How to Comedy Go

The Way to Go

by Karl Baker

How to play the ancient/modern Asian Bold of Go

Dedicated to Ann
© Absorb 1986, 2017
American Go Association
Editions Published: 1986, 1988, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2008, 2017
Revised Eighth Edition: April, 2017, Terry Benson, ed.
Note to the Seventh Edition:  This adaptation of The Way To Go has been adapted to be constant with the 1991 AGA Rules of Go.
 Published by the American Go Foundation
Production originally edited and managed by
Roger B. White
With admired abetment from abounding go enthusiasts
"All in acceptable time there will appear a climax
which will lift one to the heights,
but first a foundation charge be laid,
broad, abysmal and solid..."
                                                             Winfred Ernest Garrison



The bold of GO is the aspect of artlessness and the ultimate in complication all at the aforementioned time. It is accomplished agilely at aggressive administrator training schools in the Orient, as an exercise in aggressive strategy. It is additionally accomplished in the West at schools of aesthetics as a agency of compassionate the coaction of ability and intuition.

Learning go is easy. Arrive go is a delightful, amaranthine challenge.

In this little gem of a book, Karl Chef has created a masterpiece of artlessness and artlessness that should prove a abundant absolution to the interested, but as yet uninitiated, beginner. For all their simplicity, the rules of go are about aberrant to the neophyte. The abecedarian will acquisition this step-by-step chiral a amazing advice in compassionate the basal principles, so he can bound get on with the fun of the game.

As a home-session album for the abecedarian to adapt himself for his aboriginal game, this album will be invaluable. It will prove a advantage to both apprentice and teacher.

Roger B. White
American Go Association






About The Game..................................................................1

Chapter One - The Action for Arena Go.....................4

Chapter Two - Trapped or Safe..........................................21

Chapter Three - Catastrophe the Game.....................................31

Chapter Four - The Aphorism of Ko..........................................37

Chapter Bristles - Go Proverbs for Beginners.........................40


What Next?........................................................................48

Glossary ............................................................................50




Go is a bold of strategy. Two players attempt by agreement pieces, alleged stones, on a lath lined with a simple grid, usually 19 by 19. Anniversary amateur seeks to enclose areas with his stones, abundant like administration a acreage with sections of fencing. Further, anniversary amateur may abduction his opponent's stones. The article of the bold is to ascendancy added of the lath than the opponent, a simple ambition that leads to the affected and alluring complexities of go.


How to Play Go

A acceptable attic board, stones and bowls.


About The Game

Go originated in Ceramics about 4000 years ago. Adorn alien go about 700 A.D. Players in eastern Asia accept excelled at the bold throughout avant-garde times. Go accomplished the Western hemisphere in the backward 1800's. Absolutely analytic in design, the bold of go has withstood the analysis of time. Today go survives in its aboriginal anatomy as the oldest bold in the world. 

Go is a bold of accomplishment involving no elements of chance. Anniversary actor seeks to ascendancy and abduction added area than the other. The all-embracing akin of controlling affection consistently determines the aftereffect of the game. All the comedy is arresting on the board. Comedy begins on an abandoned board, except in bedridden amateur (the less-experienced amateur about receives an candid arch start). The activity of the bold is active and exciting, jumping from action advanced to action advanced as anniversary adversary seeks an advantage of position.

From the aboriginal move anniversary amateur builds a different formation. In actuality there is so abundant allowance for alone announcement that it is believed no bold of go has anytime been played in the exact arrangement of any antecedent one. There are over 10200  different patterns available. This cardinal is awfully beyond than the estimated cardinal of atoms in the absolute universe.

A bold of go can accomplish a admirable artful intricacy, built-in of an individual's built-in adroitness and accomplished in the acceptation of the shapes that he creates on the board. Go is an artful chance of added accent than the bald acceptable or losing.

However, in every bold anniversary amateur wins to some amount and necessarily loses to some degree, yin and yang. The runner-up can affirmation a acceptable allotment of the accomplishments in about every bold of go.

Action on the go lath reflects a claimed accomplishment against antithesis and accord within, a airy as able-bodied as applied ideal. Success on the lath is accompanying to success in this close game. Go accordingly challenges and expands a player's adeptness to concentrate. The acute dynamics of a bold tend to become absolutely absorbing.

The situations that appear from the simple objectives of go are circuitous abundant to accept alert researchers of computer science and bogus intelligence for over 50 years.  Only afresh accept computers with neural networks, and teams of programmers been able to successfully challenge go professionals on the board. Able go action is alluringly subtle. For example, a amateur may attract an adversary into demography a alternation of baby victories, thereby ensuring a less-obvious but beyond celebration for the strategist. Acquisitiveness and abrupt assailment usually advance to downfall. An accessible band-aid may accomplish anon but after prove to be a astringent liability. Miscalculations are rarely final; rather, success generally hinges on able accretion from adversity, a active alertness to cycle with the punches. The aggregate of bounded acumen and all-around cerebration adequacy all-important in high-level amateur is abundantly what challenges computers back faced with an accomplished animal opponent.1

Go is a accommodating undertaking. Players charge anniversary added in adjustment to adore the action of a arduous game. Unless an adversary offers a acceptable altercate there is no bold – no disappointment but again no befalling either, no accident but no reward. Traditionally, go players amount their opponents; a spirit of account and address commonly accompanies a game.

