Understanding Go the board game
Wikipedia describes the Go Game as:
Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent.
With the computer and modern technology this ancient board game is now being challenged on a completely different level.
In 1996 an IBM computer defeated the reigning chess champion Garry Kasparov.
The computer was designed by engineers with a data base of various chess moves that were derived from chess players that coded millions of possible chess moves.
Just recently software built by Google engineers defeated a master Go player which for years had never been accomplished by a computer.
Go the board game is a game of strategy where a player tries to surround an opposing player’s Go stones that are positioned on a Go board laid out in a grid.
Not all Go boards are the same size, the smaller the board the easier it is for a beginning player to grasp the game.
As the player’s skill advances they will be able to play on a larger board.
The strategy is often referred to as battle because of the loss or gain of territories.
Go game basics
One principle rule of Go is that there must be an open point (intersection) next to a stone referred to as a liberty.
If a liberty becomes enclosed it is referred to as an eye, if a group of stones contains two separate eyes it is referred to as unconditionally alive.
These groups cannot be captured even if they are surrounded.
A basic strategy of Go is to expand your territory and attack your opponent’s weak groups at the same time be mindful of any vulnerabilities of your own groups.
The liberties of your groups are countable and situations where 2 opposing groups must capture the other to live are referred to as capturing races in a capturing race.
The group with the most liberties will more than likely be able to capture the opponent's stones. This life and death struggle is what makes Go challenging.
The game is over when both of the players pass because there are no more profitable moves that can be made.
At this time the game is scored by counting points, the player with the most number of controlled points which factors captured stones and komi is declared the winner.
The beginner that is playing Go for the first time
It is said that before you can break the rules you must first know what the rules are, so as a beginning player it would be wise to focus on the basic rules of the game.
Knowing what you can and cannot do gives you a grand overview of the game and how you can shape your strategy, but as a beginner learn the rules first then develop strategy.
It is important from the start that you understand how to place your stones on the playing surface, it is not about placing them just any place about the board.
But rather about placing the stones that will give you a greater advantage for victory.
The Go Game Documentary.
A documentary about the board game Go “The Surrounding Game” is the first feature documentary to tell the amazing story of Go the board game, from ancient China to 21st century America.
Learn more about it here: The Surrounding Game