The Game of        Go                                      “Gentlemen                                      should not     ...
JAPAN         CHINA      KOREAGo has several names. The Chinese call itwei-chi, also spelled weiqi . In Korea it’sbaduk . ...
THE MOST POPULAR GAME      IN THE WORLD TODAYMillions of fans in Japan, China, KoreaTop players earn millionsInternatio...
THREE CLASSIC GAMES     BACKGAMMON: Man vs. fate     Element of chance     Risk/gambling (doubling     cube)    CHESS: M...
THE ULTIMATE MERITOCRACY“Go is the one game in which . . .everyone starts out equal, everyonebegins with an empty board an...
The traditional go board has a 19-linegrid. Beginners play on small 9 or 13-line boards.
Go boards are madeof wood. Thepiecesare called stones.The best stones aremadeof clamshell andslate,but glass stones areles...
Players take turns putting stones on the361 intersections made by the 19-linegrid. Black goes first. Nine handicappoints a...
Go players hold the stones between theirfirst and middle fingers, like chopsticks.They snap them down on the board with as...
The goal is to surround more points ofterritory than your opponent. Players maysurround and capture their opponent’sstones.
To be safe from capture, a group ofstones must have two eyes, meaning twoor more, separate empty intersectionsinside its w...
Players stake out the territory theywant,and then they fight and build walls tokeep it.
The game is over when neither playercan find anything else to do. Beginnersoften find it difficult to know when agame is o...
GO AND CHESS           A Comparison Larger board, more plays per game  (200-300 vs. 50-60)Strategic vs. tacticalSimpler...
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES                         CHESS                       GOOpening (Fuseki)   Control the center      Stak...
DEPTH OF COMPLEXITY     Árpád Élo     43 levels
COMPUTERS CAN’T PLAY!Go is so complex that the best programs   routinely lose to talented children. Computer programmers c...
HANDICAP: THE GREAT EQUALIZER Because the board is empty at the start of the game, the stronger player can give his oppone...
COMMERCIAL PROGRAMSStrongest ones are 6-8 kyuBest ones make studying fun -- problems, gamesRecord and study your own ga...
UNIVERSAL RANKING SYSTEMSimilar to martial arts, golfRank yourself by playing rankedopponentsAll serious players know t...
GO ETIQUETTEPlay to the opponent’s right hand“Thank you for teaching me”Prisoners in the lidCount the opponents territ...
GO ON THE INTERNETFREE!At least 1000 online any time of dayor nightAnonymous playRatings are 3-5 stones lower
FREE SOFTWAREIgowin -- http://www.smart-games.com/igowin.htmlHandtalk -- http://www.yutopian.com/go/GnuGo (open source)...
TIME CONTROLRegular time plus overtime(byo-yomi)Asian style: x periods of yseconds eachCanadian style: x stones in y
INTERNET GO SERVERThe original -- since 1991500+ participants online at alltimesMany strong playersSimulcast important...
KISEIDO GO SERVER400-1000 players of all levels at anytimeRoom-based environmentJava-based -- runs on everything
OTHER SERVERSYAHOO! GAMES: 250-500 players at a time,including lots of beginners and others who like toplay on a 9x9 boar...
ADVICE FOR BEGINNERSPlay quickly -- “lose 100 games”Play stronger opponentsAsk for commentsAvoid repetitive thinking -...
Go is at least 2000 years old, probably much older. Noone knows where it came from. Some people think the board and stones...
“When you and I                            discuss philosophy, it                            is as if we play go. If      ...
attributed to Kano Shoei (1519 - 1592) THE FOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTSDuring China’s “golden age” (the Tang and Songdynasties ca....
THE “MINISTER OF GO”Tokugawa Ieyesu, the first shogun, established four“houses” to study go and compete in annual “CastleG...
This fan from ca. 1800 shows two Chinese menplaying go while a young man looks on.
Go became acommon theme in19th century ukiyo-eprints. Here,Tadanobu, a famoussamurai, fights offhis enemies with ago board.
In this scene from The Tale of Genji, two womenreminisce about the brief relationships with the Princewhile playing go, an...
General KuanYu, the hero ofThe Romance ofthe ThreeKingdoms, playsgo while asurgeon attendshis battlewounds. Thisukiyo-e is...
Repelling demons while playing go. (1861)
Playing go with a demon (ca. 1835)
WITH GO MAKE FRIENDSThis scroll, commissioned by anAmerican traveler in Beijing’sTian’anmen Square, uses thetraditional Ch...
CHAIRMAN MAO ON GO“[War is] like a game of weiqi . . . Strongholds builtby the enemy and bases by us resemble moves todomi...
