Go (baduk, Korean; wei qi, Chinese) is an ancient strategy game for 2 players who try to outwit each other by placing stones on a 19x19 board to simulate the capturing of territory. If stones of one color completely surround stones of another color, such that the surrounded stones have no liberties (adjacent open spaces), then the surrounded stones are captured by the attacker and removed from the board.
The game ends when both players pass, seeing no advantage to playing more stones. There are variations in scoring rules, but under the common Japanese scoring system points are awarded 1 for each open space of territory that a player surrounds, and 1 for each opponent's stone captured.
Go questions regarding any aspect of the game, at any level, are welcome. For specific positional questions, diagrams are extremely useful (see below). "Why" questions, strategy questions, rules questions, joseki and joseki-deviation questions, equipment questions, bring 'em all!
To avoid confusion with the common English word, references to the game of Go should always be capitalized.
$$ Diagram of a ko $$ --------- $$ ........- $$ ..XO....- $$ .XC1O...- $$ ..XO,...- $$ ........-
This site uses the same diagram symbols as Sensei's Library. Often the easiest way to start a diagram is by copying the markup from an existing one. This can be done by clicking the "edit" button on an existing question or answer (or this wiki), and then canceling the edit.