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. A 2016 survey by the International Go Federation's 75 member nations found that there are over 46 million people worldwide who know how to play Go and over 20 million current players, the majority of whom live in East Asia; the playing pieces are called "stones". One player uses the other, black; the players take. Once placed on the board, stones may not be moved, but stones are removed from the board if "captured". Capture happens when a stone or group of stones is surrounded by opposing stones on all orthogonally-adjacent points; the game proceeds. When a game concludes, the winner is determined by counting each player's surrounded territory along with captured stones and komi. Games may be terminated by resignation. A teacher might simplify the explanation by saying to a student "you may place your stone on any point on the board, but if I surround that stone, I will remove it."
The standard Go board has a 19×19 grid of lines, containing 361 points. Beginners play on smaller 9×9 and 13×13 boards, archaeological evidence shows that the game was played in earlier centuries on a board with a 17×17 grid. However, boards with a 19×19 grid had become standard by the time the game had reached Korea in the 5th century CE and Japan in the 7th century CE. Go was considered one of the four essential arts of the cultured aristocratic Chinese scholars in antiquity; the earliest written reference to the game is recognized as the historical annal Zuo Zhuan. Despite its simple rules, Go is complex. Compared to chess, Go has both a larger board with more scope for play and longer games, and, on average, many more alternatives to consider per move; the lower bound on the number of legal board positions in Go has been estimated to be 2 x 10170. The word "Go" is derived from the full Japanese name igo, derived from its Chinese name weiqi, which translates as "board game of surrounding" or "encircling game".
To differentiate the game from the common English verb to go, "g" is capitalized, or, in events sponsored by the Ing Chang-ki Foundation, it is spelled "goe". The Korean word baduk derives from the Middle Korean word Badok, the origin of, controversial. Less plausible etymologies include a derivation of "Badukdok", referring to the playing pieces of the game, or a derivation from Chinese 排子, meaning "to arrange pieces". Go is an adversarial game with the objective of surrounding a larger total area of the board with one's stones than the opponent; as the game progresses, the players position stones on the board to map out formations and potential territories. Contests between opposing formations are extremely complex and may result in the expansion, reduction, or wholesale capture and loss of formation stones. A basic principle of Go is that a group of stones must have at least one "liberty" to remain on the board. A "liberty" is an open "point" bordering the group. An enclosed liberty is called an "eye", a group of stones with two or more eyes is said to be unconditionally "alive".
Such groups cannot be captured if surrounded. The general strategy is to expand one's territory, attack the opponent's weak groups, always stay mindful of the "life status" of one's own groups; the liberties of groups are countable. Situations where mutually opposing groups must capture each other or die are called capturing races, or semeai. In a capturing race, the group with more liberties will be able to capture the opponent's stones. Capturing races and the elements of life or death are the primary challenges of Go. A player may pass on determining; the game ends when both players pass, is scored. For each player, the number of captured stones is subtracted from the number of controlled points in "liberties" or "eyes", the player with the greater score wins the game. Games may be won by resignation of the opponent. In the opening stages of the game, players establish positions in the corners and around the sides of the board; these bases help to develop strong shapes which have many options for life and establish formations for potential territory.
