Three color go allows three players on one board
Much can be done with a goban and stones, other than conventional Go.
Many intriguing games result from Go-like rules which may even directly benefit Go skill.
Inventors have developed a dazzling variety of games with rules similar to Go in intuitiveness, wording, territorial objective, simplicity etc. And the results often bear comparison with or even challenge Go in beauty, entertainment value, difficulty and complexity.
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- No Contact Go -- avoids capture altogether
- Atari Go also known as the capture game or first capture
- Snorkels a form of child friendly AtariGo
- Conquest once territory is owned, it is permanent
- Stacks of Coins a very simple model of the endgame
- Stone-counting Go a historical variant used as a teaching method
Differing presentations, quantities, or definitions of current-day Go
- One Colour Go
- No Board
- VertiGo an alternative tactile presentation
- Simultaneous Go many games at once
- Triangle arrangement for 3 players to play one another in 3 games
- Different Sized Boards and Small Board Go
See also: standard rule sets and refinements of rule sets which (by design) do not Usually alter the normal course of play. This includes several systems of scoring.
White to live
Games that practice life making and all-or-nothing attack
- In the corner surrounded by black stones on the 8th, 9th or 10th lines.
- The Shape Game sabaki on a board with black edges
- The Kill-all Game how many stones to own the whole board? Roughly 17.
- Pieboxing variant placing black stones in a fair way before White tries to live
- The Nine Handicap Challenge educational game position about where there is room for groups
- "Influence" variant
- Experimental handicaps (such as a ponnuki)
- Wild Fuseki, Random start go, Fuseki shuffle and other prescribed openings
- see also historical variants
Educational variants with teams or possible switching of players
- Rengo pair go
- Big Brother Go a teammate may adjust a weaker player's moves, at some cost. A similar penalty can be added to rengo.
- Zengo three players who alternately play both black and white
- PyjamaGo reviving a regular game of go after resignation
- Gonte the weaker player has the right to switch to white, once per game
- Go Back at any time, the game may be reverted to before the losing move and played out again, etc.
- Malkovich Game another meta-game idea
- Team Go an experiment on DGS where a group of players would share an account. Records of 'team go' remain on the forums there.
- "praat-go" (Dutch, lit. "talk-go") was ongoing at jijbent: A 5D played against a team discussing their moves.
- Hand and Brain Two players collaborate to make moves, the "Brain" calls out a Shape or Move name and the "Hand" decides where to play it.
Variants restricting valid moves
- Balaur Go Variant - play only adjacent to your own color (lay dragon eggs in Hoshi points and send born dragons to fight those of opposite color).
- Double Move One Time Each Go each player has an opportunity to follow through on one big ko threat.
- Forced takeback Go
- Neurotic Go
- Non-contact forbids touching stones of the other player's colour.
- The proverb game
- Stoical Go makes all known forced Go cycles impossible by forbidding to capture immediately after an opponent's capture. Standard ko rules are not used.
- Tenuki Go may not play near (adjacent to) last move
- Three Liberties
- Coin Go - playing Go with neutral inner walls
- Edgeless Go a mathematical look at different types of edgeless finite boards
- General Graph Go mathematical rules for Go on any graph
- Infinite Board discussion
- Real 3d Goban Playing Go in 3 Dimensions
- Topological Go further generalization
- Unusual Gobans SL accumulation including software links at bottom of page. Includes some things on toroidal Go.
- 2don3dgoban Playing 2-Dimensional Go on the surface of various 3-D solids
- 3don2dgoban Representing 3-Dimensional surfaces on (more) normal 2-D boards
- Other boards another variants compendium including alternative grids
Specific boards and simple families of boards
- Alak on a one dimensional line (including a proposed rule-change to make it a better game)
- Boundary Point Go selected points are erased from a standard board; see also TaoGo
- Virtueless tengen erased
- Double Board Go moves are copied where possible on a second board representing part of the main board
- N-go normal Go played on N boards (a sum of games)
- Round board
- Toroidal Go some resources are available for this variant.
- Ubigo every edge point is connected to all other edge points
Specific boards with adapted rules
- Alak (as above), in Baljeus variant where some chains survive without liberties
- Lineless Go Go on a board without lines, where the geometry of the stones alone determines connection, capture etc. (see the discussion page too)
- Euclidean Go lineless go with stones as circles in a plane
- Beach Go lineless go using things such as pebbles for stones
- TriGo variant of Go on a triangular (aka hexagonal) lattice, two stones placed at a time
- Keil - a logical adaption of Go to hexhex boards that preserves crosscuts and ko by reducing the natural connectivity of the board
Alternative rules of capture, suicide, repetition, and fairness
Modified wording of how movement/capture occurs
- Self-capture rules forbidding self-capture are common, but this is extraneous to many intuitive formulations of Go
- Simultaneous Capture zero liberties at any time results in removal
- One-Eyed Go requires one or more liberties even while capturing (no ko)
- Capture in Atari removing stones when they have one liberty (no ko)
- Bridge Go Essentially, "liberties on the inside don't count", and so life is hard (impossible?) to make. Win by building a "bridge" across the board.
