KarlKnechtel: one possibility for Go variants is to just prescribe the first few moves, either based on some (poorly applied) theory or whatever principles. The opening can have an effective handicap deliberately built in, or attempt to be even - or just interesting.
This sort of thing has been done before; see Sunjang Baduk.
- The Trojan Ponnuki
- Black is not allowed (during the opening moves) to play on the hoshi: a special case of free handicap (only makes sense when playing handicap games)
- (add yours here!)
While exploring the implications of interdicting standard handicap openings, as it is difficult to interdict playing the hoshi throughout a game, I wondered if following would be an interesting - and to me elegant and simple - variant:
- hoshi may never be played, and therefore represent a "safe haven" under the form of a liberty that cannot be occupied (this subvariant allows to play normally in Go software).
- or, alternatively, hoshi may not be played and do not represent a liberty (which would require a significant modification to Go software).
Not sure if this is already cataloged anywhere (assume it is). I think this variant belongs under http://senseis.xmp.net/?Variants#toc7