Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Let’s Play “Go”! – How to Play the Board Game Go

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/22 Traditional Culture ,

The game Go is a quest to conquer territories. One of the two players uses black stones and the other white stones to mark out their respective territories. The player who has captured more territory at the end of the game is the winner.

Go Rules

Aside from the order of play (alternating moves, Black moves first or takes a handicap) and scoring rules, there are essentially only two rules in Go:

  • Rule 1 – The Rule of Liberty. Every stone remaining on the board must have at least one open “point” (an intersection, called a “liberty”) directly next to it (up, down, left, or right), or must be part of a connected group that has at least one such open point (“liberty”) next to it. Stones or groups of stones which lose their last liberty are removed from the board.
  • Rule 2 – The Ko The stones on the board must never repeat a previous position of stones. Moves which would do so are forbidden, and thus only moves elsewhere on the board are permitted that turn.

Almost all other information about how the game is played is exploratory. It can be learned through knowing how the game is played, rather than a rule. Other rules are specialized, as they come about through different rule-sets, but the above two rules cover almost all of any played game.

There are differences in scoring in different countries but it does not affect the tactics and strategies you will to use to win the game.

The Go Gameboard

Two players, Black and White, take turns placing a stone (game piece) of their own color on a vacant point (intersection) of the grid on a Go board. Black moves first. Handicap can also be discussed when there is a difference in skill level. The official grid comprises 19×19 lines, though the rules can be applied to any grid size. 13×13 and 9×9 boards are popular choices to teach beginners. Once placed, a stone may not be moved to a different point.

go_19x19

A 19×19 lines board. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Additional Game Rules

Vertically and horizontally adjacent stones of the same color form a chain (also called a string or group) that cannot subsequently be subdivided and, in effect, becomes a single larger stone. Only stones connected to one another by the lines on the board create a chain; stones that are diagonally adjacent are not connected. Chains may be expanded by placing additional stones on adjacent intersections, and can be connected together by placing a stone on an intersection that is adjacent to two or more chains of the same color.

A vacant point adjacent to a stone is called a liberty for that stone. Stones in a chain share their liberties. A chain of stones must have at least one liberty to remain on the board. When a chain is surrounded by opposing stones so that it has no liberties, it is captured and removed from the board.

The game of Go needs tactics and strategy to win. On our next post, we will discuss more on terms and strategies of Go.

References:

1. Go (game). Wikipedia.

2. How to Play Go. Nihonkiin.

3. Featured image from hiroaki maeda on Flickr

The following two tabs change content below.

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

IMG_0312

Omihachiman and the man named William Merrell Vories – Part 1

Every time I visit Japan for work, one of the many highlights I look forward during my stay is to get to travel with my Japanese language teacher – I fondly call her sensei. We have traveled together to so many different tourist destinations around Kyoto and Okayama. Having her as a travel buddy is […]

Read Article

kobu-maki (kelp rolls with fish in it)

Osechi: Traditional Japanese New Year’s Food – Meaning

In my previous post about osechi, I mentioned that each dish has its own meaning and significance. You can think of juubako of osechi as a box full of one’s desires or wishes for himself or for his families for the New Year. What dishes and how they are arranged may differ in every region or household. Below […]

Read Article

tenugui

Tenugui: More than Just a Hand Towel

A tenugui (手拭い) in its simplest definition is a traditional Japanese hand towel made of cotton. It is usually about 35 by 90 centimeters in size. It is typically plain woven and though there are also plain designs, it has usually repeating patterns printed/dyed on its surface. But a tenugui is not just a plain […]

Read Article

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kyoto: Night Illumination Kiyomizudera

After that nice city stroll, the hunt was on again – the hunt for autumn foliage that is. Earlier that day we started our hunt at northwest part of Kyoto (Kagamiishi Dori) where we found beautiful concentrations of momiji foliage. This time we were set to see one of the best night illuminations in one […]

Read Article

real life tanuki

Are you okay, Tanuki? – The Japanese Raccoon Dog in Legends and Popular Culture

Last time, we talked about the sly kitsune or the Japanese fox. In this post, we will feature another animal that is popular in Japanese legends and myths and just like the kitsune, is sometimes depicted as a trickster, the tanuki or the Japanese raccoon dog. Tanuki, Not Your Ordinary Raccoon Though they look like […]

Read Article

sumo

Sumo: More Than Just a Martial Art – Rules

In our last post about the Japanese traditional martial art sumo, we learned about its history. In this post, we will learn more about its rules and features. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – June 3, 2015 Kaomoji: Expressing […]

Read Article

Dog in the Konpira Shrine

Due south: Konpira Shrine in Kagawa – Part 2 –

Konpira in Kagawa (2) Konpira-inu (Konpira dog) in Konpira Shrine Beside a copper torii near “mimaya” (stable for “shinme”. See this post), there is a statue of “Konpira-inu”. I mentioned a little bit about Konpira-inu in my dog post. In the Edo era, it was hard for common people to travel from the east of […]

Read Article

vacation

Golden Week – Furikae Kyūjitsu and Golden Week History

Today is the last day of the Golden Week this year in Japan. For this year, this day has no particular celebration or holiday. Today is just a Compensation/Substitute Holiday (振替休日 Furikae Kyūjitsu) that is observed when any of the Golden Week holidays fall on Sunday. Past Observances of Furikae Kyūjitsu Furikae Kyūjitsu of the […]

Read Article

Konbini (7-eleven)

I Love Konbini: Awesome Konbini (Convenience Store) In Japan!

I love konbini (convenience store) in Japan and I often use it in different situations, for lunch, after work, family trips, and so on. What’s so awesome about it? Well, it’s amazingly convenient, food is delicious, and so much more! This time, I’ll be introducing some of them.   1. It’s Everywhere! As of August […]

Read Article

Peeling mikan

New Year Holidays in Japan : Mikan

Mikan is one of the typical fruits in Japanese winter. When my siblings and I were ever-hungry children, my mother always bought a box with 15 kg (approx. 530 oz, 33 lb) of mikan in winter. We could easily eat up 15 mikan each at one sitting. I suppose the Engel’s coefficient of my family […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