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November 28th, 2005

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Rules for 2005 Cape Town Blitz Tournament

(adapted from here with input from here)

1. General Rules
The game rules and the tournament regulations are the same as for a normal game of go, unless stated differently here.

2. Timekeeping
The thinking time is measured with a chess clock, or byoyomi clock in fixed time mode, set to 12 minutes per side. The white player may determine whether the clock will be at the left or the right side of the board. The game starts when both players have indicated to be ready or when the tournament director orders them to start. In games with at most one stone handicap white should start with pushing the clock. In games with two or more stones handicap black places the handicap stones outside the official time, and then he should push the clock.

3. Moves
A move is fixed once the clock has been pushed, not when the stone has been released. In other words, the player is allowed to alter their move even after releasing the stone. Its position must be clear, and the clock can only be pushed once the killed stones have been removed from the board. The player who has made the move must push the clock with the same hand with which he touched the stone last.

It is always allowed to pass. The pass should be announced clearly.
After this the player who has passed may push the clock with either hand.

4. Removal of Stones
Removal of more than one killed stones may happen in neutralized time. One killed stones must be removed in the time of the player killing them.

5. Repairing Illegal Positions
If a player notes that he made an illegal move before he has pushed the clock, and before his opponent has answered this illegal move, he must take it back immediately. After this he is allowed to make another move.
(Apologies should be made in the time of the offender). When the clock has been pushed already and the opponent notes that the move is illegal before he has answered it section 6 applies.

If an illegal move has been answered it counts as legal. This also applies to suicide moves. Stones that are found dead on the board should be removed in neutralized time. After this the game continues normally. The tournament director must be called when it isn’t clear whether a white or a black group should be removed. The director will try to determine which stones are dead. For this he may use witnesses. When no final conclusion can be reached this way he decides either to remove the most obvious group, to remove both groups, or to declare jigo.

6. Illegal Move with Pressing the Clock
If a move is illegal and the player who made this move has pushed the clock and his opponent has not yet answered it the opponent may take the following action.
1. Stating “illegal move”, “not allowed” or some such formula he restarts the clock of his opponent.
2. The player who made the illegal move has to remove this stone in his own time. Next he must pass after which he may push the clock again.
3. After this the game proceeds as usual.

It could be that the player who made the “illegal” move doesn’t agree with the claim of illegality (this can happen when the players disagree who may take a ko). In that case he neutralizes the clock and asks the director for arbitration. Note that abuse of this rule will result in time penalties for the offender

7. Perturbing the Board
If one of the players brings the position on the board in disarray he has to put the stones back in order in his own time. When the players disagree about the thus created position they can ask the director for a settlement in neutralized time.

8. Unclear Moves
If the position of a stone just placed on the board is unclear the opponent may restart the clock of the player who made this move, asking him to clarify the position of this stone in his own time. Abuse of this rule can lead to intervention of the director and time penalties.

9. Ending the Game
A game has been finished after one of the following conditions has been met.
1. One of the players resigns.
2. FOUR consecutive passes have occurred (two per player). This we call a natural ending. After this the clock should be neutralized (see point 10).
3. One of the players has used up all his time (indicated by the falling of the “flag”) and his opponent announces this. If both flags have fallen the player who first claims that his opponent exceeded his time limit is the victor. In case of doubt the result is a jigo.
4. The director declares one of the players victorious.

The players must agree about the outcome of the game. If this is not the case they must ask the director to intervene. While the director may consult, his decision remains final.

10. Counting
When the game has a natural ending counting is according to the normal rules. When the dame points are filled and one of the players “finds a point” it is for the finder. He will make the corresponding move and push the clock to allow his opponent to answer it. The game continues now until one of the four conditions concerning the ending of the game has been met again. This rule does not apply to the killing of stones that are put in atari during the filling of the dame points, unless the filling of the dame happens with the clock running and the game has not ended yet.

11. Uncountable Positions
If the result of a game cannot be counted because it has not been finished properly the following rules apply:
1. If both players have more than one minute thinking time left they continue play as if the 4 passes have not occurred. The player who passed first may move and his clock is restarted. If it isn’t clear who should move (the players may have forgotten it) the director should try to determine this. If this proves to be impossible he may either decide in favour of one of the players, have the game arbitrated, or have the game replayed.
2. If at least one of the players is in time trouble (less than one minute thinking time left) the director should be called. He should decide for one of the following actions:
i. Continue play as in point 11.1 above (only if there are very few moves left to be played).
ii. Add one or two minutes to the remaining time of each player.
Continue now as under point 11.1.
iii. Arbitrate the game or have it arbitrated. This should only be done if the result is rather obvious and the time left for each player is about equal.
iv. Declare the game jigo.

12. Spectators
Spectators (including players who have finished their rounds) need to be aware that they should not interfere to give advantage to either player. For instance, if both clocks have falled, the winner is the first person to notice this. If a spectator points this out, then the result will be declared jigo.

13. Remarks
It is neither illegal nor unethical to try to use the time trouble of one’s opponent to one’s advantage. A player who experiences time trouble is wise to protect his groups and his territory in such a way that they are tinker proof. With 12 minutes on the clock, players are reminded that a typical game will require moves to take no more than 5 seconds on average. In addition, players would do well to avoid falling behind on time, as this will give their opponents opportunities to affect the result by manipulating their time advantage.

14. Concluding remark
The director decides what action to take when these rules don’t apply.

Posted by Chris Welsh as at 12:51 PM, No Comments »