The Game of Go

I'm fascinated by Go. I first heard of the game back in 1996 or so when trying to find information on the web about Pente. I love playing Pente because it is at the same time easy to learn, but can introduce complex strategy. Go has the same positive qualities. Pente and Othello (Reversi) look similar to Go, but are quite different games. Go has been compared to chess (another game I enjoy playing). Go is much easier to learn than chess, but provides much more complex play because of the immense number of game positions and because of the difficulty of analyzing the strength of positions. Go is much more popular in the East than chess is in the West.

I've collected some resources about Go on this page. I'm working to learn Go and and trying to teach it to my children. I'll update this page as I find better and more interesting resources. Enjoy!
- Timothy


What is Go? by the AGA
An excellent and brief introduction to the game from the American Go Association.

What is Go? by Mindy McAdams
Another excellent introduction by a long-time Go player.

Beginner's introduction to Go
A lengthy and well written introduction to the game.

Go (Board game) from the Wikipedia
I good encyclopedia entry about the history and play of Go.

Go Links
A huge collection of Go sites.

Open Directory Project - Games:Board Games:G:Go
A collection of Go sites from the Open Directory Project (DMoz). Seems to be lacking a lot of good sites. I'll have to see what I can do about that. :-)

Learning Go

The Interactive Way to Go
You learn how to play go, by playing. Uses Java applets to demonstrate and reinforce game play tutorials. Fun. Only downside is that it jumps into Go terminology without much explanation. Highly Recommended!

The Rules of Go
Animated graphics and text explain the simple rules to Go. Recommended

Quick Tips for New Players by Mindy McAdams
A page of things to keep in mind when learning to play go. Helpful.

Tel's Go Notes
Just the basics of how to play the game. Emphasizes that capturing your opponent's stones is not the object of the game.

Mysteries of Weiqi: The King's Golden Rules
Commentary on Go strategy from a master. Very accessible.

Tromp/Taylor logical rules of Go
An elegantly simple description of the rules of Go. Will appeal to mathematicians and computer scientists.

Sensei's Library
A collaborative web site devoted entirely to Go. It has a good beginners section which includes Go humor.


Go in the movie "Pi"
Go is a fascinating part of the plot of the movie "Pi". I recommend the movie. The movie is at times disturbing, but always compelling as it notices the patterns of nature.

Go in the movie "A Beautiful Mind"
The character John Nash plays Go in a short scene toward the beginning of the movie. The DVD has a deleted scene that shows that Nash was so frustrated by losing the game of Go that he invented a new game, Hex. It is perhaps because of Go that Nash became interested in game-theory, for which he eventually received the Nobel Prize. It's a shame the web site for the movie has nothing about Go.

Hikaru no Go (Anime comic)
An anime series about a boy who meets the spirit of a thousand year old Go master. The master teaches him the game. The boy grows to love Go, and heads toward being a pro. Hikaru no Go was sponsored by the Japanese Go society and has generated a resurgence in Go popularity. Although the comic is in English, it appears you need to read from right to left in order for it to make sense.

Teaching Go

How to teach Go by Mindy McAdams
This is a good article, but makes more sense if you already know how to play. After I had the gist of the rules and gameplay, I understood what she was getting at and may use this technique to teach my children.

Milt's Go Page
Some interesting commentary on Go in Japanese education, why children should learn Go, and Go and the gifted child.

Online Gameplay

The No Name Go Server
A friendly Go server. A variety of front end programs are available. Or play via telnet.

World Web Go
Play using a Java applet.

Yahoo! Games
Play using a Java applet.

Palm Software

Pilot Go
Lets you play Go on your PalmPilot against a computer opponent. Supports various board sizes (9x9, 13x13, 19x19). Based on an older version of GNU Go. Freeware. Source Available.

Pilot Go J
A modified version of Pilot Go, but with Japanese rules support and some added features. Supports various board sizes and lets you play against a computer opponent (doesn't seem to play as strongly as in Pilot Go) or another person. Has undo support. Freeware. Source Available. Recommended

Go game recorder and playback software. Freeware. Source Available.

Go game recorder and playback software. Shareware $8.

SGF File Format

Smart Game Format (SGF) User Guide
A standard text format for describing board games. It has become the standard format for Go game descriptions.

Preparing your environment for SGF files
How to configure your browser to view SGF files from web sites.