revised 9 April 1999
The common go maxim
GO: An hour to learn; a lifetime to master.
badly underestimates its times. No one has yet mastered the game in a single lifetime. And learning the rules, I have discovered, takes more than an hour. Indeed, I have spent two years trying to find out what the rules ARE. In the process, I have collected the various different rule sets available here.
For the various options that differ between rule sets, see Fotland's Summary
and the British Go Association
The most elementary (but out-dated) rules are survivor wins .
The most elegant and concise rule set is Tromp/Taylor .
Similar to Tromp/Taylor rules are those of New Zealand, and the American Go Association as stated in Concise Rules and further detailed in Commentary . The American Go Association has also adopted a set of tournament rules .
Japanese rules are from the Nihon & Kansai Kiins .
From The Go Player's Almanac I have excerpted the Chinese Rules .
The Korean baduk association, Hanwuk Kiwon, has posted the Korean rules. James Davies claims that "Modern Korean rules are equivalent to the 1949 Japanese rules which are in turn equivalent to the 1989 Japanese rules, although formulated differently."
Robert Jasiek has written extensively on the go rules.
Engels has collected a number of rule sets for variants of go.
Spight has proposed that the Mathematical Theory of Go can aid in understanding what any given rule set might mean.