- Field Go capture by surrounding an area against the edge of the board
Variants specifically eliminating cycles or ko fights; (for many other ko rules browse for ko rules)
- No-ko Go forbidding ko one move in advance
- Geneva Ko Rule neutralizing ko shapes using a deterrent for repetition
- Shogo - prisoners are placed in a box with limited capacity, and non-capturing placements reuse stones from the box. Captures that exceed the box's remaining capacity are illegal
- Stoical Go effectively prevents cycles by forbidding capture immediately after an opponent's capture
Making a game equitable without resorting to komi
- Pie Rule common variant tool/rule used in place of komi
- (Free) Handicaps moves as compensation
- F-Go (Fair Go) unique Go variant where players move simultaneously.
- Column Go Prisoners remain on board, underneath stones that capture them.
Go adding special stones or abilities
- Choice Go as handicap
- Dagger Go
- Kingo two types of pieces are used: pawns and kings. Score is number of kings, but capturing an enemy king also wins.
- Kings Order
- No Seki Go introduces a second type of piece that enables capturing groups in seki
- Redstone simplified variant where stones played to capture are red (neutral and immune to capture)
- Special Stones
- Superpower Go a family of variants where one player has a superpower, the other has a large komi. (This often involves modifying an aspect of Go and observing the effects.) For example, it can be used to investigate the value of being the komaster.
- Yugo permanent pieces of the player's color are used for capturing
- Games where both players have a special power:
- Tao Go players get a third color stone that has the power of Virtueless and Boundary Point Go, creating "Out of Bounds"
- Choice Go, Forced Takeback Go (No Go), and Forbidden Move Game
See also Other Pieces many listed variants that mostly fall in the Superpower category
Modeling or illustrating a particular aspect of Go
- Card Game Model of Ko
- Combinatorial Game Theory math can convert between Go endgames and positions in many other (combinatorial) games
Go with Different Stones
Variants that use a different set of stones, or with a normal turn other than "place one stone."
- DominGo pieces are domino shaped
- Keima Go pieces are another two-stone shape
- Double Go placing two stones per turn
- Pixel go - You place 2x2 blobs. Overlapping stones are ignored.
- Quantum Go placing two entangled stones per turn which will later become a single stone
See also Other Pieces For extra stones with special effects, see Superpower Go, above.
Variants with an uneven number of moves
- Hare Tortoise white has double moves vs. massive handicap
- Progressive Go increasing number of stones played each turn
Limited information or visibility
- Batoo a battle including an initial placement of 3 stones, one hidden stone each, score bonuses, and other elements
- Hidden Move Go a few stones that opponents cannot see
- Minesweeper Go if you hit a hidden mine, you pass the turn (opponent moves twice)
- Phantom Go (Gospiel) based on blindfold chess; most moves are invisible
- Phantom Rengo with 3 Boards augmented Gospiel
- Relative Go unique idea obscuring the location of the edges
- Buried Treasure hidden score bonuses
- FogOfWar moves delayed in time
- Blackhole Go stones can't be placed on certain points on the board; related to TaoGo
Variants with 3 or more players
- Multi-color go adding a third player, Red, and perhaps others
- Example game of 3 color Go
- Other players cooperation and move order in multiplayer Go variants
- Players as stones
- Other political variants
Variants with different Scoring or with Bidding
- Environmental Go also known as Coupon or Token Go
- Bid Go bidding for the right to play
- Alternate Bid Go
- Volcano Variant "irregular scoring," for example placing greater emphasis on the center
- Take A Bet On Life And Death a tsumego tournament
- Square Squared, based on *star, counting stones on the edge plus a group tax
- Stringo - your score is the number of strings of your color
- TenGo a player's score is the number of stones in a group of their color that includes a stone at tengen
- Unequal Resources Go or =/= Go The value of a prisoner is allowed to be unequal to the value of a moku of territory.
- Stonethrow The value of a prisoner is half the value of a moku of territory. An instance of =/= Go template.
See also Scoring and under historical variants.