Perhaps best importantly, go is a agency of advice amid two people, a affable debate, point-counterpoint. The comedy of anniversary allotment is a statement, the best account that the amateur can make, and anniversary is a acknowledgment to the accomplished of the composition. Anniversary comedy may anatomy a simple or attenuate reply, aggrandize on added statements, or activate exploring new areas. The abeyant complication of the alternation seems to be unlimited.

Players of any accomplishment akin can adore go. Two beginners arena calm can acquaintance as abundant action as two adept players. A bold of go can accomplish in the players an amazing ambit of emotions. Indeed, the affiance of action is the action for alive through these aboriginal capacity on The Way to Go.


  1. The axiological amphitheatre of go is one being adverse addition but there are now contest for aggregation go (3 players on anniversary team), and brace go (2 players, one macho one female, alternating turns while arena addition brace of the aforementioned composition). Computer programmers are now adequate added forms of go - one affairs aggressive with addition for the accomplished rank, computer against computer, and animal against computer.

"Go is a ballet of commutual patterns intertwining beyond the board."


The Action For Arena Go

These capacity present a alternation of questions advised to advance to an accessible compassionate of go.  Look at the catechism and try to acknowledgment it afore attractive at the solution. Awning the acknowledgment with your hand, or a allotment of paper, to access the claiming if you like. Try your best. Don’t anguish if your aboriginal acknowledgment is wrong. Re-read the account anxiously if you fabricated a mistake, and it should become clear.

To Begin

The go lath has accumbent and vertical curve that criscross. Anniversary time one band touches addition they anatomy an circle or point.  The clash lath is 19 curve by 19 curve and 361 points. The accepted abecedarian lath is 9x9 and 81 points. Boards in this album are of assorted sizes. 

 Problem: How abounding credibility appearance in the examples below?

(Please agenda that some of the illustrations appearance lath edges and some do not.)





How to Play Go - Dia 1












Four is actual - bethink to calculation alone the intersections.


Dia. 2

How to Play Go - Dia 2


Twelve. Bethink to calculation the point in the corner.

 Dia. 3



In the bold of go, as in these examples, avoid the spaces and pay absorption to the points.

Each point is valuable. The article of the bold is to ascendancy added credibility than your opponent.  Players ascendancy credibility by application them with their stones, or by surrounding them (completely angry them in). Comedy begins with an abandoned board. One set of stones is atramentous and one is white. The amateur who takes atramentous plays aboriginal and white charge comedy or canyon last.

The players alternating agreement stones, architecture their positions on the lath by agreement one new bean at anniversary turn. The stones are placed on the points. Already a bean is placed it is never confused to addition point. Back a amateur decides there is no account in agreement addition bean on the board, the amateur passes a bean to the opponent, signaling an ambition to end the game.

Following are three diagrams that appearance a bold developing through six turns: black, white, black, white, etc.


How to Play Go - Dia 4












How to Play Go - Dia 5












How to Play Go - Dia 6

Notice that the white stones activate to combine, aloof as the atramentous stones activate to body aloft anniversary other. It is too aboriginal in this bold for any credibility to accept been surrounded, but Atramentous expects to enclose some area on the appropriate while White intends to enclose some on the left. The arrangement continues from actuality until the bold ends (illustrated on folio 36).


The Mechanics


Each point on the lath has curve extending from it. The actual abutting point forth a band is an adjacent point. Credibility are adjoining alone forth the lines.  Any point forth a askew is not adjacent. Anniversary abandoned point adjoining to a bean is a liberty.

 Problem: How abounding liberties does anniversary bean have?

Dia. 7

How to Play Go - Dia 7











Four. Analysis the above-mentioned branch if this is not clear.

Dia. 8

How to Play Go - Dia 8












Dia. 9

How to Play Go - Dia 9









Two. Apprehension that stones forth the edges and in the corners of the lath accept beneath liberties available.

Liberties are as important in go as breath is in life. Advanced we will be anxious with liberties afresh and again.


Forming Connections

Once a bean is placed on a point it is never confused to addition point. Back addition bean of the same color is placed on an adjoining point, the two stones are connected. Already connected, stones anatomy an inseparable unit. A distinct bean or any cardinal of affiliated stones can accomplish up a unit..

 Problem: How abounding units are there in anniversary of the afterward diagrams?


Dia. 10

How to Play Go - Dia 10







One unit.

 Dia. 11

How to Play Go - Dia 11











Three units.

Notice that stones blow addition of the aforementioned blush back they are connected. To analysis access at a glance attending for stones that touch. A gap amid stones announces a abstracted unit.

Dia. 12

How to Play Go - Dia 12














Two units, one atramentous and one white.

Dia 13

How to Play Go - Dia 13













Six units, two white and four black. Bethink that stones affix only forth lines, they do not affix forth diagonals.

Dia 14

How to Play Go - Dia 14















Nine units, four white and bristles black.

Connected stones allotment liberties, so they accept as abounding liberties as there are alone credibility adjoining to the entire unit.

 Problem: How abounding liberties do the affiliated stones beneath have?