HENRY KISSINGER      ON GO“Chess has only two outcomes:draw and checkmate. Theobjective of the game . . . is totalvictory ...
CITICORP CEO                   JOHN REED ON GO“Competition . . . [is] about positioning yourselfwisely over time, not wipi...
THE WAY OF GO     Troy Andersen• Global Local• Owe Save• Slack Taut• Reverse Forward• Us Them• Lead Follow• Expand Focus
The Master of Go, Yasunari Kawabata’s poignantchronicle of this historic 1938 game between the lasthoninbo and a brilliant...
A BEAUTIFUL GAMERussell Crowe plays brilliant, unstable mathematicianJohn Nash in A Beautiful Mind, Oscar-winner for BestP...
Trevanian’s 1979best-sellerchronicles the life ofNicholai Hel,orphaned duringWW I and raised bya Japanese gomaster to beco...
The Go Masters, an epictale of an enduringfriendship between twogreat players -- oneChinese, the otherJapanese -- during W...
In Pi, a cult classic, a demented mathematician triesto find a formula for the universe, using a go board.
HIKARU NO GOIn this popular “coming-of-age” story, the ghost ofa famous player guides our hero to the pinnacle ofthe go wo...
GO IN AMERICAChinese immigrants probably played the firstgames in North America among themselveshere in the 1800’s.
Japanese professionals such as KaoruIwamoto 9-dan helped early US players,and The American Go Association wasformed in 193...
THE IWAMOTO CENTERMr. Iwamoto was in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.After seeing the results of first atomic bomb, he vowedto...
IT’S A BIG CHALLENGEThe number of possible go games hasbeen estimated at 10 761 ( OMNI , June1991 ), far more than the num...
RATINGEstimate basedS current performance               onTo get a rating? Play in a rated tournamentOnline ratings -- ...
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR RANK?Beginners start at +/- 30-35 kyuKadoban -- win three in a row = -1 rank>1 kyu = shodan (black...
WHAT ABOUT EVEN GAMES?Evenly matched players choose for color-- one takes a handful of stones, the otherguesses “odd” or ...
GO IN THE WESTERN WORLDDid not transfer to Western culture“Outside the box” -- non-WesternthoughtLacks a decisive endin...
Many books and websites want to helpyou learn about go.American Go Association -www.usgo.org
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The game of_go

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A guide of learning the Asian strategy board

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The game of_go

  1. 1. The Game of Go “Gentlemen should not waste their time on trivial games -- they should play go.” -- Confucius, The Analects ca. 500 B. C. E.Anton Ninno Roy Laird, Ph.D.antonninno@yahoo.com roylaird@gmail.com special thanks to Kiseido Publications
  2. 2. JAPAN CHINA KOREAGo has several names. The Chinese call itwei-chi, also spelled weiqi . In Korea it’sbaduk . Westerners generally use theJapanese word term i-go , or just go, becauseJapanese pioneers like Kaoru Iwamotosupported American go in the early days.
  3. 3. THE MOST POPULAR GAME IN THE WORLD TODAYMillions of fans in Japan, China, KoreaTop players earn millionsInternational tournaments pay up to $400K
  4. 4. THREE CLASSIC GAMES BACKGAMMON: Man vs. fate Element of chance Risk/gambling (doubling cube) CHESS: Man vs. man War paradigm “Perfect information” Attack -- Total victory GO: Man vs. self Open paradigm Share -- victory by one point “Personal best”
  5. 5. THE ULTIMATE MERITOCRACY“Go is the one game in which . . .everyone starts out equal, everyonebegins with an empty board and withno limitations, and what happensthereafter is . . . only the quality ofyour own mind.” -- William Pinckard, “Go and the Three Games “ in The Go Player’s Almanac
  6. 6. The traditional go board has a 19-linegrid. Beginners play on small 9 or 13-line boards.
  7. 7. Go boards are madeof wood. Thepiecesare called stones.The best stones aremadeof clamshell andslate,but glass stones areless expensive.Goodstones are usuallykept inwooden bowls. Thelids are used to holdany capturedstones.
  8. 8. Players take turns putting stones on the361 intersections made by the 19-linegrid. Black goes first. Nine handicappoints are used to balance players ofunequal skill. Each intersection is apoint of territory, and each capturedstone is also worth one point.
  9. 9. Go players hold the stones between theirfirst and middle fingers, like chopsticks.They snap them down on the board with asharp click.
  10. 10. The goal is to surround more points ofterritory than your opponent. Players maysurround and capture their opponent’sstones.
