13x13 Board

  Difficulty: Beginner   Keywords: Theory

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Empty 13x13 board
4th line handicap placement
3rd line handicap placement
Half chinese fuseki

Empty 13x13 board  

This is a good board for quick games when you want more strategy than is possible on the 9x9 board. Also, at 47 percent of the points of a standard 19x19 goban, you get a less complicated game.

13x13 board is often used by beginners that have played enough with 9x9 board.

There are 13x13 boards available, usually on the back of a 19x19 full size board. There are also two-sided boards where one side has a 9x9 board and the other side has a 13x13 board.

Most on-line Go servers offer you the option to play 13x13.

Handicap points on 13x13

4th line handicap placement  

There is no agreed standard for handicap points on 13 x 13. Some say that they should be on the fourth line. Others say they should be on the third line.

The Go Text Protocol [ext] rule 4.1.1 Fixed Handicap Placement says that they should be at the 4th line.

3rd line handicap placement  

An alternative is to place the handicap stones on the third line it gives (willemien personal opinion) a more difficult game for white, because it is more difficult to live in the corners.

See also


ProtoDeuteric- Often I don't know where to start on 13x13 boards. Sometimes I get to a point in play where I have no idea what I'm doing and I feel lost. What are some fusekis, strategies, and tactics good for 13x13 go?

Crimson- I'm only 18k or so, but I'll speak up anyway. I guess that on a 13*13 board, you could generally make the first moves at the corners the same way you would at 19*19. I also think that territory counts more than influence for that matter, but as soon as you have two corners and some of the side don't be afraid to jump to the centre. This might not be best, but just try to open around the corner star-points, then work up your way to the side and centre. After some playing you will see what is good and what you like best.

Bob McGuigan: I think the precedence of corners before sides before center is still valid on the 13x13 board. So, too, is the advice to play urgent points before big points. Aside from this it is still important to find the biggest areas to play. The difference from 19x19 go comes in evaluating the size of plays and urgency of plays.

PlatinumDragon: I will say that the 13x13 is the largest "2nd line as territory" according to my function that I develop. I explain the function in "Why 19x19." According to this function that I develop, because 13x13 is a suppositly a second line as territory line, I will say that in is still a tactical board, and that tengen is a very strong first move. The 15x15 board is the smallest 3rd line as territory line, and that is the smallest board where you can use "strategy."

Gabaux - Teaching several persons to play go I have good experience with this board size. You will not fight so quick as in the 9X9 board, but have a better overview compared to the full size. It is quite important, that the games are definitely shorter, so the beginners will not get bored.

Pashley I agree. I have started a couple of utter beginners with games against me at 7 stones on 13x13. It is big enough that some strategy comes into it, but not as overwhelming as starting on 19x19. It can also be encouraging; one of them won her third game against me with only a little advice.

There is a page on openings in 9x9 Go, but I can't find a page on openings (specifically, fuseki) in 13x13 Go. Is there one?

HughJ Maybe the most important difference between the 13x13 and 19x19 is the different ratio of length to surface area. On a 13x13 much more of the area is between the handicap points and the edge than in a 19x19. This probably changes the way it should be played (though I've only been playing Go for a few months so what would I know!). As a simple example, consider a grid of stones intersecting the 4,4 points. Corners then contain 9 points, sides contain 15 (13x13) or 33 (19x19) points and the centre contains 25 (13x13) or 121 (19x19) points (assuming I can count!). On the 13x13 board the centre is worth only one corner plus one side. On the 19x19 board the centre is worth just less than the sum of all 4 sides. Of course this ignores the difficulties of making life in the centre etc etc. Does this mean I can ignore the centre - of course not, but I guess it's an interesting fact to remember (but if I'm wrong I'd love to be corrected as I'm trying to improve my 13x13 game).

I'd be interested to know whether white playing on the mid-point between two black handicap stones counted as a weak auto-pincer move (on the 13x13).

I'm a low dan player who've been playing on 13x13 board a lot. I want to write a page about what I've discovered, mostly in fuseki, but I'm not experienced enough with this site yet. However I want to answer HughJ.

It's true that, in a way, corners have bigger "value" on 13x13 than on 19x19. But still, both players get 2 corners and the fight for center often decide a game.

Having your idea in mind when I started playing on this size, I'd often take two sansans especialy with white. It's not a bad idea, but it would be a mistake to think other corners like hoshis or takamokus aren't good. A wall has still a LOT of value on 13x13 and you can easly let your opponent invade your corner if you get a good one.

The really important point about corners on 13x13 is how they work together. It's way easier than 19x19 to figure out how they are related to each others. Still it doesn't mean it's easy!

On a last note, here is my favourite fuseki at the moment:

Half chinese fuseki  

Those who are familiar with the 19x19 chinese fuseki will like it, not hard to guess where the name comes from. Nice one to fight.


Original author: TimBrent

13x13 Board last edited by hnishy on October 31, 2022 - 11:02
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