Fun Go Facts
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Go is simple enough for a 4 year old to learn, but too complex for computers to beat expert players.
- It is believed there are more possible game variations than atoms in the visible universe.
- 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 42 cm × 45 cm × 18 cm (17″ × 17″ × 7″) square block of wood for 127,000 USD.
- 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.
- 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.
- There is a historical story that in the 17th century, the rule of Tibet was once decided over three games of Go.
- 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.
- Go has an immense impact on the mental development of children, particularly in the area of reasoning.
 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.
 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 Milt's Go Page. Teaching your child Go will have a lifetime impact, please take the time to read Milt's site.