The Game of GO How to play and introduction to the game
Introduction to the game Go ( 碁 ?) is a board game for two players, noted for being rich in strategic complexity despite its simple rules. The game is played by two players who alternately place black and white stones (playing pieces,) on the vacant intersections of a grid of 19×19 lines. The object of the game is to control a larger portion of the board than the opponent. A stone or a group of stones is captured and removed if it has no empty adjacent intersections, the result of being completely surrounded by stones of the opposing color.
Beginning the Basics Go is played on a board with pieces called "stones" in two colors, black and white. The board has a grid on it; usually 19×19, but 9×9 and 13×13 are sometimes used for teaching, and other sizes can be used as well. Each player chooses a color (either black or white), and the players take turns placing stones of their color on the board. Stones are placed on the intersections of the grid, not in the spaces. Each turn a player places exactly one stone on the board. the player with the black stones moves first.
Groups When two or more stones are adjacent to each other through the intersecting lines, they are considered to be one group. they are not connected to the group by Diagonals. We will be considering a single stone to be a group for this tutorial.
Liberties Liberties are the adjacent empty space next to groups. 4 Liberties When your group no longer has liberties, it is captured and removed from the board.
Captures As previously stated a stone (A.K.A. group) is captured when it no longer has liberties, here are some more examples. DIM 1 DIM 2
Captures Plus As you play go to you may notice that you have that he opportunity to fill in your last liberty. This is considered to the suicide and not allowed.
Now lets think more about capturing stones. Look at this stones below: these stones are harder than usual to capture. Why? Because it completely surrounds some empty space. This makes it hard to capture, because for black to capture it, black cant fill up the middle first; the black stones would commit suicide if they tried! Black has to first fill up the outside, then fill up the middle
Eyes Into the previous situations the stones were surrounding a unoccupied space, these are called eyes. If your group has two eyes it cannot be captured. therefore this is a good plan of action.
The K.O. RuleSometimes in a go game, you get a situation where two players want to keep recapturing each other. The simplest example is like this: Notice that either player can capture in the middle; on the other players turn, they can capture right back! This would go on forever, so the "ko" rule was invented to make the players continue onward. The ko rule says that you can never make a capture that brings the board right back to where it was before. This sounds confusing, but its easy in practice. Basically, when you see a chance to capture one stone back and forth - you cant! Instead you have to play somewhere else. Then your opponent can either fill in the capture space (saving their stone). If your opponent doesnt do this, then you are free to capture the stone because the board has changed. After this, it is your opponent who has to play somewhere else.
Ending the game Knowing the win two in the game can be difficult for a beginner, but it is simple if you keep in mind that you no longer can achieve any more points and by continuing to play you may lose points (by either filling in your areas or your stone being captured) in this adjacent you should pass. When you and your opponent pass the game comes to a end.
Scoring the Game After both players have passed consecutively, the stones that are still on the board but unable to avoid capture, called dead stones, are removed. (When both sides have passed, skilled players will usually agree which stones are dead and which are alive.) Area scoring (including Chinese): A players score is the number of stones they have on the board, plus the number of empty intersections surrounded by that players stones. Territory scoring (including Japanese and Korean): In the course of the game, each player retains the stones they capture, termed prisoners. Any dead stones removed at the end of the game become prisoners. The score is the number of empty points enclosed by a players stones, plus the number of prisoners captured by that player. If there is disagreement about which stones are dead, then under area scoring rules, the players simply resume play to resolve the matter. The score is computed using the position after the next time the players pass consecutively. Under territory scoring, the rules are considerably more complex; however, in practice, players will generally play on, and, once the status of each stone has been determined, return to the position at the time the first two consecutive passes occurred and remove the dead stones
Congratulations! You made itthrough the basic tutorial now Go play Go
Advanced tactics and strategies Capturing tactics, reading ahead, KO fighting, basic concepts and opening strategies.
Reading ahead One of the most important skills required for strong tactical play is the ability to read ahead. Reading ahead includes considering available moves to play, the possible responses to each move, and the subsequent possibilities after each of those responses. 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 students of the game comes in the form of life and death problems, also known as tsumego. In such problems, players are challenged to find the vital move sequence that will kill a group of the opponent or save a group of their own. Tsumego are considered an excellent way to train a players ability at reading ahead, and are available for all skill levels, some posing a challenge even to top players.
Capturing tactics The most basic technique is the ladder. To capture stones in a ladder, a player uses a constant series of capture threats to force the opponent into a zigzag pattern as shown in the diagram to the right. Unless the pattern runs into friendly stones along the way, the stones in the ladder cannot avoid capture. Experienced players will recognize the futility of continuing the pattern and will 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,
Capturing tactics 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 diagram to the left. 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.
Capturing tactics A third technique to capture stones is the snapback.6 In a snapback, one player allows a single stone to be captured, then immediately plays on the point formerly occupied by that stone; by so doing, the player captures a larger group of their opponents stones, in effect snapping back at those stones. An example can be seen on the right. As with the ladder, an experienced player will not play out such a sequence, recognizing the futility of capturing only to be captured back immediately.
Ko fighting In situations when the Ko rule applies, a ko fight may occur. If the player who is prohibited from capture is of the opinion that the capture is important, because it prevents a large group of stones from being captured for instance, the player may play a ko threat. This is a move elsewhere on the board that threatens to make a large profit if the opponent does not respond. 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. They thereby win the ko, but at a cost. 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.
Familiarity with the board shows first the tactical importance of the edges, and then the efficiency of developing in the corners first, then sides, then center. The more advanced beginner understands that territory and influence are somewhat interchangeable—but there needs to be a balance. This intricate struggle of power and control makes the game highly dynamic.