Ing Rules

    Keywords: Rules
  • Specific features:
    • Both players must have exactly 180 stones to play. Counting at the end of the game is done by filling each player's territory with their own colour stones.
    • Unique ko rule
  • Scoring method: Area
  • Counting method: Ing (fill-in)
  • Superko: Yes (unique Ing ko rule)
  • Komi: 7.5 (officially 8 but Black wins ties)
  • Suicide: Allowed
  • Points in seki: Count
  • Cost of moving in one's territory: 0 points
  • Life and death settled by: Game resumption
  • Illegal move: Forfeits the game

The Ing Rules are the rules as devised by Mr. Ing Chang-Ki and promoted by the Ing Foundation.

Some highlights:

  • Area scoring [1]
  • Ing counting, filling in the board with 180 stones for each player
  • Multiple-stone suicide is allowed
  • Komi is 8 in even games; Black wins ties in even games
  • Ing Ko Rule applies
  • Free handicap stone placement; White wins ties
  • Additional timing rules (one variation includes losing points for going over the allotted basic time)(see Ing Timing)

Original rule texts:

Commentaries and related explanations:

See also

mgoetze: Article 9 stipulates: Before the game, the younger player should clean the board with a soft cloth to show respect for the cleanliness of the equipment. - be sure to keep this in mind if you ever enter a tournament under Ing rules, and call the referee on your opponent if he is younger and fails to clean the board.

(Sebastian:) Good that I seem to be much older than you, and I show no tendency of getting younger. :o)

iopq: [ext] check it out it's an Ing Rules problem :)

[1] Bill: Sidney Yuan's translation of the 1996 Ing rules states, "Criteria: The counting criteria in these laws are that stones and spaces are both territory. All living stones and their surrounded spaces are counted as territory points." However, the Chinese says,


which refers to empty points neighboring live stones (空屬鄰子). This indicates that proximity, not surrounding, is the criterion. Yang Yilun appears to concur with this interpretation. See proximity scoring for an example.

RobertJasiek: Ing rules booklets have a tendency to show only examples where all possibly shared empty intersections do neighbour stones. There also the Ing 1986 Rules with their fractional scores were ambiguous. I think that, before one might assess proximity scoring in the Ing 1996 rules, further evidence than possibly careless choice of words is needed, especially since Ing rules booklets are famous for ambiguous words, phrases and terms. The 1996 edition is especially carelessly edited (at least in its English edition).

Bill: I think that Ing never successfully devised rules to fit his intuition. In particular, his idea of Disturbing Ko is problematic. However, I am not convinced that Ing chose words carelessly in Chinese. I do think that there have been problems with translation. "Invariation" is a made-up word, for instance.

RobertJasiek: Do you have the original texts and can suggest a different or possibly better translation?

Bill: The original text is quoted above. It is available on the web site linked to above. I would defer to a Chinese pro who not only reads Chinese (obviously) but who has played professionally by the Ing rules. Such as Yang Yilun. The Ing people you know might even answer this question, even if it does not come up in a protest.

BTW, this discussion illustrates one of the weaknesses of SL, where amateurs argue about something that pros know. :(

People who know Chinese can check me here about the meaning of 空屬鄰子 . Nobody has corrected that yet, in two and a half years. In fact, let me venture a translation: "Empty points belong to neighboring stones." Is "neighboring" wrong?

unkx80: The above statement (as well as much of the rules text, sans the commentary) is abbreviated too much for me to properly understand, but from the word surface, I agree with your assessment. However, I strongly suspect that it actually refers to "nearest", otherwise it just doesn't make much sense to me. Yuan obviously did not translate the statement word by word, but probably translated it to what he thinks is the intended meaning.

BTW, I also strongly suspect that the linked Chinese page contains material pasted from two different editions of the Ing's rules. The following fragment appears in point 4 of the foreword:

前十三版計點制規則皆採用「空屬鄰子」之原則 ... 故自本版起改為「空屬鄰界」
The first thirteen editions of the counting rules all used the 「空屬鄰子」 principle ... Therefore, from this edition onwards, it will be changed to 「空屬鄰界」. (translation mine)

Better find another resource that actually contains the latest edition.

Bill: Many thanks, unkx80! :) I agree with the "nearest" interpretation, which also fits with Yang Yilun's statement about the example on the proximity scoring page. :)

unkx80: I checked out the YellowBridge online dictionary, which defines 鄰 as "neighbor; adjacent; close to". I normally associate it with "neighbour" as its default meaning, but it can simply mean "near". So there. =)

RobertJasiek: Merely having played as a professional under a ruleset, especially not regularly in the rules' home country (Taiwan), is insufficient assurance. What would convince me is a (pro) game record with a score. What can the collectors of Taiwanese go journals tell us?

Bill: To the best of my knowledge, the only realistic end position where the score by the two rules differ is the seki given on the proximity scoring page, and I doubt that it has ever appeared in a pro game played under Ing rules. So I doubt if a go magazine has such a game record. However, it is quite possible that they would have articles explaining the Ing rules. OC, the best authority is the Ing officials, and you could write and ask them. They might reply. ;)

RobertJasiek: Usually they do not reply.

Ing Rules last edited by on August 22, 2023 - 00:53
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