Princeton Go Club

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The former Princeton Go Club is now the Princeton Area Go Club, unaffiliated with Princeton University. It no longer meets on the Princeton campus. There is a student-only campus go club as well.


An off-campus meeting location will be posted here as soon as we locate a suitable venue.

Princeton Go Club history:

The Princeton Area Go Club is no longer associated with [ext] Princeton University. It is however an AGA recognized chapter.

Go has a long history at Princeton. The original Princeton club was founded by Professor Ralph J. Fox of the Department of Mathematics in 1945.[1] He continued to promote Go in Princeton until his untimely death in 1973. Professor Fox brought a number of Japanese professionals to visit Princeton, and often hosted them at his house. His late wife Cynthia bequeathed some of his books, photographs and papers to the club archives.

Perhaps the most famous association of Princeton with Go is an opening scene in the film "A Beautiful Mind", depicting the life of Nobel laureate John Nash Jr., in which Nash is challenged to a game by a fellow graduate student.

The Princeton club hosted the fifth US Go Congress in 1989. The following year, the long-standing New Jersey Open, one of the earliest regional events in the US, moved to the Princeton campus where it resided until 2016. The tournament is usually held in late February and has drawn up to 170 players from Virginia to Massachussetts, with occasional visitors from as far away as Austria.

In addition to the New Jersey Open, club members participate in the Collegiate Go League:


Princeton Area Go Club meetings are open to all. No formal association with Princeton is required. We are happy to teach beginning players.

The Princeton - Go connection is not complete without reference to the Robinson Collection - the largest collection of Japanese go material outside of Asia, which is housed in the East Asia library at Princeton. (Note: the Robinson collection was moved to rare-books off-campus storage.)

Former club president Zhaonian (Michael) Chen, AGA 8D, graduated in the class of 2011 (darkmage on KGS). He is the strongest player ever to be part of the Princeton community so far. The strongest current player on campus is Zhongxia "Ricky" Zhao '16.

Organizer: Rick Mott ([email]

Members List (partial):

Zhongxia "Ricky" Zhao '16 (University student club president)
Kelsey Dyer '17 (University club officer)
Rick Mott '73 (AGA chapter representative for Princeton Area Go Club)
Jim Fredrickson
Patrick Taylor
Fred Kochman

New Jersey Open 2016: The Princeton Go Club hosted the New Jersey Open on the weekend of Mar. 19 / Mar. 20, 2016. This is a 2-day, 5-round event which has been running for more than half a century, and on the Princeton campus for 25 years. Here is the tournament information:

                      Mar. 19 / Mar. 20, 2016
                      Frist Campus Center
                      Princeton University

The Tournament:

2016 is the 57th anniversary of the New Jersey Open, a great event for strong players and beginners alike. Last year over 170 players entered, from 30 kyu to some of the strongest amateurs in the US.

The Matthews "Accelerated" pairing system ensures dan level games will be even and lower kyu level games will be handicapped as needed. Prizes will be awarded by the number of games won.

The Campus Center has a food court one floor above the playing room. University regulations prohibit smoking in the building.

The Championship

The overall winner of the tournament will be the 2016 New Jersey State Champion. This year it was Mark Lee of California. Full tournament results will be available shortly.

The Bob Ryder Memorial Beginner's Prize

To encourage beginning players to participate, all entrants 15 kyu and below who complete at least 3 games will be entered in a drawing for a Go set (board, stones, bowls). Winners from previous years are not eligible.

[1] In the biography of P. A. M. Dirac, The Strangest Man by Farmelo, it is stated that Dirac introduced Go to Princeton in the 1930's, when he was a visitor at the Institute for Advanced Studies.

Princeton Go Club last edited by on March 21, 2016 - 23:07
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