Contact go?

A current game of mine (unfortunately for the purpose of this thread, private) has got me wondering: is “contact go” a viable variant concept?

The only new rule is “you must always play a contact move”.

I imagine that there should be a starting phase where each player gets to place a number of stones - maybe 5 in 19x19 - before this kicks in.


So we’re not talking about Goboxing? :smiley:
It sounds like it would be interesting to try, but I can’t imagine the initial placement would even necessarily be necessary… could just start with one black stone at tengen and take it from there.

Though having the option to tenuki could make it interesting. Maybe an alternative would be to have players start with stones on the star points, Tibetan-Go-style?


I believe it’s used to train fighting


Why is this thread filling my mind with so many unhelpful images

Okay that one turned out surprisingly well


I’d go for a more permissive “every time you play a move which is not in contact with an opponent stone, you have to give 3 points to the opponent”.


I actually tried contact go many times: it’s totally feasible but your opponent chooses the direction and how the game forms. Generally you need to be at least 7 stones stronger than the opponent to have a chance at winning (from experience).


IIRC i used to play few games like that when i was still ddk, black opening at center and white attaching, followed up by only contact play xD

Unless im mistaken i lost all of those games >___<

Happy to try again if anyone is up to it ^^

I had assumed both players would have to play by the contact rules.

otherwise it does seem like a big handicap if your opponent is playing regular go and you have to play contact go.


What exactly counts as a contact move? Can it be in contact with any stone, or does it need to be in contact with an opponents stone?


I had in mind any contact (though that’s not technically the definition of a “contact move” I know).

The effect is that the board gets full of stones, very little space … at least until capture.


No, your new move is in contact with an opponent stone. If it contacts your own stone, it joins the stone’s string, sharing its liberties.

^^ to reaffirm, that is the formal definition of a contact move, but is not the intent of my (obviously flawed in this way) original post.


Koba and I are giving it a go, here.

I’m finding it suprisingly “a proper game” and interesting, rather than “a mikey mouse idea that is just a bit of a laugh”.

As I observed in comments, it demands reading perhaps more than normal go - maybe true for any variant where we don’t have instinct and proverbs - and I find it a nice exercise in reading because the variation space is smaller (and also because the “stakes for losing” are less I guess)


… well Koba massacred me. Not reallly surprising in 2k vs 9k I guess :smiley:

Maybe I should have insisted on handicap for the rematch :sweat_smile:


FWIW We’re having a rematch here . Interestingly, it seems like the rules we chose first time are pretty right.