Pair Go Rules

Pair Go is a fun and interesting way to play Go

Pair Go is played by teams of two partners - a male and a female player - the "Mixed Doubles" of Go.

There is a special etiquette of Pair Go. This envolves avoiding unmannerly behaviour and attitude. The environment for the event should be pleasant and higher than the usual standard, as should the standard of dress (jacket and tie recommended for the men). In order to encourage good dress, a Best Dressed prize is often awarded at Pair Go events.

Rules of Play

The official rules of play are summarised below. Traditionally in Europe, normal handicaps are used (rounded down).

  • Partners sit side by side, men opposite men.
  • In even games the ladies nigiri, with 6 komi given to white.
  • Black lady plays first, followed by white lady, black man, white man, and so on.
  • In a handicap game Black lady places the handicap.
  • To calculate the handicap the difference between the two mean grades is used.
  • If there is a difference with a half the next higher handicap is given, if no half then 6 komi is given to black.
  • If there is an accidental rotation error a 3 point penalty is paid.
  • The rotation then continues as if the wrong move was played correctly by that player.
  • Conferring is not allowed, except to ask whose turn it is and whether you should resign.
  • Gesturing and otherwise try to indicate the next move is also forbidden.
  • Deliberate move order or conferring is an automatic loss.
  • White wins jigo.
Rule Book
The rules are also contained in a 52-page booklet in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean and Spanish.

Pair Go Book
A 138-page book in English, "Pair Go", contains a further description the rules, etiquette, opinions about Pair Go and some top sample games.
Hajin Lee exlpains the basic rules of pair go.