Entangled Go

Hi there, I’m back with another Go variant that I would like to try.

It’s a variant for 3 or more players (though it gets increasingly harder with more players). The idea is very simple:

  • The players play consecutively, in a fixed order (i.e., there is a first player, a second player, etc.)
  • Between any two players a normal game of Go is played, Round-Robin style.
  • The first player is black in all games, the second player is black in all games except against the first player, and so on, until the last player, who is white in all games.
  • The boards are entangled: if a player plays at a certain coordinate, a stone of their appropriate colour will be placed on that coordinate on every board they are playing on, as long as this is a legal move. On those boards where it is not a legal move (because the coordinate is occupied, suicide, ko), the player will effectively pass.
  • The game concludes when all players consecutively pass. The player with the highest number of points in all games combined wins. I recommend area scoring, since prisoners captured in a ko messes up fairness.
  • A player can only resign all games simultaneously, or of course not resign at all. There’s no resigning one board and continuing another. I think the game is more balanced if players are not allowed to resign, by the way.
  • (optional) On their first move, each player has the option of choosing a board rotation for each of the boards they play on. I believe this makes the game more fair for players who play later. Probably best not to use this optional rule in a first trial game, though, since it will make coordinates a bit more confusing.


Three players playing each other (5x5 for exemplary convenience):

Player A moves first, at D4, and places a black stone in both games at D4.

Player B moves second, at B3, and places a white stone in the game against player A, and a black stone in the game against player C, both at B3.

Player C moves third, at C2, and places a white stone in both games at C2.

Player A has another turn, at B4, and places a black stone in both games at B4.

Player B plays at D4, which is an illegal move in the game against player A, but legal in the game against player C. Only the stone at D4 in the game against player C is placed

Next C takes their turn, and so on.

First trial game

Kosh vs le_4TC:

Kosh vs Vsotvep:

le_4TC vs Vsotvep:


Since the individual games are perfectly normal games of Go, we can easily play a trial game on the site.

Hence, I’m in search of two or three people who would like to try this :slight_smile:

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What a terrible idea!

Of course I’m in.

I think it might make things somewhat less confusing if every player gets their own color, so we have for instance black-white-red in that order, and a b-w game, a b-r game and a w-r game.


That’s also fine, since it has no impact on the game itself, but of course it’s hard to do it practically. Also, knowing which colour gets the komi would become slightly confusing.

I’m fine with being the second player, such that the other two players can keep their own colour

Actually, komi doesn’t matter, since we add up the scores: the first player gets no komi, the second 7 + 1/n, the third 14 + 2/n, and so on, where n is the number of players (since that half point should never stack up to become a full point!)


I think it should be pretty easy to do practically, even using your existing multicolor tool:

Of course a dedicated tool could be even better, I might make one tomorrow if you haven’t already by then :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue:


Yes, I was considering that as well, but it’s not very convenient to have to post on the forum for each move.

Also, a 5x5 board is maybe a bit too small for a proper game of Go.

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Blitz, live or correspondence? If correspondence then players could be ordered by their preferred time of day to play.


Correspondence sounds good :slight_smile:

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I can join in if it’s 9x9 correspondence. I don’t think I’d dare try faster or bigger!

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I’m fine with that, although I’d secretly love to immediately jump into at least 13x13 if not 19x19, since I think it will work better with this idea. In 9x9 most likely you will always have to play a bad move in one of the games, a good move in the other, while in 19x19 there is a lot more space, and bad moves don’t immediately kill you.

But if nobody is up for that, I can understand :stuck_out_tongue:

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I think starting small is good :slight_smile:

Just like 19x19 regular go is a better game than 9x9, but for a beginner the smaller board is much better.

Ok, what order shall we play in?

I’m quite irregular, but probably could reliably play a move late in the European evening

~10am CET daily is when I’m most reliably on.

If @le_4TC is usually earlier than I am, I guess I should play after him, before Kosh.

Shall we say Kosh starts, le_4TC as the second player, I play last?


I guess the likes mean yes, so I’ll be sending an unranked challenge with myself as White, no komi (we add it at the end. I believe Chinese rules use 5.5 komi for 9x9, so that would mean no komi for Kosh, 5.333 for le_4TC and 10.666 for me).
Time settings can be lenient, let’s say Fischer 3d + 2d. I myself will try to play a move per day at least.

You’ll have to send each other a similar challenge, with Kosh as Black, le_4TC as white.


Am I thinking correctly that it’s my turn if and only if it’s my turn in all of my games?

Yes :slight_smile:

Here are the three games:

Kosh vs le_4TC:

Kosh vs Vsotvep:

le_4TC vs Vsotvep:

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This sounds very interesting. However, I do have some questions…

  1. With 3 or more players, is private communication and negotiation allowed?
  2. What are the objectives secondary to winning?

I’d prefer it if we didn’t make it a diplomatic go game this first try :stuck_out_tongue: Let’s keep all conversations public.
But yes, this is an interesting way to expand the rules towards.

Getting the best score, of course, i.e. winning as many boards with as much as you can.