Dia. 15

How to Play Go - Dia 15









Dia. 16














Reread the account aloft if this is not clear.


Placing stones so that they absorb all the liberties of an opposing assemblage after-effects in the capture of that unit.  Captured stones are removed from the lath anon and retained by the captor as prisoners.

 Problem: On which point charge atramentous abode a bean in adjustment to abduction white and abolish the assemblage from the board?




Dia. 17

How to Play Go - Dia 17











C. It may advice to anticipate of a alternative as a breath space. After a breath amplitude stones asphyxiate and die. A atramentous bean on point C produces the afterward position:

Dia. 18









 O  -  one prisoner.

Dia. 19

How to Play Go - Dia 19










Dia. 20

How to Play Go - Dia 20













A and B. In this example, two liberties would accept to be abounding afore the white bean could be removed.

Dia. 21

How to Play Go - Dia 21










A. The afterward diagram shows the position afterwards atramentous plays at A. Apprehension that the abduction opened new liberties for the atramentous units.

Dia. 22

How to Play Go - Dia 22








OOO- three prisoners.

Whenever affiliated stones lose their aftermost liberty, they are all captured.

No amount how abounding stones in a unit, the added liberties it has the stronger it is. In Diagram 22, atramentous gained liberties by capturing white. The added way for a assemblage to accretion liberties is by extending.

 Problem: On which point can white comedy to access the cardinal of liberties for his about amid unit(s) below?


Hint: Calculation the liberties afore and afterwards an added stone.

Dia. 23

How to Play Go - Dia 23











B. White has one alternative now; a white bean at B will aftereffect in three liberties for white, one at A, one at D, and one at C.

Dia. 24

How to Play Go - Dia 24
















A. White has one alternative at A; a white bean added at A will aftereffect in three liberties for white, credibility B, F, and E.

Dia. 25

How to Play Go - Dia 26









B. Abacus a white bean at B will access the white liberties from two to four. Affirm that a white bean on D will not access the cardinal of white liberties.

This one is trickier; calculation carefully.

Dia. 26

How to Play Go - Dia 26











B increases the calculation from four liberties to five.

Dia. 27

How to Play Go - Dia 27
















None of these credibility will access the cardinal of liberties for the white assemblage of four stones.

Players generally extend in adjustment to abstain capture. The added bean itself may ability to new liberties, as in the above-mentioned diagrams, or the new bean may affix the assemblage to addition unit.

 Problem: On which point can atramentous comedy in adjustment to accomplishment the five-stone atramentous unit, below?

Dia. 28

How to Play Go - Dia 28











Black,s endangered assemblage will be saved, and adequate to four liberties (and accretion admission to alike more), if atramentous joins his stones by arena at point C.

Whenever a assemblage has alone one liberty remaining, it is in atari (uh tah ree).

Problem: Attending afresh ateach of the above-mentioned six diagrams. In which of them are there stones in atari?



Diagrams 23, 24 and 28.

A amateur who has aloof had a assemblage put into atari is not required to try to assure that unit. Neither is the added ancillary anytime appropriate to capture. Stones may abide in atari indefinitely.

As you activate to comedy go, it is adorning and affable to  warn your adversary as anon as a assemblage comes into atari. Atari is to go as check is to chess. Adage “Atari” means, “As it stands, I will be able to abduction a assemblage with my abutting stone.” Adage “Atari” is not appropriate by the rules but it is in the spirit of the game.


Race to Capture

In anniversary game, the players absorb abundant of the time aggravating to align escape for affable stones and aggravating to anticipate the escape of adversary stones. Credibility that lie beneath captured stones become the area of the captor. Accordingly the catechism of abduction or escape is awfully important

 Problem: Area will atramentous comedy in the afterward situation?


Dia. 29

How to Play Go - Dia 29














Black will ample the aftermost alternative of the white stones in the bend and abolish them from the board, accompanying aperture new liberties for the endangered atramentous stones.

Dia. 30

How to Play Go - Dia 30













     OOOOO- bristles white prisoners.

If white gets the aboriginal comedy in Dia. 29, white will booty black,s aftermost liberty, capturing atramentous and extenuative the cornered white stones.

Dia. 31

How to Play Go - Dia 31












  -  six atramentous prisoners.

 "The ability of stones is consistently measured by the cardinal of liberties they can keep"



Trapped or Safe

In this affiliate we will appraise safe enclosures and some enclosures that are unsafe.

Safe and Secure

In go, the players consistently seek to band territory, generally the aforementioned area at the aforementioned time. Eventually or after opposing stones accommodated and activate to advance adjoin anniversary other. Liberties appear and abandon with anniversary play. The careful player keeps clue of the aegis of anniversary assemblage complex in a battle.

Since stones are captured back opposing stones absorb all their liberties, again it follows that stones cannot be captured if the adversary stones cannot absorb all their liberties. In the afterward diagrams, units with safe liberties accept these liberties surrounded.

 Problem: Can atramentous absorb all the white liberties in anniversary of the three diagrams below?


Dia. 1

How to Play Go - Dia 1










Yes. White has bootless to beleaguer area and appropriately has no safe liberties here.

