Overview The first 60 moves of a Go game animated. This particular game quickly developed into a complicated fight in the lower left and bottom.(Click on the board, to restart the play, in a larger window.) Go is an adversarial game with the objective of having surrounded a larger total area of the board with one's stones than the opponent. As the game progresses, the players place stones which map out formations and potential territories. Areas are contested in battles between opposing stones, which are often complex and may result in the expansion, reduction, or wholesale capture and loss of the contested area.
The four liberties (adjacent empty points) of a single black stone (A), as White reduces those liberties by one (B, C, and D). When Black has only one liberty left (D), that stone is "in atari". White may capture that stone (remove from board) with a play on its last liberty (at D-1). A basic principle of Go is that stones must have at least one "liberty" (Chinese: 氣) to remain on the board. A "liberty" is an open "point" (intersection) next to a stone. An enclosed liberty (or liberties) is called an "eye" (眼), and a group of stones with at least two separate eyes is said to be unconditionally "alive". Such groups cannot be captured, even if surrounded. "Dead" stones are stones that are surrounded and in groups with poor shape (one or no eyes), and thus cannot resist eventual capture.
The general strategy of Go is to expand one's territory where possible, attack the opponent's weak groups (groups that can possibly be killed), and always stay mindful of the "life status" of one's own groups. The liberties of groups are countable. Situations where two opposing groups must capture the other to live are called capturing races ('semeai' [攻め合 い] in Japanese). In a capturing race, the group with more liberties (and/or better "shape") will ultimately be able to capture the opponent's stones. Capturing races and questions of life and death are examples of what makes Go challenging.
The game ends when both players pass, and players pass when there are no more profitable moves to be made. The game is then scored: The player with the greater number of controlled (surrounded) points, factoring in the number of captured stones and komi, wins the game. Games may also be won by resignation, for example if a player has lost a large group of stones.
Finer points In the opening stages of the game, players typically establish positions (or "bases") in the corners and around the sides of the board. These bases help to quickly develop strong shapes which have many options for life (self-viability for a group of stones which prevents capture and removal from the board) and establish formations for potential territory. Players usually start in the corners, because it is more efficient to make life and to establish territory with the aid of two edges of the board. Established corner opening sequences are called "joseki" (Japanese, 定石) or "jungsuk" (in Korean) and are often studied independently.
"駄目" (pronounced , 'neutral points') are points that lie in-between the boundary walls of black and white, and as such are considered to be of no value to either side. "Seki" (Chinese: 共活) are mutually alive pairs of white and black groups where neither has two eyes. A "ko" (Chinese and Japanese: 劫) is a repeated-position shape that may be contested by making forcing moves elsewhere. After the forcing move is played, the ko may be "taken back" and returned to its original position. Some "ko fights" may be important and decide the life of a large group, while others may be worth just one or two points. Some ko fights are referred to as "picnic kos" when only one side has a lot to lose. The Japanese call it a hanami (flower-viewing) ko.
Playing with others usually requires a knowledge of each player's strength, as indicated by their rank (30kyu→1kyu|1dan→6dan|1dan pro→9dan pro). Handicaps can be given if there is a difference in rank - Black is allowed to place two or more stones on the board to compensate for White's greater strength. There are different rule-sets (Japanese, Chinese, AGA, etc.), which are almost entirely equivalent, except for certain special- case positions.
Game theory In formal game theory terms, Go is a non-chance, combinatorial game with perfect information. Informally that means there are no dice used (and decisions or moves create discrete outcome vectors rather than probability distributions); the underlying math is combinatorial; and all moves (via single vertex analysis) are visible to both players (unlike some card games where some information is hidden). Perfect information also implies sequence - players can theoretically know about all past moves.
Other game theoretical taxonomy elements include the facts that Go is bounded (because every game must end with a victor (or a tie) within a finite number of moves); the strategy is associative (every strategy is a function of board position); format is non-cooperative (not a team sport); positions are extensible (can be represented by board position trees); game is zero-sum (player choices do not increase resources available- colloquially, rewards in the game are fixed and if one player wins, the other loses) and the utility function is restricted (in the sense of win/lose; however, ratings, monetary rewards, national and personal pride and other factors can extend utility functions, but generally not to the extent of removing the win/lose restriction). Affine transformations are beyond the scope of this article, but they can theoretically add non-zero and complex utility aspects even to two player games (see the Maschler reference on go/chess that follows here, p. 111).
Rules Read main article: Rules of Go
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) states that 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 rule") states that 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 a heuristic, meaning it is learned information about 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.
Although there are some minor differences between rule sets used in different countries, most notably in Chinese and Japanese scoring rules, these differences do not greatly affect the tactics and strategy of the game.
Except where noted otherwise, the basic rules presented here are valid independent of the scoring rules used. The scoring rules are explained separately. Go terms for which there are no ready English equivalent are commonly called by their Japanese names. ... Continued at linked article.
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Years ago I commented, on another forum, that the US and Europe were playing Chess and the Chinese were playing GO - a more sophisticated game operating under a different set of rules, objectives, and strategies. I have seen that comment played out in international affairs as the CCP has continued to encircle the positions controlled by the US and Europe. The continued incompetence and failure to understand how they are being beat has led to our current position in world affairs. The mindset of our Asian adversaries is totally diffent from the historical backdrop of Chess. Chess is reflective of Feudal Europe whereas "GO" has the backdrop of the last 2000 years of Chinese history. With incompents such as Hitlery and Joementia they have no understanding of what they are dealing with.
"Wayne Dupree: Joe Bidens been wrong on nearly every major foreign issue over the past 40 years, and Afghanistan proves it."
Joe even in his brighter moments was a dullard. It is entirely possible that his stupidity and corruption could well turn our world into a fireball.