(Weizi, Baduk) is a table logic game played on the board, which consists of 19 vertical and 19 horizontal lines. In this strategic amusement, somewhat reminiscent of all known checkers, two players participate, having at their disposal 180 stones placed on the board during the game. The goal of the game is to encircle the enemy’s stones while gaining as much territory as possible. It is about this fun there is a saying: “Renju is the occupation of commoners, chess is the lot of warriors, go is the game of the Gods”.

Some historians say that they came up with the mathematicians of Central Asia around the 3rd millennium BC, from India it came to China. In China itself they hold a slightly different opinion. According to some legends, the honor of inventing the invention belongs to the first rulers of the Celestial Yao and Shunu (XXVI-XXIII centuries BC). Other sources say that this game was invented by Prince By (who is also considered the author of hieroglyphic writing and playing cards). According to researchers, the most fully reflects the cosmology of the ancient Chinese, who saw in everything the confrontation between the two principles (yin and yang).

In China, this popular amusement was called “Veytsy” (in translation from Chinese “wei” – “surround”, “bind”, “ts” – “wooden chips”, “root”, “base”). There is one more, philosophical version of the translation of the term “Weitz” – “world order”, “linking the world.” Somewhat later (around the middle of the first millennium AD), the game got to Japan, where it was somewhat modified and received a different name – Go or Yi-Guo (translated from Japanese and “surround”, “go” – ” shell “,” stone “), as well as syudan -” sign language “. There is another name for this game – Baduk (translated from Korean – “grid”).


In Europe, the game go hit not so long ago – at the end of the XIX century, and for a while it was called “round checkers”, but this name, as not reflecting the essence of this game, was abolished. The first teaching aid on the game of Go, written by the German engineer Corchelt, was published in 1908. The ex-world chess champion Emmanuel Lasker, as well as well-known chess player Edward Lasker, who created a club of lovers and wrote a book “Go and Go-Moku”, made a lot of efforts to spread the go in Europe. It is he who is considered the founder of the American go. After the Second World War, go develops in Europe quite actively – there are clubs of fans of this game, national associations in many countries. In 1956 the European Federation of Go (now unifying federations of 22 countries) is being created, since 1957 annual European championships have been held. In 1979, for the first time, a personal amateur world championship was held, in 1982 the International Federation of Go was formed.

As in many other board games, three stages are distinguished in go:

The initial stage (fusaki)

– at this stage, the players, placing the most important first stones on the board, differentiate the spheres of influence. Traditionally, rivals are first fixed in the corners, spread their influence to the sides and only then move to the center of the board. Of great importance at this stage is intuition and the ability to “feel position and direction,” that is, to perceive holistically the whole picture of the arrangement of stones on the hoban and to anticipate how this or that move will affect the game in the future.

Mid game (tyuban)

– the battle is most often in the center of the board. Players try to keep their control zones, while trying to capture the territory and stones of the enemy. The progress of this stage of the game is more predictable and in many respects depends on how fusaki was played.

Final stage (yose)

– players finish the design of the territory, they try to earn as many points as possible. At this stage, the most accurate calculation is most important. It is considered that the true skill of the player is most clearly manifested in the eSe.

There are several options for playing Go:


is a simplified version, used most often for teaching young children. It is conducted on a board of 9×9 lines.


is a team game played on one board. Each side is played by several players, making moves in turn. Variety – pair go (the team consists of two people).

Game in one color

– both players play stones of the same color, while they must remember to whom the stones belonged.

The game blindly

– players (or one of them) lead the game without looking at the board.

The qualification system of the game was adopted almost a thousand years ago.

In Japan in the VIII century, this game was equated to exercises on musical instruments, and commoners had the right to play only on non-planed boards, using a simple pebble. Further, for 300 years only representatives of the imperial court could play in the game, therefore, there could be no question of any qualifying levels. In the XII century, the game spread throughout the country and became available to all segments of the population, and for a high level of skill, you could receive a monetary reward, title or promotion. But only in 1603, when the State Academy of Go was officially established, headed by Honinbo Sansya, a qualification system was adopted, according to which the player receives a certain category – dan (from the lowest first to the ninth). The strongest player of the country is awarded the title of “meijin” (in translation from the Japanese “virtuoso”, “master”, “elected”), and over the past 300 years of this title was awarded only 9 people.

