Best thing about go

And the things we make with those friends:


I see you are also a member of the ultra rare “my partner also plays Go” club :heart: grats

  • Go is a universal language that creates bonds between different generations and different cultures.
  • Go is a long game. Even if a position looks very bad, except at the late stages it’s still possible to reverse the game, so it’s also a lesson of life: forget whatever you have done wrong in the past, live with the present situation and keep hope for the future.

The simplicity and clarity of the Japanese rules.


It’s not chess or xiangqi which has reached a dead end. Shogi is the only king-killing game worth playing today. Otherwise Go is the game to go.

While I disagree with the rest of your post, I quite like the part with “Go is the game to go.”

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Yes, unless by “rules” you include the rules for scoring. Then the rules are not quite so simple…

Huh? Do you mean an understandable subset of the Japanese rules? Have you ever seen all the Japanese rules?

That depends on the rules, Tromp-Taylor scoring is pretty simple:

A player’s score is the number of points of her color, plus the number of empty points that reach only her color.
Tromp-Taylor Rules at Sensei's Library

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Those rules fail to mention what happens in many strange situations involving ko and seki. I have never seen a game played by those rules. The commonly used rules are not simple. The basic game play is simple.

Tromp-Taylor rules cover all that, ko and seki are simply nothing special under these rules, no need to talk about them.


That is the exact opposite of what we usually say. The rules are extremely simple. The gameplay is rich and complex.

The rules actually don’t need to define seki. Just like they don’t need to define what it means for a group to have two eyes. Those are tactical concepts, not rules concepts. The only thing needed in the rules is “a group which has no more liberties is removed from the goban.”.

Today’s Japanese rules define seki, but only by saying “a group which is connected to dame is a seki”. Some historic versions of Ing’s rules also defined seki. Those rules need to define seki, not for life-and-death purposes, but because territory is counted differently in case of a seki.


Aside Tromp-Taylor I’ve only looked into Japanese rules, and I agree that those aren’t simple at all when it comes to details.

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It is important to note that (conceptual) simplicity is different from (textual) conciseness. There is only one-way connection: a truly simple rule can always be written in a concise form, but a textually concise rule can still be very complicated conceptually. Conciseness does not imply simplicity.

Simplicity is often mentioned wrt go rules, but almost always mistaken for conciseness. Asian rules aim at simplicity. TT rules aim at conciseness.

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I’d suggest that discussion about rulesets was done elsewhere.
Here we’re talking about what you love most about Go.

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Given the plethora of rule-set discussion on the forums, I am prepared to believe that there might be those out there for whom ruleset discussion is the best thing about Go !


But what if what we love most about Go is discussion about rules sets??


Then you need to see a doctor.


Good idea! We should go see someone who wrote a PhD thesis about Go rulesets!