Version 1, 2009-01-17 last update, 009-01-17 first day, Robert Jasiek

WAGC rules | FLAWS | MODEL | INFORMAL rules | PRECEDENTS | WAGC intention

Intention of the World Amateur Go Championship Rules

[Unlike the original World Amateur Go Championship Rules, this model expresses the World Amateur Go Championship Rules' intention while avoiding as many of their flaws as possible for this purpose. Rules for handicap, tournament rules (incl. the phrase "no result" for a tie due to a recreated position, counting mechanics, and partiality of the Nihon Kiin), resignation, and precedents are dropped.]

General Rules

Go is a game for two players, called Black and White, with a 19x19 Go board and black and white Go stones.

An intersection is a place of the board where a horiziontal line touches a vertical line.

Intersections are adjacent due to a line.

Black makes the first move, then White and so on in alternation, one move at a time.

A move is either a play or a pass.

A player's play places a stone of his on an empty intersection and then executes any capture.

A string consists of a stone and any stones of the same colour continuously connected via lines of the board.

An empty string consists of an empty intersection and any empty intersections continuously connected via lines of the board.

A capture removes any opposing strings without adjacent empty intersection.

A player may not make a move without capture while letting his own string be without adjacent empty intersection.

A position is the distribution of black and white stones on the board's intersections.

A succession of two plays may not recreate the position.

If otherwise the players notice a play recreating the position, then immediately and exceptionally the game ends with the result tie.

A pass just continues alternation with the opponent's next move.

The end of alternation is the moment just after the succession of two passes.

A pass may not create the end of alternation if then an empty string adjacent to both black and white independently alive strings still exists.

Independently Alive

A two-eye-formation is a set of one or several strings of the same player and exactly two empty intersections so that each of the strings is adjacent to each of the two intersections, none of the strings is adjacent to another empty intersection, and each of the two intersections is adjacent only to the strings.

A player's string is independently alive if creation of a two-eye-formation of his could be forced on at least one of its intersections. If necessary, enough possible interesting sequences of moves are studied and compared while the player tries to achieve and the opponent tries to prevent this. Each string is studied separately.

At the end of alternation and for its position, the analysis is the determination of each independently alive string. The players may agree to skip an obvious analysis.


After the end of alternation and the analysis, the players consider the connected regions that are adjacent only to one player's independently alive strings and that consist of intersections being empty or having opposing not independently alive strings on, which they remove.

Prisoners are all the stones removed from the board during the game.

A player's territory is the number of intersections of empty strings adjacent only to his independently alive strings.

The score is Black's territory plus prisoners of white colour minus White's territory, prisoners of black colour, and the komi.

Black wins if the score is greater than zero. White wins if the score is smaller than zero. The game is a tie if the score is zero.