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How to Play Go

Go has been played in China for thousands of years, but it wasn't until it was introduced to Japan 1,200 years ago that it achieved real popularity.


  • Step 1: Set the board up Set the lined, empty board on a flat surface.
  • TIP: Go can be played on a square board marked by any number of crossing lines. Conventional boards use nine by nine, 13 by 13, or 19 by 19 lined grids.
  • Step 2: Place a stone Place a black stone on any intersection of lines on the board. Your opponent will then place a white stone at a different vacant intersection.
  • TIP: It is customary for the more experienced player to use white stones and for the player using black stones to move first.
  • Step 3: Place adjacent stones Take turns placing black and white stones at vacant intersections. Try to place your stones adjacent to each other on the same vertical or horizontal line.
  • TIP: The object of the game is to surround vacant areas, called points, on the board with your stones. You can also capture your opponent's stones by completely surrounding them. Stones remain in place unless captured.
  • Step 4: Terminate play Continue placing stones until neither you nor your opponent can capture any more territory, or until you both agree that further play offers no additional advantages.
  • Step 5: Tally the score Tally the score. One point is given for each vacant position within one's own territory, and one point for every stone captured. The player with the larger amount of territory plus captured stones wins.
  • FACT: Go is the only board game in which humans can still reliably defeat computers.

You Will Need

  • A game board
  • Black and white stones
  • Two players

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