Go - also known as Wéiqí
, or Igo
- is one of the oldest games in the world. Its age is argued as being anywhere between 2 to 4 millennia old. When experts are debating over how many thousands
of years a game has been around, it’s probably safe to say it is here to stay.
The object of Go is to surround and hold as many open points of territory as possible. An open point is considered owned as long as it is immediately adjacent to stones of one color.
The game begins with an empty board (divided by intersecting lines into a 19x
19 grid) and the stones divided, by color, among the two players. Black stones play first by placing one stone on any open intersection. Turns continue in kind, with only new stones being added to the board. Placed stones are immobile unless captured (a captured stone is removed and held until the end of the game). One stone may be played per turn, or a player can pass.
Stones are considered connected when they are on immediately adjacent intersections (directly horizontal or vertical) and are not connected if they are diagonal or have at least one open intersection between them. Connected stones behave as one singular stone; stones can be captured if an opponent fills in all adjacent, open points with their own stones. Open points are valuable as the “liberty” required for a stone(s) survival. Without liberty, stones are dead and can be captured.
The game ends when both players pass consecutively and/or agree that there is no new territory to be secured or pieces to capture; if a point is contested during the scoring process, then play resumes until the dispute is resolved. Scoring can be calculated by the amount of owned points (Territory Scoring
) or the amount of points occupied and owned by one player’s pieces (Area Scoring
). Captured pieces can either be counted as minus points from their respective side, or additional points to the opposing side.
As long as the grid is balanced (nxn
), players can reduce the size to their comfort level; the smaller the grid, the simpler the strategy and shorter the gameplay.
- 1 gameboard
- 181 black plastic stones & 180 white plastic stones
- 1 instructional booklet
Detailed explanations of game variants, advanced rules, and gameplay issues can be found here
Small parts make this unsuitable for children 3 years old or under.