Variants

  Difficulty: Beginner   Keywords: Variant

Three color go
Three color go allows three players on one board

Much can be done with a goban and stones, other than conventional Go.

Many intriguing games result from Go-like rules which may even directly benefit Go skill.

Inventors have developed a dazzling variety of games with rules similar to Go in intuitiveness, wording, territorial objective, simplicity etc. And the results often bear comparison with or even challenge Go in beauty, entertainment value, difficulty and complexity.

Table of contents

Historical Variants

See also: Komi Go, Group Tax

Simpler variants

Non-Variants

Differing presentations, quantities, or definitions of current-day Go

See also: standard rule sets and refinements of rule sets which (by design) do not Usually alter the normal course of play. This includes several systems of scoring.

White to live

Games that practice life making and all-or-nothing attack

Special set-up

Educational variants with teams or possible switching of players

  • Rengo - pair go
  • Big Brother Go - a teammate may adjust a weaker player's moves, at some cost. A similar penalty can be added to rengo.
  • Zengo - three players who alternately play both black and white
  • PyjamaGo - reviving a regular game of go after resignation
  • Gonte - the weaker player has the right to switch to white, once per game
  • Go Back - at any time, the game may be reverted to before the losing move and played out again, etc.
  • Malkovich Game - another meta-game idea
  • Team Go - an experiment on DGS where a group of players would share an account. Records of 'team go' remain on the forums there.
  • "praat-go" (Dutch, lit. "talk-go") was ongoing at jijbent: A 5D played against a team [ext] discussing their moves.

Variants restricting valid moves

  • The proverb game
  • Tenuki Go - may not play near (adjacent to) last move
  • The (other) Shape Game - must attempt to play a shape move near a stone of either color
  • Neurotic Go
  • Non-contact - forbids touching stones of the other player's colour.
  • Three Liberties
  • Stoical Go - makes all known forced Go cycles impossible by forbidding to capture immediately after an opponent's capture. Standard ko rules are not used.

Different Boards

Alternative rules of capture, suicide, repetition, and fairness

Modified wording of how movement/capture occurs

  • Self-capture - rules forbidding self-capture are common, but this is extraneous to many intuitive formulations of Go
  • Simultaneous Capture - zero liberties at any time results in removal
  • One-Eyed Go - requires one or more liberties even while capturing (no ko)
  • Capture in Atari - removing stones when they have one liberty (no ko)
  • Bridge Go - Essentially, "liberties on the inside don't count", and so life is hard (impossible?) to make. Win by building a "bridge" across the board.

Variants specifically eliminating ko fights; (for many other ko rules browse for ko rules)

Making a game equitable without resorting to komi

  • Pie Rule - common variant tool/rule used in place of komi
  • (Free) Handicaps - moves as compensation
  • F-Go (Fair Go) - unique Go variant where players move simultaneously

Go adding special stones or abilities

See also [ext] Other Pieces - many listed variants that mostly fall in the Superpower category

Modeling or illustrating a particular aspect of Go

Go with Different Stones

Variants that use a different set of stones, or with a normal turn other than "place one stone."

  • DominGo - pieces are domino shaped
  • Keima Go - pieces are another two-stone shape
  • Double Go - placing two stones per turn

See also [ext] Other Pieces For extra stones with special effects, see Superpower Go, above.

Variants with an uneven number of moves

Limited information or visibility

Variants with 3 or more players

Variants with different Scoring or with Bidding

See also Scoring and under historical variants.

Miscellaneous results of simplifying standard Go

Games involving Territory, Surrounding, and/or Connection

Go-like games with no capture:

  • Symple - a quicker game involving when and where to start and connect groups, in order to grow to cover the most area, minus a group tax
  • Fjorde - German-style board game with an element of enclosure

Go-like games with Othelloanian Capture (captured pieces reverse color, which removes the possibility of repeating cycles (ko)):

  • Sygo - shorter, challenging Go-style game created with the Symple move protocol and its unique balancing mechanism
  • Loose - finite Go variant with modified (looser) capture
  • Reversi Go - simplest hybrid of [ext] Reversi (Othello) and Go
  • Medusa - game of abstract strategy concocted starting from Go on a partial hex grid
  • Lotus - a more minimal support act for Medusa

Games playable with paper and pencil:

Other abstract strategy games with Go-like equipment and themes:

  • Orbit - Go variant based on encirclement (rather than adjacent encirclement)
  • Tanbo - Tanbo crudely models a system of plant roots which are growing, competing for space, and dying.

Variants with mobile stones

  • Reuse Go - moving a stone substituting for a turn
  • Slidey Go - a minor permission for moving stones
  • Sliding Go - surrounding game where moves have a path to a player's edge
  • Dango (no page, link is to namesake) - captured stones are moved elsewhere by the capturer.

Variants adding complicated rules

  • Batoo - a battle including set-up phase, hidden moves, komi bidding, and scoring bonuses
  • Electric Go - a unique effect alters the board with each stone placed

Spiced up variants

Games that add an element of luck, subjectivity or manual dexterity

Special objective

  • Irensei - the aim is to line up 7 stones, uses Go capturing, suicide and ko rules
  • Gonnect a child of Go and Hex
  • Gopposite - try to score LESS than your opponent
  • Anti-Atari Go - First to capture loses. Just for fun.
  • Bridge Go - Win by building a "bridge" across the board. There's also a special capture rule where "liberties on the inside don't count".

See also Tsumego Conventions,

Cousins of Go

  • Alak - black and white pieces on a one dimensional line
  • Bargo - (mentioned here) scored by the number of Black eyes of a group
  • Dominions - played with hexagonal tiles with different arrangements of 1 to 6 liberties
  • Go in fiction - occasionally someone imagines a fictional game that is partly inspired by Go.

Other Games with Go Board and Stones

  • Gomoku - Five in a row
  • Pente - Like Gomoku, but with a way of capturing
  • [ext] Renju - variant of Gomoku, but with extra rules to give a fairer balance between black and white.
  • Connect 6 - Black starts with a stone at tengen. Then white, and two stones per turn. 6 stones in a row wins (any direction)
  • Hasami Shogi
  • [ext] Conway's Game of Life - really a toy or simulation, famous for its surprising complexity
  • Philosopher's Football (Phutball) - An actual wonderful game invented by John H. Conway
  • [ext] Konane - A traditional Hawaiian game somewhat resembling checkers or draughts, said to be fit for the 18x18 squares on a Go board
  • [ext] Ming Mang (also Mig Mang) - a general Tibetan term for game, sometimes Go, but the linked game is something different. [ext] Another source allows multiple captures. Ming Mang naturally generalises to [ext] Gundru
  • The Flicky Game - one of probably many Korean? stone-sliding dexterity games

Other games

  • Chess
  • Merrills or Nine Men's Morris
  • Hex
  • Havannah - variant of Hex with different winning conditions
  • [ext] Cathedral - territorial -ominoes game. In its wooden edition, wonderfully haptic.
  • Connect Four - On IYT this is called [ext] stack4. IYT has also invented a variant called [ext] stack 4x4

Crossovers between Chess and Go

  • [ext] Go with chess pieces - stones that connect in ways that chess pieces can move (a way to generalize Go)
  • [ext] Gess - chess-like game with mutable "pieces" (3x3 shapes made of stones)
  • [ext] CheGo - dropping chess-type pieces with the objective of controlling board squares.
  • [ext] Amazons - another instance of a territorial/surrounding objective added to a chess-like setting

Other Go Variants Collections

See also


Variants last edited by 68.122.8.136 on May 2, 2014 - 18:48
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