So starting from this tutorial, you will learn the basic etiquettes and rules of Go. Trust me, Go is way easier to learn than chess (at least the basics).


So etiquettes are huge in Go. Basically be humble, respect your opponent, don’t brag or showboat when you win. But there are also a bunch of formalities you need to keep in mind while playing Go. Typically, these etiquettes are strictly followed in Japan by all Japanese players, while in China they only serve as a general guideline. However, in the professional world, all the players practice these etiquettes without fail.

Before Game:

Nigiri (Chinese: 猜子 caizi, lit. “guessing stones”; Japanese: ニギリ nigiri, lit. “grabbing (stones)”): There needs to be a fair way to decide who plays first (black), if the two players are of the same rank, and Nigiri is the answer. If both players are of the same rank, the game is said to be Tagai-sen (Chinese: 互先 huxian, lit. “mutually first”; Japanese: 互い先, tagaisen, lit. “mutually first”).

Nigiri is equivalent to flipping a coin. How it works is this: One player (almost always the older of the two players) grabs a handful of white (always) stones and puts his clinched hand on the centre of the Go board. The other player would have to guess the parity (odd or even) of the number of stones hidden in the fist of the player, by placing either one (for odd) or two (for even) black stone(s) on the Go board.

The first player would then release all the white stones in his hand, and both players would count them. If the player guesses the parity correctly, then it is customary for him/her to take black stones (although under some rules, such as Ing or in amateur games, the player can also choose his/her preferred color instead. I’ve only done that once, choosing white instead of black after I won the Nigiri. But I was later scolded by my teacher later. This is not recommended)

If the players are not of the same rank, the player with the lower rank automatically gets to play black if their ranks differ by 1 or 2, and if the rank discrepency exceeds 2, then there is a set of rules for giving out handicap stones. Also,