The International Rules of Renju

Decided by RIF 2nd of May 1996
with a little correction decided by RIF Central Committee 3rd of May 1998

Renju is played between two opponents on a board by making moves with black and white men called stones.

The board has 15 vertical and 15 horizontal lines with 225 intersections. Five of these intersections are reference points. The colour of the board must not be the same as the colour of any stones.


A combination of stones in the same colour, either situated on a diagonal, vertical, or horizontal line, which is limited by the edge of the board, the opponent stone or a free intersection, and where no opponent stones are situated among the own stones.

A row where between just any stones there is no free intersection.

An unbroken row with five stones.

An unbroken row consisting of six or more stones.

A row with four stones to which you can add one more stone to attain five in a row.

An unbroken row four stones ("four") to which you, in two different ways, can add one more stone to attain five in a row.

A row with three stones to which you, without at the same time a five in a row is made, can add one more stone to attain a straight four.

Putting a stone on an intersection, which at the same time makes more then one four that meet each other in this intersection.

Putting a stone on an intersection, which at the same time makes more then one three that meet each other in this intersection.

4.1 One of the players has at his disposal the black stones and the other player has white stones.
4.2 Both the players must alternately make one move each time. Black (the player with the black stones) begins the game by making a move in the middle of the board.
4.3 Black to play means that it is black's turn to move. White to play means that it is white's turn to move.

A move consists of either the putting of a stone on one of the intersections of the board or of the declaration by the player to play that he gives up his right to put a stone on the board (he passes).

The making of a move is considered to be ended when the player has released the stone. When a player passes the move is ended when he has declared that he passes.

The player to play has the right to adjust one or several stones on their intersections but before he adjusts the stones he has to inform his opponent.

If during a game one or several stones have become disarranged or if the stones are incorrectly remove or replaced the position must be reconstructed as it was before the mishap and after that the game will continue. If one of the player is responsible for the disarranged position and if the game cannot be reconstructed he will lose the game. If the position is disarranged and if the game cannot be reconstructed and if none of the players can be regarded as responsible for the disarranged position, the game is ungilty and a new must be played.

9.1 The winner of the game is the player who will be first to attain five in a row. For white is also overline counted as a win.
9.2 The game is won for white if black without at the same time attaining five in a row:
a) makes an overline;
b) makes a double-four;
c) makes a double-three (however there are some double-threes, which black are allowed to make, see 9.3);
9.3 A black double-three is allowed if at least one of the following conditions  a)   or  b) is/are fulfilled:
a) Not more than one of the three's can be made to a straight four when adding another stone in just any intersection, without at the same time an overline or double-four is attained in this intersection. To find out which double-three's, which are allowed, you must make the move, which causes the double-three, in your mind, and then continue trying to make straight fours, which are allowed, in your mind.
b) Not more than one of the three's can be made to a straight four when adding another stone in just any intersection, without at the same time at least two three's meet in this intersection and make a forbidden double-three. To find out if this last double-three is forbidden or not, you must at first examine if the double-three is allowed according to a) above, and then in your mind continue trying to make straight fours of the three's in your mind. If, when making a straight four in your mind, another double-three would be attained also these double-three's must be examined in the same way as it is described in this point 9.3, etc.
9.4 The game is won for the player who can prove that the time of the opponent has ended, or who can prove that the opponent has not made the stipulated number of moves within the stipulated time.
9.5 The game is won for the plyer, who's opponent gives up the game.
9.6 The player, who wants to win, always has to claim win and at the same time he has to stop both the clocks. To obtain win according to 9.1-9.4 the winning player's clapper has to be up when both the clocks have been stopped.
9.7 If black gets five in a row, but does not see his win and does not call attention to it, and if white makes a move and if black continues to play and if black makes a prohibited move according to 9.2, white is the winner of the game (if h
e calls attention to it) in spite of the fact that once has attained five in a row.
9.8 If black makes a forbidden double-three or a double-four, and white does not call attention to this and continues to play, white cannot afterwads claim the win with respect to this double-three or double-four. If black makes an overline and white does not call attention to this and continues to play, white still has the option to call attention to black's overline in a later phase of the game, so far as black player hasn't made five in a row and claimed the win, or the game has been finished in another way.

