I would like to propose a new Go variant that combines several aspects
- Multi-color Go: the game involves 3 or more players, each playing with a unique color of stones.
- Simultaneous Moves: instead of taking alternating turns, each player privately submits sealed moves to an arbiter, and the moves are executed simultaneously. This requires considerations of how to address collisions and simultaneous capturing (see mechanics discussion below).
- Negotiation and Collusion: before each round of moves, ample time is given for players to discuss and negotiate publicly or in private one-on-one sessions. They may collude and make promises about their future moves and intentions, but no agreements or alliances are binding.
Anyone interested in playing?
Please reply below if you are interested in playing a pilot game. I will serve as the non-playing game arbiter, since I think we will need to use one to help run things. I’m thinking that this could best be implemented as a correspondence game, with maybe 24-48 hours for each round (including negotiation), and be played here on these forums.
Please let me know what you think about the rules below, and if you have any suggestions about the logistics/timing.
Just some initial ideas, but open for critique, suggestions, and amendments.
- Play is on a standard go board. We will use 9x9 for the initial pilot game.
- There are 3 or more players, each using a unique color of stone.
- The game will be played here on these forums, in another dedicated thread that will be created, and via private messages for private discussion between the players and arbiter.
- The game involves multiple rounds of play, where each player may (attempt to) place a single stone in each round.
- If a player feels that another has broken the rules, please only contact the game arbiter who will work on how to resolve the issue and serve as the judge to settle any disputes about conduct.
General Order of Play
- Each round of play lasts 24 hours. If a player has not submitted moves by the deadline, the deadline may be extended by 24 hours. If this occurs, it will be publicly announced by the arbiter and all players can continue discussion and potentially change their moves for that round. Each player starts with 3 “extra days” which are used used up every time they go over the normal deadline, and an extension will not occur if none of the players that missed the deadline have any extra days left.
- A player may choose to intentionally use a “extra day” to postpone the deadline (even if they have already submitted a move) by informing the arbiter (via private PM, to withdraw their move if they have already submitted one) before the normal deadline. Note: the deadline in each round may only be postponed once.
- During each round, players can discuss, negotiate, and plan their moves, intentions, alignments, etc. See the “Communication” section below.
- Each player should privately submit their move to the arbiter (via private message) before the deadline runs out. Failing to submit a move (after the extended deadline, or normal deadline if it is not extended) will be interpreted as submitting a pass.
- Players can change their submitted move up until the deadline at the end of the round.
- After the deadline runs out, the arbiter will work out and reveal what happened on the board from the moves submitted by the players, and then the next round will begin. See sections below on move submission and capturing mechanics.
- Starting in the fourth round, any player that does not have any stones on the board will be eliminated and must stop participating in the game (including playing moves and any discussion). Eliminated players are considered as having lost and cannot be part of any draws.
- During each round, players can discuss publicly in the game thread and/or privately via private messages with other players.
- Private messages should only be one-on-one, i.e., no private group chats between more than two players, and one should not add another player to any of these private channels.
- Each player will also have a private message with the game arbiter for submitting moves and asking rules questions that they do not wish to publicly ask in the game thread.
- All game related discussion should be confined to these official channels, in order clearly distinguish the boundaries between the game and other interaction in these forums.
- Players can make promises and offer alliances, but nothing spoken during these discussions is binding on what moves they submit.
- All communication about the game should be confined to the official game thread and private message channels.
- Please keep communication as civil as possible (the general forum rules still apply).
Submitting Moves and Resolving Collisions
- When submitting a move, each player may either submit a pass, or submit a board play.
- Submitting a board play involves specifying the coordinates where one wishes to place a stone and a list of contingency placements, should the first choice fails due to a collision.
- Players may submit up to 3 different choices, clearly indicating first, second and third choice.
- The arbiter will first attempt to place a stone for each player at their first choice.
- If two or more players pick the same location with their first choice, none of them get to play at that location, and the arbiter will attempt to place a stone for the colliding players’ second choices.
- If those second choices collide with each other or stones previously played as other player’s first choices, those second choices are not played, and the process similarly moves onto their third choices.
- If all of a player’s choices collide with those of others, they do not get to place a stone that round.
- Player’s second and third choices will not be revealed if any earlier choice successfully placed a stone. However, any collisions that occur will be revealed.
- As a prerequisite, the board plays, collisions, and contingencies are resolved according to the section above, which results in a set of newly placed stones.
- The newly placed stones and any chains (of the same color) that they connect to are called “new chains”. The other chains are called “old chains”.
- First, any old chains without liberties are removed.
- Then, any new chains without liberties are removed.
- Note that this allows suicide and for some cases of simultaneous capture.
- After resolving captures, the arbiter will reveal the resulting board state, along with the information of where and by whom new stones were placed (to clarify cases where newly placed stones were immediately captured), and the where/who/when of any collisions that occurred.
Ending the Game
- Along with submitting a move, in the messages to the arbiter, a player may choose to vote for a “Resign” and/or “Draw”. When submitting a “Draw” vote, one may optionally specify player(s) that they believe should be excluded from the draw (none by default, and this list can include oneself). Eliminated players are always automatically excluded from any draw proposals. Any votes cast will be made revealed at the beginning of the next round. Players may discuss, even publicly, how they intend to vote, but such discussion is non-binding and not official. Votes must be cast with the arbiter to count.
- If all players vote “Resign”, everyone is declared a loser.
- If all but one players vote “Resign”, the one that did not is declared the winner and everyone else is declared a loser.
- If every player submits “Draw”, with unanimous agreement on who is to be excluded (if any), those not excluded will be declared drawn winners, and the rest are declared as losers.
- The previous 3 rules are in order of precedence. If none of the above are ever triggered, the game may instead end by mutual passing or repeated cycling.
- A mutual pass occurs when every remaining (non-eliminated) player directly submits a pass (rather than being forced to pass due to collisions).
- Upon the first occurrence of a mutual pass, the game enters the agreement phase, where every player should indicate publicly which (if any) stones on the board they think are dead and should be removed. If there is unanimous agreement, the dead stones are removed from the board and the game proceeds to scoring. If there is any disagreement, play resumes with a new round beginning.
- Upon the second occurrence of a mutual pass, the game enters the scoring phase with no additional agreement phase, or removal of any stones (i.e., all stones remaining on the board after a second mutual pass are treated as living).
- The game also immediately ends and proceeds to scoring (without removing any dead stones), if after the resolution of a round of play, the board position is the same as it was after three prior rounds of play (i.e., the whole board position was produced thrice before).
- Each player’s score is calculated (after removing the dead stones, if agreement was reached) as their stones on the board plus any empty territory surrounded by only their stones (i.e., area scoring). No komi is applied.
- The goal is to win by either having a score larger than all of the other players, or by having everyone else concede to you via a resign.
- If one player has the highest score, they are declared the sole winner, and the rest of the players are all declared equal losers.
- If two or more players are all tied in having the same highest score, they are declared drawn winners, and the rest of the players are all declared equal losers.
- Basically, there should be no playing for a “strong second” (in score), while letting someone else win.
- Winning is preferable to being part of a draw, but a draw is preferable to losing.