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In the year of 1984 someone donated me a set of Go and tried to play with me, but actually we did not even understand the rules. From time to time, I got in contact with the game again, though as many as 19 years had to pass by until I began to play (more or less) regularly. That happened in February 2003, when I discovered KGS. Many thanks to wms. (Well, the joy would be doubled if he opened the code :))

Main Go-related interests

What to play Go for, and what not to play Go for


Finding the real core rules of play, following the idea of not enjoining anything unnecessarily. In some sense, the japanese rules are quite the opposite of that.

One could argue that it doesn't matter anyway whether the players are explicitely forbidden to make a specific move or just decide otherwise for tactical or strategical reasons. Well, even if it didn't matter, I'd prefer the latter, but it turns out that e. g. the free choice of handi placement actually enriches the game.

Among the rulesets officially accepted in a country I know, New Zealand's is closest to my ideal. There are only few points of "imperfectness" left:

  1. The rules do not need to set any precedence of capturing over self-capturing.
  2. Passing could be defined as a turn wich doesn't change the board position, or, preferrably, be not defined at all. The game could simply stop/end whenever the position hasn't changed for two turns, and a turn might include the right to play a stone at any(!) empty intersection (that is, self-capture of single stones then is not forbidden either, but equivalent to passing)
  3. The ending procedure given by the AGA rules looks even clearer than the (practically equivalent) New Zealand one, which is somewhat ambiguous about who continues first in the case of disagreeing.

So, aren't Tromp-Taylor rules very close to what you dream of?

Yes, in fact they are. I just was trying to figure out a "freest ruleset" which would be semantically irreducible when I found Robert Jasiek's plentiful [ext] site about the rules of go, and there, Tromp-Taylor rules, recently. Since that time, i haven't continued anymore. :o)

And, slightly different to ssk (and psk as well), here's my freaky superko rule:

Active Superko

Who plays the same turn in the same position again as already before, wins the game immediately.

Subjectivity in go

Until I find the time to discuss it some more detailed (and in english) here, I just paste a little chat which happened after a game at kgs recently:

