Auckland 2017 Open
20 Sep 2017 07:15Auckland 2017 Open

Click to view the gallery: We are trying a few new things in this tournament to make it more in [ ... ]

2017 Wellington Open
01 Sep 2017 10:19

 2017 Wellington Open   Date, Venue and Entry Fee Date: 25th and 26th of November 2017 Venue: [ ... ]

2017 NZGS Championship Report
22 Aug 2017 10:102017 NZGS Championship Report

2017 NZGS Championship Report By Colin Grierson   Pictures from the tournament: Click to  [ ... ]

2017 WAGC
03 Jun 2017 10:252017 WAGC

2017 WAGC Our man at the WAGC this year is Alan Guerin a stalwart of the Christchurch Go scene who  [ ... ]

Other Events

Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent.

The game was invented in ancient China more than 2,500 years ago, and is thus the oldest board game continuously played today. It was considered one of the four essential arts of the cultured aristocratic Chinese scholar caste in antiquity. The earliest written reference to the game is generally recognized as the historical annal Zuo Zhuan (c. 4th century BCE). The modern game of Go as we know it was formalized in Japan in the 15th century CE.

Despite its relatively simple rules, Go is very complex, even more so than chess, and possesses more possibilities than the total number of atoms in the visible universe. Compared to chess, Go has both a larger board with more scope for play and longer games, and, on average, many more alternatives to consider per move.

The playing pieces are called stones. One player uses the white stones and the other, black. The players take turns placing the stones on the vacant intersections (named "points") of a board with a 19×19 grid of lines. Beginners often play on smaller 9×9 and 13×13 boards, and archaeological evidence shows that the game was once played on a 17×17 grid. However, boards with a 19×19 grid had become standard by the time the game had reached what was then the Imperial Chinese Tributary State of Korea in the 5th century CE and later to what was then the Imperial Chinese Tributary State of Japan in the 7th century CE.

The objective of go—as the translation of its name implies—is to fully surround a larger total area of the board than the opponent.

Once placed on the board, stones may not be moved, but stones are removed from the board when "captured". Capture happens when a stone or group of stones is surrounded by opposing stones on all orthogonally-adjacent points. The game proceeds until neither player wishes to make another move; the game has no set ending conditions beyond this. When a game concludes, the territory is counted along with captured stones and komi (points added to the score of the player with the white stones as compensation for playing second) to determine the winner. Games may also be terminated by resignation.

As of mid-2008, there were well over 40 million Go players worldwide, the overwhelming majority of them living in East Asia. As of December 2015, the International Go Federation has a total of 75 member countries and four Association Membership organizations in multiple countries.


Go. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved January 24, 2017, from
About the NZGS
The New Zealand Go Society:


    • publishes Go news to kiwis

    • organises the annual NZ Go Congress competition

    • maintains a points system for members

    • sends a NZ representative to the World Amateur Go Championship (WAGC) annually

    • runs a bookshop (selling boards, stones, books) with special deals for members


Key members of the NZGS:

   President - Kevin Liu    
  Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone:
  Secretary - Colin Grierson Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 
  Treasurer -  Mail:  Phone: 
NZ Rules of Go

Go is played on a board with a 19 x 19 grid, by two players, one using a set of (about) 180 white counters, the other a set of (about) 181 black counters. These counters are called stones.

Adjacent intersections are those intersections connected by lines of the grid, with no intervening intersections.

Two stones of the same colour are connected if they are on adjacent intersections or if they are both connected to a third stone.

A liberty of a stone is an unoccupied intersection adjacent to that stone or to any stone connected to that stone.

Territory of a player (at the end of the game) consists of all points occupied by that player's stones plus all unoccupied points adjacent to that territory.

A play consists of placing a stone (of that player's own colour) on an unoccupied intersection, then removing any of the opponent's stones that then have no liberties (if any), and then removing any of that player's own stones that then have no liberties (if any).

A move consists of

  1. making a play so that the resulting board position does not repeat the whole board position as it was after any of that player's previous moves or
  2. saying 'pass'.


A game of go begins with an empty board, and the players take turns to move (beginning with black).

The game is finished when both players agree that there are no more worthwhile moves. 'Dead' stones may then be removed from the board by mutual agreement. If they cannot agree which stones are dead they must play on. If they cannot then agree who shall move next, all stones stay on the board (are alive) and are counted.

In an even game, 7 points (komi) are added to the white players territory.

In a handicap game, white passes the first n - 1 moves where n is the size of the handicap. There is no komi.

The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game.



NZ Rules of Go - Explanation
An explanation and discussion of the NZ Rules of Go.

Go can be played on different sized boards than 19 x 19 with a corresponding different number of stones. 9x9 boards are often used for fast games or by learners.

The New Zealand rules of go use recursive definitions for describing connections, liberties and territory. As an example, the definition of territory states that a player's stones are territory for that player and all empty points adjacent to that player's territory are also territory for that player. That means that empty points adjacent to that player's stones are territory and empty points adjacent to these are also territory. In effect if we can trace a path from an empty point to a black stone by moving to adjacent empty points only, then that point is black territory.

Diagram 1

In diagram 1 the positions marked with the same letter are adjacent. Intersections marked with different letters are not.

