Makrai Rules

    Keywords: Ko, Rules

Detailed information and the complete text can be found at [ext]

This ruleset was created with three objectives in mind:

  • Be simple and logical.
  • Be easy to understand and easy to apply for both man and machine.
  • Be close to the traditional game.

It uses area scoring, which allows life and death to be simply played out. It uses basic ko, which allows draw on repetition, and avoids superko inconveniences and anomalies. This combination leaves the following problems open:

  • False cycles. (The losing player could prevent the game to end by playing in a cycle where he loses more stones than the opponent, such as Send2-Return1. This is not possible under territory scoring, but area rules need to address it explicitly.)
  • Perpetual suicide. (If suicide is legal, the losing player could prevent the game to end by playing suicide infinitely.)
  • Moonshine Life. (Positions that are traditionally considered dead, but where actual capture is only possible through a ko, which the other side cannot win but can delay losing infinitely, eg. with threats from a double ko seki.)

Chinese rules practically handle these problems by exceptional rulings (precedents). But since this set is meant to be logical, two new rules were created to address them:

  • The rule of finite stone supply. If the prisoner difference exceeds a given limit, the player who lost more stones is considered to have "run out of stones" and can only pass.
  • A modified ko rule, to be used in playing out disputes. A player can "challenge a ko" by passing for it before taking it. If he can later carry out the ko capture in spite of this pass (ie. the opponent could not or did not use the extra opportunity to win the ko), the opponent needs an intervening regular pass of either player before recapture.

These two rules attempt to grab the human logic behind the traditional rulings. They rarely need to be applied, unless the opponent behaves abusively (the above tactics are traditionally considered unacceptable - but usually without a logical explanation). Their purpose is to make the rules complete, usable in various environments and in computer tree searches.

Makrai Rules last edited by on June 30, 2005 - 18:14
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