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Go Rules

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How to Play Go

Go is a game with very simple rules, yet has a richly textured play. It is a strategy game that emphasizes the capture or defense of territory using stones as markers. It may have originally been designed as a military game, yet its essentials are not always analogous to military strategy. The idea is not to necessarily overwhelm the opponent (although this can be done). It is rather to control more of the board than he or she does. This can mean leaving large chunks of territory to your opponent, while securing your own.

It definitely involves a different way of looking at the world. It is more "Eastern" in its outlook. One can easily read in ideas of Yin and Yang - balance into standard play. Even so, it is a game of strategy and tactics. It is known by various names. In China it is called Wei-Chi, in Korea Baduk and Igo in Japan.

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The History of Go goes back millennium, making it one of the oldest games still extant.

The Basic Rules of Go are simple and elegant. One can learn them in moments even as one takes a life-time to absorb the intricacies of play.

Some definitions that are helpful in playing Go:
- Liberties
- Atari
- Suicide
- Ko

Although whole books have been written on strategy, beginners might appreciate a few brief notes on the subject. Although Go is a game that relies largely on logic, there is still an element of chance. There are a near infinite number of possibilities from the beginning of the game to the end. With every move there are risks. Very brash moves can result in victory, but may also result in defeat. Perhaps a better strategy is to play with calculated risks. Go is a game where you can gauge your play on your knowledge of your oponent's personality. But now it is time to study the game:

Next Page: History of Go

For the rules of other board games, visit Chess Rules!