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by ZweiBieren Go - The Ancient Game pens in a mug

My officemate in grad school, Jon Ryder, introduced me to the game of Go. Every day after lunch I'd ask to play a game. And every day he'd reply, "Not today. Well maybe one game." And every day he'd give me a full nine stone handicap and whup me soundly. Only after a full year did I finally win a game. Now I like to think that no one can give me nine stones and beat me; but its unlikely to be true.

Here's a personal go problem. Black to play and live.

Roll the mouse over the image to see the solution.

Languages differ in how they refer to the game of go.

Japanese Go Japanese character for 'go'  
Chinese Wei-qi Chinese characters for 'weh chee' "weh chee"
Korean Baduk Korean characters for 'ba dook' "bah dook"
English Go also igo, goe  

AGA The American Go Association (usgo.org) promotes go in the United States, organizes activities, and fosters communication. There is an annual meeting/tournament called the "US Go Congress".

TOUR In 1998 I toured China in a group led by Jujo, at that time a US-based go professional.

HOST a Tournament A tournament can be a great way to add some variety to a go club's life. It does not need to be a huge effort to hold a small one; see The Instant Tournament Primer.

PRINT In the olden days recording a game was a paper-and-pencil affair. Most of the paper diagrams available record games had lines intersecting were the stone number was to be written. For clearer records I developed a format with gray around the spaces to write the stone numbers:

gamerecord.pdf to print the page
gamerecord.ps (revise and print with 

One can code go diagrams directly in PostScript using a small PostScript library. Example at the right.

RATINGS Paul Matthews of New Jersey developed the first program to compute go ratings. To share the concepts, he let me translate it into pseudo-code and distribute that. Many online servers have ratings based on the code. Matthews original code has neen superseded with a tool for running tournaments. It is described in technical prose and statistical analysis.

RULES Although mostly simple the rules of go have a few murky corners. So there are several sets of rules.

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