The Game to Beat All Games


Saw the above news in The Star a couple of days ago and I find myself very much inspired.

“…{it is} something unearthly . . . If there are sentient beings on other planets, then they play Go.” – Emanuel Lasker, chess world champion.

Now, this quote is more arrogant :-)

“Those interested in impressing others with their intelligence play chess. Those who would settle for being chic play backgammon. Those who wish to become individuals of quality, take up Go.”

The Koreans are really good at Go (called “Weiqi” in Chinese and “Baduk” in Korean). They are currently in the number one seat in the world Weiqi listing and the intensity and devotion the Koreans have for the game is phenomenal. I witnessed this phenomenon when I was in Seoul some time back. Weiqi is everywhere. I go to Dong Dae Mun, I see hawkers watching Weiqi programs on TV. I take the MRT, people are reading the Weiqi section in the newspaper. I switch on the TV in my hotel room and I see Weiqi programs on TV 24 hours a day.

Weiqi is really a great game. I say that not because I play the game on an addictive level but I sincerely think so. I played international and Chinese chess before playing Weiqi and if my opinion can be trusted, I think Weiqi is a far more interesting game, both intellectually, psychologically, emotionally and artistically.

I also think that children will benefit greatly from learning this game. It helps them work through logic and at the same time, because the nature of the game requires it, to keep an eye on the big picture. The game encourages the kids to be creative, to look at things in more than one way and to have a global perspective for their actions. It is both a science and an art.

The highly respected magazine, Economist, featured the game a few months back and you can read the article here if you are interested.

There are several other sites that you can check out:

A very fun way to learn the game: The Nihon Ki-in website (Japan Go Association).

You can also check this document out: The Way to Go

More links and information: Go Resources Index on the Web

For news on Weiqi: Go4Go.net

And finally, to play the game, you can go to the online Weiqi servers. I recommend the Kiseido Go Server. Once you have registered, you can go to the Malaysia room. There are lots of people there especially at night.

If you wish to play real life, we play at the Japan Club every Saturday from 3.00pm to 8.00pm. Lots of people play there and there are a lot of people who is very willing to teach :)

If all fails and you are interested, you can always let me know. I am definitely very eager to tell you all I know about this brilliant game.

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