Players start in the corners because establishing territory is easier with the aid of two edges of the board. Established corner opening sequences are called "joseki" and are studied independently."Dame" are points that lie in between the boundary walls of black and white, as such are considered to be of no value to either side. "Seki" are mutually alive pairs of black groups where neither has two eyes. A "ko" is a repeated-position shape. After the forcing move is played, the ko may be "taken back" and returned to its original position; some "ko fights" may be important and decide the life of a large group, while others may be worth just one or two points. Some ko fights
Focus (board game)
Focus is an abstract strategy board game, designed by Sid Sackson and first published in 1964 by Kosmos. The game has been re-published many times since, sometimes under the titles Dominio. Focus won the 1981 Spiel des Essen Feather awards; the game appears in Sackson's A Gamut of Games in the section New Battles on an Old Battlefield. Two to four players move stacks of one to five pieces around a checkerboard with the three squares in each corner removed, thus forming a 6×6 board with 1×4 extensions on each side. Stacks may move as many spaces. Players may only move a stack; when a stack lands on another stack, the two stacks merge. If a player's own piece is removed, they are kept and may be placed on the board in lieu of moving a stack. If an opponent's piece is removed, it is captured; the last player, able to move a stack wins. Death Stacks Sackson, Sid. "Focus". A Gamut of Games. Pantheon Books. Pp. 125–35. ISBN 0-394-71115-7. PDF Rules for Domination, Hasbro's re-publication of the game. Focus at BoardGameGeek
In go and shōgi, a jōseki or jouseki is the studied sequences of moves for which the result is considered balanced for both black and white sides. In go, because games start with plays in the corners, go jōsekis are about corner play as the players try to gain local advantages there in order to obtain a better overall position. Though less common, there are jōsekis for the middle game. In Japanese, jō means "fixed" or "set" and seki means stones, giving the literal meaning "set stones", as in "set pattern". In Chinese, the term for joseki is dìngshì; the concept of "balance", here refers to an equitable trade-off between securing territory in the corner versus making good thickness toward the sides and the center. In application, these concepts are dynamic, deviations from a jōseki depend upon the needs of the situation and the available opportunities. While learning jōseki is a tool to defend against a local loss, players always seek to take advantage of weaknesses in the opponent's shapes deviating from the jōseki.
Jōsekis comprise patterns that have gained acceptance in professional games. Hence, the basic definition may be misleading for new players in that a jōseki can be misconstrued as foolproof and unalterable and as optimal for all situations. Many jōsekis are in fact useful only for study within an artificially confined corner, in real play are only considered good form when used in proper combination with other plays on the board. Knowing a particular jōseki means that one knows a sequence of moves, resulting in a balance or fair trade-off between black and white positions; this is in practice much easier than appraising how jōsekis relate to the rest of the board – hence, knowledge of jōseki is regarded as shallow, when compared with the ability to integrate a strategy into a complex game landscape. One go proverb states that "learning jōsekis loses two stones in strength," which means that the rote learning of sequences is not advantageous. Hence, the study of jōsekis is regarded as a double-edged sword and useful only if learned by understanding the principles behind each move, instead of by rote.
Every jōseki should be used as a specific tool. Just as using an improper tool in machinery can be devastating, choosing the wrong jōseki can be worse than improvising one's own moves. In his book A Way of Play for the 21st Century, Go Seigen compared choosing the proper jōseki to choosing the proper medicine: "Pick the right one, you feel better. Pick the wrong one, you die." Rui Naiwei remarked that "playing josekis is easy choosing the right one is hard." A jōseki may fall out of use for various reasons, some of which may seem minor to the amateur player. There is no definitive guide to. Corner jōsekis conventionally start with one player occupying a corner point, in an empty 19×19 area of the board, the other player replying with an approach move; the initial play in the corner is always on a 3-3, 3-4, 3-5, 4-4 or 4-5 point. Other plays that have been experimented with include 5-5, 6-3 and 6-4, all of which sacrifice territory for influence. Of those plays, the classical 3-4 point and more contemporary 4-4 point are the most used.
The standard approaches are at 5-3 or 5-4 to the 3-4 point, at 3-6/6-3 to the 4-4 point. The number of subsequent variations is quite large. Useful is the tenuki concept of breaking away from a sequence, to play elsewhere, before the'official' endpoint of the jōseki. After a jōseki sequence has ended, a play returning to the same area may be termed a follow-up play. There is no formal theory for these, it is imperative that players should not play a jōseki from rote memorization but adapt according to the overall board situation. It is important to keep in mind that go is a game involving marginal analysis and jōsekis are heuristics of sound play. Playing jōsekis blindly will not improve one's game. Go opening theory Fuseki Avalanche joseki Taisha joseki Shogi opening Joseki sequences at Sensei's Library
DVONN is a two-player strategy board game in which the objective is to accumulate pieces in stacks. It was released in 2001 by Kris Burm as the fourth game of the GIPF Project. DVONN won the 2002 International Gamers Award and the Games magazine Game of the Year Award in 2003. DVONN is played on a board with 49 spaces; the board has a hexagonal layout 5 hexes wide. One player has 23 black pieces to play, the other player has 23 white pieces. There are 3 neutral red pieces, called DVONN pieces; the object of the game is to control more pieces than your opponent at the end of the game. The game starts with an empty board, proceeds in two phases. During the first phase the players place their pieces on the board, starting with the three red DVONN pieces. Pieces can be placed on any unoccupied space. White starts, the players alternate. So Black is the first to place a piece of his own color; the first phase ends. The second phase involves the building of stacks of pieces by moving stacks onto other stacks.
