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 and Who was that go player.

You can try a fun quiz game about go facts and go lore on [ext] Quizup

  • 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 (tournament prizes only). 2004 tops was Cho U, 9p from Japan who won $1.04 million US.[2]
  • 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 42 cm × 45 cm × 18 cm (17″ × 17″ × 7″) square block of wood for 127,000 USD.[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 was considered one of the premiere challenges for programmers of artificial intelligence, it was not until 2015 that a Go program could beat a professional player.
  • 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]
  • Go was included in the 2010 Asian Games as a sport together with basketball, soccer, boxing etc., just like chess is included in the Universiades.
  • The QR code was invented by a Japanese designer who was a lunchtime Go player. The board and stones inspired him to design the square-shaped, black-and-white scan code.

[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]

Fun Go Facts last edited by hnishy on September 26, 2022 - 02:29
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