Have you ever heard of the game Go? According to the American Go Association, Go is:
Go is a fascinating board game that originated in China more than 4,000 years ago. Also known as baduk, wei ch’i, weiqi, and igo, it is played today by millions of people, including thousands in the United States. In Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan, it is far more popular than chess is in the West, and professional players compete for large cash prizes. Its popularity in this country continues to grow, more than fifty years after the founding of the American Go Association.
It is said that the rules of go can be learned in minutes, but that it can take a lifetime to master the game. Click here for our Top Ten Reasons to Play Go. Click here to learn the rules, download computer opponents, and/or play an actual game online for free with a real person right now!
The rules couldn’t be simpler. Two players alternate in placing black and white stones on a large (19×19 line) ruled board, with the aim of surrounding territory. Stones never move, and are only removed from the board if they are completely surrounded. The game rewards patience and balance over aggression and greed; the balance of influence and territory may shift many times in the course of a game, and a strong player must be prepared to be flexible but resolute.
Like the Eastern martial arts, Go can teach concentration, balance, and discipline. Each person’s style of play reflects their personality, and can serve as a medium for self-reflection
Go combines beauty and intellectual challenge. “Good shape” is one of the highest compliments one can pay to a move in the game of go. In Asia, it is often played on a traditional, carved wooden board, with black and white stones made from slate and clamshell, but good affordable equipment is also available. In either case, the patterns formed by the black and white stones are visually striking and can exercise an almost hypnotic attraction as one “sees” more and more in the constantly evolving positions.
Would you be interested in learning how to or playing Go at the library? Unfortunately, I have no idea how to play, but the fun could be in us learning together. Let me know what you think!