rubilia [9k]: danke fürs spiel noch einmal Thanks once again for the game
rubilia [9k]: was unsere unterhaltung angeht, As far as our conversation goes,
....... [4k]: ok bis demnächst OK, till the next time
rubilia [9k]: (soll nicht gemein klingen) (I don’t want to sound mean)
rubilia [9k]: finde ich wieder mal bestäigt, I think it has been confirmed once more
rubilia [9k]: dass der unterschied zum lehrenden so ab 10k betragen sollte that the teacher should be at least about 10 kyu stronger.
....... [4k]: wenn du meinst If you think so.
rubilia [9k]: ja, ist meine persönliche einschätzung Yes, that is my personal opinion.
....... [4k]: bei uns in der uni haben wir noch nen 1 dan und da kann ich noch
              ne menge lernen At our university we have a 1 dan, and I can learn a whole lot from them
rubilia [9k]: es ist für nur wenige kyu bessere spieler oft schwierig, zwischen If you are only a few kyu better, it is often hard
              "anders als ich es machen würde" und "schlecht" zu unterscheiden to distinguish “not what I would do” from “bad”.
rubilia [9k]: (lernen kann man vermutlich in jedem spiel was, aber das ist was  (You can probably learn something from every game, but that is
              anderes) another matter.)
....... [4k]: ja am rechner finde ich das auch viel schwerer zu zeigen als auf Yes, I find it much harder to explain on the computer than on
              dem brett wo a board where
....... [4k]: ich steine legen kann und gleichzeitig erklären kann I can place stones and explain at the same time.
rubilia [9k]: kann sein, ist ja auch nicht als angriff oder so gemeint Maybe, I didn’t mean it as an attack or anything like that.
rubilia [9k]: ... zum bewerten von zügen des anderen muss dann (evtl. unbewusst) ... to evaluate the other person’s moves one has to (perhaps subconsciously
              die frage herhalten: wie finde ich(!) die brettposition für bear the question in mind: what do I(!) think of the position for
              schwarz, die sich daraus ergibt? Black that it produces?
rubilia [9k]: bestenfalls "subtrahiert" man dann von seinen eigenen fähigkeiten Then at best one “subtracts” from one’s own abilities
              noch pi mal daumen ein bisschen rechenkunst und einflussspiel roughly speaking a bit of reading ability and playing for influence
rubilia [9k]: auf den schwächeren richtig eingehen ist aber was anderes but to respond properly to the weaker player is another matter.
....... [4k]: naja buecher lesen hilft ziemlich finde ich Anyway, reading books helps a lot, I reckon,
....... [4k]: hab bloss so wenig I just don’t have so many.
rubilia [9k]: gegenüber nem 12k bin ich halt nicht so souverän I’m just not as confident talking to a 12 kyu
rubilia [9k]: wie gegenüber nem 18k  as I am with an 18 kyu:
....... [4k]: das stimmt True,
rubilia [9k]: da schwafel ich auch mal was zusammen I just waffle a bit.
....... [4k]: aber bei uns gibt es genug 9k in der uni den ich noch einiges but in our university there are enough 9 kyus whom
              zeigen kann was die immer falsch machen I can show various things they keep doing wrong.
rubilia [9k]: ja, bei isolierten taktischen sachen geht das schon Yes, with specific tactical things that works,
rubilia [9k]: aber es sollte besser alles zusammen passen but it is better if everything fits together,
rubilia [9k]: und den blick dafür, WOMIT der schwächere WIE gut umgehen kann, and the feeling HOW well the weaker player copes with WHICH things
              und mit welchen sachen er gar nicht so viel anfangen könnte, hat and where he is lost is something one only has
              man erst mit grösserem abstand glaub ich with a greater difference in level, I reckon.
rubilia [9k]: sonst ist man noch zu sehr mit dem denken selbst beschäftigt Otherwise one is too busy thinking oneself.
....... [4k]: das ist schwer einzuschaetzen finde ich - ich weiss zum beispiel I think that is hard to estimate – for example I don’t know
              nicht wie gut die anderen rechnen koennen oder was sie gerechnet how good the other player is at reading or what they had
              haben bei ihren zuegen read out for their moves,
....... [4k]: vor allem wenn sie dann minutenlang ueberlegen und dann son particularly when they think for ages and then make a
              richtig schlechten zug machen really bad move,
rubilia [9k]: ja Yes.
....... [4k]: der so offensichtlich schlecht ist, wenn man nur 2 steine weit that is as obviously bad as if one only thought two moves ahead.
rubilia [9k]: ich glaube zum guten lehren gehört neben einem reichlichen I think good teaching requires not just considerably
              vorsprung auch häufiger umgang mit leuten verschieder stärke greater strength but also frequent encounters with players of various strengths,
....... [4k]: das stimmt True.
rubilia [9k]: um besser einschätzen zu lernen, was der andere (z. b. 18 k) so one has a better idea what the other person (e.g. 18 kyu)
              gerade so denkt is thinking at that moment.
....... [4k]: und viel viel viel spielen And play lots and lots and lots.
rubilia [9k]: ja Yes.
....... [4k]: naja ich war ja auch mal so schlecht Anyway, I was once that bad.
rubilia [9k]: ich finde im go gibt es einen viel zu wenig beachteten aspekt: I think that in go people to often forget:
rubilia [9k]: was für einen 2p ein ausgezeichneter zug ist, kann für einen 5k das a good move for a 2 dan pro can mean
              bittere ende der partie bedeuten a bitter end to the game for a 5 kyu.
....... [4k]: tja aber der zug vom 2p ist trotzdem der bessere OK, but the pro move is still better
....... [4k]: falls man korrekt rechnen kann if one can read properly.
rubilia [9k]: nein, für den 5k eben nicht :) No, not for the 5 kyu –
rubilia [9k]: - dieses "falls" ist ja voraussetzungsgemäss nicht erfüllt this “if” is by definition not satisfied.
rubilia [9k]: das schwebt alles so in der luft als ginge es um die immaginäre It is all so hypothetical, as if it was about the imaginary
              ideale partie ideal game.
....... [4k]: aber prinzipiell ist rechnen eigentlich nicht so schwer, es ist But in principle reading is not that hard, it is
              schwer die bestmoegliche gegnerische antwort zu finden hard to find the best answer for your opponent.
rubilia [9k]: 1. wie willst du "korrekt" rechnen ohne die gegnerische antwort 1. How can you expect to read “correctly” without your opponents answer?
rubilia [9k]: 2. es geht ja häufig um viel grössere sachen als rechnen 2. It is often a matter of much more important things than reading.
........[4k]: die muss ich mir selbst ueberlegen I need to think about that myself –
....... [4k]: ok sagen wir weiter als 5 steine oder so kann ich inder regel auch OK, I can usually also not read more than about five moves ahead
              nicht rechnen ausser in loken problemen except in local problems.
rubilia [9k]: ich sag ja gar nicht, dass es falsch wäre den bestmöglichen zug zu I am not saying at all that it is wrong to look for the best possible move,
rubilia [9k]: nur halte ich für quatsch, als massstab für "bestmöglich" I just think it is nonsense to define “best possible” in terms of
              irgendwelche profisachen zu nehmen, solange man die nicht versteht some professional things as long as one does not understand them oneself.
rubilia [9k]: "bestmöglich" heisst für mich: von bester wirkung für mich hier und “Best possible” means to me: with the best effect here and
              heute, für meine konkrete partie now, in my specific game.
....... [4k]: naja 90 % meiner zuege sind auch eher intuitiv Well maybe, 90% of my moves are more intuitive
....... [4k]: aber ich hab gegenueber einem schwaecheren spieler natuerlich gewisse but of course against a weaker player I have certain
              vorteile durch groessere erfahrung advantages from more experience.
rubilia [9k]: ja, intuition und rechnen sollten sich ja ergänzen Yes, intuition and reading should complement one another.
....... [4k]: und daher weiss ich oftmals was gut oder nicht so gut ist and so I often know what is good or not so good.
rubilia [9k]: ... "gut ist"? “is good”?
....... [4k]: so ich muss jetzt mal los... So, I have to go.
rubilia [9k]: ich glaube, DAS einschätzen zu können, was für IHN "gut" ist in I think that to judge WHAT is good for ONESELF in
              seiner aktuellen partie, d. h. mit den stärken und schwächen, die er one’s current game, i.e. with the strength and weaknesses that one
              tatsächlich hat, ist schwer actually has is hard.
....... [4k]: bis demnaechst und n8 See you later and good night!
rubilia [9k]: das kann man kaum mit nur 4k mehr You can’t really do that if you’re only 4 kyu better.
rubilia [9k]: ok OK.
rubilia [9k]: ist vielleicht nur eine frage, wie bewusst man sich seiner grenzen ist Maybe it is just a question of how well one knows one’s own limits.
rubilia [9k]: am ende wirst du das, was dir ein 3d mal als "gut" gezeigt hat,auch In the end you’ll only play what a 3 dan showed as being a “good” move
              nur dann spielen, wenn du was damit anfangen kannst if you know how to use it.

