Buried Treasure

    Keywords: Variant

Buried Treasure is an experimental Go variant.

Before the game starts, each player records five intersections ("buried treasure"), which are not revealed to the opponent. A normal game of Go is played. After the game ends and all captured pieces are removed, both players reveal their "buried treasure". A player gets one point for each buried treasure (of either player) that is in their territory but that is not covered by a stone. The person with more buried treasure is the winner. If both players have the same amount of buried treasure, then the person with more territory is the winner.

ChipUni: I haven't yet tried to play this game. On a server, it would depend on having a trusted, third party to record the ten treasures. What do other people think of this variant?

Iff What if I play black, declare s19,r19,t19,t18 and t17 to be my buried treasures and start on s17 (the 3-3 in that corner). I will defend this corner and my opponent will not posses a single buried treasure when the game is finished. The game then results to a normal game of go with the additional chance (on my side) that I hit one of my opponent's hidden treasures. Seems to me that you need more rules for the placing of the treasures to make this an interesting variant...

Phelan: You are not taking into account two things: your opponent could do the same, which would result in a tie, according to your logic; and probing moves could be used to see how hard one defends, and thus find where you buried your treasure. That would make even a ko or a seki there worth more than the rest of the board.

ChipUni: Good point. Even if the treasures were known, the same problem would hold. Restricting the treasures to the third line or closer to the interior may solve that problem. Can you see any other problems with it?

(Sebastian:) Maybe better than adding hard boundaries would be the flexible rule: If your opponent correctly guesses one of your treasures, it's not hidden anymore, and doesn't count for you. Each player has 10 guesses. This would make the game more interesting because you can't play too obviously. (2001-10-20)

Kuolema: Or you would have a friend(s), who'd declared both player's treasures. This way the players wouldn't know where they were till the end... But then it would be based too much on luck.

WorkerBee?: The drawback to this game, as I see it, is that it introduces a mechanic that is basically a second game played on top of the first.

Bidding variants affect the way the game is played in a structured way that provides insight into the way the game is already played. "Tortoise and hare", "Shape go" and other variants change the rules so much that game no longer resembles go all that much - they're really different games altogether.

This is playing one game on top of another - a game of battleship played on top of a game of Go. It'll change the way the Go match is played, certainly, but since victory is given to the number of treasures, and territory is only for tie-breaks, it raises the question of why the go match should even be played in the first place.

Buried Treasure last edited by axd on November 18, 2009 - 22:38
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