Restarting a game after both players have passed

A couple of times recently I’ve had opponents pass, to end the game and on seeing the score, or a move they had previously missed, they have restarted the game to make the move.

Anyway, it got me thinking. It’s rather unsporting, but is it actually illegal? My understanding is that once both players have passed consecutively then the game is over and can’t be unilaterally restarted. What do people say?

AFAIK it is so:

  • After both players have passed, the game is over, and the stone removal phase begins.
  • BUT if one of the players changes their mind and wants to play on after both have passed, the OTHER player gets to play the first move.

Not sure how it is solved here on OGS since I personally can’t remember ever having encountered such a situation here.

<edit> says:

  • Aga rules: the player who passed first has the right to play.
  • Japanese rules / 1989 : rule 9.3 says the opponent of the player who wants to resume may play first.



Real life tournaments I think it is. If both players missed the endgame move and both passed it’s up to the judge to leave it uncounted or give the move to the other player from the player who passed last.

Of course this is assuming all borders have finished closing up. If not the game would be technically unfinished. Usually these would be very new beginners and judges wouldnt be too strict on them to allow them to at least legally finish the game. If they wanted to be really strict I guess it would be counted as a draw for both as you can’t really count with unfinished borders.

It’s no issue in online go and no server I know off deems it illegal. Why should it (in a non-official match)? If the either player restarts the game to claim that unplayed move, you only have yourself to blame for missing it and passing and not capitalising on your opponent’s oversight and vice versa.


It seems to be that the game is resumed on the premise that the score is unclear. Would this be the case if say, you passed and then saw how a dead group might be saved, or an opponent’s group might be killed. I mean this usually only happens when the other player has lost by a small margin and wants to change that, so I’m wondering - If a player has missed a crucial play and passes to end the game, is the score unclear - or do they live with their mistake?

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I have come across players that Pass to get the computer to count for them and then resume play. This should not be allowed.

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Since this has been bumped, it needs some clarity. Perpetual restarting is illegal on OGS because it is a form of stalling. More than once, I have seen players restart more than 100 times. If they win doing that, because the opponent doesn’t want to waste his time, it is called a “frustration win,” a violation that is annulled by the mods if reported. Similarly, restarting to stall with self-atari moves, or by infilling one’s own territory, is also illegal on OGS. On the other hand, if the restart is for the purpose of resolving something on the board, such as closing borders, then OGS permits that, as far as I know.

It is however unfortunate that the Japanese rule is not properly applied (i.e. that if you want to re-start, your opponent plays first).

I like this rule.

I dunno. Isn’t it a bit rude to ask your opponent to play when he ask to not play anymore?

The way I see it is that the game is supposed to be finished since both players passed.

If you spot something afterward, such as a weakness you could have used against your opponent, it seems weird to me that you can simply resume the game and do it without any penalty.

I find it normal and polite that if you request to resume the game despite passing, at least your opponent gets to play first (and gets the opportunity to fix something). If they really don’t want to play more then they can just pass.


I agree, especially since the scoring itself often reveals weaknesses. That, in itself, is a violation of the “no outside help” rule.

My very first tournament, my opponent asked the TD to confirm we had a bent 4 on the board. TD told us, “no that’s actually undecided”. It was my turn :joy: I still lost by a few points though :headstone: