Learn How to Play the Go Board Game

A popular game in eastern Asia for over 2500 years, the Go board game is famous for being strategically complex despite its simple rules. The goal of the game is to capture the most territory and opponent pieces.

The Go Game Board And Pieces
The game of Go is traditionally played on a board marked with a grid of 19 x 19 lines. Unlike chess or checkers, Go is played on the intersection of the grid lines, not on the squares created by the grid. The intersections are called "points". Intermediate and beginner game boards are made with 13 x 13 or 9 x 9 grids.

Go is played with pieces called stones. Stones are round and disk-shaped and are made of many different materials. There are 181 black stones and 180 white stones. The black player receives an extra stone because black traditionally goes first.

Basic Rules Of The Game Of Go
Play begins with the black player, and players alternate placing stones centered on the intersections (points) of the grid lines. All points are valid for either player, including the points that fall along the edges of the grid. Once a stone is placed on the board, it cannot be moved except when it is captured by an opponent

Stones that are vertically or horizontally linked form and association called a "group". A group can be thought of as a single, large stone. The horizontal and vertical points around a single stone or group are called the "liberties". If the opposing player covers the liberties around a group or single stone, the surrounded stones are considered captured and are removed from play.

A player may not place a stone such that it covers the last liberty of her own group. This is considered a "suicide" and is illegal unless the placement of the stone would result in the capture of one or more of an opponent's stones.

A player may not place a stone such that it returns the game to a position before the opponent's last move. This rule prevents that creation of "endless loops" where players repeat the same sequence of moves without moving the game forward.

A player may pass her turn if she has no viable moves. If both players pass consecutively, the game is over.

To score the game, players count the number of points completely enclosed by their stones and add that to the number of captured stones. The player with the higher combined total wins the game.

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