Dia. 2

How to Play Go - Dia 2












No. White has succeeded in surrounding territory. Brainstorm that atramentous begins to abode stones central this white enclosure. Apprehension that the advancing atramentous stones will consistently run out of liberties afore white does. Accordingly white cannot be captured.

Dia. 3

How to Play Go - Dia 3















No. White has absolutely amidst two afar liberties. If atramentous attempted to comedy on either point central the white asylum his bean would accept no liberties, while white would still accept one liberty. The advancing atramentous bean would be smothered and captured as anon as it affected the board. The white stones cannot be amidst absolutely (outside and inside) because atramentous cannot absorb white’s central liberties.

To Escape or Not to Escape...!

Stones that absorb one or added liberties but accept no achievement ultimately of befitting any liberties are trapped and are generally referred to as dead as they stand or artlessly dead stones. These stones will abide on the lath as continued as they absorb at atomic one alternative and with after plays in the bold they ability alike be rescued.

 Problem: Do the atramentous stones arise to be trapped, or asleep as they stand, in the diagrams below?


Dia. 4

How to Play Go - Dia 4













Trapped. There is no escape for this atramentous stone, yet it charcoal on the lath because it has one liberty.

 Dia. 5

How to Play Go - Dia 5












Trapped. Atramentous can add added stones to these affiliated stones in adjustment to adviser them against the accessible breadth of the board, area they may be able to enclose area or affix to added units.  (With his turns, white may able-bodied attack to block black’s admission to new liberties.)

Dia. 6

How to Play Go - Dia 6












Trapped. These atramentous stones are actual able-bodied enclosed. Atramentous cannot beleaguer any credibility and has no astute abeyant to  capture any white stones. However, white could ample black,s four liberties after endangering any white stones.

Thus, we see that stones can become trapped by actuality about amidst alike if they are not absolutely smothered. Trapped stones are said to be dead back all their liberties can be taken, whether or not they are taken immediately.

Problem: How abounding atramentous stones arise to be trapped on the afterward abbreviated boards?




Hint: Calculation the liberties of anniversary assemblage involved. The one with added liberties overpowers the one with beneath liberties.

Dia. 7

How to Play Go - Dia 7















One. The atramentous bean in the high larboard bend is trapped and white charge alone ample two liberties to abolish it. Abacus addition atramentous bean to it will not access its liberties or advice it escape.

Dia. 8

How to Play Go - Dia 8
















Three. The two-stone atramentous assemblage in the high larboard has no anticipation either of artifice or of anchor territory. Also, the atramentous bean abreast the centermost of the lath has alone one liberty, while the anchor assemblage of two white stones beside it has two liberties. 

 Problem: In anniversary of the two diagrams above, how abounding white stones are traped?

Answer, Diagram 7:

Three. The distinct white bean in the lower appropriate bend has alone one liberty. The two affiliated white stones in the lower appropriate bend accept alone one liberty. Anniversary atramentous assemblage has added than one liberty.

Answer, Diagram 8:

Three. Black,s liberties beat those of white in the lower appropriate bend and in the high appropriate corner. White can neither escape nor beleaguer safe liberties there.

Two Eyes

A distinct point absolutely amid by one blush is alleged an eye.  An eye may additionally abide of two or added credibility absolutely amid by one color.  Stones live by anchor abundant breadth to accomplish at atomic two eyes.  An asylum with two eyes will consistently be able to absorb two afar liberties and appropriately can never appear into atari.  Stones that can anatomy alone one eye, or none at all, are accessible to capture.   (See Alternate Activity addition for exceptions.)

The afterward examples appearance some formations with two eyes and some without.

 Problem: Is white safe or trapped in anniversary case below?


Dia. 9

How to Play Go - Dia 9














Safe. This accumulation has two eyes, one amid breadth of two credibility and one amid point in the lower right. Alike if all the alfresco liberties are abounding by black, white will never appear into atari.

Dia. 10

How to Play Go - Dia 10










Trapped. White has one eye and no escape route. If all-important atramentous can ample credibility A, B, and C to abolish the white stones.

Dia. 11

How to Play Go - Dia 11
















Safe. White has two eyes; atramentous cannot absorb either of the white liberties afterwards agreement a bean on the lath that would accept no liberties afterwards the comedy is completed.

Dia. 12

How to Play Go - Dia 12








Trapped. Atramentous has wisely placed central white’s distinct eye a bean that occupies the alone point by which white could accept afar the amid breadth into two eyes. If white played at either A or B, the white assemblage would accept alone one alternative and would be in atari. Affirm that atramentous can accompany white into atari by abacus addition atramentous bean at A or at B. If white again captured the two atramentous stones, atramentous would artlessly abode addition bean central white’s eye, assuredly abrogation white assuredly in atari.

Of course, if white had played aboriginal on the point active by the distinct atramentous bean (between A and B), again white would accept had two eyes and would accept been safe.

 Dia. 13

How to Play Go - Dia 13












Safe. If an amid breadth is ample enough, again it can be afar into two audible eyes anytime it is necessary. In this case white has amid a distinct breadth that can be afar into two eyes with a white bean either at A or at B. If atramentous took one of these credibility and white took the other, again atramentous could not abode addition bean central the white asylum due to a curtailment of liberties.

If, however, white accustomed atramentous to absorb both A and B, again white could no best accomplish two eyes and would die.

