Tuesday, September 06, 2005


My husband and I are learning to play Go, a 4,000 year old game from China. We bought the board when we lived in Boston and decided to look through antique stores in Plymouth, MA. We'd thought about playing for a while, my husband especially, and this set seemed perfect. It was made in the 1950s and is still in great condition. But we were busy people and the game got shelved until we moved to our new house. Even here, it has taken us over a year to really start to learn how to play. Of course, now that we are, we're loving it and wondering why it took us so long to get around to it.

From the American Go Association's website, here are the basics:
It is said that the rules of Go can be learned in minutes, but that it can take a lifetime to master the game.

Two players alternate in placing black and white stones on a large (19x19 line) ruled board, with the aim of surrounding territory. Stones are never moved, and only removed if they are completely surrounded. The game rewards patience and balance over aggression and greed; the balance of influence and territory may shift many times in the course of a game, and a strong player must be prepared to be flexible but resolute. Like the Eastern martial arts, Go can teach concentration, balance, and discipline. One cannot disguise one's personality on the Go board. The game combines beauty and intellectual challenge.
I suspect that an experienced Go player may not think much of the way we played the game in the photograph above. It was only our second game, though, and we are learning a lot each time we play. According to another website, there are more than 25 million people worldwide who play the game, most of them in the Far East. It is estimated that 100,000 play in Europe whereas the United States has only around 20,000. Given how crazy our lives are and the way that American culture can sometimes skew our sense of balance, this game may help to restore (or develop) some serenity and discipline. At the very least, we're having fun playing.


At 9/06/2005 4:13 PM, Blogger Superhero Bob said...

I've played this game on computer games before...it is very fun [and somewhat addictive]!!!


At 9/06/2005 9:25 PM, Blogger celeste said...

I wonder how I would handle the game--if it rewards patience and balance over aggression and greed--considering I've been known to laugh maniacally and uncontrollably when I'm winning at Monopoly. I know...terrible...I'm working on it.. :)

At 9/07/2005 9:14 AM, Blogger Pieces of Me said...

wow looks interesting...I love games!! Here from Micheles!


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