You have now learned all the rules of Go and are ready to play. In this section we show two sample games, again on the small 7x7 board. On the larger 19x19 board the strategy will be more complicated, with each side taking up positions in several different regions of the board. But still these examples illustrate the basic goal of Go:   each side tries to expand the area he surrounds and to reduce the size of his opponent's area. Black always makes the first move. The numbers on the stones show the order in which they are played.

Diagram 1:   In the first 4 moves each player takes up position to try to claim one side of the board. In moves 5 to 7 Black pushes in to expand his area along the top. White counters with moves 8 to 10, pushing back along the bottom.

Diagram 2 shows the position after the first 10 moves.

Play continues (moves 11 - 22) in Diagram 3. With move 11 Black threatens to give atari at the top, and White defends with 12. Black plays atari with 13, White connects his stone, and Black then plays 15 to protect his own stone 13. On moves 16 through 19 each side plays at the point his opponent would have liked to take next. The game is nearly over, and on the last three moves the players fill in the last empty spaces between their two armies. At this point there is nothing more to be done - if either player makes another move inside his own territory, he would just reduce his own score by a point. So after both players pass, the final position is shown in Diagram 4 and the players count the score. By custom, each player counts the score of his opponent. In this position Black has 16 points and White has 11, so Black wins by 5 points.


Diagram 5 shows the same game played out in sequence.

In the first game both sides calmly tried to surround territory. In the second example the players want to fight and try to capture each other's stones.


Diagram 6:   (moves 1 - 12)   White tries to complicate the game and create fights by cutting the two armies into smaller groups that threaten to capture each other.

Diagram 7:   (moves 13 - 23)   The battle continues. With each move the players try to expand the area they control while threatening to capture some opposing stones. Now the Black stone 15 is about to be captured.

Diagram 8:   With move 24 White captures a Black stone, which is removed from the board. Black 25 threatens to capture two White stones.

Diagram 9:   White replies with 26, capturing two more Black stones and saving the White stones that were in atari. White keeps the three captured Black stones by the side of the board, to be used later in counting the score.

Diagram 10:   (moves 27 - 32)   The fighting is over and the players fill in the last empty spaces (called dame) between their armies. After move 32 there is nothing more to be done. Note that two White stones are trapped behind the Black wall. Black does not need to play another move to capture these stones because they no longer can make any threat. As you will see, it will be bad for Black if he does capture!

Diagram 11:   After both sides have passed, it is time to count the score. First Black removes the two dead White stones from the board, to give this position.

Diagram 12:   Next the players place the stones they have captured inside their opponents' territory. The three captured Black stones and the two White stones just removed at the end of play (marked with X's) are placed back on the board, inside area surrounded by the same color. See how the captured stones reduce the surrounded territory.

Diagram 13:   In the final position Black surrounds 9 points and White surrounds 8, so Black wins by one point. Note that if Black had captured the two White stones during the game, Black would have one point less and would not have won the game.

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