GoTools Online - Quick Start

    Keywords: Life & Death

[ext] Click here to start the GoTools Online applet

The following is only a short introduction for newcomers, there are more detailed explanations in several languages when you hit the "Help" button of the applet.

About the applet

GoTools Online provides a free, unlimited access to GoTools, the famous life-and-death problem solver written by Thomas Wolf. The interface is intuitive (I hope), but here is a very short guide:

  • click on the board to define a position (Shift-click changes color),
  • mark aim(s) (Ctrl-click),
  • click "End setup",
  • click "Submit" to start GoTools, or play a first move yourself.

GoTools will answer your moves unless the "Automatic reply" checkbox is unchecked.

When you click "Submit" for the first time, you will be asked for a password. To get a password you have to give an e-mail address, where your password will be sent. This mail address will only be used to answer your error reports (if any) and make announcements.

When a problem is big enough, GoTools will take a long time to answer. You can stop the computation and modify the problem by clicking "Stop" and "Reset". After a fixed delay (initially 300 seconds, but you can set it to a longer value up to 999 seconds in the "Options" dialog), GoTools will stop. If you are willing to wait, you can hit the "Submit" button to continue the computation.

About GoTools

GoTools will try to find a move that will save at least one of the marked chains or kill all the marked chains. There is no way to specify aims such as "kill one of these two chains" or "save all chains".

GoTools only gives correct answers when the problem is closed, i.e. surrounded by a solid line of stones of the same color. The author is working to remove this limitation. After many years of continuous improvement, GoTools is pretty good at solving average-sized go problems. It is not perfect, but it is now very difficult to find positions where it will answer wrongly. Thomas Wolf is very much interested in your feedback, so if you think something is wrong with the solutions GoTools finds, please report (use the "Help" dialog of the applet).

For questions related to GoTools e-mail [email] Thomas Wolf.

For questions related to the applet e-mail [email] Jean-Pierre Vesinet.


GoTools seems to have been broken for several years now. It frequently misjudges even simple positions, or simply stops computation and displays the message "Interrupted." Worse, it often freezes in the middle of a computation, making it necessary to close the program and restart your browser.

It also often "forgets" the objective while navigating a solution, making it necessary to repeatedly redefine a problem.

Last edit about "Bugs" here was in 2009, while "News" on the project page have their last entry from 2016 ("A number of updates and fixes were put in place for the Online - Go Guess page and the Online - GoTools Java Applet itself.") RueLue in 12-'18

GoTools Online - Quick Start last edited by on December 14, 2018 - 00:20
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