The Swindon Go Tournament
- Main Tournament Rules


Black gives white 7 points komi (we like jigos).

Time Limits

1 hour each.


Periods are:
First overtime period: 20 stones in 5 minutes
Second overtime period: 20 stones in 2 minutes
Third overtime period: 15 stones in 2 minutes
Fourth overtime period: 5 stones in 6 minutes
Remaining overtime periods: 50 stones in 2 minutes

(Yes, we know it is bizarre, but it meets all the following requirements: - initial reasonable overtime period in case you have planned your time reasonably but something unexpected has happened; - punitive second period because you really should have planned your time better than this, and we want to keep to the tournament schedule; - third and fourth periods still trying to get lots of stones played quickly while still resulting in a total of… - no more than 60 stones played in 15 minutes overtime, which is the overtime requirement for a class A tournament).

Overtime stones shall be counted out from the player's bowl and made clearly visible to the opponent.

A move consists of placing a stone on an intersection and removing any consequent captures, or passing, and then pressing the clock. Note that the clock is not stopped for capturing a large number of stones.


When passing, a player must give a stone as a prisoner to his opponent. To end of the game, both players must pass in the sequence black, white; i.e. white has to pass last. If white wants to pass first, he can, but he still has to pass last (as well).

Late Players

When the referee says to start clocks, any games not already in progress should be started by white players pressing the clocks to initiate black's time period. If white is not there, black should do it. The referee will do it if neither player is present.

A player who arrives late by more than half an hour loses the game by forfeit. The player's opponent gets a free win, and this counts for prizes and pairing, but does not count for rating points. If neither player arrives in time, both lose.

If both players are late, black's clock will have been running. This is not fair on him, given that both players are late. Regardless of which player (or both) arrives first, the procedure is:

1. Black's clock is stopped.
2. White's clock is set to the elapsed time on Black's clock.
3. Black's clock is started.

Play then proceeds as normal.


If a player leaves the table during the game, his clock is not stopped. If a player determines his move while his opponent is absent, he should play it and start his opponent's clock. When his opponent returns, the move should be pointed out. Players should not stop their clocks to go and get a coffee.


Minor disputes should be resolved between the players. Advice may be sought from convenient "strong players" but should not be offered unless so requested.

Any dispute not so resolved must be communicated to the referee as soon as possible and in any case before the results of the game are published.

On-lookers are strongly discouraged from making any comments of any kind about a game in progress. If there is a suspected rule violation, then this should be brought to the attention of the referee, and should never be discussed with the players.

Triple Ko

Triple kos and other such repeated positions are prevented by a "Superko" rule: It is illegal for a player to play so as to recreate a board position of the game, previously created by a play of the same player.

Sekis and Bent-four-in-a-corners

You count points in a seki. You have to play out bent-four-in-a-corners, they are not automatically dead.

Etiquette (this section may grow without warning, but they are not rules as such...)

Do not hold stones over the board as though you are about to play, then stop and have a think while your hand is still there.

Do not put a stone on the board and leave your finger on it while you have a ponder, thinking you can pick it back up if you change your mind. You can't. Think of it as your move being putting the stone on the intersection, not taking your finger off.

Overtime administrative tasks are to be shared; while one player counts the stones, the other resets the clock. Stones should be counted promptly, and whilst the clock is stopped neither player should be analysing the game.


Paul Barnard is the referee. His final word is final.