  11. 11. To be safe from capture, a group ofstones must have two eyes, meaning twoor more, separate empty intersectionsinside its walls.
  12. 12. Players stake out the territory theywant,and then they fight and build walls tokeep it.
  13. 13. The game is over when neither playercan find anything else to do. Beginnersoften find it difficult to know when agame is over. Each player rearranges theopponent’s territory to make counting
  14. 14. GO AND CHESS A Comparison Larger board, more plays per game (200-300 vs. 50-60)Strategic vs. tacticalSimpler rules; all pieces are equalBecomes more complex as pieces fill theboardBlends competition with other elementsWin by one point, not total destructionUniversal ranks -- any two can playNo stalemates or draws -- a winner everytime
  15. 15. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES CHESS GOOpening (Fuseki) Control the center Stake your claimMiddle (Chuban) Gain tactical, material Defend, dispute claims advantageEndgame (Yose) Close in for the kill Finish the details
  16. 16. DEPTH OF COMPLEXITY Árpád Élo 43 levels
  17. 17. COMPUTERS CAN’T PLAY!Go is so complex that the best programs routinely lose to talented children. Computer programmers call it “the last refuge of human intelligence.”
  18. 18. HANDICAP: THE GREAT EQUALIZER Because the board is empty at the start of the game, the stronger player can give his opponent a “head start” to even things out. Nearly any two opponents can play a game that either of them could win..
  19. 19. COMMERCIAL PROGRAMSStrongest ones are 6-8 kyuBest ones make studying fun -- problems, gamesRecord and study your own games
  20. 20. UNIVERSAL RANKING SYSTEMSimilar to martial arts, golfRank yourself by playing rankedopponentsAll serious players know their rankHonest players will lose half of theirgames
  21. 21. GO ETIQUETTEPlay to the opponent’s right hand“Thank you for teaching me”Prisoners in the lidCount the opponents territoryReturn your stones to the bowl
  22. 22. GO ON THE INTERNETFREE!At least 1000 online any time of dayor nightAnonymous playRatings are 3-5 stones lower
  23. 23. FREE SOFTWAREIgowin -- http://www.smart-games.com/igowin.htmlHandtalk -- http://www.yutopian.com/go/GnuGo (open source) --http://www.gnu.org/software/gnugo/gnugo.htmlGame collections --www.usgo.org/resources/internet.asp
  24. 24. TIME CONTROLRegular time plus overtime(byo-yomi)Asian style: x periods of yseconds eachCanadian style: x stones in y
  25. 25. INTERNET GO SERVERThe original -- since 1991500+ participants online at alltimesMany strong playersSimulcast importanttournamentsEveryone sees everyone
  26. 26. KISEIDO GO SERVER400-1000 players of all levels at anytimeRoom-based environmentJava-based -- runs on everything
  27. 27. OTHER SERVERSYAHOO! GAMES: 250-500 players at a time,including lots of beginners and others who like toplay on a 9x9 board.ASIAN SERVERS: Some sites in China, Korea andJapan are enabled -- to varying degrees -- in EnglishTURN-BASED SERVERS: Leave a message withyour next move instead of playing in “real time”Find them all at www.usgo.org/resources/servers.asp
  28. 28. ADVICE FOR BEGINNERSPlay quickly -- “lose 100 games”Play stronger opponentsAsk for commentsAvoid repetitive thinking -- just trysomethingKeep your stones connected -- separateWhite
  29. 29. Go is at least 2000 years old, probably much older. Noone knows where it came from. Some people think the board and stones were originally used to foretell the future, or as a calculator.
  30. 30. “When you and I discuss philosophy, it is as if we play go. If you do not answer, I will swallow you up.” -- Zen Master Hongzhi ca. 700 A.C.E.Painting with 17x17 board ca. 690 A.C.E.
  31. 31. attributed to Kano Shoei (1519 - 1592) THE FOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTSDuring China’s “golden age” (the Tang and Songdynasties ca. 700-1400 A.D.) the cultured personmastered four skills: painting, calligraphy, lute-playing and go.
  32. 32. THE “MINISTER OF GO”Tokugawa Ieyesu, the first shogun, established four“houses” to study go and compete in annual “CastleGames” of great national importance. Each year’swinner became the go-doroko (“Minister of go”),occupying a cabinet-level position in the government.
  33. 33. This fan from ca. 1800 shows two Chinese menplaying go while a young man looks on.
  34. 34. Go became acommon theme in19th century ukiyo-eprints. Here,Tadanobu, a famoussamurai, fights offhis enemies with ago board.
  35. 35. In this scene from The Tale of Genji, two womenreminisce about the brief relationships with the Princewhile playing go, and find peace.