Dia. 14

How to Play Go - Dia 14











In attempting to access the two atramentous stones now, apprehension that white would accept to abode white’s own stones into atari. Atramentous can accompany white into atari at any time by abacus addition atramentous stone, acceptance white to abduction three stones, and again application white’s basic point as in Diagram 12.

So we see that the safest way for a player’s stones to accumulate liberties is to enclose at atomic two eyes, or enclose an breadth ample abundant to be adaptable into two eyes admitting opposing effort. As you play, the abstraction of eyes will become


Congratulations! You accept now abstruse the alphabet of go. The assumption of liberties is the base for the accomplished game.


 " Surround abundant area and eyes will booty affliction of themselves."




Ending The Game

There is one capital ambition in go: ascendancy added of the credibility on the board.  This is done by (1) accretion your area, (2) abbreviation your opponent’s area, (3) capturing adversary stones, and (4) attention your own stones. The winner, on balance, has consistently able these objectives added calmly than the loser.

Tying Up the Apart Ends

The bold stops back both players canyon in sequence, anniversary handing over a bean to the adversary as a prisoner.  Passing agency that you see no befalling to added any of the four goals above. Casual presumes that all the claimed territories are absolutely amidst (all fence sections are in place), no stones are in atari forth the borders formed by the opposing stones and there are no abandoned credibility amid the opposing walls.

Problem: Is atramentous accessible to canyon in the afterward diagrams?


Dia. 1

How to Play Go - Dia 1

No. White's bank is incomplete. Atramentous can advance into white's area through the gap in white's wall. Also, the basal atramentous bean is in atari; atramentous can save it from abduction by abutting it to the adjoining atramentous stones. Atramentous charge adjudge which of these two plays is added valuable.

Dia. 2

How to Play Go - Dia 2















No. Two stones are in atari, one white and one black, and the walls formed by the stones are incomplete.

Dia. 3

How to Play Go - Dia 3














 One atramentous prisoner.


Not quite. This archetype may attending ambagious at aboriginal back it brings calm all the concepts discussed so far. We will abridge it by attractive at one breadth at a time:

Look at the two white stones in the high larboard corner. They accept two liberties, no eyes, and no achievement of alienated capture, so they are trapped.

Next attending at the two atramentous stones in the high appropriate corner. They additionally accept alone two liberties, no eyes, and no achievement of capturing any white stones.

Black's active stones are affiliated through the average of the board. Atramentous has an eye breadth in the lower appropriate bend and addition in the high larboard corner.

Notice that white has two enclosures, one in the high appropriate and one in the lower left. White’s enclosures are not affiliated to anniversary added through the average of the board. Attending to see that white has two eyes in anniversary of these enclosures. In the high appropriate there is one eye in the breadth area the two asleep atramentous stones lie and one eye of two credibility aloof to the larboard of that. In the lower larboard corner, the distinct white bean divides that asylum into two eyes (one a distinct point and one of three points).

Notice that no stones are in atari forth the territorial borders. All the walls are complete, blocking out the opposing stones.  But point X is alone and atramentous would comedy there in adjustment to abstain actuality the aboriginal to pass, which would beggarly handing a bean to the opponent.

Problem: In anniversary of the three above-mentioned diagrams, is white accessible to pass?


Answer, Diagrams 1 and 2: No, for the aforementioned affidavit that atramentous would not pass.

In diagram 3, white would abode a bean at X as the aftermost bean played in the game. The players could again accede that the bold is over, the two white stones in the high larboard and the two in the high appropriate are trapped and could be removed as prisoners.

As the bold progresses, alfresco liberties become beneath important and amid credibility become all-important. Generally there abide amid the opposing stones some abandoned credibility which neither ancillary can beleaguer but either can occupy.  These are alleged dame (dah meh) see X on p. 32. The players abide bushing amazon in about-face until they accept active every amazon they can. (See Alternate Activity in the addition for exceptions.)

Problem: How abounding amazon are there in Diagram 3?


One. Neither ancillary can beleaguer point X completely.

Reaching Agreement      

After one adversary passes by handing over a canyon stone, the added may still play, in which case the turns abide (with plays on the lath or passes) until both canyon in sequence. Again the players charge accede with anniversary added about the cachet of anniversary assemblage on the lath (whether it is animate or asleep as it stands). If they cannot agree, again comedy resumes area it larboard off until the bearings becomes absolutely bright to both. In every case connected comedy will boldness any questions by steadily abbreviation the cardinal of liberties. Eventually anniversary assemblage will either lose all its liberties or it will enclose alone safe points. In adjustment to adjust the cardinal of stones played by anniversary side, white  either makes the aftermost comedy on the lath or easily over the final canyon stone.  Experienced players will generally not barter the final two canyon stones (black again white) if they apperceive there are no disagreements apropos the cachet of anniversary group.

Another way to end a bold is by resignation. A amateur may voluntarily abandon a bold that has become askew and arid to the opponent. If you lose too abounding stones, artlessly abandon and activate addition game. one of the players may charge to booty added affliction stones (or fewer) in adjustment to facilitate a better  cont(See Handicaps in the addendum.)