Diagram 2

In diagram 2 the stones marked with the same numbers are connected. Stones marked with different numbers are not. Note that some connected stones are not adjacent.

Diagram 3

In diagram 3 the stone marked with '1' has 5 liberties. They are made up of the two unoccupied intersections adjacent to it plus those adjacent to the other stones connected to it. Note that the liberty marked with 'a' is only counted once even though it is adjacent to two stones of the 'group'. The stones marked '2' have no liberties and should be removed from the board. If the black stone marked '3' was the last stone played then the white stones marked with the triangles should be removed as they have no liberties; the black stones can then stay on as they have the liberties vacated by the captured stones.

Diagram 4

In diagram 4 the thirtysix points marked '1' are territory for black and the fourtythree points marked '2' are territory for white. The points marked 'a' and 'b' are territory for both players and can be ignored. (Note that either player could play on the point 'b' to deny their opponent one point of territory but that neither could play at 'a' without letting their opponent capture some of their stones). This was an even game so we add seven points to white and see that white has fourteen points more than black; thus white is the winner.

Diagram 5

In diagram 5 we see some examples of repeating situations.

In the top left if black plays '1', capturing a white stone, white wants to respond by playing at the empty point just created at 'a', capturing black '1'. This is not allowed (see definition of move) as it would repeat the situation after white's last move. This position is known as 'ko'.
In the bottom left if black '1', white '2', black '3', white 'a', black 'b', and white is unable to capture at 'c' as that would repeat the starting position.
In the bottom right if black '1', white '2', black '3' we get a situation where white would like to recapture at 'a' but this would repeat the starting position, and so is not allowed.
In the top right black '1', white '2', black '3', white '4', black 'b', white 'a', black 'd' creates the position where white cannot recapture at 'c' (without repeating the board position).

In all the above cases white must play somewhere else to change the board position (preferably inviting a black response) and if black does not play there again (usually to connect the ko) white may recapture in a future move.

Diagram 6

In diagram 6 black '1', white '2', black '3', white '4', black 'a', white 'b', black 'c' makes a situation where white cannot recapture at 'd' but a white move at '2' is allowed followed by black '1' and then white 'd'. Black cannot recapture at '3' or at 'c' (as that would repeat a previous board position); so moving first in this position gains nothing (and could lose everything).

Diagram 7

In diagram 7 black '1', white '2', black 'a' repeats a previous board position but with the other player to move so black is allowed to play at 'a' in this position.

A pass is usually used to signify that the game is over. If the opponent then also passes the players can agree that the game is finished and which stones are to be removed.

Before counting at the end of the game it is necessary to remove any of the opponent's stones which can be captured. The rules allow for these 'dead' stones to be removed by mututal agreement. If the opponent does not agree to their stones being taken off the board in this way then it is necessary to play the moves to capture the stones. Where there is disagreement about who should have the first move in such a situation it is usual to allow the person whose stones are in dispute to have the first move to defend them. (They may of course choose to pass).

If a player attempts to repeat a previous board position it is up to their opponent to spot this before playing the next move (they cannot complain later). The invalid move should then be removed and that player's move be treated as a pass.

In other cases of moves that do not conform to the rules (eg. a player making two moves in a row or moving an already played stone) the game should be restored to the point where the illegal activity occurred with the offending player's last move being treated as a pass. If it is not possible to restore the board the offender should forfeit the game. In all cases the tournament referee (if there is one) should be called to oversee this process before any stones are moved.

Diagram 8

In a handicap game the black player may prefer to use the traditional starting points shown in diagram 8. In two - four, six and eight - nine stone handicaps the points are played in order. In a five stone handicap the points 'a' - 'd' are played as well as 'i'. In a seven stone handicap the points 'a' - 'f' are played as well as 'i'. There is no traditional point for playing the one stone handicap but it is usual for black to play in the top right quadrant.

The size of the handicap is up to the players concerned or the tournament director but where both players have NZGS ratings the best handicap is the difference of their ratings rounded up to a whole number. If the difference is less that 0.5 they may also choose to play an even game.

The rules should be used in a spirit of fairness and cooperation. Where disputes arise they should first of all be settled by the players themselves. A higher authority (in the form of tournament referee or higher rated player) should be consulted in case of disagreement. In all cases, once the game is finished and the result confirmed by both players nothing can change the result.



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Goods for sale

(Pictures available on demand)

  On Hand Price
NZ Go Badges 13 $15
Fancy stones/bowl set 3 $120
Goban 1 $200
Chinese style stones 1 $20

Boards – NZ made New 21 $15
Stones – From China 31 $15
Korean board (slightly smaller) Folding 1 $20
Korean boards: 13x13 / 9x9 9 $10
Magnetic travelling set 1 $40
9*9 Boards 200 $2
Stones for 9*9 sets 25 $10
Cloth boards 3 $2
Nice 9x9 sets 8 $5
Postcard sets 9 $5

Introduction to Go VI 6 $5
Introduction to Go V2 4 $5
3 3 Point opening stratagy 1 $25
Power of the Star Point 1 $25
Introduction to Go 11 $15
Go World magazine (old copies) 15 $5
Tesuji 5 $20
Life and Death 4 $20
In the Beginning 6 $20
Endgame 6 $20
38 Basic Joseki 6 $20
Attack and Defense 5 $20

If you are interested, you can contact us here.


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