Smart Game Format

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The Smart Game Format (SGF) is a computer file format used for storing records of board games. Games currently supported are Amazons, Ataxx, Backgammon, Byte, Chase, Chess, DVONN, Exxit, Focus, Gess, GIPF, Go, Gobblet, Gomoku+Renju, Hex, Hive, Hnefatafl, Jungle, Kropki, Kuba, Lines of Action, Neutron, Nine Men's Morris, Octi, Philosopher's Football, Plateau, PÜNCT, Quadrature, Reversi (Othello), Sahara, Shogi, TAMSK, Tantrix, Trax, Tripples, Tumbling Down, TwixT, Xiangqi, YINSH and ZÈRTZ.

Go is the game that is most commonly represented in this format and is the default. SGF was originally created under a different name by Anders Kierulf for his SmartGO program.[1]

SGF uses a tree-based representation of the game to store information; the tree structure makes the addition of variations simple. It is also text-based instead of binary for the sake of portability.


  • Language: Go is most widely played in China, Japan, and Korea, but the SGF format has no way of specifying different translations for text.
  • Metadata: Only a limited, fixed set of metadata can be present, for example, SGF has rank fields, but no way to represent the ranking system in use.

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  1. ^

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