RULESETS APPLICABLE TO ALL TOURNAMENTS
These are the general tournament rules of the European Go Federation
(EGF) and are used in the tournaments of the EGF. The following
These General Tournament Rules.
The Tournament System Rules of the EGF.
The event's own Particular Tournament Rules specifying details or
to the General Tournament Rules.
One of the following rules of play:
Area Scoring with Ing playing material
Ing Rules with 8 komi for even games and Ing fill-in counting.
Black wins ties.
- Area Scoring with Japanese playing material
Ing Rules with 7.5 komi for even games and Japanese fill-in
counting. When passing, a player gives one stone to the opponent as a
White makes the last pass to end the alternation.
- Territory Scoring
Verbal European-Japanese Rules with 6.5 komi for even games and
fill-in counting. White wins ties in handicap games with integer komi.
Arbitration decides interpretation disagreements.
- Rules of play - default versus variation
The stated rules of play and their parameters are the default. A
Particular Tournament Rules, specialized tournaments, or lower boards
use handicaps or different rules of play or komi.
- Particular tournament rules
A tournament's Particular Tournament Rules declare whether Area Scoring
or Territory Scoring is used, the actually used tournament system, the
time limits, the registration procedure, interpretation of ranks, usage
of forms, handicap stone placement, and any other specific tournament
In this text, "tournament" refers to either a single tournament, a
tournament that is part of a series of tournaments, a match, or a
or match that is part of a greater event like the European Go Congress.
The rulesets apply to every tournament or event under the EGF's
Order of priority
The following list orders rulesets and other criteria, starting with
the highest, overriding priority:
changes to a ruleset made by the EGF (in order: EGF annual general
EGF committee, EGF rules commission, the tournament's tournament
these General Tournament Rules of the EGF
the Tournament System Rules of the EGF
the tournament's Particular Tournament Rules
the Rules of Play
filling of gaps in the rulesets, declared by the EGF (in order: EGF
as above, the event's, the tournament's organization)
the predominating view of earlier arbitration decisions, especially of
the players' intentions
These General Tournament Rules may be used also in non-EGF tournaments.
In this case, Particular Tournament Rules are set by the organisation
charge of the tournament, precede these General Tournament Rules in the
order of priority, or might use other rules of play.
The following rules apply to the progress of the game:
A move is either a play or a pass.
- Making a move
A stone is played quickly as near as possible to its intended
Once the stone touches the board, there should be minimal physical
required to place the stone on its intended intersection, and then it
be released straightaway. Once the stone is played, any removal of the
opponent's stones is carried out.
A move is completed by pressing the clock with the same
hand that played
the move. Once the clock is pressed, the hand used must promptly be
from the clock.
Prisoners and overtime stones must remain clearly visible to the
at all times, even if Area Scoring is used.
All moves, including dame and teire, must be played in alternation
with the clock running.
A player may resign the game by clearly saying "I resign", or by
two stones simultaneously on the board.
Komi is added during scoring.
If nigiri is used, the older player takes an unseen number of white
stones from the bowl. The opponent takes one or two black stones from
bowl to guess the parity, and the white stones are then revealed. If
parity is correctly guessed, the opponent takes black, otherwise the
player takes black.
PLAYER AND SPECTATOR BEHAVIOUR
The following rules govern the behaviour of players and spectators:
Rules common to players and spectators
- Tournament rules and officials
All persons must abide by the rules of the tournament and the
of the tournament officials.
All persons in or near a playing room must be quiet. Mobile phones
must be switched off.
- Top groups
By default, players in the top groups of a tournament must play all
rounds. In a McMahon tournament the top groups include any supergroups,
the group above the bar, and the group just below the bar. A player
in a top group may skip a round only in exceptional circumstances like
a serious a medical problem proven by a doctor's certificate or a
Other players must abide by the procedure published for
in order to skip any rounds.
Players are sanctioned for skipping rounds unduly.
Application of the rules takes priority, but if even after careful
consideration they turn out to be insufficient, then the players'
should still express a spirit of mutual respect and fairness while each
player seriously strives for winning his games.
A player may not disturb others by making noise with stones, commenting
on moves, improper making of moves, bad body language, nor placing
items on the table.
- Study aids
During their game or its adjournment, players may not study the game
on another board or use any material or machines for study
Players may not seek advice from third parties, but may consult
If a recording medium of any kind is used, the move must be completed
before it is recorded.
Spectators must not influence a game by any means including audible
comments, body language, or touching any part of the playing equipment.
Spectators must not crowd too closely around a game in progress.
If a spectator notices an infringement of the rules, then the matter
can be brought to the attention of a referee, but on no account should
the spectator inform the players directly.
This section lists the rules covering common irregularities. Any
not listed here must be discussed with the referee.
Colour or handicap error
If players start a game with the wrong colour or handicap, and this
is noticed before the third move is completed, then the game must be
If the error is noticed later, then the game continues and the pairing
is modified to reflect the actual colours or handicap used.
- Ambiguous stone placement
If the position of a stone just played is unclear, then a player may
request that the opponent positions the stone unambiguously.
- Illegal move
If a player makes an illegal move, and if this
is noticed within three moves, then the game should be
the move just before the illegal move, and continued. The referee may
an adjustment of the time.
- Position disturbance
If the position is disturbed accidently, or if a position was recorded
incorrectly during an adjournment, and the players cannot simply
it, then the referee can apply the following procedures, in order:
- correct the position.
continue with the position as is.
unwind the game to a previous agreed position.
award a loss to the player who disturbed the position.
cancel the game and start afresh with possibly reduced time limits.
A player persistently breaking the rules with irregular play is
to hinder the opponent, and may be sanctioned by the referee.
- Timing error
Players may agree to reset an incorrectly set clock before the game
has started. They may not, however, restart a correctly running clock
by an official.
Once the game has started, any apparent non-trivial
mistakes in the
recorded elapsed time can only be corrected by the referee.
A clock found to be malfunctioning is replaced and set by
If an analogue clock does not show a time excess immediately, then this
is replaced by interpreting what should have been the clock's correct
Management of time is governed by the following rules:
The referee may decide on which side of the board the clock is placed.
If no decision is required, then White, else Black may choose where to
place the clock.
At a time determined by the tournament director, Black's
clock is started
by the referee or by the players themselves. In special circumstances,
the referee may start clocks on some boards at a different time.
If a player is late 60 minutes or more, he loses his game.
- Canadian overtime
By default, the Canadian Overtime system is used when a player's main
time has expired - the player has to complete a given number of moves
a specified period of time set on the clock. When all the moves have
made, the clock is reset for the next overtime period.
At the start of each overtime period, the required number
stones are taken from the bowl and placed on the table clearly visible
to the opponent. During this process, the opponent resets the clock if
this needs to be done manually.
A player in overtime uses the overtime stones for each
play, and not
stones from the bowl. A pass consists of returning an overtime stone to
the bowl and then pressing the clock.
- Other overtime systems
Where Japanese Byoyomi is used together with a timekeeper, a timepiece
is set to the byoyomi time. The timekeeper counts down the last 10
and a move must be completed within the byoyomi time period.
Where Japanese Byoyomi is used together with a digital
clock, a move
must be completed within the byoyomi time period.
In Ing Overtime, each player may buy up to three overtime
length of each is 1/6 the basic time. Entering each costs another 2
Exceeding the third overtime period loses the game on time.
Finite thinking time does not use any overtime.
- Loss on time
If there is no overtime, a player loses on time if the current move
is not completed before the basic time expires. If there is overtime,
player loses on time if not all of the given number of overtime stones
are played in the prescribed overtime period.
The timing procedure for removing three or more stones in
The timing procedure for two successive passes at the end of a game
is as follows:
A player places the stone.
The clock is now neutralised.
According to the rules of play, the stones without liberty are removed.
The player starts the opponent's clock.
A player passes and completes the move by pressing the clock. It is
for the player to lose on time if the clock is not pressed.
The opponent passes and completes the move by pressing the clock. Again
it is possible for the opponent to lose on time if the clock is not
The clock is now neutralised.
Finite thinking time under Territory Scoring
The following applies under Territory Scoring. It is not compatible
with the Ing Overtime System.
The alternation consists of the competitive phase followed
by the neutral
phase. During the competitive phase, one or both players moving next
make a play to improve the score or to fill a basic endgame ko. During
the neutral phase, neither player can do so because only dame and
if any, are left.
If the first two successive passes occur prematurely
during the competitive
phase, then the clock is neutralised, each player's time is set to
1 minute, and the clock is restarted for resumed alternation.
Until two successive passes during the neutral phase,
every legal play
is considered sportsmanlike.
During the neutral phase, a player has to pass if his
opponent has just
passed. Then on neutralised time, more dame and teire may be filled
in continued alternation.
- Clock neutralisation
The clock may be neutralised, with both player's timepieces being
simulaneously, in the following circumstances:
- By the players, after successive passes, at the start
of each status assesment
phase that is not a continuation or resumption of a game's major
By the players at the start of the counting procedure.
By the players, to reset the clock or count overtime stones for the
By a player to visit the toilet shortly before or during overtime.
a player may not abuse this right.
By a player - after having placed one's stone - to remove three or more
stones without liberty while in overtime or playing under finite
By the players to deal with a clock malfunction themselves, or to call
the referee to deal with the clock. The players may not increase their
By a player at the start of a formal adjournment.
By a player to fetch a sealing form for an adjournment.
By a player to complete a sealing form.
By a player to call an absent referee after informing the opponent.
By the referee at the start of arbitration or rule clarification.
During an urgent announcement on behalf of the tournament director.
In some tournaments, a game may be adjourned. Following are the rules
governing adjournment where required:
At the start of the tournament,.the tournament director publishes a
list of possible times for adjournment and its maximal duration. At the
beginning of a move, a player may adjourn a game by stating that the
is to be sealed. A referee may supervise the process.
- Sealing a move
The player may "seal" the move by playing the move and neutralising
the clock, or the player may fill in a sealing form. If a sealing form
is used, then the procedure to be followed is:
- The opponent should begin filling in the form while the
player is thinking
about the move to seal.
Once the player has decided on the move, the clock is neutralised.
The players then promptly complete the sealing form data.
Without delay, the player clearly marks the move on the form so that
opponent cannot see its location.
The player seals the form in an envelope.
The players record the board number, pairing, and time of resumption on
Both players depart from the room, depositing the envelope as required
by the tournament organizers.
At the time of resumption, the players enter their playing room, use
1 minute to verify the position and times, execute the sealing move if
a sealing form is used, and start the opponent's clock.
The arbitration procedure used to resolve disputes has three levels
of operation: the referee, the appeals committee, and the EGF rules
A player with a dispute refers the matter to the referee in the first
The dispute may then be referred to the next level up if either player
is not satisfied with the judgement or its reasoning. The next level
reject to resume a case if it considers the preceding instance's
and reasoning obviously right and just.
Every effort must be made to discuss and resolve the
dispute in a separate
room, or at least away from players still busy with their games.
Decision making considers the involved persons' point of
may be called.
Any decision made regarding a dispute at any level must be
in clear language and carefully justified.
Decisions are made impartially. In particular, no attempt
made to use positional judgement in reaching a decision, although also
the scoring rules are to be applied correctly.
In any particular dispute, a player may not also be a
member of the
body discussing the dispute. No person can be involved as an arbiter at
more than one level in the same dispute.
Referees are required to abide
by the following
The function of the referee is to inform players about the
for the tournament, to apply the rules, and to enforce them.
Players can ask to be shown the rules or be explained a
and in the first instance a referee attempts to mediate or to simply
the rules. If this resolves the dispute, no judgement is made and the
- Player responsibility
In the event of a dispute, the player has the following
A player should call the referee as soon as possible, and may not delay
in order to gain a favourable decision.
If the referee decides that the game in dispute should
resume, but the
player still wants to appeal, then the player must inform the referee
the opponent that the game is played under protest. When signing a
form, the player must state that the game was played under protest.
to do so means that the player gives up the right to appeal.
- Appeals committee
If a player in dispute disagrees with a referee's decision, the the
matter can be referred to the appeals committee.
The appeals committee is formed of three persons before
the start of
the first round and includes reserves. If there are fewer than three at
the time of a dispute, then other players must be co-opted to the
to make up the number. If a committee cannot be formed, then a game in
dispute may be adjourned.
cannot meet in time before the
tournament's next round, then only the present member or members of the
appeals committee arbitrate. For only the purpose of making a next
pairings, the appeals committee's decision is final.
- EGF rules commission
If a player in dispute disagrees with the decision of the appeals
the matter must be referred to the EGF rules commission for
after the end of the tournament.
If the dispute affects titles or prizes, the tournament
declare winners or present prizes until the EGF rules commission has
a final judgement on the matter.
A player's or spectator's rules violations may incur a sanction. A
sanction is a last resort, and referees are required to carefully
whether the fault lies in a weakness of the tournament organisation,
in the rules, or in the player or spectator concerned. Therefore
must be very cautious before imposing judgements of cheating or
behaviour. Once a sanction is deemed appropriate, it can be one of the
The referee states what the correct behaviour or rule is. Thereafter
players and spectators are required to respect the advice.
A referee may issue a warning to either or both players. If a player
receives two warnings in the same game, then the referee imposes the
- Game Forfeit
The referee declares one or both players to lose the game by forfeit.
- Other sanctions
Sanctions of varying severity include: modification of time limits,
removal from rounds, removal from the tournament, debarred from a
in a future tournament, reduced qualification points.
The following guidelines and rules describe the general roles of
about bodies and their mutual relations
The EGF requests a tournament and delegates its
to a national association or directly to the other officials being the
- If the EGF has delegated a tournament to a national
then it in turn delegates the organization to local officials for the
and encourages the local organization to run the tournament well.
- If a greater event including several tournaments is
held, then this is
coordinated by the event director and his assisting
They delegate organization of every particular tournament to its
director. The event director executes the rights as a householder at
tournament site, subject to the rights of the site's owner and unless
delegates the task.
- The tournament director is the head
of local organization of the
tournament. Tournament organizers assist him. The drawmaster,
who might coincide with the tournament director, manages the pairings.
- The referees enforce the rules and
judge disputes. They might also
act as tournament organizers. At least one of the referees must be an
- The EGF committee or the EGF rules commission may
supervisors to a tournament, which then supervise the other
and perform some special key organization tasks like formation of a
or verification of the final result list.
Guidelines of organization
The officials organize registration, playing site, furniture, and
material of acceptable quality.
- Throughout the tournament's progress, the officials
assign the players
to the boards and ensure good playing conditions like light levels,
noise levels, availability of pairing lists, current result lists,
material and forms, etc. If an official records a game, this should not
disturb the players.
- The officials ensure the rounds' start on time. Round 1
- The officials publish all valid rulesets clearly and
show them to a player
- The officials make the pairings, announce the results,
and submit them
to the EGF ratings commission.
The event director, the event organizers, the tournament director, and
the tournament organizers abide by any tournament-related higher advice
about application of rules or consequences of arbitration stated by an
EGF body, the tournament supervisors, the appeals commitee, or the
In case of inappropriate tournament organization, the EGF rules
may propose to the EGF committee sanctions on officials or the national
association having held a tournament.
The status of the current and previous EGF rulesets is:
- These EGF General Tournament Rules become valid from
- These EGF General Tournament Rules replace the Tournament
Rules of the
European Go Federation, the EGF Fujitsu Grand-Prix Regulations, and the
EGF Guidelines Fujitsu Grand-Prix Tournaments of August 1997.
- Every tournament or event shall receive its own
Particular Tournament Rules.