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Subject: Double Go (Two move Go) rss

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Bryan Thunkd
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Each player gets to place two stones on their move. Stones are placed sequentially, not simultaneously, and therefore groups with two eyes are automatically alive. The remaining rules stand as is.

Groups with two liberties are in atari. This is a trickier thing to realize than you initially think it is. All sorts of standard plays, tesugi, and joseki are changed by this.

Ko's end up being a little different. You can always play a move and then retake a Ko. But then so can your opponent. But if you make two Ko threats with your two moves, it's possible to retake the Ko and fill it on the same move.

There are moves which I've dubbed half-threats, as it is somewhat similar to a Ko threat. This is a move that attempts to force the opponent to respond to something you've done and to prevent him from "doubling up" on you somewhere else. So, for example, if you have a small group in atari (2 liberties) you might play a half-threat somewhere on the board. If the opponent takes your small group you get to spend your next two stones taking advantage of your half-threat. Otherwise the opponent has to either split his stones, in which case he can't fill both liberties and take your small group, or devote all of his stones to responding to your half-threat, in which case your small group is still safe for the turn.

Bamboo joints are not guaranteed as connections, but the "long" bamboo joint (two sets of three stones in parallel) are.

Cutting points become much more interesting. It's possible for someone to cut the kosumi with support on both sides. And there are interesting situations when the kosumi is cut on both sides with support on at least one side.

The game favors defensive play a little more, as reading out sequences is harder with each player having two stones each move.

Seki is changed slightly... requiring an extra liberty.

It's a fascinating and mindbending variant.


Edited: as per Russ's note below.

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Matt Davis
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I've thought about this variant as well, but I've never tried it. Glad to hear it doesn't totally break things, but it does sound like it would hurt my brain.
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Russ Williams
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Note that you need to specify whether the 2 stones are placed simultaneously or sequentially, as that also matters. E.g. it makes the difference of whether a group with 2 eyes can be killed or not.
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Bryan Thunkd
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russ wrote:
Note that you need to specify whether the 2 stones are placed simultaneously or sequentially, as that also matters. E.g. it makes the difference of whether a group with 2 eyes can be killed or not.


Good catch! I've fixed that.
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Russ Williams
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FWIW, the simultaneous placement variant is also fun to try. I just meant that players should agree which way they're doing it.
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Bryan Thunkd
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russ wrote:
FWIW, the simultaneous placement variant is also fun to try. I just meant that players should agree which way they're doing it.


It would be interesting. So it would take three eyes to be unconditionally alive. Hmm....
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Benedikt Rosenau
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See TriGo. A neighborhood of six is better than one of four.
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Randall Bart
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The way we played Goo (decades ago), the two moves were simultaneous. It took three eyes to keep a dragon alive, and you could not refill where you captured on the same turn. Capturing and then filling the space seems very wrong to me.
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Todd Cesere
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I assumed that a player can pass on one stone and play the other when we were playing, but I'm not sure whether that was explicit. I also assumed that the game ended when both players passed on both of their stones, which seems logical. (In reality the game ended when one player insisted that there was no 150 stone ko threat that they could make. Fair enough...)

Simultaneous seems like the more variant of the two possible variants, as it introduces a concept that doesn't normally exist, whereas the non-simultaneous version only changes the sequence of placing stones. There are some interesting consequences, though, besides the fact that three eyes would be necessary to live. I think the rule against placing one stone where you've just taken away enemy stones would follow naturally, since the stones are "still there" when you're trying to place it.

It seems like it would also have a consequence on a ko as you could "skip" the state of the board that would occur when you retake. In fact, the last state of the board would be before the other player placed both of their stones, which would mean, I think, that most kos in a two stone variant would be what you normally consider two kos in a one stone variant (kos in independent areas of the board). But, by the logic of the "still there" rule, you wouldn't be able to fill right away because you can't place the stone where you're capturing another stone.

You could also use this simultaneous rule on a regular one stone game, where each player writes where they will play on a piece of paper, reveals, and both are placed on the board as though they happened at the same time, unless they conflict, then they must pick again and exclude the conflicted location from the next pick.

By the way, we actually added another twist to our two stone game (because there were three of us). Bryan and I each had one stone to play (we were the black stones) and our opponent played two stones on his own.
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