EGF GENERAL TOURNAMENT RULES
These are the general tournament rules of the European Go Federation (EGF) and are used in the tournaments of the EGF. The following rulesets apply:
Ing Rules with 8 komi for even games and Ing fill-in counting. Black wins ties.
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 prisoner. White makes the last pass to end the alternation.
Verbal European-Japanese Rules with 6.5 komi for even games and Japanese fill-in counting. White wins ties in handicap games with integer komi. Arbitration decides interpretation disagreements.
The stated rules of play and their parameters are the default. A tournament's Particular Tournament Rules, specialized tournaments, or lower boards might use handicaps or different rules of play or komi.
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 conditions.
In this text, "tournament" refers to either a single tournament, a tournament that is part of a series of tournaments, a match, or a tournament 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 auspices.
The following list orders rulesets and other criteria, starting with the highest, overriding priority:
These General Tournament Rules may be used also in non-EGF tournaments. In this case, Particular Tournament Rules are set by the organisation in 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.
A stone is played quickly as near as possible to its intended intersection. Once the stone touches the board, there should be minimal physical movement required to place the stone on its intended intersection, and then it should 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 opponent 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 placing 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 the bowl to guess the parity, and the white stones are then revealed. If the parity is correctly guessed, the opponent takes black, otherwise the older player takes black.
The following rules govern the behaviour of players and spectators:
All persons must abide by the rules of the tournament and the requirements of the tournament officials.
All persons in or near a playing room must be quiet. Mobile phones must be switched off.
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 starting 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 family member's decease.
Other players must abide by the procedure published for the tournament 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' behaviour 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 distracting items on the table.
During their game or its adjournment, players may not study the game on another board or use any material or machines for study purposes. Players may not seek advice from third parties, but may consult referees regarding rules.
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 situations not listed here must be discussed with the referee.
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 restarted. If the error is noticed later, then the game continues and the pairing is modified to reflect the actual colours or handicap used.
If the position of a stone just played is unclear, then a player may request that the opponent positions the stone unambiguously.
If a player makes an illegal move, and if this is noticed within three moves, then the game should be unwound to the move just before the illegal move, and continued. The referee may allow an adjustment of the time.
If the position is disturbed accidently, or if a position was recorded incorrectly during an adjournment, and the players cannot simply correct it, then the referee can apply the following procedures, in order:
A player persistently breaking the rules with irregular play is considered to hinder the opponent, and may be sanctioned by the referee.
Players may agree to reset an incorrectly set clock before the game has started. They may not, however, restart a correctly running clock started 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 either 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.
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 in a specified period of time set on the clock. When all the moves have been made, the clock is reset for the next overtime period.
At the start of each overtime period, the required number of overtime 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.
Where Japanese Byoyomi is used together with a timekeeper, a timepiece is set to the byoyomi time. The timekeeper counts down the last 10 seconds, 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 periods. The length of each is 1/6 the basic time. Entering each costs another 2 points. Exceeding the third overtime period loses the game on time.
Finite thinking time does not use any overtime.
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, the 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 neutralised time is:
The timing procedure for two successive passes at the end of a game is as follows:
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 can 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 teire, 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 exactly 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.
The clock may be neutralised, with both player's timepieces being stopped simulaneously, in the following circumstances:
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 move is to be sealed. A referee may supervise the process.
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:
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 commission. A player with a dispute refers the matter to the referee in the first instance. 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 may reject to resume a case if it considers the preceding instance's judgement 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 views. Witnesses may be called.
Any decision made regarding a dispute at any level must be explained in clear language and carefully justified.
Decisions are made impartially. In particular, no attempt should be 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 rules:
The function of the referee is to inform players about the rules valid 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
In the event of a dispute, the player has the following responsibilities:
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.
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 committee 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.
If a player in dispute disagrees with the decision of the appeals committee, the matter must be referred to the EGF rules commission for consideration after the end of the tournament. If the dispute affects titles or prizes, the tournament director cannot declare winners or present prizes until the EGF rules commission has given 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 consider whether the fault lies in a weakness of the tournament organisation, obscurity in the rules, or in the player or spectator concerned. Therefore referees must be very cautious before imposing judgements of cheating or unsportmanlike behaviour. Once a sanction is deemed appropriate, it can be one of the following:
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 sanction.
The referee declares one or both players to lose the game by forfeit.
Sanctions of varying severity include: modification of time limits, removal from rounds, removal from the tournament, debarred from a supergroup in a future tournament, reduced qualification points.
The following guidelines and rules describe the general roles of officials.
The status of the current and previous EGF rulesets is: