Go is perhaps the oldest board game in the world. It is an strategy board game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent. The rules are very simple, and you can learn them in a few minutes – but they lead to a countless number of intriguing patterns and clever maneuvers. The following pages describe how the game is played and scored. Learning to play is easy, but learning to play well requires much study and practice. The best way to learn, especially at the beginning, is simply to play games and become familiar with the patterns.
The game was invented in China more than 2,500
years ago and is believed to be the oldest board game continuously
played to the present day. Despite its relatively simple rules, Go
is very complex. Compared to chess, Go has both a larger board with
more scope for play and longer games, and, on average, many more
alternatives to consider per move.
For much of the world, Go is more than just an amusing pastime. In ancient times Go was considered a martial art and was part of the training of warriors in Japan, China, and Korea. Along with calligraphy, music, and painting, Go was also one of the components of classical education for both men and women. Nowadays there are millions of Go enthusiasts in Asia and throughout the world. Top players participate in professional leagues, and championship matches draw large television audiences. With the creation of the internet, amateurs from all over the world can now meet each other for games while in their own homes and watch professional players compete. We hope you will come to enjoy this beautiful game.