On May 28, 2009, in General, by Neil Stevens

Today I heard about a new game being promoted in Korea: Batoo.

It’s baduk on an 11×11 board with some changes:

  1. The game starts with each player playing three stones (his ‘base’). Both players play their stones without seeing where the opponent is playing his, with all six revealed at once, so I assume the stones must be on the same side of the board.
  2. Players then bid to play first. The player who bids more points plays first, with the second player getting that number of points as compensation.
  3. Play then alternates. The scoring is radically different. Playing a stone is a point. Playing a 3-3 point loses 5 points. Playing a 1-6 point gains 4 points. Every stone of yours captured loses you a point. Also, the game timing is similar to one stone byo-yomi with three periods, only if you run out of time in the current period the clock just stops until you make a play, plus you lose two points.
  4. Plus there are special moves you can make I think once a game. You may play a hidden stone that your opponent cannot see until he tries to play there, it gets captured, or he scans that point. Attempting to play on a hidden stone does not lose your turn. You may also ‘scan’ a point before you play, revealing a hidden stone if it’s there. I don’t know how many hidden stones or scans you get per game, I think it’s one of each.

Obviously the game is played by computer, otherwise the hidden stones wouldn’t work. The computers aren’t awkward because the general idea is to capture the spirit of high level Starcraft play in Korea and bring it to baduk, and apparently they have baduk pros on board.

Here’s a sample game. Crazy stuff.


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