My recent interest in Asian dramas (don’t judge me!) led me to discover this fascinating game. A board game believed to be the oldest continuously played to this day. As much as I would love to make comparisons with chess, Go, also known as Weichi (in mandarin) has very different rules and vibes to chess.

The first step in playing the game is pure luck. The two players have to ‘guess their stones’. This is common among players of equal rank. A player picks up some stones while the other guesses whether the number of stones is an even or an odd number. If the guess is right, the guesser receives a handicap of a ‘free stone’ with a chance to play first. However, in a game between players of significantly different levels, the lower-ranked player receives a handicap of one or more stones depending on how wide the levels are from each other.

Go is a game of etiquettes. The first sign is the rule of players bowing to each other before the game starts, a sign of mutual respect. Considering how much time a game between similarly ranked players can take, there are some set rules in place to prevent irritability such as making noise with stones, picking a stone with no intention of playing a move, throwing stones onto a go board or into a go bowl and so on.

Go, also known as Baduk (in Korean), is a game where the person able to ‘read ahead’ the most moves ahead gains the upper hand.

Knowing the common rules and some basic concepts and strategies helps players have an amazing game. The game can end in different ways. One of which is when both players pass a move, when a player resigns, or when the time ends for a player.

I think what fascinated me was the way the players looked dignified when playing. Respect for both the game and the players. The deadly silent room especially when a game is intense, the calculating looks and, the inability to hoot upon winning makes it all the more captivating.

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