Go is an ancient strategy board game. Its history goes back at least 3,000 years. First in China and Japan, and now all over the world, Go occupies the best minds of mankind, capturing its external simplicity, incredible depth and fantastic beauty. More than a thousand books are devoted to the various elements of the game and the analysis of the great games of the past, not one hundred tournaments are held annually around the world.
Go is played with black and white stones on a square wooden board. The board is empty at the beginning of the game. The stones are placed one by one on intersections of lines (the original playing board is 19 by 19, totaling 391 intersections). Each stone standing on the board has dames - breathing points - neighboring intersections horizontally and vertically (4 for the stone standing in the center of the board, 3 for the stone on the edge, 2 in the corner). If you close the last queen on your opponent's stone with your turn, you remove his stone from the board - it is now your captive. Captive stones and territory fenced by you during the game are your points (moku). Whoever has more points at the end of the game wins the game.
Learning how to play the game is really easy, it shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes. But it will take you much longer to finish, as the game lurks behind a seemingly simple set of rules and a depth of skill. You will learn how to determine which stones are truly important, and which can be easily passed on to your opponent. You will learn how to decide which move wins you the most points. You will learn to swiftly attack your opponent's weak stones, but first defend your own. In a difficult situation, among dozens of possible moves you will be able to find the one that will bring you victory.
Unlike chess, the goal of Go is not to kill the leader of your opponent's army. All stones on the board are initially of equal value. The goal of the game is to divide an initially empty field among themselves. To win, you need to be as efficient as possible - take as much as you can hold - no more and no less. If you - or your opponent - show greed, weaknesses will form in your position, causing you to lose most of your gains. If you are too frugal, your opponent will simply take a little more than you and take the win - it makes no difference whether you lose 50 or 5 points. The balance between caution and aggression is the key to success.
Go is an extremely beautiful game. True masters pay a great deal of attention to the aesthetics of their games. Black and white stones placed harmoniously on the bamboo board form a unique pattern to your game, your own little universe. Playing Go you enjoy both winning and continuously improving your skills.
The project was started in 1999 by Go enthusiast Hiroki Mori, who has been promoting the game of Go throughout the world to the present day. Hiroki Mori is also the author of the most popular interactive Go tutorial.