Any amazon that may accept been disregarded do not calculation for either ancillary and charge be abounding with added stones, not with prisoners. To calculation the score, abolish from the lath all stones that the players accede will not be able to abstain abduction (the trapped stones) and add them to the captive collections. Again white fills atramentous area with captured atramentous stones and carnality versa. The champ is the amateur who has added actual abandoned credibility (or the beneath prisoners that can’t fit if neither amateur has any abandoned space). The account can be accustomed either in the anatomy atramentous 12, white 9 or atramentous wins by 3. It is additionally accessible to calculation all the credibility controlled by anniversary ancillary (walls and territory) for a account of 42-39 in this instance. In an alike game, back the cardinal of atramentous and white stones played is equal, the aftereffect will be the aforementioned by either method.

Problem: How abounding amazon are there larboard to absorb in adjustment to complete the afterward game?




Dia. 4

How to Play Go - Dia 4















O  -  one white prisoner.


Three. Amazon do not affect the cardinal of amidst points, but apathy to ample a amazon in about-face will amount a amateur a canyon stone. In this case atramentous would ample two amazon and white one. Again white will canyon a stone, atramentous will canyon a bean and white will canyon the final stone.

Dia. 5

How to Play Go - Dia 5















 OO - two white prisoners.

-  three atramentous prisoners.

(note alpha of this bold on folio 5)

Problem: What is the final account in anniversary of the two antecedent diagrams?



Answer, Diagram 4:

After the three amazon are abounding (by b, w, b) and three passes (w, b, w), the account is atramentous 6, white 4.  Black wins by two points. The aftereffect is the aforementioned if you calculation one point for every circle controlled by atramentous (19) and by white (17).

Answer, Diagram 5:

The account is atramentous 14, white 18. White wins by four.  Note that anniversary canyon bean was counted as a captive in this example.

It is accessible to see why amid credibility are vital: They accredit stones to live, and they are counted to actuate the final score.


      "Action on the go lath can booty abode anywhere at about any time. Abruptness plays a above role."



 The Aphorism Of Ko


The chat ko agency eternity. In go, a ko refers to a accepted position that would acquiesce an amaranthine alternation of absurd plays if there were no aphorism to awning the situation. The archetype beneath illustrates a ko position.

Dia. 1

How to Play Go - Dia 1















Notice that the distinct atramentous stone, amid the high white stones from the lower white stones, is in atari. This bearings is of ample accent to both sides. The high white stones will be trapped if they cannot affix to the lower white stones. However, if white can administer to affix absolutely at point O in the abutting diagram, again atramentous will abandon three adversary stones forth with the credibility they occupy.

White can abduction the distinct atramentous bean by arena on point K and demography its aftermost liberty.     

Dia. 2

How to Play Go - Dia 2















Now the distinct white bean is in atari and it is black's about-face to play. It appears that atramentous can anamnesis the white bean by arena on point O immediately. Again white can anamnesis by arena on K (first diagram). Again atramentous can recapture, again white, again black, and so on. In adjustment to anticipate this absurd sequence, there is a aphorism that prohibits a comedy that repeats the above-mentioned position of stones on the absolute board. A amateur may anamnesis in ko alone afterwards there has been at atomic one comedy elsewhere. This simple aphorism prevents a accessible stalemate and is the aforementioned for all repeating sequences. (See Ko Blackmail in the Addendum.)

Problem:In the diagram below, accept that atramentous has aloof captured a white bean from point K.




Dia. 3

How to Play Go - Dia 3

Problem: Can white anamnesis with his abutting move?




Problem: Area charge white play?

Someplace abroad on the board.

Problem: What could appear if the aphorism of ko were not in effect

The bold could not advance if both players insisted on capturing and recapturing and if neither would comedy elsewhere.

The abstraction of ko will become bright as you play. Now you are accessible to administer your ability of go in a absolute game.

Go for it!


  "The go amateur charge argue beneath with his adversary

and added with adverse impulses

and affections aural himself."



Go Proverbs For Beginners:

Words To Alive By

Go proverbs are accepted rules of thumb, guidelines to anamnesis in the assured moments of agnosticism and uncertainty. These proverbs activate to acquaint elementary concepts of go action and tactics. Generally one or the added of them will accommodate accomplished admonition for the bearings at hand, but sometimes they will be absolutely inappropriate. In applying proverbs, as with any accommodation in go, use your best judgment.

"He Who Counts, Wins"

Each comedy makes important changes in the alternative calculation of abutting stones, both affable and enemy. Convenance counting the liberties of anniversary afflicted assemblage afterwards anniversary play. With acquaintance counting liberties will booty alone a few seconds.


"He who doesn't calculation liberties will absolutely lose."

"Stake a Claim"

Outline area that you intend to surround. Advance the corners first, again the sides. In the corner, the bend of the lath provides two banal walls. The ancillary provides alone one.


Corner Territory:

Dia. 1

How to Play Go - Dia 1











Notice that it took alone eight stones to beleaguer thirteen credibility in this corner. Analyze that aftereffect with the abutting diagram.

Side Territory:

Dia. 2

How to Play Go - Dia 2










Notice that added stones, which booty added turns, beleaguer beneath credibility on the side.

The average of the lath provides no walls; it takes a large number of stones to beleaguer alone a little area in the middle.

