it can be played on other size boards (mostly 9 by 9 and 13 by 13).
Two players sit face to face with the Go board, an empty grid, between them. In an even game, Black plays first. In a handicap game, Black begins with stones already on the board, and White makes the first move. Players take turns, playing one stone at a time, on the intersections on the grid, called points.
As you put your stones down and see the patterns and situations develop, you will be learning how to play.
The object of the game is to coordinate your stones to surround more points than your opponent.
A key concept is liberties, which are adjacent empty points.
Every stone on the board will have from two to four grid lines extending from it. If it has no liberties but is connected by one or more of those lines to stones of the same color that do have at least one liberty, the group is currently safe. If all the liberties are blocked, the stone or group of stones is said to be captured. Captured stones are removed from the board. Once played, stones do not move, unless they are captured.
You can't normally play on a point without liberties, as a stone played there is immediately removed; however, the exception is when you are capturing stones, as you gain liberties by capturing.
As a consequence of these rules, you will discover that some stones are safe, that is, they can never be captured, if they have surrounded two separate points, called eyes. Groups that have or can make two eyes are said to be alive. Stones or groups of stones that can be captured are said to be dead. An exception is the rare situation called seki, where neither side has two eyes, yet neither side can capture.
A consequence of the rule that you gain liberties by capturing, therefore you may play on a point without liberties if you are capturing, is that a shape called ko may develop. The rule of ko is important because it allows the game to continue. In some situations players could immediately capture a stone that has just captured, resulting in an endless stalemate. In these cases, the rule of ko states that you may not immediately capture a stone that has just captured in ko until you have played somewhere else on the board first.
If there are three kos on the board, you could consider playing another ko as somewhere else on the board (known as triple ko). To prevent this, a rule is often used which states you may not repeat the board position.
The game is over when both sides pass. Players should only pass when no more points can be surrounded. In practice knowing when there are no more points to be surrounded and passing at the correct time is difficult. You may cost yourself points by continuing to play, or lose the opportunity to make points by passing too early. Once both players have passed, count the number of points belonging to each player. The player with more points is the winner.