Go (game)

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Go is a board game whose object is to defeat the opposing army by controlling the most territory for the least cost in captured soldiers. Go is a war of many battles, while chess is a single battle.

A two-player, strategic turn-based board game, go originated in China, over two thousand years ago, and is very popular in Japan and Korea as well. It didn't reach Europe and America until the end of the 19th century. It was in Japan that a theory of Go strategy was developed, and numerous books have been published on the subject in Japanese.

The moves of the game are quite simple, involving the placing of black and white stones on the intersection of lines on a grid, and attempting to gain control of points on the grid by surrounding them with stones of one's own color.

Despite its simple rules, the game is strategically very deep, even more complex than chess. Unlike chess, computer programs for playing Go are considered highly inferior to most human players.[1]

Go also benefits from a good handicap system, which allows players of differing strengths to play competitive games against each other. The system involves allowing the weaker player to start with some stones already on the board, the number increasing with the difference in the players' strengths.[2]

Professional Go

Many people, mostly from eastern Asia play Go professionally. Their main source of income is winning tournaments and writing books. This can be extremely lucrative; the winner of the kisei tournament can win ¥42,000,000.[3]


  1. "Comparison between Go and Chess", Comparison between Go and Chess by Milton N. Bradley.
  2. Sensei's Library: Handicap
  3. http://senseis.xmp.net/?Kisei