The main thing in go, like in any game – victory.

It should be noted that the Chinese treated this game as a special philosophy, and the Japanese considered it to be one of the arts. The classical theory of play of that time provided for the principle of assessing the aesthetics of a position composed of harmoniously arranged stones. One of the commandments of the Go says: “Do not strive to win, but strive to play a beautiful game.” The professional was obliged to play “beautifully” – after all “katachi” (“beautiful forms”), as it turned out, are the most effective in this game.


The go-to field has a 19×19 line layout.

Indeed, the standard goban (board) is a rectangular field, delineated precisely by the above number of vertical and horizontal lines. However, for short informal games, training, etc. can use boards of smaller sizes, more often 9х9 or 13х13, less often – 11х11, 15х15, 17х17 lines. In addition, on some Internet servers, players are offered to conduct a batch on non-standard boards of rather large size (37×37 lines).

For the game of go, 360 biconvex stones are used, equally white and black.

The complete set for the game contains 361 stone – 180 white and 181 black. On sale, you can also find sets of 320 stones (160 each color). The shape of the stones may be somewhat different – biconvex (lenticular) have stones in the Japanese tradition, while for the Chinese, flat-convex stones are more characteristic.

As in chess, the game begins with the one in whose possession are the white stones.

No, in go, unlike chess, the first go black. There is even compensation (“komi”) for the owner of white stones for the fact that he walks second – at the end of the game he gets a certain number of points.

If the player has made the wrong move, he can move.

Absolutely mistaken opinion. The stone from which the hand is taken away can not be moved. If the player does this, he will be automatically awarded a defeat. The stones placed on the board can be removed from it only in the event that they are captured by the enemy.

You can not make a move, as a result of which your group of stones loses the point of freedom.

This is true, but there is an exception to this rule. A “suicidal” move is possible in the event that, as a result, the enemy group is also deprived of dame (points of freedom), captured and removed from the board.

The color of the stones for the players is distributed in advance.

Indeed, in official tournaments, the schedule is drawn up so that each player holds an equal number of games in black and white. If there are unequal rivals in the game, the strongest plays white. To choose the color of the stones in an equal lot, use nigiri (traditional selection procedure). The oldest player (the position) takes a few white stones, the second tries to guess, the odd or even number of stones in the opponent’s hand. If he believes that the enemy has an even number of stones – he takes two black stones, an odd one – one. Next, players simultaneously lay stones on the goat. If the second player guessed – he plays black (or he chooses the color), if not – white. In the team game, the nigiri is done only on the first board. Colors on the third and all odd boards are the same as on the first, and on the second and all even – reverse colors.

The rules and the system of calculating the points of the game in go are standardized.

In general, rule sets are really very similar, the differences are only in the interpretations, formulations or degree of detail of the presentation. However, in some cases, the differences are quite significant. For example, Japanese go rules applied in Japan, Korea, the US and Europe, as well as used in most competitions, are characterized by the excessive complexity and lack of clarity in determining certain moments of the game. Chinese, used in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, are considered to be the most ancient and count scores not within the territory and captive stones, like Japanese, but on the territory and “living” stones. New Zealand rules, Inga rules (created by the Taiwanese millionaire In Changqi, founder of the Inga Foundation), which differ in the counting of the points and the number of stones in the opponent’s bowls, taking into account the stones removed from the board, and the Trompa-Taylor rules applied for the computer code and the AGA rule American Association go), allowing players to choose how to count points, in many respects close to Chinese. Most strikingly different from the traditional rules of the game is the Tibetan version, which is used extremely rarely.

Having learned the various joshaka variants described in the textbooks, the player can easily achieve success.

Unfortunately, this is not entirely true. In the literature on go, a lot of typical lottery positions in the corner are really described. However, it should be noted that in the description only information about the local arrangement of stones in one of the corners is given, the general position on the board is not taken into account. And if one or another position in one scenario can really become a pledge of a future victory, with another arrangement of stones on the board, it is also capable of working on the opponent’s hand. Therefore, at the initial levels, players are advised not to study various joshaka variants, but play more, developing logic, intuition, the ability to assess the location of the stones on the board as a whole, etc. Only after reaching the basic level of skill, the player can begin to study joshaka, but even in this case one should not “memorize” the various options, but try to understand the idea underlying them.

Creating computer programs for playing Go is a complicated matter.

This is indeed so. Of all the board games, it’s hardest to “computerize” it. If, for example, chess programs sometimes beat the strongest chess players, even a more or less experienced amateur can easily defeat the go program. The reason for this situation is a large number of variants of moves (for comparison: in chess there are 20 different moves of the initial position, in Go-55) and the complexity of assessing the quality of a position.

Only high-intellectual people can play in Go.

Not necessary. For this game, intuition, combinatorial thinking, the ability to visualize the potentially possible sequence of moves and their effectiveness, as well as the ability to keep in memory a lot of small details important for creating a general picture of the game is more important.

Go is a strategic game.

Indeed, the strategic aspects matter, but only in the case when two equal in strength of the enemy came to the forehead, equally calculating the possible variants of the moves. In other cases, the player who can calculate more moves than his opponent will win.

Without a teacher it is difficult to become a really strong player.

This is not quite true. The teacher, of course, can teach a certain style of the game, but in order to become stronger, the player must compete with stronger opponents, gaining experience.

There is a science go.

Actually, it’s closer to art than to science. A lot of books have been published about this game, but it should be noted that only certain aspects of the game are described, specific situations at the individual place of the board (there is no indication of the location of the stones on the whole board). Many recommendations on how to play go are only ideas (often presented in the form of concise proverbs), and not laws or axioms that are characteristic of many areas of science.

Since ancient times it was considered a “man’s” game, because women play it much worse than men.

No, this fun was enjoyed by both men and women. In the Edo period, the art of playing the game was popular at the court, and was also part of the skills that the geisha had to master. However, there are not so many professional women players, both in ancient times and nowadays. In this case, it should be noted that the level of skill women are not inferior to male players.


The longest party consists of 361 moves – just as many points on the hobana.

Not necessary. On December 20 and 21, 1950, the longest game of go was played, with the players making 411 moves. The reason that the number of moves exceeds the number of points on the board is the situation to the fight (the prohibition of the move, which may lead to the position previously encountered in the game), when the moves to some points were made several times.

A child playing in go will grow up an intellectual.

In the opinion of specialists, it really has a positive impact on the intellectual development of children. In the process of playing, they have better inborn abilities, voluminous vision, intuition, ability to concentrate, analyze the situation created on the board and mentally model possible options for its further development. All the aforementioned skills the child brings to everyday life. According to scientists, it is most advisable to teach children to go 4-5 years – at this age, thinking processes are most flexible, therefore, the possibility of a positive impact on them is optimal.

A person who has suffered a stroke will not be able to play go.

The transited stroke will not be an obstacle to the game, however, some inconvenience the player will still experience. However, much depends on the degree of brain damage and on which hemisphere has suffered the most. According to studies, the stroke of the right hemisphere (responsible for intuition, musical ability and the ability to recognize complex images) leads to the fact that it is difficult for a player to build a strategy in the initial stage. The middle and the end of the game do not cause any special difficulties. If the left hemisphere (controlling the linguistic and logical abilities) is hit, the fusky player builds with ease, but in the middle and in the end he can not demonstrate a high-class game.

Go (I-Go) is also called simply I.

Indeed, some authors consider these terms interchangeable, but this is not entirely true. In ancient China, there was a strategic art And (in Chinese translation – “education, training”), designed to educate the heirs of the imperial dynasty. In the days of Confucius, the hieroglyph was used to designate a special strategic game designed to prepare a commander of the highest rank.The Weitz game, which got to Japan, was called I-Go, bears only a part of the knowledge taught to the young emperor through the art of I. Consequently, I-Go is correlated with I, as part of the whole. In addition, there is another direction of art I – Strategic Go, different from modern Go and Weitz in that it brings to the fore not the sport-competitive, but the strategic component of the game.

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