  36. 36. General KuanYu, the hero ofThe Romance ofthe ThreeKingdoms, playsgo while asurgeon attendshis battlewounds. Thisukiyo-e is byKatsushika Oi,daughter of thegreat Japanesemaster Hokusai,
  37. 37. Repelling demons while playing go. (1861)
  38. 38. Playing go with a demon (ca. 1835)
  39. 39. WITH GO MAKE FRIENDSThis scroll, commissioned by anAmerican traveler in Beijing’sTian’anmen Square, uses thetraditional Chinese four-characterproverb format to say that whenfriends play go, their playingstrengths and their friendship bothget stronger.
  40. 40. CHAIRMAN MAO ON GO“[War is] like a game of weiqi . . . Strongholds builtby the enemy and bases by us resemble moves todominate spaces on the board.” -- Selected Military Writings
  41. 41. HENRY KISSINGER ON GO“Chess has only two outcomes:draw and checkmate. Theobjective of the game . . . is totalvictory or defeat – and the battleis conducted head-on, in thecenter of the board. The aim ofgo is relative advantage; thegame is played all over the board,and the objective is to increaseones options and reduce those ofthe adversary. The goal is lessvictory than persistent strategicprogress.” -- Newsweek, 11/8/04
  42. 42. CITICORP CEO JOHN REED ON GO“Competition . . . [is] about positioning yourselfwisely over time, not wiping the other guy out onspecific products. I approach competition like theChinese board game go. You see where the otherplayers have put their chips, and decide where toput your chips.” -- John Reed, Chairman, Citicorp Harvard Business Review December 1990
  43. 43. THE WAY OF GO Troy Andersen• Global Local• Owe Save• Slack Taut• Reverse Forward• Us Them• Lead Follow• Expand Focus
  44. 44. The Master of Go, Yasunari Kawabata’s poignantchronicle of this historic 1938 game between the lasthoninbo and a brilliant young upstart, won the NobelPrize for literature.
  45. 45. A BEAUTIFUL GAMERussell Crowe plays brilliant, unstable mathematicianJohn Nash in A Beautiful Mind, Oscar-winner for BestPicture of 2001. In real life, Nash is a charter memberof The American Go Association.
  46. 46. Trevanian’s 1979best-sellerchronicles the life ofNicholai Hel,orphaned duringWW I and raised bya Japanese gomaster to becomethe world’s mostaccomplishedassassin.
  47. 47. The Go Masters, an epictale of an enduringfriendship between twogreat players -- oneChinese, the otherJapanese -- during WorldWar II , brought Japaneseand Chinese film teamstogether for the first time.It achieved widepopularity but is notcurrently available.
  48. 48. In Pi, a cult classic, a demented mathematician triesto find a formula for the universe, using a go board.
  49. 49. HIKARU NO GOIn this popular “coming-of-age” story, the ghost ofa famous player guides our hero to the pinnacle ofthe go world -- or does he?
  50. 50. GO IN AMERICAChinese immigrants probably played the firstgames in North America among themselveshere in the 1800’s.
  51. 51. Japanese professionals such as KaoruIwamoto 9-dan helped early US players,and The American Go Association wasformed in 1937. Most major US cities havego clubs.
  52. 52. THE IWAMOTO CENTERMr. Iwamoto was in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.After seeing the results of first atomic bomb, he vowedto spread international peace and understandingthrough go. He established Go Centers in New York,Seattle, Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro.
  53. 53. IT’S A BIG CHALLENGEThe number of possible go games hasbeen estimated at 10 761 ( OMNI , June1991 ), far more than the number ofsubatomic particles in the knownuniverse.
  54. 54. RATINGEstimate basedS current performance onTo get a rating? Play in a rated tournamentOnline ratings -- 3-5 ranks lower
  55. 55. HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR RANK?Beginners start at +/- 30-35 kyuKadoban -- win three in a row = -1 rank>1 kyu = shodan (black belt, “newmaster”)7- dan is the highest official amateurrank, but some 7-dans arestronger than others
  56. 56. WHAT ABOUT EVEN GAMES?Evenly matched players choose for color-- one takes a handful of stones, the otherguesses “odd” or “even” by placing one ortwo stones on the board: the winner takesBlackBlack pays White 6.5 points komi for theprivilege of making the first move
  57. 57. GO IN THE WESTERN WORLDDid not transfer to Western culture“Outside the box” -- non-WesternthoughtLacks a decisive endingNo culture-specific spinoffs
  58. 58. Many books and websites want to helpyou learn about go.American Go Association -www.usgo.org
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