Square lined paper surrounding game

At high school me and a friend used to play a kind of surrounding game by taking turns making points on a sheet of square-lined paper (from our maths books or whatever).

Did anyone else play something like that, or is there some go variant like that?

Our capture rule was that if you surround an area, then all the opponent points in that area are immediately captured - no concept of liberties and hence no “eyes” and no way to have a group be “alive”.

In terms of gameplay, we usually started in the middle of the sheet making a few moves, cross cutting and then it devolved into a huge fight of two dragons desperately trying to surround each other. Since any surrounded points were captured, then capturing was way easier - just get your surrounding points connected (diagonal connections count, even in a cross cut) faster than the opponent.

As a consequence, the fight was always super desperate -with my current perspective I’d say it felt like 9x9 feels, but on some 50x50 grid. Losing any meaningful stretch of your dragon was very bad because now your string of potential surrounding stones had a huge gap in them. Likewise if your points were cut in two (without a cross cut) you were in trouble. We always played wide nets around cutting mini groups until something somewhere collapsed in a spectacular way. I don’t think we had to count very often at the end of the game, but I think the rule was number of captured opponent points - not territory or area.

Also, we played with no special rules for the edges, you weren’t supposed to go near the edges I think.

Does any of that ring a bell? Would anyone be interested in trying it out?


Do you mean Dots and boxes - Wikipedia ?

Nope, that’s not it - but that looks fun too!

I don’t have any square-lined paper at hand (all our maths workbooks were filled with that stuff at school), but it looked something like this (excuse the janky hand-drawn grid):

You see the dots have surrounded an area and captured all the circles within. I think this game would probably be over at this point - without the captured circles the remains of circles can’t really capture much of anything of dots any more.

I don’t really remember much of tactics, but when I played this out with myself, the tactics the dots used for surrounding the circles (other than the tactic of me really trying to contrive of a way for that to happen for demonstration) was by first playing down some very loose stones around the circles (2 space jumps) while the circles were playing more tightly. And then circles failed to capture sufficient surrounding dots before the dots were able to connect up a fully connected (diagnoals allowed) perimeter around an area of circle stones.

Hopefully this clarifies the way we used to play it!




Oh, that is exactly right! Thanks!


I was close at least :sweat_smile:

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Looks fun ! :slight_smile: Maybe the Go Variants team would find it interesting to implement ? ^^ @martin3141 @Jon_Ko @benjito


Pull requests are welcome! Sounds like a fun variant :grinning: