Go, go, go! Learn the basics of the ancient board game. | Cassidy Williams | Skillshare

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Go, go, go! Learn the basics of the ancient board game.

teacher avatar Cassidy Williams, Software Nerd in Chicago

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (10m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Structure of the Game

    • 3. Capturing Stones

    • 4. Eyes

    • 5. Life and Death

    • 6. The Ko Rule

    • 7. Seki

    • 8. Scoring

    • 9. Conclusion

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About This Class


Learn how to play the ancient strategy board game, Go! The game was invented in ancient China more than 3,000 years ago, and is believed to be the oldest board game continuously played today.

In recent years, Go has increased in popularity in the tech industry as Google's AlphaGo AI robot beat some of the best players in the world.

In this class, you'll learn the basics of the game, and get to a comfortable playing level. You don’t have to know anything about Go to get started. Your class project will cover some essential patterns you need to get playing with your friends.

Meet Your Teacher

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Cassidy Williams

Software Nerd in Chicago


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1. Introduction: Hi. Welcome. My name is Cassidy Williams, and this is introduction to go Every plan. Go for a while now and I love the game and showing it to others again. Go itself is over 3000 years old and it originated from China. You might have heard it called a few other things in Chinese. It's called weight. She in Korea. It's called Braddock, and the name goes actually from Japan. It is widely played around the world, including by Google Alphago, which is an artificial intelligence program. The logic you learn and go can improve your problem solving skills both in school and on the job. Let's get started learning. 2. Structure of the Game: Let's go over the structure of how go is played now. In go, there are typically three sizes of the board. There's the nine by nine grid, the 13 by 13 grid and the 19 by 19 grid. Now these are all just different board sizes, and you can play whichever one you want. The larger the board, the longer the game. And you can play non standard sizes, too. But these are the most popular. Now you might notice that there's some dots on each of these boards. You can see them at D 16 for example, or at K 10 on this board. Or, if you go here, you can see it at G seven and add D four and you can see on this nine by nine board. See seven and G seven. Now all of these dots are actually handicap points. What's amazing about the game go is that it can be played with a handicaps. That way, each player has an equal chance of winning, even if one is much more experienced than the other. Now, when you're playing a game of go, you use black or white stones. Each player takes turns placing a stone, and you can place it wherever you want on the board, with the exception of a few rules that will go over later in the class. And the whole concept of the game is to take over as much territory as possible. You want as much of the board as possible when you surround of stone on all sides, then you capture that stone and again we'll get more into that later. One extra rule that you need to remember later is the Comey rule. It's extra points for White in the game. Go black always goes first, and since that's a pretty significant advantage, White gets a few extra points added to the score. 3. Capturing Stones: one of the most important things that you'll need to know to play go is how to capture stones. Now we have three stones here on the board, one in the center, on the edge, and in the corner. Each of these stones has what's called a liberty. They have multiple. The stone in the corner has to. The one on the edge has three, and the one in the centre has four each of these liberties as a chance to be blocked by an opposing color. Now, if I were to block some of these liberties with white stones now each of these black Stones only needs one more white stone to be placed to be captured. Now you can see that it's much easier to capture a stone in a corner or on an edge than it is in the center because it only requires two stones to capture one on the corner, three to capture one on the edge and four to capture one in the center. So I'm going to capture these, and now you can see that White has some territory because they have some completely enclosed points on the board. Now, if Black wanted to reclaim those spots. Unfortunately, black can't go in between any of these White Stones because these are what are known as dead space. Is it za suicidal move? Because of black, where to go in there? It would automatically die. And so black can't go in these spaces anymore. It would have to recapture white in a different way to be able to get back. 4. Eyes: another important concept that you need to know our eyes now in the game go eyes air simply a piece of territory that surrounded on all four sides. And so you can see there at e five is an I. Now there's a problem here. If White goes into that little I, they're not only does it get rid of that little piece of territory, but it's a suicidal move. It can't actually go there, and the problem is, is black or to go there. It actually surrounds the white group on all sides, including in the center, and captures white. Now what do you do to completely save your territory from capture? The key is to have at least two eyes when you have two eyes. Black can't go into either of these eyes because it makes it a suicidal move for black and so white is safe. But if White were to fill in one of these eyes, then it would be free to be captured by black 5. Life and Death: The concept of life and death is one that we've touched on a little bit here and there. But just to be clear, when you have a group that's alive, it has at least two eyes. And if it doesn't, it's not alive in this example. Here, all of the black groups are alive because they have at least two eyes are connected to something that has at least two eyes, and it's very unlikely that they'll be captured. However, each of these white stones are dead. They're inside of groups that have two eyes and are almost completely surrounded and are basically captured. There's really no point in black. Filling in the space is a little more because White is already dead, and so they should focus on taking over more of the board. 6. The Ko Rule: There's one more important rule that you need to know and go, and that's the co rule. The word Cho is a Japanese term that means eternity, and I'll get into that now. If you see this group of stones here, Black can capture that Middle White Stone at E five. And when Black does that, now, all of a sudden white can capture that middle Blackstone at Eat Four, and it can keep going and going and going back and forth. This is what's called a co. It's a loop now. White cannot go here in co the rule coat prevents any loops and sew when Black captures that white stone, White has to go somewhere else on the board. But then Congar o T e five later. If they want to capture that Blackstone, and so there ends up being an element of strategy where, if Black decides they're going to try to capture a more important group, White can determine if they want to capture other stones or if they want to capture this stone 7. Seki: Another scenario that you'll come across while you're playing Go is Seki. Seki is a Japanese term for mutual life. It's essentially a stalemate now. In this group, you can see there are two seconds. A Seki is local to a specific part of the board. It doesn't mean the entire game is a stalemate. The way a Seki works is that there are liberties in these groups. If any player fills in that liberty that allows the other player to capture a certain chunk of this group, for example, in the top group there. If White moves F nine, then black can move toe F eight and capture that group of white, essentially saving that group of black that's currently surrounded by all the light. But if Black went and filled in one of those liberties first, then White can capture that group of black that's currently surrounded by all of the white . And so you need to be careful with Seki. Usually, Seki groups are left out of scoring, and so in some cases you can use those to your advantage 8. Scoring: and now we're onto scoring. You start to score when the game of go is over, the game of go ends when each person has passed. If you think that you can't capture any more territory, you can't capture any more pieces. Or you just don't think that you can take anything else away from your opponent. You pass, and when both people pass, the game ends and when the game ends, you take out all the dead stones you give them to your opponent, and those get contributed to the score. Now, in this scenario here, there's a couple groups of dead stones. There's the Blackstone at eight, and then there's the White Stones in the group that starts at E five and goes to G five and down toe F. Three. Now, if we were to score this game, those stones air dead and get added to the score, and then any captures that the person has made is added to the score. Now, in this scenario, White has 11 units of territory, and that's each of those empty spaces. And if they've captured 11 prisoners, then they have 22 points. Now. Don't forget, because White went second, it gets the Comey points, and in a typical game, Comey is 5.5 points. So if you add up the 11 territory, the 11 prisoners and the 5.5 points, White has 27.5 points. Now for Black, you can count all of the empty points there, and it has 22 territory, and we take out the Dead Stones and count in any captures. And let's say that Black has captured nine prisoners that would make Black have 31 points, so it's 31 points versus 27.5 points. Now you might be wondering why the Comey is 5.5 points. And that's because in the event of a possible tie, the 0.5 can add to a certain person score and there will never be a tie. And that's how you score a game. 9. Conclusion: Congratulations. You've completed the video portion of this course. The key to go ultimately is to just keep practicing. The more you play, the better you'll get. So in your class project, you're going to go through some essential exercises that will help you be ready to play with others. We'll go over a few things that you've learned in this class as well as a few more challenging exercises, and then you play a real game.