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Go is a simple game with only a few rules that you'll be able to pick up in a few minutes. But just like chess, once you know the rules you'll spend a lifetime getting to know the ramifications and how to play effectively.

The Equipment

The board consists of a grid of 19x19 intersections, although it is sometimes played on smaller boards of 9x9 or 13x13 especially when teaching beginners. You will also need two sets of visually distinct "stones", one for each player. The board is normally made of wood with black lines to mark the grid, and players normally have black and white stones. However, it works just as well if you draw a board on paper and play with silver and bronze coins.

The Rules of Go

Adapted from Wikipedia's article Rules of Go.
  1. The board is empty at the outset of the game.
  2. Black makes the first move, after which he and White alternate.
  3. A move consists of placing one stone of one's own color on an empty intersection on the board.
  4. A player may pass at any time.
  5. A stone or solidly connected group of stones of one color is captured and removed from the board when all the intersections directly adjacent to it are occupied by the enemy. Capture of the enemy takes precedence over self-capture.
  6. Self-capture is illegal.
  7. Repeating a former board position is illegal.
  8. Two consecutive passes end the game.
  9. A player's territory consists of all the points he has either occupied or surrounded.
  10. The player with more territory wins.