What is Go?

Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. Go, probably the world’s oldest board game, is thought to have originated in China some 4,000 years ago.

Players try to conquer territory by completely enclosing vacant points with boundaries made of their own stones.  A player’s final score is his number of walled-in points less the number of his stones lost by capture. Games may also be terminated by resignation.

A Go game played on the 19×19 board

Go demands great skill, strategy, and subtlety and is capable of infinite variety, yet the rules and pieces are so simple that children can play. Special handicap rules allow players of unequal skill to play together. Despite its relatively simple rules, Go is extremely complex. Compared to chess, Go has both a larger board with more scope for play and longer games and, on average, many more alternatives to consider per move. 

Rules of Go

The standard Go board is a square wooden board that has a 19×19 grid of lines, containing 361 points. Beginners often play on smaller 9×9 and 13×13 boards. More recently, it has been played electronically on computers and on the Internet.

The playing pieces are called stones (flat, round pieces ). One player uses the black stones and the other, white . Each player in turn (black moves first) places a stone on the point of intersection of any two lines, after which that stone cannot be moved, but stones are removed from the board if the stone (or group of stones) is surrounded by opposing stones on all orthogonally-adjacent points, in which case the stone is captured.

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