Learning to play go: The KO rule

Welcome to the last lesson for beginners. A lot of things can happen on the go board and one of the most complicated situations is the following:

Figure 1:

In situation A, when it’s white’s turn to play, he can capture the black stone that is in ATARI (Has only one liberty). If he does that then they will end up in situation B, and this time black can capture the white stone who is in ATARI, and this will lead back to situation A, where…. Well in short if the two players want, they can stay stuck in this loop forever. Luckily for us, someone can up with a ko rule. This rule does not allow any player to bring the board back to the previous board situation.

This means that when white captures black in situation A, that black can not recapture the white stone on the next move. He first has to play a move somewhere else on the board, so that on his next  turn the whole board situation will have changed and that he can finally capture the white stone that will be in ATARI (Situation B).

There you have it, All the rules have been explained. Play fair and enjoy the game.