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February 3rd, 2005


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10:22 am
slow morning at work, so I picked one of the more complex rant topics.
"Techniques of Go. Starting with the basics." -krues8dr

Ok. very basics.
- Board: a grid of lines, much like graph paper. the playing points are the intersections of lines, of which there are 19x19 on a full sized board. Can also be played 13x13, or 9x9 for practice games/learning exercises.
- Stones: black and white flattened marbles that you use to mark places on the board.
- Players: 2
- Goal: Capture terretory on the board by enclosing it with stones.

- Gameplay:
Players alternate turns. Each turn, a player places a piece at any empty intersection on the board.

So you need to enclose space on the board with your stones. You can also capture the other players' stones by enclosing them. Diagonals do NOT matter, only the four cardinal directions count. Captured stones are removed from the board.
I'll use O's and X's for simplicity.
Example of a captured O:
 X 
XOX
 X 

example of a not yet captured O:
XXX
XO   
XXX

Open spaces next to a piece are known as Liberties. In the first example, O has no liberties, and is captured. In the second example, O has 1 liberty and is thus, alive. However, O is effectively screwed, because even if O takes advantage of it's one liberty, X can still capture it with one piece, thusly:
XXX   
XOOX
XXX   


A surrounded empty space is called an Eye. The only safe structures in the game of Go are formations which have 2 eyes.
Here, I'll explain.
Consider this layout:
XXX
X X
XXX
If O placed a stone in the middle, the stone would have no liberties and be immediately captured. This is called suicided, and is an illegal move.

But consider this example instead:
OOOOO
OXXXO
OX XO
OXXXO
OOOOO
Here X has an eye, but only one. X also has only one liberty. How do you capture a formation of stones? remove all their liberties. So in this example, if O went right smack in the middle, it would NOT be a suicide. It would be removing all of X's liberties, and the X pieces would be captured, like so.
OOOOO
O O
O O O
O O
OOOOO

The potential to remove the opponent's liberties is considered before the suicide is considered.

With two eyes however, a structure is uncapturable.
OOOOOOO
OXXXXXO
OX X XO
OXXXXXO
OOOOOOO
Here the X stones are all connected, and so are one structure with two eyes, and two liberties. If O plays in either eye, it is a suicide because X still has the other liberty.

Here are some other two-eye structures:
OO         
O   O      
OOOOO
      O   O
      OO   
(remember, only the cardinal directions count, but the pieces must also be connected.)

you can use the sides of the board to your advantage in creating eyes.
XXXXX
X X X
-----
(the line of dashes is the bottom of the board.)
Corners are even better:
|XXX
|X X
| XX
----



There's the basics. The best way to get a feel for it is to play a game with someone. I learned more in my frist game than I did in all the reading I'd done on it. I'd be happy to play with anyone who wants to, but I can't do it from work. heh.
mood: cheerfulcheerful

(3 bits of drivel | babble incoherently)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:nalene
Date:February 3rd, 2005 05:00 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Cool Thanks for posting this! Now I know what I was doing wrong! You wrote this so well, you should considering writing a "Go" manual! Thanks again! I was screwing up because I thought diagonal counted! Hah I wasted so much effort.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:February 3rd, 2005 06:01 pm (UTC)
(Link)
heh, glad to help. ^_^
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:February 3rd, 2005 06:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
my pleasure. ^_^
slow morning at work, so I picked one of the more complex rant… - another LJ. or: how i learned to stop worrying and love this life-thingy

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