Common Clock rules

    Keywords: Question, Tournament

It is difficult to believe that different rulings can exist for how to deal with clocks. This is an attempt to make an unified set of rules that can be used with all go tournaments.

Notice that this is not an official ruleset

Also at the moment it is more an inventarisation than a rule set

For the official rules see:

References below to USCF are to the [ext] US Chess Federation's Official Rules of Chess for no other reason than because it is (AFAIK) the most detailed guide for mind game tournaments. (and I have the book -- willemien )

Table of contents


willemien IMO, the only difference should be related to clock type and ruleset; clock rules should be "unified" too.

General rules

  • Use same hand for playing and for operating the clock
  • Who is responsible for proper functioning of clock
  • Who is responsible for setting of the clock
    • Does the volume setting have different responsibilities?

Stages during a move

(free after USCF rule 9)

  • Time starts when the opponent has pressed his clock
  • A move is determined when the stone is placed on the board
  • A move is completed when the clock is pressed (and the clock of the opponent is started)

( a pass in rules without pass stones is determined by starting the clock of the opponent)

Stopping clock for removing big captures

  • For how many stones may the clock be stopped?
    • EGF: 3 (Clock neutralisation 6.5) only in absolute time or overtime
    • AGA: 2 (VI. E. Timekeeping. 10. c.)
  • An alternative proposal is to allow the captor to require their opponent to remove the captives in their own time. This obviates the dissatisfaction felt by many that something positive (capturing) should be penalised.

Place of clock

  • Is there a seating etiquette? (Who's sitting left/right of clock)
    • EGF: By default the referee can decided, else White should decide.(Timing Rules 5.1)
    • Ing: Clock is placed at White's right
    • Pair Go: The lady presses the clock (tradition, could not find a reference for this in any rule sets)
    • Finland: White chooses the side of the clock.

Special rules relating to time system

From normal time to overtime / byoyomi (in general next time period)

  • It most be clear to the player that he is in the next time period.

This does not apply to Fisher time and other time systems where extra time is added for every move are not covered by this rule.

Calling time

  • the player must be aware when he has only 1 min, 30 sec, 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 sec left.

Clock types

Analog clocks

Digital Clocks

Human time keepers

(preferred option?)

  • Referee or appointed by referee.
  • Human time keepers are always correct.
  • should time down in a clear voice.

Special rules relating to rules of play

Clock during encore when rules of play use territory scoring

How to decide if the encore has started should be part of the rules of play

  • What happens before encore? Who stops the clock, when?
  • What happens during encore? Does the clock restart running?
  • What happens when the last move is made and the clock then runs out?


Common Clock rules last edited by PJTraill on January 23, 2019 - 13:20
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