2019-06-24 last update, 2019-06-24 first day, Robert Jasiek

Korean 2016 Rules

[These rules of the Korean Baduk Association have been translated by Jaeup Kim in his book "Understanding the Rules of Baduk". Then, Robert Jasiek has slightly edited the English.]

Korean Rule of Baduk

Article 1. Baduk is

Baduk is a game in which two players, Black and White, compete on a board, by alternately playing a Black / White Baduk stone at an intersection on the board. The territory and captured stones are added and the player owning more of them wins the game.

Article 2. Baduk Equipment

1. Board
The Baduk board is marked by 19 horizontal and 19 vertical straight lines forming a grid with 361 intersections.
2. Stones
It is recommended to provide 181 black stones and 180 white stones for each set.
3. Container
1) It contains the stones.
2) The cover of the container is used to keep the captured stones.

Article 3. Placement (Move)

1. Black plays the first move.
2. Black and White alternatively place one stone at an intersection.
3. The move is made on a point where the stone touched first. If the touched position is not an intersection, the move is made on the nearest point. Once the stone touches the board, a move must be made.
4. Once a stone is placed on the board, it cannot be moved to another place on the board.

Article 4. Liberty

1. Liberty
An empty intersection immediately adjacent to a single stone is called a liberty. (X points of ⟨Diagram 1⟩)
The liberties of connected stones are the addition of the liberties of each stone, as shown in ⟨Diagram 2⟩.

⟨Diagram 1⟩ ⟨Diagram 2⟩

2. Capture
If one player's stones surround all the liberties of the opponent's stone(s) as shown in ⟨Diagram 3⟩, the stones without liberty are removed from the board. This action is called a ‘capture’.

⟨Diagram 3⟩ White captures Black ▲ stones.

Article 5. Forbidden intersection

A player cannot place a stone at an intersection if that move results in no liberty for the stone as shown in ⟨Diagram 4-1⟩ and ⟨Diagram 4-2⟩ because it creates a shape that the opponent captures. However, a player can place a stone at the intersection if it is a capturing move as shown in ⟨Diagram 4-3⟩ and ⟨Diagram 4-4⟩.

⟨Diagram 4-1⟩  ⟨Diagram 4-2⟩ ⟨Diagram 4-3⟩ ⟨Diagram 4-4⟩

Article 6. Life and Death of Stones

All uncapturable stones are alive and all capturable stones are dead.
1. The Black stones in ⟨Diagram 5⟩ have two liberties, and White cannot make a move on any of them. Therefore, these Black stones are alive.
2. The Black stones in ⟨Diagram 6⟩ also have two liberties, but White can remove them by placing stones. Therefore, these Black stones are dead.

⟨Diagram 5⟩ ⟨Diagram 6⟩

Article 7. Ko

A shape in which Black and White can alternately capture and recapture one of the opponent’s stones is called “Ko”. In this case, a player can recapture a ko after making one or more moves on other places (ko threat). (See ⟨Diagram 7-1∼7-3⟩ – White 1 or Black A).

⟨Diagram 7-1⟩ ⟨Diagram 7-2⟩
White captures first
⟨Diagram 7-3⟩ Black
cannot immediately play at A

 Article 8. Territory and Neutral Point

1. Territory consists of points surrounded by live stones. Each intersection is one point. ⟨Diagram 8-1, 8-2⟩

⟨Diagram 8-1⟩ ⟨Diagram 8-2⟩

2. The empty point that Black and White cannot make a territory is called a Neutral point.
(⟨X of Diagrams 9 and 10⟩). Neutral points must be filled alternately.

⟨Diagram 9⟩ ⟨Diagram 10⟩

Article 9. Seki

A seki is a shape in which Black and White stones adjacent to one or more neutral point(s) coexist. The seki is excluded in the process of territory counting.

⟨Diagram 11⟩

Article 10. Recreation of the same whole board position

A whole board repetition is returning to the same whole board position after a certain number of sequences.
1. Situations that both players can repeat
If both players repeat, the game ends with a draw.   1) triple ko ⟨Diagram 12⟩   2) eternal life ⟨Diagram 13⟩   3) round robin ko ⟨Diagram 14⟩   4) Two double kos ⟨Diagrams 15, 16 and 17⟩   5) three-point eternal life ⟨Diagram 18⟩

⟨Diagram 12⟩  ⟨Diagram 13⟩ ⟨Diagram 14⟩

⟨Diagram 15⟩

⟨Diagram 16⟩

⟨Diagram 17⟩

⟨Diagram 18⟩

2. Situations that only one player can repeat
For situations like ⟨Diagram 19⟩ and ⟨Diagram 20⟩, the game ends with a draw if Black repeats.

⟨Diagram 19⟩ ⟨Diagram 20⟩

Article 11. Ending the Game

If a player thinks that one does not need to make a move, the player must express it to the opponent. (E.g. “Please keep playing”.) The game continues if the opponent makes a move. If the opponent also passes, the life and death of stones are judged after separating the local shapes. The game ends when no more moves are available.

Article 12. Scoring and Decision of Winner

1. Each player fill in the opponent's territory using captured stones.
2. The player with more territory wins.

[Kim Soojang 9p is said to be the practical author of the Korean 2016 Rules. This is the Korean Rule of Baduk specifying how the game should be played on the board. The 2016 rules include another text, the Competition Codes, specifying things such as: board; stones; the clock authorized by KBA; overtime; starting and ending of the game; the referee’s role; a player not bringing his own phone; the stone touching the board may not be taken back, even when the player's finger is on the stone. Diagram 8-1 should show a hoshi on 3-3; Diagram 9 should not show a hoshi on 5-5.]