Dreaming away after a game I thought of a new variant called No Touch Go.
So simple that I wondered if it not already existed, and so it did.
On wikipedia and sensei’s library it is already mentioned as No Contact Go.
From the wikipedia page on go variants: “In No Contact Go, stones may not contact enemy stones. After consecutive passes, players score their number of stones plus the number of empty points adjacent to only their stones. An even simpler variant removes the option of passing, and makes the player that has no legal move lose the game.”
For more detailed description Wikipedia refers to SL:
Both pages do not mention board size. Just wondering: would this be a useful variant - on larger boards (19x19 and up) - for training one’s strategic skills?
I think you’re right, but it hardly matters where you place your first move, at least on square boards. If I’m not wrong, by just taking empty intersections that border with a maximal amount of empty intersections that do not border any stone around it, there is no way the first player can lose. The maximum number of potential points to be secured cannot increase after a move, so the best an opponent can do is play for a draw.
I haven’t really checked it rigorously, but it feels like something like this should work.
Mirroring is based on a similar idea, perhaps slightly easier to prove.
I think komi only changes which of the two players has a winning strategy, but not make the game necessarily more interesting.
I’m on holiday now, though, I really haven’t thought long enough about this yet… I think there may be some interesting variants of this variant, but perhaps it’s all boring, I’m not completely certain.
This variant makes the capture rule of go obsolete, which is essentially the rule which everything else revolves around (at least that is my opinion).
I believe that this variant would play very similar to nim.
I agree. The only reason a player can claim a territory in go is their ability to capture an opponent who would invade that territory.
How about an AI-assisted variant?
At every move, the AI assigns a percentage to each intersection, close to 0% if the intersection would be sure white area and close to 100% if the intersection would be sure black area.
Players are not allowed to touch the opponent stones, but the AI doesn’t know that (the AI evaluates the board just like if this was regular go).
In addition, a player is not allowed to play on an intersection if the AI percentage for this intersection is above/below some threshold. For instance, black cannot play on an intersection if this intersection is below 25%, and white cannot play on an intersection if this intersection is above 75%.
There would probably be the need for an extra rule, such as “if the percentage of an intersection on which there is already a black stone falls below 25%, then this black stone is removed” (and likewise for a white stone above 75%), either during or after the game.
Another idea: the game consists of two phases. In the first, players are not allowed to touch. Only after both players have passed does the second phase start, in which a player may only play stones that touch opponent’s stones that were placed in the first phase.
Essentially, the second phase would only allow players to fill dame points and remove groups that can be captured, so the players still need to make two eyes to avoid capture.
During the second phase, if Black has the first move, then Black should play at B1 and later A2 to remove that one White stone at A1. Even after outside liberties are filled in (at A4, B4, C3, D2, D1), White is not able to play at A1, since it is not touching any Black stones that were played during the first phase.
If you start merging stones and capturing it might, but maybe one could share a variation if using OGS where all the stones played have a triangle on them, or not even, just some way of bookmarking the position at the end of phase 1.
I don’t think there will be too many things left to do on the board that require remembering where the starting stones are, but it shouldn’t be too hard to check on OGS anyways. Sharing a variation in chat means you can quickly see the old board state by hovering over the variation.