Teaching ways

See rubilia/teaching.

Some of my contributions to SL so far

borderless goban

Unusual Gobans


Odd-eyed Seki

Colorblind Superko


KGSRating Math




* * *

To-do list

Enclosing Seki

Cut Beyond the Edge


Favorite quotes

"You cannot teach a person anything; you can only help him find it within himself." --Galileo Gallilei

"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I'll understand." --Chinese Proverb

"All my students, if their moves have a reason, it is good" --Guo Juan 5p

laputa1: Sente is the pulse of game.

Chat area

Chris: I would say that no-pass rules are the cleanest of all. No?

In a way, I agree, no-pass go with prisoner return is extremely clean, particularly if you look at it from the CGT point of view. It's quite unpractical as a real game of Go though, don't you think so?

iago: [concerning the german dialog] seems interesting, but i dont speak german... what is it about ?

Well, we talked about the subjectivity of move quality, e. g. about the phenomenon that an advanced move or advice, which is considered perfect by a strong player (who nevertheless can be an awkward teacher, BTW), may be bad, even fatal, for the pupil's play.

kritz Do you know how to get a hold of hotdog? he has been missing ... thanks

No, I don't have a clue either - sorry.

iago: about this counting thingie... would you mind hopping on kgs for a min... i reaaaaally dont get it :/

I am there, as blubb. Who's not there is iago. :P

Phelan: Nice work fixing the KGS url on a massive amount of pages! Thanks! I've listed you at RecentChangesJunkiesNightmare, hope you don't mind. :)

Hehe, I am not sure if that's more of an honor or an accusation. ;) At least, you'll probably agree you weren't compelled to take notice of those really minor edits - they were marked as such. Anyway, welcome.
There's still a lot of invalid KGS links left spread over SL, particularly amongst homepages. I didn't touch them yet, to not overstrain all the poor RC junkies (including myself).
Would you mind taking care of FIDETitlesAndEGFGoRatings? It is no homepage, but locked against common deshi edits, so I couldn't fix anything there.

Phelan: I listed you as a recent changes junkies nightmare not because I felt that Recent Changes was flooded, but because I felt I had to acknowledge somewhere the amount of good work you had done. I've gotten the habit of also checking for minor edits regularly, so I thought it was strange for there to be so many edits. I kept finding outdated links to kgs, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw you had taken care of a lot of them. I've fixed FIDETitlesAndEGFGoRatings, like you asked. It had been locked because of repeated vandalism. As for the homepages, I think the owners can fix them themselves if they're still active. Thanks again.

unkx80: FIDETitlesAndEGFGoRatings is now unlocked.

rubilia last edited by PJTraill on November 22, 2018 - 02:29
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