Miscellaneous results of simplifying standard Go
- Alter Igo go-like game with minimalistic ruleset
- No-pass go a component of formulating the rules for Mathematical Go
Games involving Territory, Surrounding, and/or Connection
Go-like games with no capture:
- Symple a quicker game involving when and where to start and connect groups, in order to grow to cover the most area, minus a group tax
- Fjorde German-style board game with an element of enclosure
- Fugo - Go-like game with forced relocations of single stones in surrounded groups instead of whole-group removals
Go-like games with Othelloanian Capture (captured pieces reverse color, which removes the possibility of repeating cycles (ko)):
- Sygo shorter, challenging Go-style game created with the Symple move protocol and its unique balancing mechanism
- Loose finite Go variant with modified (looser) capture
- Reversi Go simplest hybrid of Reversi (Othello) and Go
- Medusa game of abstract strategy concocted starting from Go on a partial hex grid
- Lotus a more minimal support act for Medusa
Games playable with paper and pencil:
- Points or Dots) a well-known game in Russia.
- Paper And Pencil Go dead stones marked, not removed
Other abstract strategy games with Go-like equipment and themes:
- Orbit Go variant based on encirclement (rather than adjacent encirclement)
- Tanbo Tanbo crudely models a system of plant roots which are growing, competing for space, and dying.
Variants with mobile stones
- Reuse Go moving a stone substituting for a turn
- Slidey Go a minor permission for moving stones
- Sliding Go surrounding game where moves have a path to a player's edge
- Dango (no page, link is to namesake) captured stones are moved elsewhere by the capturer.
- Latrunculi and Petteia possibly descend from a Go variant with mobile stones (History, Legend, Speculation section of page) via Seega, however there is very likely a missing link between Go and Seega
Variants adding complicated rules
- Batoo a battle including set-up phase, hidden moves, komi bidding, and scoring bonuses
- Electric Go a unique effect alters the board with each stone placed
- Snap Go a very difficult variant
Spiced up variants
Games that add an element of luck, subjectivity or manual dexterity
- Go with Cheating
- Dango (aka Cards Go) game developed by A. Dinerchtein
- Bughouse Go bughouse chess adapted to go
- Lottery Go players use mostly stones of their own color
- Quantum Go after an arbitrary number of moves, a random algorithm performs a change in status of some point
- Under The Stones Fuseki
- Frisbee Go
- Irensei the aim is to line up 7 stones, uses Go capturing, suicide and ko rules
- Gonnect a child of Go and Hex
- Gopposite try to score LESS than your opponent
- Anti-Atari Go First to capture loses. Just for fun.
- Bridge Go Win by building a "bridge" across the board. There's also a special capture rule where "liberties on the inside don't count".
See also Tsumego Conventions,
Cousins of Go
- Bargo (mentioned here) scored by the number of Black eyes of a group
- Dominions played with hexagonal tiles with different arrangements of 1 to 6 liberties
- Go in fiction occasionally someone imagines a fictional game that is partly inspired by Go.
Other Games with Go Board and Stones
- Gomoku Five in a row
- Pente Like Gomoku, but with a way of capturing
- Renju variant of Gomoku, but with extra rules to give a fairer balance between black and white.
- Connect 6 Black starts with a stone at tengen. Then white, and two stones per turn. 6 stones in a row wins (any direction)
- Hasami Shogi
- Conway's Game of Life really a toy or simulation, famous for its surprising complexity
- Philosopher's Football (Phutball) An actual wonderful game invented by John H. Conway
- Konane A traditional Hawaiian game somewhat resembling checkers or draughts, said to be fit for the 18x18 squares on a Go board
- Ming Mang (also Mig Mang) a general Tibetan term for game, sometimes Go, but the linked game is something different. Another source allows multiple captures. Ming Mang naturally generalises to Gundru (dead link)
- The Flicky Game one of probably many Korean? stone-sliding dexterity games
- Chess and its variants, including Ko shogi
- Merrills or Nine Men's Morris
- Havannah variant of Hex with different winning conditions
- Cathedral territorial -ominoes game. In its wooden edition, wonderfully haptic.
- Connect Four On IYT this is called stack4. IYT has also invented a variant called stack 4x4
Crossovers between Chess and Go
- Go with chess pieces stones that connect in ways that chess pieces can move (a way to generalize Go)
- Gess chess-like game with mutable "pieces" (3x3 shapes made of stones)
- CheGo dropping chess-type pieces with the objective of controlling board squares.
- Amazons another instance of a territorial/surrounding objective added to a chess-like setting
Other Go Variants Collections
- Variations on Go large listing (other rules, other boards, other pieces, other players) at Joγo Pedro Neto's World of Abstract Games
- Go Variants as Teaching Method
- Variant Go Server an online go server that lets you play a number of variants including toroidal go, phantom go, pixel go, ...