Go is a two player strategic board game that was created in China between three and four thousand years ago. It was played in Korea by the 5th century and Japan since the 7th century. It was not until the end of the 19th century that Go became popular in the West. According to legend, Go was used as a teaching tool after ancient Chinese Emperor Yao designed it for his son to learn discipline, concentration, and balance.

The Board

Go is played on a 19x19 grid. The board is empty at the beginning of the game. Throughout the game, each intersection on the board is either empty or occupied by a white or black stone.

The Pieces

A full set of Go stones contains 181 black and 180 white stones.


To move: Throughout the game, a player may either pass by saying "pass" or doing nothing, or play. A play consist of three moves: playing, capture, or self-capture. Playing is when a player places their stone on an empty intersection. A capture is the act of removing the opponent's stones that have no liberties. A self-capture is when the player removes one of their own stones that have no liberties after playing a stone and capturing the opponent's stone(s). (see photos below for examples of capturing and self-capturing) A liberty is an empty intersection that is adjacent to a stone or connected stones of the same color. If two or more stones of the same color or empty intersections are adjacent, they are considered as connected.

To win: The player with the higher score wins.

The player with the black stones goes first. Each player take turns to move. The game ends when both players have passed consecutively. When the game ends, the scores of each player is calculated by counting the number of intersections in their area in the final position. * The final position is the position on the board at the time the players pass consecutively. * An area is the intersections that belong in a player's territory or is occupied by a stone of their color. * A territory is the empty intersections in the final position where either all the stones are adjacent to that intersection or an empty intersection is connected to it are the player's color.


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