Fixed stone placements
Apart from handicap games, Go in ancient history also featured fixed stone placements at the start of the game.
In ancient China, games of Go started with this position, with White playing first. This system is called Zuozi Zhi (座子制) in Chinese. In the 1600s, the Japanese abolished this system in favour of the present system. The China Weiqi Association formally abolished this system in 1949.
Some features of Zuozi Zhi:
- It is intended to prevent mirror go.
- It aims to reduce the first player's advantage without the use of komi.
- The two points needed for each group to live are not counted as territory, called 还棋头. That is, group tax is implemented.
- Ancient Fuseki In Old China
- Online references (Chinese): 1, 2
- Review of an old Chinese game with this setup
- John Fairbairn's article, but much wider in scope.