Go variant: SAS Go

I have made a new go variant that I want to try.
I’m calling it Simultaneous Action Selection Go, or SAS Go.

The basis is that both players move simultaneously. If the two players decide on the same move, it is cancelled, and they have to pick a second choice, third choice, and so on, until the moves do not collide. (In other words, colliding moves may not be replayed: if both players want to play E4, they have to choose a different move and if they then both choose E5, the third time neither can choose to play E4 or E5.)

The two moves are then placed on the board. After this, all groups with no liberties are removed from the board (so simultaneous capture), and the game progresses to the next move.

A player is allowed to pass, which will mean only one stone is played. If both players pass on the same move, the game ends.

Scoring is as usual (let’s decide on area scoring, to avoid capturing penalties). Obviously there is no komi.

I think online it can be played on a demo board with a referee who collects the moves from both players in private messages, and places them / removes captures for them.

Any volunteers who want to test this? I’m happy enough being the referee, unless someone else wants to do it :slight_smile:


Sounds interesting. I’d be willing to try, or even referee. Maybe it would be good to try an experimental game on 9x9 first?

May I also propose a logo


Can I?

Also: what about capturing? Who captures first? What if you need a stone to capture but that stone is going to be captured?

I think it would be best not to overcommit before we find massive flaws in the rules, yes.

I put this in the rules, after the two stones are placed, any group without liberties is removed.


See https://senseis.xmp.net/?SimultaneousCapture for some diagrams of this capturing rule in normal go (of course, in this variant the stones are placed at the same time, but the capturing works the same).


Thanks, that made the diagram I was making redundant :stuck_out_tongue:


The only interesting issue (not necessarily a problem) that I can foresee at the moment is that there could be some interesting endgame moves if all there is left to be played is a single final empty dame.

The first attempt to fill it would result in the players colliding, then they need to play elsewhere, which you could play at a ko threat to force your opponent to respond, allowing you to take the last dame on the next move. However, it comes down to maybe some bluffing since the opponent could guess that you intend to first attempt to fill the dame and block that, before then responding to the ko threat.

Also, I guess with simultaneously capture, you won’t have the typical ko shapes, so ko threats could act like bluffs to see if your opponent responds. You could even block an obvious response, and see if they can fix some other way.

This also makes the concept of miai very interesting and a bit different.


Perhaps territory scoring is better, then? Would it even be possible in this variant for territory and area score to be different if neither player passes before the end? I don’t believe seki exists because of the simultaneous capture.


I don’t think territory scoring would fully remove some of these issues, and they aren’t necessarily problems, just the nature of this variant.

Territory scoring would also greatly complicate defining life and death for this peculiar type of game, compared to area scoring where one can simply play on to resolve life and death disputes.


Yes, area scoring definitely seems like the way to go, and the weirdness with “bluffing” is a pro, not a con! :smiley:


Another possible variant to extend off of this idea (maybe I’ll start a new thread to propose this more formally, but I want to just mention it here) is to combine the SAS aspect with the multi-color (i.e., more than two players) variant. In this combined variant, communication (via private channels between each pair of players) and collusion would be allowed. Actually, I think such a game would more resemble Diplomacy than Go, but that’s actually my secret plan, to trick a bunch of Go players into playing Diplomacy.


That sounds cool as well! I’m willing to play / referee that as well :slight_smile:

With multiplayer, I would suggest that collisions “cascade”, so if 5 players move, and three moves collide, then only those three moves need to try a different move, and the other two moves get fixed to be played.


Let’s poll enthusiasm:

  • I want to play 1v1 SAS Go
  • I want to play Multiplayer SAS Go
  • I’m willing to referee 1v1
  • I’m willing to referee multiplayer

0 voters

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I’m up for everything, but since multi-player is a bit trickier to set up I would suggest that we focus on 1v1 to start with :slightly_smiling_face:


I haven’t thought this through yet, but in multiplayer, would it be interesting to allow players to pay each other with points while colluding? So if player A wants player B to play move X, they could make a promise (which could be locked in with the referee and not allowed to be broken) to pay them 5 extra points if they do. So at the end of the game B will get 5 extra points and A 5 fewer in that case. I haven’t played games like diplomacy so no idea if this would be an improvement to the negotiation aspect of it.


I’m gonna have to review the rules a few times before I can be a referee.

Edit: Actually 1v1 I think is simple enough to referee.

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Whens are first game?

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Right now?

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Sure, fine with me.

Yes, I definitely think we should start with 1v1, since that will help iron out any issues and logistics with dealing with the SAS aspect.

I really like this point exchange as an additional mechanism, however, I would make it such that no promises are enforced by the referee, since it could quickly become a complicated issue of contract law to determine what exactly was promised and understood (especially if vague promises for future actions are considered). Instead, transferring points from one player to another (I guess each player would get a bank of points to start with) is just another simultaneous action submitted to the referee each turn. This would also be keeping with Diplomacy, where no promises are binding.

I can’t play a game right now.