The rules of go used at the World Mind Sports Games incorporate elements of all the world’s major rulesets, but its main feature is the new compensation rule. The compensation (komi) is 6.5 if Black passes first, but 7.5 if White passes first. With this scheme the Chinese counting method, which is used with Ing equipment, almost always gives the same result as Japanese and Korean rules with 6.5-point compensation. The scheme also has built-in accident insurance: overlooked dame will rarely change the outcome of the game. The result is that players from all countries can play in their accustomed manner without any major adjustments to their endgame strategy.
How is it working out? So far, one European player needed to be advised to fill the dame by alternate play (when in China do as the Chinese do), and almost no one actually goes through the official game ending procedure of two passes, made by placing a stone on the table beside the board and pressing the clock, but with lots of well-trained referees on hand to assist, it all seems to turn out correctly.
- James Davies