A cooperative Go variant for 3 or more players
Jun 12th 2021

Adventure Go is a cooperative non-competitive Go variant that can be played with 3 or more players.

Players are divided into two queues. One for Black. One for White.

On Black's turn, the player heading the Black queue plays a move for Black and moves to the end of the White queue.

On White's turn, the player heading the White queue plays a move for White and moves to the end of the Black queue.

As play continues, every player will make moves for both Black and White. No other rules are changed.

Table talk is discouraged. Players should come up with their own moves. Emoticon reactions are fine though :)

After-game reviews are highly encouraged.

How to Play on OGS

On OGS, normal games can only be played by 2 players.

Adventure Go is instead hosted by a single player on a Demo Board.

Players name their moves (A4, G14, etc) in chat. The host updates the board with the named moves.

Only the host may make moves on the Demo Board. Moves made by non-host participants are local only and create private variations not seen by other players or the host.

Note: Making private variations will prevent you from seeing the current board position. Either click the "Sync" button, or select the latest position from the main variation in the game tree.

The Spirit of Adventure

A widespread problem for new Go players is a crippling anxiety associated with actually playing the game against other humans. It's no surprise - Go is a very deep game. In a lot of ways, a player's Go is a mirror of themselves. It is easy to confuse the inadequacy of one's Go with a sense of one's own wider inadequacy. This leads to a lot of procrastination in playing which is no doubt the best way to get stronger at the game.

The nature of Adventure Go removes the competitive aspect of Go entirely. Instead, players collaborate by submitting the best moves they can muster to produce an interesting game progression which then becomes the subject of a post-game review.

In this way players don't struggle to out-compete each other but work together to explore the astronomically large space of possible games and pick one out to talk about. I think there's a real charm in that.

The Origins of Adventure Go

This ancient game is one of my favorite things in the whole world. Clocking in at over 2500 years old, it is older than even Chess. You might have heard about Go recently as it has been in the recently as for the first time professional players have been beaten by an AI (from Google subsidiary DeepMind no less.)

I will write in the future about why I am so enraptured by the game. But one of the effects of my love of the game is that I try to teach it to just about everyone I encounter. Some have heeded the call and I've taught a number of people the basics at this point. There are a number of ways to study and practice Go but as far as actually playing games, people are very timid I find. Adventure Go is a way to take off the pressure and enjoy the beauty of Go without worrying about comparative strength. Everyone should still try to find that competitive fighting spirit and play humans but for those that need a calm way to experience the game it might be worth a try!