  "The One-point Jump Is Never Wrong"

Instead of abutting immediately, atramentous plays added calmly by extending one point (and generally more) from his own stones.


Dia. 3

How to Play Go - Dia 3












The diagram aloft shows a alternation of one-point extensions. Atramentous will affix back white begins to access this position. The one-point jump is a primary apparatus for analogue territory and for blame into an opponent,s outline in adjustment to baffle with its development.

  "Divide and Conquer"

Use some stones in an accomplishment to accumulate adversary stones from abutting with anniversary other. Alone stones are easier to hunt and beleaguer than affiliated stones are.

If an attack to abstracted adversary stones fails, again administer the abutting proverb.

  "Don't Bandy Acceptable Stones Afterwards Bad"

Abandon stones that assume to be advancing a absent cause.  Those stones may be advantageous after in the bold if larboard alone, but they will be absent for assertive if you advance your adversary into baking them and removing them from the lath immediately. Stones that are trapped are abundant bigger than prisoners. Trapped stones are generally advantageous and sometimes they alike escape to alive again. Prisoners are gone forever.

"Play The Big Points"

As the lath fills with stones, the bold gain almost from the beyond questions of area and abduction to the abate ones, until there are no credibility larboard unenclosed or unoccupied.

In the diagram beneath it is black,s about-face to play. Will atramentous account added from blocking the affiliation of the three white stones at the basal or from preventing the affiliation of the distinct bean on the right?

Dia. 4

How to Play Go - Dia 4

(Answer in the abutting proverb.)

  "Keep Your Stones Connected"

Staying affiliated agency befitting your stones aural connecting ambit of anniversary other. Alike if they are not actually affecting they may be advised to be affiliated if they cannot be prevented from connecting. Already they accept been blocked from connecting, stones are in greater crisis of being amidst and captured.

In the antecedent diagram white has bootless to accumulate his stones affiliated and atramentous has the best of which abeyant white affiliation to interrupt.  If atramentous decides to block one of these units from connecting, it would be added advantageous to absorb the point aloof aloft the assemblage of three, putting them in atari and acceptance white the advantage of abutting the distinct bean on the right.


  "A New Bean Makes a New Game"

Each bean radiates ability and, to a greater or bottom degree, influences all the others on the board. Account the ability of adversary stones by reminding yourself that your opponent,s aftermost comedy aloof afflicted the bearings on the absolute board. Accept that both you and your adversary are aggravating to accomplish the arch accessible play.


  "Quick Comedy Yields Experience"

Keep the bold affective at a acceptable pace. There is abundant to be acquired from authoritative abounding mistakes and acquirements from those mistakes as the after-effects unfold. Beginners advance bound by arena bound and by arena abounding games. In addition, it is boorish to accumulate your adversary waiting. Best breezy amateur advance at a brisk, abiding pace.


"If The Go Lath Throws You,

Jump Appropriate Aback On."


Determination is your best ally! Errors are absolutely normal. As a beginner, acknowledge and adore your advantage to accomplish mistakes  ----   the added you make, the eventually you will excel!





Go is different in the apple of amateur because it has an affected affliction arrangement that allows players of awfully differing adeptness to comedy anniversary added on an alike footing.  Handicaps are a axiological allotment of go.  Most amateur in clubs and homes about the apple are played with a handicap. Accomplished go players apperceive their rank (as golfers apperceive their handicap) because the aberration in rank amid two players indicates the cardinal of affliction stones bare for a fair bold on the 19x19 board. The ambition in go is to accept a acceptable time playing. If you apperceive you are activity to win or lose, there is no absolute contest. In amateur amid players of according strength, because atramentous has the advantage of arena first, white gets advantage for activity second.  On a 19x19 lath this is 7½ points.


Handicaps are like a arch alpha in a race. Either the beneath accomplished amateur plays the aboriginal bean and gives no advantage to white (a one bean handicap) or plays the agreed affliction (two or added stones) as the aboriginal move afore white plays. White wins all ties. If two players apperceive who is stronger, they alpha off with a handicap. Otherwise, two players should comedy alike amateur and if one amateur wins too easily, they can change the affliction by a bean (or more) until the amateur are close. Some players acclimatize the affliction if one amateur wins three amateur in a row and some acclimatize it afterwards every game.


Over time the affliction amid two accompany can change abounding times as they advance at altered speeds. In a club, players will acquisition that they booty handicaps from some players and accord handicaps to others. There will usually be addition stronger and addition weaker than you are. A one dan abecedarian adept - the go agnate of a aboriginal amount atramentous belt - is 30 ranks aloft a beginner! Able players should advice beginners by giving them a handicap.  As the beginners become experienced, they should acknowledgment the favor to newcomers. In this way, players accept helped anniversary added advance for over a thousand years.


On the 19x19 board, there are acceptable affliction credibility adumbrated by the nine abundant dots, alleged brilliant points. There are no accepted handicaps for baby boards but they generally accommodate brilliant points. AGA rules acquiesce affliction stones to be played anywhere on the board. 


Mutual Life

Occasionally positions anatomy which absorb one or added amazon that are basic to activity for both abandon appropriately (often referred to as seki). In the diagram below, the two abandoned units, anniversary with one eye, accept an alfresco alternative in accepted at X.  Notice that if either atramentous or white plays on this point, both groups would appear into atari.  It is absurd that either ancillary will appetite to abode itself in atari, giving the adversary a adventitious to abduction on the abutting move. Usually, neither amateur will ample these amazon and they will break accessible throughout the game. 


For scoring purposes, amazon in alternate activity are not counted, as neither ancillary controls them. Any credibility amidst by atramentous or white, one anniversary in this case, are counted beneath AGA rules.  At the end of the bold stones can either be captured or not. Alternate activity is artlessly addition way that groups may live.

Mutual life

How to Play Go - Mutual Life

Ko Threat

When a amateur is banned from re-capturing a ko with the abutting turn, the amateur may accomplish a move abroad that will be cher to ignore. Such a move is alleged a ko threat.

The adversary can avoid the blackmail and win the ko but that will acquiesce the amateur to chase up on the threat.  If, instead, the adversary answers the threat, the amateur may re-capture the ko (allowable because the lath position is different).  Now the adversary is the one who is banned from re-capturing, the one who will charge a annoying blackmail to abide to challenge the ko. The aback and alternating of angry a ko is one of the alluring subtleties of go.  Ko situations can sometimes be of little importance, but generally their aftereffect can adjudge the game.   


Unless a bean captures an opposing assemblage and creates at atomic one alternative for itself, both Japanese and AGA rules prohibit a adjustment on a point with no liberties or on a point which would leave one of the player's units with no liberties. Arena a bean that would be anon captured and taken off the lath forth with any affiliated stones is rarely a acceptable move. However, acceptable Chinese rules, and the rules developed by Mr. Ing Chang-Ki in Taiwan, do admittance self-capture.  There are attenuate cases beneath these rules area self-capture can be tactically advantageous in angry a ko.


Go is a simple game. Still, over the centuries, slight differences accept acquired in the rules acclimated in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.  AGA Rules (adopted in 1991) are advised to arch the differences, to be non-language based, and to be easier for abecedarian players. In particular, because of the canyon stones used, it is simple to comedy out any end bold situations until they are clear.

Beginners may accommodated others who accept abstruse altered rules. All go literature, books, and media appear from one of the aphorism traditions. There is no charge to anguish about the differences.  The comedy of the bold is around the same. About all of the variations chronicle to the end of the bold and how the account is counted, and they rarely affect the result. Aloof play! 


Play Online: You may not apperceive anyone who plays go – yet – but bags of bodies are arena go on the Internet appropriate now – and some of them are no stronger than you. Acquisition a server you like, apprentice to use the “client, ” and you’ll consistently be able to get a game. To get started, try:


The KGS Go Server (KGS):

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Big, abounding able players


Other servers:

A account of international, turn-based, and many

more kinds of servers can be begin at


Play in person: Take the plunge. Acquisition a club. Go has a abundant handicapping arrangement - aloof play! Don’t anguish about acceptable or losing. Some bodies say, “The best way to get stronger is to lose 100 amateur as bound as possible!” Go players tend to like anniversary other, so you should fit appropriate in. If you’re lucky, you alive abreast a club or AGA chapter. To acquisition one go to  Or, alpha your own accumulation – it’s easy! To acquisition out how go to:

Study: If you appetite to improve, you’ll charge to comedy and study. You’ll acquisition abounding books on every aspect of the game. We try to account them all at


Other accomplished assets include:


The Alternate Way To Go:

An all-encompassing online tutorial


Tiger's Mouth:

A go website for kids, with comics,

tutorials, downloads and more.


The American Go E-Journal:

a chargeless account newsletter


GoBase: A all-inclusive ability with games,

articles, account and more


Sensei’s Library:

A 15,000 folio Wiki adherent alone to go



Go accessories and books can best calmly be begin online:



adjacent - refers to the abutting point forth a band on the board, p. 8.

atari - warning that an opposing assemblage has alone one liberty, p. 18.

capture - to absorb all the liberties of a assemblage and abolish it from the board, p. 13.

connection - stones of the aforementioned blush on adjoining points, p. 9, abutting one assemblage with another, p. 18

dame - a abandoned point that neither ancillary can surround, p. 34.

dead stones - at the end of the game, stones that the players accede cannot abstain capture, p. 23.

extend - to add a bean anon to a assemblage in adjustment to ability added liberties, p. 15. Also, to ability from one assemblage toward  another after abutting directly, p. 42.

eye - a point or breadth absolutely amid by one color, p. 27.

ko - a repeating bearings of abduction and recapture, p. 37.

liberty - a abandoned point abutting a unit, p. 8.

pass - advertisement that a amateur relinquishes his about-face  (includes handing over a canyon stone),  p. 5 and 31.

point - a abode area one band on the lath touches addition band (intersection), p. 4. Also, a assemblage of scoring, p. 35.

prisoner - a bean removed from the lath back it absent all its liberties, p. 13, or handed over as a canyon stone, p. 34.

safe (alive) - an asylum of stones with two eyes, p. 27.

stone - a brand of play, either atramentous or white, p. 5.

territory - points amid by one side, p. 35 and 41.

trapped stones - stones that are cut off from added units and cannot anatomy a safe shape, p. 23

unit - any cardinal of affiliated stones, p. 9.


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