# [Variant] Random Gaps + Pie Rule

I would like to try playing a Go variant with two notable changes:

1.) At the beginning of the game, N random intersections of the board are removed. Players may not place stones on these intersections (gaps), and they do not count as liberties for either side. Which intersections are removed is chosen randomly.

2.) Since the advantage of being the starting player may vary depending on the placement of the gaps, the second change deals with Komi. Sensei’s Library calls it You cut, I choose, a.k.a. the pie rule.
Before play starts, the random starting position is revealed to the players. Thereafter the starting player chooses Komi as any integer number of their choice (including negative numbers, although it’s unlikely that it’s a “good choice”). However the second player may then choose which color to play.

For reference here’s an existing topic on a similar variant: https://forums.online-go.com/t/semi-random-starting-position/27801

Anyone interested in playing this with me? I’m open for any reasonable time control.

links to games played in this thread
old description of rules

1.) At the beginning of the game there are N “neutral stones” on the board that cannot be captured (or equivalently, the corresponding intersections of the grid are removed). The placement of these N neutral stones is random.

2.) Since the advantage of being the starting player may vary depending on these placements, the second change deals with Komi. I called it flexible Komi, but at Sensei’s Library it is called You cut, I choose. Before play starts, the random starting position is revealed to the players. Thereafter the starting player chooses Komi as any integer number of their choice (including negative numbers, although it’s unlikely that it’s a “good choice”). However the second player may then choose which color to play.

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There’s a similar system called komi bidding, which is used in at least one OTB tournament in England.

A bidding process could run like:

A: I’ll play White for 8 komi.

B: I’ll play White for 7 komi.

A: I’ll play White for 6 komi.

B: Alright, I accept your offer; I’ll play Black and pay 6 komi.

The cut-and-choose method is nice and quick, ofc.

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sounds like fun!

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Love to play, but how to set this up on OGS?

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@Atorrante one option is to play on a demo board, where stones can be removed manually, and each turn mark the neutral stones with labels such as “X”.

This way we won’t have a timer ticking down, so either we play correspondence and don’t worry about time, or play a live game and agree to play reasonably fast.

If someone has another idea, please let me know!

The placement of the neutral stones could be decided by any random number generator.

Okay, let’s do it.

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Alright, one last question before I set up the game. Are you ok with the following settings?

Board Size: 19x19
Number of neutral stones: 12
I will use https://www.random.org/ to generate the 12 random distinct coordinates, as well as “flip a coin” to decide who chooses komi.
Time control: None
Scoring Rules: Japanese

Yep.

How does it work with demo board?
Well, let’s just start and I will find out, I guess.

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I set up a demo board:

I’m not sure if you can place stones, or if I can give you control to place stones. If not, then please just tell me what move you wish to play, and I’ll put it on the board.

If you want a time setting, maybe you could start the game and use pass to put the stones like black pass 6 times and then white 6 times.

Unfortunately I do not understand what you are thinking of.

Of course we can start a normal game and place stones at random positions, but the problem is that the “neutral stones” are different than white or black stones. 1.) they can never be captured and 2.) they do not form a chain when adjacent to white / black stones. You can also think of a “neutral stone” being an intersection that has been removed from the board.

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O i missed the neutral aspect… Well yes then better use a demo board to be sure they remain neutral. Have a nice experimentation!

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Reminded me of this:

Useful here?

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The first game has prematurely ended, due to the workaround being tedious. If anybody wants to play, I’m offering to create a picture of the starting position, edit it as the game progresses and upload it on the forums.

You can pass control over the demo board to each other by clicking each other’s usernames. That way you can make a move, and let the other person place the next move and give back control. (not sure if you’re already doing that)

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No, I did not know about that. Thank you for telling me. I don’t know if Atorrante wants to play using this method. Do you want to play @Vsotvep ?

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I’m having a busy week, with moving and stuff, so I’ll pass, if you don’t mind

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Instead of copy pasting from the terminal you can actually just go to this site and download the SGF (as a bonus you get some advanced distribution options):

https://runarberg.github.io/random-go-stone-placements/

@martin3141 You can actually do komi betting from the site I created from the Semi-random starting position discussion.

https://runarberg.github.io/random-go-stone-placements/

After you generate a starting position you can copy the URL (which includes the randomly generated placements) and share it with your opponent. You can then do the komi betting, adjust the komi accordingly, download the SGF, upload it to your SGF library, and challenge your opponent.

I admit it is not the most intuitive UX, so I created this issue

I am still willing to have a go, but if I have to skip from one screen to another all the time I won’t be interested (because my playing under these conditions will suffer just too much, giving me no pleasure).
So if it is possible to play in a “peaceful setting” i am game. Maybe a smaller board size and less neutral stones is a better option for a first experiment with this go variant.