A stack is controlled by a player. A stack is immobile; the white player has the first move in this phase. Any mobile stack of height n can be moved in any one of the 6 directions by n spaces by the player controlling it, if it lands on another stack. Jumping over empty spaces is allowed, as long as the tower does not land on an empty space. Single DVONN pieces can not be moved. After each move all stacks which are not connected via a chain of neighboring stacks to any stack containing a DVONN piece are removed from the board. A player who has no legal move must pass, a player may only pass when no legal move is available; the game ends. All stacks controlled by one player are collected into one tower; the winner is the player with the higher tower. The game ends in a draw in case both players own an equal number of stones in their tower; the maximum possible number of moves in the game is 97. In competition each player gets 15 minutes for the entire game in real-life tournaments, or 10 minutes for online tournaments.
The rules of DVONN can be learned in a few minutes. The main factor needed to win is to be in control of the game; the basic strategy of the game is given on the GIPF Project website. The more advanced strategy tips are derived from the general strategy guidelines developed by the DVONN guild at the BrettspielWelt game site. In 2003, 2004, 2008 the game developer, Kris Burm, organized a real life DVONN world championship. Many beginner players place their pieces at the start of the game without a clear objective. However, placement is as major a factor in winning as the movement phase. Pieces should be placed with three main goals in mind: spaces by DVONN pieces, spaces by the side, general density; the first objective is to place pieces by DVONN pieces, thereby keeping them safe from potential separation. Keeping at least three pieces by each DVONN piece helps defend them from potential attack. Next, pieces that are surrounded cannot move; such pieces should be in position to free other pieces on the inside.
Lumping groups of one's own pieces together is poor strategy. It is desirable to capture on every move, or at least take a DVONN piece. Spreading pieces out across the board increases the chance of maintaining a short stack into endgame, where it may be moved into position for a crucial capture, it may be possible to string a line of one's own pieces across the board up and down. Play always separates along this line. An additional advantage of placing stones connected in a line is that moving a stone on either end of the line will free another own stone for movement. Having an distribution of the DVONN pieces over the board is recommended for novice players, since this way they will be less vulnerable against groups of stones being lost by a cut off. Having all 3 red Dvonn pieces grouped together near the edge guarantees a win for an experienced player playing with white; as a remark about the setup phase it can be mentioned that it is not possible to guarantee victory with a strong setup, but it is possible to have no chance of winning by placing your stones badly.
The first few moves should correct any place where your position must be fixed: helping or moving pieces that could become isolated and moving outside pieces in order to give inside ones mobility. To go for a victory, one should try to recognize if it is possible to isolate part of the board from all the red DVONN pieces in such a way that the isolated part will contain more of the opponents stones that your own. Preferably, always play stones towards the DVONN pieces rather than away from them. Capturing pieces that could capture a DVONN piece can be important, as a moving DVONN piece controlled by the opponent can isolate a large group of pieces. However, mobility is the most important aspect of DVONN. Building a tall stack early in the movement phase is a mistake. Most the game is won by the player, capable of making the last move. Maintaining some single stones until the end phase is, therefore often a good strategy; as a general rule one can state that using a tower to take a single stone of the opponent is one of the better moves, since thi
Dots is an abstract strategy game, played by two or more people on a sheet of squared paper. The game is superficially similar to Go, except that pieces are not taken, the primary target of dots is capturing enemy dots by surrounding them with a continuous line of one's own dots. Once surrounded, dots are not playable. Dots is played on a grid of some finite size 39x32 but arbitrary sizes can be used. Players take turns by placing a dot of their own color on empty intersections of the grid. If a newly placed dot completes a closed chain of dots of the same color which encloses at least one of the enemy dots all the area inside it is surrounded. To form a chain dots must be adjacent to each other either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Surrounded enemy dots are added to the score of the player. All enclosed dots and empty intersections are excluded from further play and can't be used to make new surrounds. To mark a newly surrounded area, the surrounding player must draw a boundary line through all his dots that are part of enclosing chain.