10. DRAW 

a) The game is draw
10.1 when all the intersection of the board are occupied;
10.2 by agreement between the both players;
10.3 when both the players (after each other) pass (refrain from making their moves);
10.4 when both the players time has ended.
b) An offer of draw according to 10.2 can only be made of a player at the same time as he makes his move. After that he has offered draw he starts the clock of his opponent. The opponent is able to accept or refuse the offer either orally or by making a move showing the refusal. In the meantime, the player who has made the offer has no right to cancel the offer.

Only the following 13 indirect and 13 direct patterns are possible to play.( It means that the second move and the third move must be played as in the below pictures. Two alternatives are possible for the second move and after the second move 13 alternatives are possible for the third move.)


12.1 In starting the game a tentative Black and a tentative White are decided between the two players.
12.2-4.The tentative Black plays all the first three moves (two moves for black and one move for white i.e. he decides which of the 26 patterns that will be used.)

The rule 12.2-4 is a new rule decided by the General Assembly on the 2nd of May 1996.

12.5 The tentative White decides which of the players that will play as Black and as White in the game (White has the right to change sides).
12.6 The now decided player beeing White makes the 4th move in a optional unoccupied intersection.
12.7 BLACK'S CHOICE Black (the player with the black stones) has to make two different proposals for 5th stone. The proposals have to be unequal in all respects White has the right to choose one of the two proposals from Black to become the 5th move of the game. The time for Black goes till he has given two correct proposals. For White the time goes till he has accepted one of the proposals and till he has made the 6th move which can be made in any unoccupied intersection.
12.8 With the 5th move the special opening rules for the moves are ended.

12.9 It is not allowed to pass within the first three moves.

13.1 During the game both players are guilty to record the game (both the moves of his own and of the opponent) move by move in a legible way on a record decided by the organizer of the competition.
13.2 If a player has only five minutes or less left of his time, he does not need to fulfil the duty prescribed in 13.1, but he has to complete his record as soon as the lack of the time is over if it is possible.

14.1 During a certain time both players have to make a certain number of moves.
14.2 The control of the time for the player is made with help of a special clock for this purpose.
14.3 At the time when the game begins Black's clock will be started. Henceforth after making a move each player has to stop his own clock with the same hand as he used for making the move. At the same time as he stops his own clock he has to start the opponents clock. The stop of his own clock and the start of the opponents clock must regularly be made immediately not to disturb the opponents making of moves. This rule does not prevent a player to forget to stop the clock and his opponent does not have to point out if he notices the forgotten stop.
14.4 When it is time to decide if the stipulated number of moves have been made within the time stipulated, the last move is considered not to be made untill the player has stopped his clock.
14.5 The time registered by the clock is considered as decisive unless obvious defects exist. A player who wants to points defects of the clocks has to do this immediately.
14.6 If the game has to be interrupted by a reason, not caused by any of the players, the clocks must be stopped till the matter is solved.
14.7 The player must not decide theirselves to stop their clocks without immediately to send for the organizer of the competiton.
14.8 It is not allowed for anyone else then the players in a game including the organizer of a competition to point out that the time is out for a player or that a player has forgotten to stop his clock.
14.9 It is allowed for the organizer of a competition to use "TIME REFEREES". If TIME REFEREES are used, the TIME REFEREES control the time and 14.8 is not valid. If TIME REFEREES are used the organizer has to see to it that all games can get a TIME REFEREE when it is needed. When 5 minutes are left of a time stipulated in a game, the players immediately have to send for a TIME REFEREE.

When the games have to start all the clocks must be started on the request of the organizer of the competition. If both players are absent one clock will be started. The time of this clock runs for both players.

When the game has started, it is prohibited for the players to use written or printed documents or to analyse the game on another renju board.
When games are going on or when one or several games are interrupted, no analyse is allowed in the room or rooms for play.
It is not allowed to distract or disturb the opponent in anyway.
The player has to follow the rules stipulated for the competition.
Transgression against above mentioned rules of behaviour can lead to punishment and loss of a game.

To lead and organize the competition, an organizer has to be appointed. The tasks of the organizer are:
17.1 to control that the valid rules are carefully used;
17.2 to judge in all disputs that may occur during the competition;
17.3 to control that good circumstances are presented during the competition;
17.4 to control that the players are not disturbed by each other or by spectators;
17.5 to punish players who does not follow the rules;
17.6 to decide the order when interrupted games have to start again;

These rules can only be changed after a decision made by the General Assembly of the Renju International Federation.