I made up an alternate rule set to Go that simplifies the rules, adds an extra stage to the endgame, and makes the game more palatable to beginners.
Here are all the rules:
- Play happens on a 19x19 board with players taking turns playing stones at empty intersections.
- Black plays the first stone, then white plays the second stone, then the players alternate.
- A group is taken off the board if it has no empty liberties.
- Any move that causes a board position to repeat is illegal, regardless of whose turn it is.
- When a player has no legal move, that player loses, and the other player wins.
- As komi, white may pass a total of 2 times during a game instead of playing a stone, and black is not allowed to pass at all.
…and that’s it!
This rule set is better because live/dead groups don’t have to be addressed explicitly by the rules and there are absolutely 0 ambiguous situations where scoring is unclear or could be challenged.
Here is a link to a 9x9 game using this rule set that I played with my uncle (https://online-go.com/game/32640731). He was still learning the ruleset and its implications, but notice how the number of eyes matter, even in already live groups.
I think adopting these rules could make it way easier for beginners to get into the game while also introducing some interesting subtle things to the game. With these rules, how you live matters a lot, and reducing the number of eyes in your opponent’s territories in important.