Fun Go Facts

    Keywords: Culture & History

This page is intended to provide tidbits of information to help entice the slightly curious, or casual peruser, to look a little further. If you have a fun Go fact, please add it.

You may also enjoy Great Quotes.


  • Go is the oldest game in the world still played in its original form. Some estimates are as high as 4000 years, but certainly 2500-3000.[1]
  • Go is the second most played game in the world, behind Xiangqi (Chinese Chess).
  • Go is called Igo in Japan, Baduk in Korea, and Wei-qi in China.
  • Top go players can earn nearly one million US dollars a year. 2004 tops was Cho U, 9p from Japan who won $1.04 million US.[2]
  • Go is simple enough for a 4 year old to learn, but too complex for computers to beat expert players.[3]
  • It is believed there are more possible game variations than atoms in the visible universe.[4]
  • Just like the Golf channel in the US; Japan, China, and Korea all have cable TV channels devoted entirely to Go.
  • Go players take their game seriously. You can purchase what is basically a 42cm x 45cm x 18cm (17"x17"x7") square block of wood for $127,000 US.[5]
  • The world's largest Go game is played in Oita, Japan on a 40 x 40 meter large field. One round stone is 1,8 meters wide and its weight is about 1 kilogram.[10]
  • Go is considered one of the premiere challenges for programmers of artificial intelligence
  • It is telling of the immortality and constant veneration that Go has had for millennia that the two greatest players ever are often considered Huang Longshi (1651? 1691?) of China, or Honinbo Dosaku (1645 1702) of Japan.[6]
  • There is a historical story that in the 17th century, the rule of Tibet was once decided over three games of Go.[7]
  • Go is strongly believed to stop or reverse common senile dementia in the elderly. Additional information is coming that it may reduce the incidence of Alzheimer's.[8]
  • Go has an immense impact on the mental development of children, particularly in the area of reasoning.[9]

[1] Discussion of the age of go and other games has been moved to the Fun Go Facts/ Discussion.

[2] As referenced by the AGA E-Journal, 1/17/05, citing a Go Game World article. See Fun Go Facts/ Discussion for a full list.

[3] Discussion of young children learning go has been moved to the Fun Go Facts/ Discussion.

[4] See the discussion about this at Fun Go Facts/ Discussion. There is a better discussion at Number of Possible Outcomes of a Game.

[5] [ext] Korye Myengban

[6] I realize greatest ever is subjective and open to debate. The point is to perk the interest of someone looking into Go for the first time, and illustrate how long and seriously Go has been studied.

[7] From John Fairbain's Go on the Roof of the World, published in Go World 59, Winter 1989. Condensed version at [ext] Mindzine

[8] Please see Milton Bradley's website for further information at [ext] Milt's Go Page scroll towards the bottom. Also see [ext] Brain Workout Study for Board Games

[9] I cannot stress enough the benefits of Go in developing a child's mind. If you are a parent or deal with the young, I strongly recommend [ext] Milt's Go Page. Teaching your child Go will have a lifetime impact, please take the time to read Milt's site.

[10] See [ext] http://www.coara.or.jp/~mieko/990605igo/990605igo.htm


Fun Go Facts last edited by 128.2.100.170 on July 23, 2013 - 03:44
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