Go (Weiqi)

I don’t play Go or any chess game. But i enjoy reading about Go playing. Its fascination seems no end. Just found an interesting blog entry on Go: Weiqi, from Flammifer’s Blog.

Playing Weiqi is like painting a picture together. Playing Weiqi is like confronting worldviews. You add a stone here, and it looks as if this corner is going to be black, these three poor little white stones are doomed. Your opponent adds a piece there, and the picture shifts, this corner is going to be shared. And all this while there are but five or six stones of each colour on the board. Put this stone there, and you will have outlines what is likely to be a fortified territorry. Put it one step further, and you have nothing you could call yours.

3 thoughts on “Go (Weiqi)

  1. You can download a free 9×9 go program (don’t forget to scan for viruses):

    http://www.smart-games.com/igowin.html

    I don’t know how strong the computer can play but it plays at least as strong as me on the 9×9 board.

    But you’re really not playing the same game as the people do on the larger 19×19 board. However, you have to put in your time and work your way up to the larger game.

    Go is one of the things I would like to spend more time on. The problem is that each game takes at least an hour.

    There are many levels to go. There’s the localized interaction that you have from chess. But then you step back and look at the larger board and you can treat each area of the board as a separate battlefield. By the end of the game, the battlefields have joined together.

    Players have different personalities. Some concentrate on forming territory. Others concentrate on attacking their opponents. (I realize now that although good at teaching the concepts, my teacher, in a game, would terrorize and attack weaker opponents.) I don’t have a personality yet. Other than being a little intimidated at the start and relying on one standard opening when playing stronger or new opponents.

    The Japanese have perfected the art of designing go equipment. The best boards are old growth trees from Japan I believe that are cut a certain way so the grain shows correctly. Expect to pay 10s of thousands of dollars for a top of the line board. The bowls and stones have also been designed well by the Japanese. The Japanese have wonderful paintings of go games. My favourite are the ones where one of the players has the go board held above his head ready to send it flying samurai style after some dispute has arisen with his opponent.

    Jean:
    Very interesting. I think the Japanese has “perfected” many arts originated in China. A bit too extrem for my taste, though. The painting sounds funny! 🙂 The “personalities” of Go-players sound very intriguing as well. cool comment! 😀
  2. >But i enjoy reading about Go playing.

    Then how can you NOT play the game? It’s easy to learn the few simple rules. Then you have the rest of your life to learn to play well. No rush. You will meet quite a lot of interesting people as you explore the world of Go. Perhaps you saw Russell Crowe playing Go as the Nobel Prize winning matehmatician, John Nash, in the recent file, A Beautiful Mind. Nash really was a member of the the Princeton Go Club. Then there’s the classic novel, The Master of Go, by Yasunari Kawabata, the sole Japanese winner of the Nobel Prize for literature (1968). While many Go players live in the world of engineering, math, science, and computers, there are others whose interest sprang from philosophy, art, and a fondness for Asian history and culture. As another has said, playing Go is much like painting a picture with another person. True! And think of that moving picture as Yin and Yang dancing around the board, or as the pushing hands exerscise with a Tai Chi partner. Like many other competitive games, the players often do better, and have more fun, when they sink into the game by losing their egos. Go can be a meditation, rather than a battle. It’s up to the player to choose their frame of mind. But any metaphor you choose for Go, please do try playing the game. See what it’s really like to spend some time with a friend over a Go board. And by the way, you won’t get that experience by playing Go online. While the online Go servers are a boon to players who don’t have access to a local Go club, playing Go online is nothing like playing with a human being. No surprise there. Touching real, traditional Go stones, made of clam shell and slate, and snapping them down on a wooden board is an integral part of the experience, and is not to be missed. You won’t get that from a keyboard and a mouse. Buy a Go set, and play a few games with an experienced Go player. If you think reading about Go is fascinating, you haven’t seen anything yet. Go is beyond fascinating, it’s enlightening. Why would it still be played all over the world after 4,000 years?

    Anton
    CNY Go Club, Syracuse, NY
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cnygo/

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