Question regarding learning to play

Hi everyone, im new here…like very new, and learning the game currently.

Firstly years ago I had an interest in Go and hence had a nice Go game board shipped up here to Ontario where i live(since there are no clubs anywhere near me and NOONE here seems to know Go!).

The game sadly had the worst written instructions of all time. Regardless a friend and I ‘tried’ to play a full game. The only REAL game ive ever played with it. It lead to a head scratching question which i will now ask:

“When do you KNOW a game is over?”

A book I bought on ‘learning to play Go’ stated in a descriptive example pic of how there are “no places on the board where territory can be reduced or enlarged”…but at this point my friend had (what seemed to me at the time) a good point: why not put stones within the opponents claimed territory to REDUCE their area? Or in other words deny them points.

I guess since I have no experience in the game that sounds reasonable. Maybe theres a respect thing here Im not aware of in knowing when to stop, thus I have read countless (seriously) Go sites rules and watched a handful of instructional videos…im still confused on when you know its time to stop and Id like to ask you people for clarification. Thank you in advance.

You can play in the opponent’s area, but that stone can be taken. This is an even result. Any play that requires a response in the same territory has no effect on the final outcome. This is because all stones that are not alive at the end of the game are removed and are counted at the end of the game (territory scoring), or don’t count at all (area scoring).

If play is made that does not require a response, this is a benefit to the player not responding.

The key to the game is knowing what is alive and when a response is required.

The game is over when there is nothing one can do to advance their own cause. The beginner may not know when that point arrives.

Beginners can help curb many of these problems with Area counting. This is done by simply saying “who can place the most stones on the board,” basically. Prisoners do not matter, filling in ones own territory does not matter, and playing in your opponent’s territory if all other points are spoken for first does not matter.

The only thing that matters is “who could theoretically put 181 stones (or 46 for 9x9 or 85 for 13x13) on the board after we agree on which groups are alive.” If you can’t agree a group is alive or there is any funny business, literally fill it in all the way except two separated points (two eyes) or until neither player wants to or can play any other moves in that space. Now there is no debate. Your opponent could never play another stone within the group. Now there is no incentive to waste time pretending stones that can obviously be taken off the board are not dead. Once there is no debate, you can count by simply filling in those last spaces. Whoever can put down 181 stones wins! When this becomes tiresome, you can discover that you can just count how many stones you’d have to put down instead of actually putting them down. This is the idea of territory points in Japanese. Just count the 30 spaces you’d have to fill and pretend you filled them.

Once you get better, get the hang of this, and understand life and death and the futility of playing where stones will be removed, you can switch to just counting the prisoners and territory. If there is ever a dispute, you can return all prisoners and switch BACK to area counting! Soon, there willl be no reason for anyone to ever raise a stink or try to unfairly take away points by messing with the scoring, and neither player will do it.

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Thank you so much. That helps alot.

As a follow up question, do these rules change depending on the regional rules you use? Which rules should I use as a beginner?

Chinese and Jpn are the most used online, JPn the most i think. For a beginner its best you play with Chinese as like other have said putting a stone in your own territory doesnt reduce your points.

If you haven’t done so before you may want to check out and, and I also found this: (though that may be far from your place).

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I live in Ontario as well =D (Port Perry)

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Yeah ill def look into those links.

Im in Brampton, but last i checked closest club played far side of Toronto on sunday evenings…and by busses and trains 2 hrs + to get to. Nevermimd another 2 hrs + plus back. A bit far for a game sadly.

But maybe something new has opened up recently.

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