More on the Rules of Go

Rules Used in the UK

There are some slight differences in the rules used in different countries around the world, however for almost all practical purposes (more than 99.999% of games) they produce the same result.

For a comparison between the various rules sets see our description of various rulesets or a more technical rules comparison.

For our BGA Rules, we have adopted rules based on the American Go Association (AGA) rules. We use these in tournaments (with the exception of Pair Go), as opposed to Japanese rules used previously. Club players may use BGA rules or the Japanese rules, or whatever they are comfortable with.

Please see our AGA rules section and the policy page on the BGA Rules of Go for the full details.

We also have a single page Quick Ref produced for the UK Go Challenge which use BGA Rules. We also have some FridgeGo rules that were written for inclusion in the FridgePlay 9x9 magnetic set.

Other Sites

Some other sites which also present the rules of Go in English, not in a formal way, include:

Which of these you like is primarily a stylistic issue.

Some Repeating Positions

Ko is the main repeating position for which there is a specific rule to avoid the game going on forever. However, there are more complicated, and usually fairly rare positions which are repeating and for which special rules are needed to find a conclusion for a game in some rule sets. We have here some of these repeating positions. The rules related to these differ between the major rule sets; under BGA Rules the rule about board repetitions solves most of these.

Pair Go Rules

Pair Go has special rules and etiquette to cater for two players playing as a team.

Non-English Versions of the Rules

For links to rule sites in foreign languages see our collection of Foreign Links.

General Graph Go

The Rules of General Graph Go are how a mathematician may see Go.

How many live groups can there be on the board?

We have an analysis of this question.

Sunjang Baduk - an old Korea variant

We ran a Sunjang Baduk Tournament in 2007.

Last updated Fri Dec 01 2017.
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