Note, that players can't surround areas. As a consequence the enemy can use empty intersections inside it to complete his own enclosing chain. However, if one places a dot into empty area surrounded by the opponent and cannot use it to surround this dot can be captured by the opponent. There is more than one way of choosing an enclosing chain of dots; when played with pens and paper, players are free to choose one. When game is played on a computer, to simplify user input, programs automatically surround minimum area. In some cases this can be tactically exploited to one's advantage; the goal of the game is to capture more dots than opponent. At early stages of game formation Dots was played on piece of paper with two pens until one of the players surrendered; however this informal way of ending the game is inapplicable in competitive play. Nowadays always a grounding rule is used, described here. Continuous groups of dots that touch the border of the field can't be captured no matter how many moves opponent make.
These dots are said to be «grounded». At any moment of the game either player can stop the game, a way to say «All the dots that I want to preserve are grounded. You can take everything else». After that his opponent is allowed to make as many moves as he want to capture all the remaining dots that he can; the game whoever captured most dots wins. In lost situation good players surrender before his opponent has to explicitly apply this rule. If one of the players only places his dots touching the border, none of them could be captured. To prevent forced draw situations, the game is played either from initial position or with first several moves restricted to some area around the center of the field; the most popular initial position is a cross. Other popular ones are four crosses placed randomly. General trend is: the more crosses are placed on the field, more active, less probable to end in a draw, more challenging the game for both players will be
Go strategy and tactics
The game of Go has simple rules that can be learned quickly but, as with chess and similar board games, complex strategies may be deployed by experienced players. The whole board opening is called Fuseki. An important principle to follow in early play is "corner, center." In other words, the corners are the easiest places to take territory, because two sides of the board can be used as boundaries. Once the corners are occupied, the next most valuable points are along the side, aiming to use the edge as a territorial boundary. Capturing territory in the middle, where it must be surrounded on all four sides, is difficult; the same is true for founding a living group: Easiest in the corner, most difficult in the center. The first moves are played on or near the 4-4 star points in the corners, because in those places it is easiest to gain territory or influence. After that, standard sequences can be used to develop corner positions, extensions along the side can be made; the center area is kept empty the longest.
Plays are on the third or fourth line—the second makes too little territory, while the fifth is too undermined by a play on the third. A play on the fourth line is directed more towards influence to the center, a play on the third line more towards making territory along the side. A fundamental Go strategy involves keeping stones connected. Connecting a group with one eye to another one-eyed group makes them live together. Connecting individual stones into a single group results in an increase of liberties, thus connected stones are stronger. Since connecting stones keeps them secure, an important offensive tactic is to prevent the opponent from connecting his stones, while at the same time keeping one's own stones connected; this act of dividing the opponent's stones into separate groups is called cutting. While one should try to keep one's own stones connected, situations exist where doing so would be a wasted move. Stones are considered tactically connected if no move by the opposing player could prevent them from being connected.
In a handicap game, Black starts with two or more handicap stones played before White's first move. If played in the traditional places on the "star points", these stones will be useful for the purpose of connection and separation of stones played closer to the edge, as well as in many other ways; the White player's stones are threatened with separation, while Black has many potential connections to begin with. An example of inefficiency or poor coordination of stones in the context of connection is the empty triangle, where the stones are arranged so that they share fewer liberties than if they were deployed in a straight line. A key concept in the tactics of Go, though not part of the rules, is the classification of groups of stones into alive, dead or unsettled. At the end of the game, groups that cannot avoid being captured during normal play are removed as captures; these stones are dead. Groups can reach this state much earlier during play. Further play to capture such a group is of no benefit, since if it remains on the board at the end of the game it is captured anyway.
