Go Game (Baduk)

Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. The game was invented in China more than 2,500 years ago and is believed to be the oldest board game continuously played to the present day.


Objective: Surround more territory on the board than your opponent

Key: Skillful balance & efficient play that will win games. The main skill is not calculation, it’s judgment.


  • Flow of the game
    • Black begins - played on the intersections
    • White goes next and so on
    • White is the strong player (get’s extra points for going second)
  • How stones are captured
    • Empty intersections next to the stone are called liberties
      • Stones can have 4 (center), 3 (side), 2 (corner), 1 liberties
    • Stones that have all liberties occupied by stones of the opposite color
      • These are captured
    • Connected stones of the same color share liberties
      • Only horizontally connected, not diagonal
      • And they can be captured as a group
    • A group that has only 1 liberty is said to be in atari
      • That stone or group can be captured in the next move by the opponent
  • Rule of eternity - Ko rule
    • You may not immediately replicate a previous board position
    • Very similar to how time works - no two moments are ever truly the same
  • How the game ends & how it’s scored
    • Instead of playing a stone, a player is allowed to pass - no more available worthwhile moves
    • The game ends when each player passes in succession
    • Dead stones are immediately removed as captures
    • Territory is counted for each player by the number of empty intersections surrounded by their stones
    • Player with the higher resulting score wins the game

Subtle rules:

  • Life & Death
    • A group is alive if it has or can make two eyes
    • But 1 eye is dead - will eventually get captured
  • Dual life - Seki inside liberties are shared by two groups
    • Neither player will want to play inside the space
    • Neither of the points will count for either player
  • The player with the white stone gets compensation for having gone second called kome - 6.5 or 7.5 points