Zendo discussion

Ohh, that wil be a fun thing to play, maybe after we finish our Semantic Game.


I can already think of some fun rules where the koans are go positions!


I received a pm from another user expressing interest in playing; perhaps we could all play some Zendo on SDG? I could GM or we could crash an open game offer. :smiley:

We can use the colour go board, to make it a bit harder as well.

@le_4TC SDG allows for image Zendo, so that works for go positions.

I think it would be interesting if the rules could be more deeply connected to go than just the surface-level of chains and liberties etc. Stuff more along “the best move is tengen”, or “there is only one losing move” (would of course also require a specificed rule set for the go game, and that the board is around 5x5 so that positions can be analyzed perfectly). So for that just black and white would be preferrable, but multiple colours would be fun for more general rules!

We could have people submit go games they played to check if they follow the koan


The GM would generally specify board size beforehand, and rules such as “the best move is tengen” are very difficult to evaluate for all cases, and thus would not make a great Zendo rule.

Would SDG offer anything that makes it more convenient than just using a forum thread here? From my limited experience with it (just the one game with you :stuck_out_tongue:) it’s a bit old and clunky, and I feel like I would prefer to use this forum.

(Playing here would also make it easier for other people to spectate and get interested)

1 Like

Small boards can be solved “by hand” for arbitrary positions, so it would be possible (with some work) to evaluate such rules. But I admit that it’s a particularly nerdy form of Zendo, perhaps I’m shrinking the pool of people willing to play with me a bit too much with that :wink:

Edit: To clarify, I’m thinking about something like a 5x5-board, with some fixed simple ruleset like Tromp-Taylor or similar.

Edit 2: Well, maybe for arbitrary positions it could get complicated enough that the GM would be afraid of making a mistake. Perhaps a “I’m not sure about this koan” option would be necessary. I admit that I didn’t think this through very much. I’ll go along with a more classic Zendo game to start with.

1 Like

SDG takes care of all the bookkeeping automatically: how many guessing stones people have, whose turn it is, arranging the HAS and HAS NOT koans in their respective columns. I’d compare playing Zendo on SDG vs on the Forums to playing go on a beat up MDF go board vs with colored pencils, 200 gsm art paper, and a good supply of kneadable erasers. The second set of supplies looks better and is of far higher quality, but nothing beats a dedicated tool even if it is a bit dated.

1 Like

Here is the description for a currently open game; I can pm the host and ask if he minds a handful of players crashing his game if this interests people.

Number Zendo. Koans are positive integers with at most 8 digits. Difficulty: Easy-Medium. Some math may or may not be required, but if it is it won't be too complicated. Challenge is intended for those who are either less experienced or pressed for time (or both).

Alternatively, I’d be fine hosting a go-oriented one, though good Zendo rules would have to take precedence over the go theme, for me.

I mean, we’ve ran five werewolf games, have a multi-colour go game and a democratic one, and there’s now even people playing Yahtzee. Surely we can do Zendo on the forum, right? :smiley:


I was having the same thought immediately when I read that article. We can use Emojis!

… Or Go positions.

We can do Zendo on the forum, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea when there’s a better tool available. Just like we play all the Go variants we can on OGS, and only resort to other means when it’s a variant which can’t be played there.

If it was on the Forum, the GM would have to manually update the OP with each new koan submitted, with each new guess submitted with each new guessing stone awarded, because all is relevant game information. It could be made a wiki, but the GM will still have to be the one to categorize each new guess and koan. That’s a lot of busywork compared to just clicking a button like it is on SDG. And not only is it more difficult for the GM, but it’s less convenient for the players as well. Instead of hitting “home” and popping straight to the top of the page where you can see all the game info (if you were looking through chat/game history), you now have to wait a few seconds while the OP loads. Also, on the Forums new koans and guesses will probably end up in new posts, which are not at all next to the OP which will have all previous koans and guesses. On SDG new guesses and koans are displayed at the top for easy reference and comparison to previous ones.

Zendo is one of SDG’s most popular games and for good reason.

What if someone started a thread to play chess?

They’d be banned in an instant


Hey, don’t compare us to chess.com :smiley:

What’s that, citizen???

(Our hero is, of course, being pursued by a giant Go stone…)



Does it with by correspondence? I could be tempted but don’t i can sit and play a whole game of anything

1 Like