Magnetic Go

    Keywords: Variant, Culture & History

This variation was invented by Ralf Gering in 1988, when he visited Bonn, the former capital of (Western) Germany. The original name of the game was created by Lothar Teikemeier, an amateur 3-Dan and at that time editor of the "Deutsche Go-Zeitung".

Electric Go (or 1000-Volt-Go) is like normal go, except every time you put a stone on an intersection, this stone (and only this stone) exerts a force in the directions of the two lines that intersect there. It will attract stones of opposite colour and repel stones of the same color, but only the closest stone in any of the four directions. Attracted and repelled stones run along the line until they encounter an obstacle (another stone or the edge of the board).

The first tournament was held in 1997 as a side event of the American Go Congress in Lancaster (USA). Another tournament was organized in 2000 at the "Hitachi European Go Congress 2000" in Berlin-Strausberg, which was won by the German Go player Michael Marz (2-Dan). The second place was achieved by the Danish Go player Torben Pedersen (3-Dan). Furthermore, the game was a discipline of the "Vielseitigkeitsturnier Hannover" besides Circular Go, Keima- Go, Ninuki Renju, 9x9-Go and 13x13-Go, which was staged 2000-2006 in the North German city of Hannover. The tournament was won by Reinhard Spode (2-Dan) from Hamburg in 2002. There was another multi-game tournament in Leipzig, which also featured Electric Go, in 2006. The variant was again played at the European Go Congress 2012 in Bonn-Bad Godesberg (Germany). This tournament was won by Judith Bergmann. One of the latest 1000-Volt-Go tournaments was held in Berlin in November of 2015 at the "Ironman Go-Turnier" (also featuring Escalation Go, Blind Go (9x9), Alphabet Go, 4-in-a-row Go, Killer Go).

The game was also taught at a Go workshop of the "Sommerakademie des Hessischen Landesinstituts für Pädagogik (HeLP)" (ie. Hessian Institute for Pedagogics) in 2001, which was attended by 14 highly gifted children age 9-13.

Example: Black plays at a  
The situation afterwards  

The marked stones are not affected, either because they are not on the same line as the stone played, or because they are not the closest to it on the line.

After you play a stone,

  • first you move the stones along the lines,
  • then remove any opponent stone without liberties,
  • then remove any own stone without liberties.
Black to kill  
a doesn't work...  
because W will answer at a.  

Mef: A play 'a' won't kill, but a play at 'b' (original diagram) for black will, no?

After b, if white plays a...  
White is dead  

Self capture  
Self capture II  

On the naming

Ralf Gering had the idea in the summer of 1988 on a visit in Bonn and the game was described in a short article in the "Deutsche Go-Zeitung (DGoZ)" shortly afterwards ("1000-Volt-Go" - eine elektrisierende Go-Variante"; Heft 4/1988, page 33). His article was considerably changed by Lothar Teikemeier (a former publisher of the DGoZ) without his knowledge or approval. Most importantly he changed the name of the game from "Magnetgo" ("magnetic Go") to 1000-Volt-Go. Ralf never used the name "10.000 Volt Go". Originally the Japanese counting rules were used, but, in fact, the Chinese counting rules make more sense and should be used now. He presumably showed the game at the Go Congress in Hamburg, which might have contributed to its success. At this time he was a 2-kyu in Go and studied Geology at Tübingen University, Germany.

Tournament Rules

Rules used at the "Vielseitigkeitsturnier" in Hannover, Germany: [ext]

Play the computer

YaTienna: Hello everyone, I'm an amateur on Github. I think that Magnet Go is the funniest expanded rule of Go, it makes stones run here and there when a game going on! It brings vitality to Go by a simple concept. Thanks to Ralf Gering! I make Magnet Go can be played on computers, see [ext] VastGo!

Magnetic Go last edited by PJTraill on January 25, 2024 - 16:42
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