Capture Go

Playing Capture Go is an excellent way for beginners to learn about the tactical fundamentals of Go - the first player to capture a stone wins! It can be one of the first steps after learning the rules of Go, using some simplified rules shown here. It's really quick to finish a game.

There is an app for the iPad and iPhone at a cost of £1.49 called GoforKids which is purely for Capture Go (3 levels). If you can't find it in the App Store, you can find it via which also includes instructions! It is probably a good idea to read the instructions before using it anyway!

The app below is written in Java, so will not run on some platforms, such as the iPad/iPhone, and on others where Java is restricted, so (sadly) this may not work for you.

You will probably be asked if you want to accept the Java program and run it. To start, click on the play link below to open a new window.

Play Capture Go!

  1. Press "Start game" to start
  2. Click on the intersection you want to play.
  3. Press "Reset" to clear the board
  4. Check the game status on the right of the board

You can customize the board size, the type and strength of the computer opponent. You can even use this applet to play Capture Go with another human player.

There are two types of computer player:

  • Greedy - just static evaluation of the position, and the best move is chosen. Doesn't read ahead, so this is the weakest setting.
  • Alpha-Beta - reads ahead up to a given depth, then evaluates the position. Use the Settings button to customize the computer power by changing the reading depth (can be slow if it is more than 5, depending on what computer you are using) and the number of candidates to consider at each move. The bigger the number, the stronger (but slower) your Alpha-Beta computer opponent will be.

The Settings dialog pops up only for the Alpha-Beta computer player.

The Capture Go applet was written by Sorin Gherman

Last updated Thu Sep 21 2017. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.