Go Symbol The Cambridge Go Society Go Symbol

How to play Go: A brief summary of the rules

To finish, I will summarise the rules, and then you can go and try playing some games.

[ NB: A free computer program which will play go on 9x9 to a reasonable level called Igowin may be found on the Kiseido website. However, it is best to learn go versus a human opponent. ]

  1. Go is played on an square board (typically 19x19, 13x13 or 9x9) by two players who use black and white stones. Black moves first.
  2. A move consists of either a pass, or placing a stone of your colour on an empty intersection except as stated in the suicide or ko rules.
  3. (Capture rule) If, after you have played your stone, any of your opponent's groups have zero liberties then you remove the stones of these groups from the board and keep them as prisoners.
  4. (Suicide rule) If, after you have played your stone and captured any enemy pieces, any of your groups have zero liberties then your move was illegal.
  5. (The end of the game) When both players pass successively the game ends.
  6. (Scoring) When the game is over the game is scored as follows:
    1. Neutral points are filled in.
    2. Dead stones are removed.
    3. The black and white territory is scored as points surrounded minus stones captured by the opponent.
    The winner is the person with the most territory.
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