About Go game

A detailed Go board game (weiqi in China, baduk in Korea) guide written by Alexandr Dinershteyn, 7-time European champion. Here you’ll find everything you need to know: why it’s worth trying to play, how and where to start.

The game of Go is most popular in China, where it was invented 4,000 years ago. 60 million people are familiar with its rules in China. In Korea, there are 8 million Go enthusiasts. In this country there is even a special TV channel where Go is shown exclusively 24 hours a day. In 1996, 36.3% of all Koreans knew how to play Go. In Japan, the popularity of the game has noticeably decreased. Once there were 15 million players, but nowadays there are only 1.5 million.
In the US, Europe and Africa, the game is much less known. People still confuse it with othello and renju.

“Engaging in the game of Go is a much better endeavor than indulging in idleness and eating rice all day long!” – These words are often interpreted as reflecting Confucius’ negative attitude towards the game of Go, which is a big mistake.

The fact is that Confucius was greatly disappointed by the behavior of officials who spent the whole day engaged in gluttony and idleness. As an example for a more dignified pastime, he recommended managers to engage in the game of Go. And in Confucius’ book “Lun yu” one can find such a quote:
“Only masters of Go can resemble saints when playing the game.”

Confucius was the most famous Go player from the past. In addition to him, many emperors of China, Korea and Japan, samurai and military leaders played Go.

Sergey Brin, Jack Ma, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Moon Jaein (former president of South Korea), Emanuel Lasker, Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum) and other well-known people love this game.

A few quotes:

“For fifty years I have been trying to learn the game. I have mastered the tactics to a certain extent; the strategy, however, is still a mystery to me. It will probably take me another fifty years to unravel it. And if I had learned about Go earlier, I might never have become world chess champion»
Emanuel Lasker, legendary chess player

“I played Go so much during my studies that my Google partner Larry Page was very unhappy that I was spending so much time playing the game. Go is a very beautiful game and I think you can learn a lot of things in life with it, a lot more than a game like chess. When you watch the great masters play Go, it is comparable to the epitome of living beauty. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to translate the beauty of Go into the art of the machine.”
Sergey Brin, founder of Google.