My Weiqi/Go lessons site: http://mwagolessons.wordpress.com/
While the Baroque rules of chess could only have been created by humans, the rules of go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play go. – Emanuel Lasker, chess world champion
Go uses the most elemental materials and concepts — line and circle, wood and stone, black and white — combining them with simple rules to generate subtle strategies and complex tactics that stagger the imagination. – Iwamoto Kaoru, 9-dan professional Go player and former Honinbo title holder
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.
– Microcomputer Executive and an expert player, when asked to compare Go with other games
The above are the three very popular quotes used to describe what Go is. Maybe a little bombastic but I do believe that it is true. I have played Go for about 5 years now and this game of strategy totally intrigues me. I have played International Chess and Chinese Chess before but these two doesn’t even come close to Go, in my opinion. Over the 5 years (with about a 2 year break in between where I have stopped studying Go for various reasons), my skill level is okay, having represented Malaysia in international tournaments and coming soon, will be part of the Men’s team in the coming World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) which will be held in Beijing this coming October 08. The WMSG is part of the Olympic movement and this is the 1st one, with participation from all the top players in the world, both professional and amateur players.
What is Go?
Go is an ancient game that originated in China, with a definite history of over 3000 years, although there are historians who say that the game was invented more than 4000 years ago. Its name comes from the Japanese name Igo, which means “surrounding boardgame”.
In this game, each player tries to exert more influence on territory than her opponent, using threats of death, capture, or isolation. Although at heart an abstract strategy game, Go has variously been said to be a symbolic representation of war, colonization, settling a frontier, capturing market share, having a debate or a lively discussion in a specialized language, and probably many other concrete situations. Go has always been one of the most played games in the world. Worldwide competitions can make a top player a millionaire.
Some facts about Go:
* Go is the oldest game in the world still played in its original form. Some estimates are as high as 4000 years, but certainly 2500-3000.
* Go is the second most played game in the world, behind Xiangqi (Chinese Chess).
* Go is called Igo in Japan, Baduk in Korea, and Wei-qi in China.
* Top go players can earn nearly one million US dollars a year. 2004 tops was Cho U, 9p from Japan who won $1.04 million US.
* Go is simple enough for a 4 year old to learn, but too complex for a computer to beat a human who is a strong beginner.
* It is believed there are more possible game variations than atoms in the visible universe.
* Just like the Golf channel in the US; Japan, China, and Korea all have cable TV channels devoted entirely to Go.
* Go players take their game seriously. You can purchase what is basically a 42cm x 45cm x 18cm (17″x17″x7″) square block of wood for $127,000 US.
* Chess is primarily a left brain game. Go actively stimulates both the right and left sides of the brain.
To learn more about Go, here are the other websites available:
Some books that I can recommend:
Go: A Complete Introduction to the Game, by Cho Chikun.
The Second Book of Go, by Richard Bozulich.
Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go
Graded Go Problems for Beginners
You can buy the books online at the following shops:
Slate and Shell (www.slateandshell.com)
The above two are my favourite online Go book shops.
(1) Taken from the Sensei Library