Idiomdrottning’s homepage

Equalizer Baduk variant

Here’s a 3p variant for Go a.k.a. Baduk inspired by Ta Yü.


Players take turns saying a number or passing. You can’t say a number higher or the same as what’s already been said. It’s an action and who bids lowest is the equalizer.

The equalizer sits on black’s left side and white’s right. East, if black is north and white is south.


The equalizer can play stones of either color. They choose freely.


They win if the difference between scores is the same or less than the number they bid.

Handicap system

Don’t place handicap stones to adjust in this version. It’s up to the equalizer to play more stones for black if they so choose.

Instead, the handicap is the difference number. Instead of bidding: On a medium level, try making the strongest player the equalizer with a low difference number. If the equalizer is super strong, they’d still easily win, so in that case instead make a weaker player be the equalizer with a higher difference number.

Pros and cons

Normally in elegant go play you’re cool with winning by just a single point but here players are incentivized to fight wildly for huge swings.

Zebra variant

In the Zebra variant, the equalizer must alternate colors, starting with black, so there will be B, B(e), W, B, W(e), W, B, B(e), W, B, W(e) etc. BBWBWWBBWBWWBBWBWWBBWBW etc. The default non-zebra variant is called the Horse variant.

Situational superko

In AGA and New Zealand rules and other rule sets with situational superko: No player can leave the board in a state that same player has previously left it in. Positional superko is probably easier, but here you go!

(Here in Stockholm, we use Japanese/Korean rules with triple ko cycles no result games etc. I can’t even begin to figure out how they work.)