How to Go and Way to Go
How to Go and Way to Go
  • Reporter Gyak Ki-won
  • 승인 2016.04.06 16:55
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Go is an abstract strategy board game that originated in ancient China. The aim of the players is to secure more territory than the opponent. Go is one of the oldest board games in the world; it is estimated to be about 2,500 years old and still it is played by many people all around the world. The history of Korean Go traces back to the age of Three Kingdoms of Korea. Modern Korean Go was settled into shape in 1945 with the establishment of the Korea Baduk Association. The rules of Korean Go and way to grade players were fixed with the association’s effort.
Go is played by two players. The players alternately place their own black and white stones on the 19 x 19 grid of line patterned board. Once a stone is placed on the grid of the board, the stone cannot be moved by player’s will. The stone is only removed from the board if the stone is surrounded the other player’s stones. The two players place the stones until they agree to stop placing stones on the board; there is no set point to end the game. After the players agree to finish the game, the two players count their own territory and compensate certain point of territory for the player who played second. The player who secured more territory is the victor. If one player judges that there is no possibility to win, he can declare a forfeit without counting the territory. The way to count the player’s territory differs in Korea, China, and Japan, but the result of the counting is almost the same. Therefore, players of different countries can play Go without much difficulty.
One of the fascinating points of Go is there is no influence of coincidence or player’s luck during the games. While playing Go, no player needs to roll dice or draw cards. Victory is only up to player’s own strategy. And the number of possible moves of Go is about 10^171. It is about 1050 times more possible moves than chess. Because of these factors, players should memorize standard procedures to place stones on the board and the number of memorized procedures may determine the winner of the game.
Many proverbs are derived from Go due to its unique playing style and many terminologies originated from Go are used by East Asians. For examples, Go is also known as “conversation by hands”. Two players can share their thinking with stones while playing Go. In Korea, people usually describe very risky situations with “maw of tiger”. This word originated from a certain situation of Go. During games, sometimes the stones are just one step away from death. In that case, the stone is “in the maw of tiger”. This expression is used to describe a pushover in daily life. Another well-known word is “a move of god”. Go has a tremendous number of possible plays and finding the best way to place a stone is very hard. When a player places the stone in a sublime way, many people think god may have helped the player to place the stone on that certain place.