The Game of Go: The National Game of Japan
“THE GAME OF GO” was one of the first books in English to describe the national game of Japan: Go. As a practical guide, anyone reading this book can learn to play the game of Go without an instructor. It also contains an interesting history of the game, the rules of play explained and illustrated, openings, games, ending and problems.
Like chess, Go is a strategic board game and is considered by many, to be superior.
The board is ruled like that for Go Bang, except that it has nineteen instead of seventeen lines intersecting as many more at right angles; it is said that if there were two more lines the possible combinations of the game would transcend the powers of the human mind.
The game consists in two players with black and white stones, or counters, endeavoring to surround territory — and the opponent's men — by placing one man on the board at a time, which is not moved unless captured. The stones are placed at the intersection of lines and are surrounded (captured, killed) when each line from a stone or group leads to a stone of the opposite color upon the next “me;" hence it is often necessary to place some of one's stones within a hollow group in order to effect its capture.
Go is probably the oldest of all known games: some authorities say that it was invented by a vassal of a Chinese emperor who reigned from 1718 to 1767 B.C.: others to an emperor reigning from 2357 to 2256 B. C. A game easily recognized as Go is mentioned casually in a Chinese work dated about a thousand years before Christ. The game was introduced into Japan about the year 735 A.D., and for the two hundred years players have been classified with titles.
The stones or “Ishi” correspond in number with the “Me” or points of intersection—180 are white and 181 black; the weaker player takes black and first move. In practice the entire number are never used. The author has found that Casino chips are the best substitute for the Japanese stones. The game comes to an end when the frontiers of the opposing groups are in contact. There are but four rules for the game.
A careful perusal of the book will incite a desire to add to one's pleasure, skill and resources this old game which is relatively new to our world.