1997-2-1 last update, 1997-1-23 first day
Robert Jasiek, jasiek@snafu.de

Elementary Rules


The original version of these rules by James Davies was first published in "The Rules and Elements of Go", The Ishi Press, 1977. I have added slight modifications for more clarity. The rules use a language that is easy for beginners. The concept is simplicity and logic based on super ko and area counting. The rules were inspired by the Taiwanese 1974 rules and are close to Tromp-Taylor 1996 [link] and New Zealand 1975 rules.


  1. The square grid board is empty at the outset of the game.
  2. Black makes the first move, after which he and White alternate.
  3. A move consists of placing one stone of one's own color on an empty intersection on the board.
  4. A player may pass his turn at any time.
  5. A stone or solidly via grid lines connected group of stones of one color is captured and removed from the board when all the intersections directly adjacent to it are occupied by the enemy. Capture of the enemy takes precedence over self-capture.
  6. No stone may be played so as to recreate a former board position.
  7. Two consecutive passes end the game.
  8. A player's territory consists of all the board points he has either occupied or monochromely surrounded.
  9. The player with more territory wins.