Monday evenings at Sugar & Dice, Liverpool’s Board Game Café, sees several tables of gamers enjoying fun and friendship of all manner of games. Amongst them are Go enthusiasts playing at the Liverpool Go Club.
Known as Igo (囲碁) in Japan, Baduk (바둑) in Korea or Weiqi (圍棋) in China, it is one of the oldest boardgames in existence and, in our humble opinion, one of the greatest. It definitely hasn’t been around so long for no good reason.
Today, Doug from our Go Club give us a lesson:
Go is a fighting game – the board represents the uninhabited world bounded on all sides by the seashore and the objective is to gain more territory on the board than your opponent. The 2-person game is played with black and white stones where opponents play alternatively throughout the game with stones placed on any intersection on a 19 x 19 grid. The early stones are played on the board usually around the corners and the sides where it is easiest to surround territory relatively free from attack. But after a while, several different sets of black and white stones will get into territory fights and this is where it all gets nasty! Create two eyes in a group (marked with red circles) and it is safe from attack because the opponent (white) cannot play a stone in each eye simultaneously to completely surround the black group and capture the black stones as prisoners.
Go is an easy game to play, but needs a good analytical mind to play with skill – but then games enthusiasts have often developed good strategic and tactical skills and also have a cunning streak! In the diagram, you are black to play – can you make two eyes? Can white make two eyes? It’s not so easy now!
If you’d like to come along and try the game, then join us at Sugar & Dice at 7pm on a Monday. The group are a lovely bunch who are happy to teach you the basics or get crushed by experts, after all every loss is actually a gain… in learning new tricks! If you’re interested, then contact the Liverpool Go Club, chat to the staff in the café for more information or come along from 7pm on Monday evenings. If you’re not in the Liverpool region or just want more information on this fabulous game, then head on over to the British Go Association’s website.
*With thanks to Doug for writing this piece