Thus groups can be considered "dead as they stand", or just dead, by both sides during the course of the game. Groups enclosing an area can be harder to kill; when a play causes an area enclosed by the opponent to become filled, the group filling the area is captured since it has no remaining liberties. Only if the last play inside the area would kill the enclosing group, thus freeing one or more liberties for the group that filled the space, can the play be considered; this can only be achieved if the liberties on the outside of the enclosing group have been covered first. Thus, enclosing an area of one or more liberties can make the group harder to kill, since the opponent must cover all of its external liberties before covering the final, internal liberty. From this, it is possible to create groups. If a group encloses two or more separate areas, the opponent cannot fill both of them with a single play, thus can never play on the last liberty of the group; such a group, or a group that cannot be prevented from forming such an enclosure, is called alive.
Groups which are not alive nor dead are sometimes called unsettled groups. Much of the tactical fighting in Go focuses on making one's own groups live, by ensuring they can make two eyes, on making the opponent's groups die, by denying them two eyes. Determining ahead of time whether a group is alive, dead, or unsettled, requires the ability to extrapolate from the current position and imagine possible plays by both sides, the best responses to those plays, the best responses to those responses, so on; this is called reading ahead, or just reading, it is
Fuseki is the whole board opening in the game of Go. Since each move is isolated and unforced, patterns for play on the whole board have seen much less systematic study than for Joseki, which are contact moves which require specific and immediate responses. Hence a game of Go may explore an unfamiliar path. Only a proportion of fusekis have recognised or specific names; these include the two-star fuseki, three-star fuseki, Chinese fuseki, Kobayashi fuseki, Shusaku fuseki. These are names for the influential formations; as played on a large board, traditional wisdom says the priority is to play corner enclosures to extend to the middle of the sides, to the center because it is easier to secure territory in the corners than on the sides or in the center. The classical view for the 3-3, 3-4 or 4-3 point, emphasizes good points to play in the opening because these points ensure larger and/or faster corner enclosure. Higher points are discouraged; this approach is easier for beginners to grasp and play.
Unlike the territory-oriented playing style, this approach emphasizes control of the center. The reason for this is that one's play should not be narrowly focused on attempting to secure points by occupying the corners first. Although it requires more effort to secure the center, it constitutes the majority of territory on the board; the key is to build a good framework. Higher points like 4-4, 4-5 or 5-4 are encouraged; some players occupy the side quickly in order to build up a good framework, while some place their stones around the center. However, the influence-oriented approach is more abstract and harder for beginners to grasp and play; the development of fuseki was limited in the distant past, because nearly all players' efforts were put into making corner plays and enclosures. Until about 1900, professional players made use only of a small proportion of the established patterns in the opening; the range of possibilities is great, the number of game records from high-level play that are published is not so large.
Fuseki did not see significant improvement until the influence-oriented style of play evolved in the 20th century. The most regarded pioneer player of the 20th century, Go Seigen, created an uproar when he played his third move on the tengen, or center point in a game against the reigning Honinbo Shusai. An unwise move in classical thinking, it was considered an insult to someone of the Honinbo's stature. Go Seigen lost the controversial 4-month game, but proved his ability against high-ranking opponents when employing such an unusual strategy; the concept of influence-oriented play gave birth to many revolutionary fuseki such as the two-star fuseki, three-star fuseki and so on. Many similar patterns have been played in modern games; the Chinese fuseki, popularized by Chinese players in the 1970s, has a thoroughly-researched theory. Since around 1990, there has been a succession of fashionable openings a product of Korean professionals, which have been studied and played in a more chess-like manner.
This style of innovation is something new to the go tradition, however. Go opening theory Joseki "Weon Seongjin 7-dan and his thoughts about the role of fuseki in modern Go"