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Subject: Stoical Go redux rss

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Luis Bolaños Mures
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As some of you may recall from a previous thread, Stoical Go is a Go variant where all known forced cycles are made impossible by replacing the ko rule with a prohibition to capture immediately after a capture by the opponent.

I've studied the topic further and updated my article on Sensei's Library accordingly. The new content includes an exhaustive list of features shared by all known forced cycles and a few new variants based on some of those features.

As with the original Stoical Go, the idea here is to eliminate cycles from Go without resorting to superko and while keeping gameplay as unaltered as possible. Stoical Go feels already quite close to Go, but some specific sequences play out very differently (there are no snapbacks, for instance). The new variants are a step further down that road. Even though they still alter the game more than superko does, they are often indistinguishable from regular Go in practice.

This is specially true of the variants that combine the basic ko rule with another rule. My favorite of those is what I call the "2-2-2 rule":

If the latest two board plays (one by each player) have been captures, your placement must be part of a group with more than two stones (including itself) or more than two liberties after removals (or both).
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