Go History

PageType: Path     Keywords: Culture & History

Table of contents

1. Timeline China

  • According to a legend, Emperor Yao (2357-2255 BC) invented Go to enlighten his son Dan Zhu.
  • According to another legend, Shun (2255-2205 BC) invented Go to teach his son Shang Jun.
  • 2356 BC: Go invented "according to some sources" (Encyclopedia Britannica). Article continues to state that the second millennium B. C. is more likely.
  • 6th century BC: "Analects" by Confucius mentioned Go (oldest surviving Go reference)
  • 3rd century BC: Mencius by Mengzi mentioned a famous go player called Yi Qiu
  • 1st century AD: "Yi Zhi" (Essence of Go) by Ban Gu (班固 奕旨) (oldest surviving text devoted specifically to Go)
  • around 250 AD: "Wu Diagrams" (孫策召呂範奕棋局面)(earliest recorded Go game)
  • Sima Yan, Emperor (reigned 265-290 AD)
  • Ji Xin Wang wrote the 10 Golden Rules of Go during the T'ang dynasty (some 1300 years ago)
  • 1050 AD: Qijing Shisanpian, the 13-Chapter Classic of Go. [ext] http://www.figg.org/areafile/qjssp.pdf
  • around 1100 AD: 忘憂清樂集(literally "Forget Worry Pure Happy") by Li Yi Min (李逸民) The oldest surviving Go book. This book collected famous essays like Qijing Shisanpian,...,several ancient records of games including Wu Diagrams,Ranka,...,some old josekis, 34 tsumego problems (the oldest tsumego book), and more.
  • 1349 AD: 玄玄棋經Xuan Xuan Qijing by 嚴德甫Yan Defu and 晏天章Yan Tianzhang. This classic consists of six volumes. It collected nice essays, valuable game records, and 376 ingenious problems. These problems demonstrate tesuji(double snapback, big-headed ghost, under the stone, to name a few), patterns often seen in the corner(shapes similar to L groups and so on), life and death situations, and more. This classic has great historical importance mostly because it has inspired all other tsumego books around the world.
  • During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) Chinese rules changed. The rule was territory scoring with group tax before Ming dynasty. Later it was stone scoring.
  • Guo Bailing 過百齡 He edited the famous book Guanzi Pu (官子譜). He wrote two other books Sanzi Pu 三子譜 and Sizi Pu 四子譜 (Translated into English under the titles Three-Stone Games and Four-Stone Games, respectively.)
  • Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)__: There were many active players in Qing China. A scholar 鄧元鏸 (Deng Yun Huei) in late Qing (1881 AD) edited a book 奕潛齋集譜( Game Collection of Yi Chien Jai ) in which he listed 169 go players and gave a short commentary on 14 among them. Huang Longshi (黃龍士), Fan Xiping (范西屏), and Shi Ding'an (施定庵) were the most famous among best players. Many of their game records can be found in books like The Records of Six Go Players and Games of Wonder (English translation of Yi Miao).
  • Huang Longshi b. 1651 (1654?) d. ~1695 : Many Chinese players think Huang has changed the Chinese style of play. Some of Huang's games can be found online at [ext] TOM's.
  • Fan Xiping (also called Fan Shixun) b. 1709 d. ? : The famous "Ten Games of DangHu(當湖十局)" (Fan Xiping vs Shi Ding'an) can be found online at [ext] TOM's together with commentary by Chen Zude. Fan also wrote a book Taohua Quan Yipu (桃花泉弈譜) to expound his joseki and theory.... (Translated into English under the title Go Book of Peach Blossom Spring.)
  • Shi Ding'an b. 1710 d. 1771: (See above.)
  • Gu Shuiru b. 1891 d. 1971 Awarded a 4 dan diploma by the Nihon Ki-in, organized the Shanghai Go Association
  • Guo Tisheng b.1907 d.1989
  • 1909-10: Japanese professional Takabe Dohei visits China and introduces play without fixed stone placements.
  • Wu Qing-yuan(Go Seigen) b. 1914 d.2014
  • Chen Zude b.1944 d.2012
  • Yang Yilun b. 1951
  • Nie Weiping b. 1952
  • Guo Juan b. 1960
  • Rui Naiwei b. 1963
  • Ma Xiaochun b. 1964
  • Feng Yun b. 1966
  • Chang Hao b. 1976
  • Gu Li b. 1982
  • 1995 Ma Xiaochun is the first Chinese player to win an international tournament by winning the Fujitsu Cup and the Tongyang Securities Cup
  • ...

Note: Some claim Go was developed as a game in China perhaps 4000 years before present time, but this date has been questioned by many.

See also: Qing, 17x17 board

2. Timeline Japan

See also : The game of go the national game of Japan/history of the game.

3. Timeline Korea

Read John Fairbairn's essay on the [ext] Origins of Go in Korea

  • 1923: Cho Nam-cheol born
  • 1943: Kim In born
  • 03.11.1937 Cho Nam-cheol went to Japan and entered Kitani Minoruís Go school (道場 doujou)
  • 04.1941 Cho Nam-cheol passed professional exams in Nihon Ki-in
  • 1944 Cho Nam-cheol returned to Seoul
  • 11.1945 Hansung Kiwon formed
  • 28.01.1954 Hankuk Kiwon formed
  • 20.06.1954 The first professional examination tournament
  • 01.03.1955 The first Korea vs China Friendship match
  • 21.10.1955 The first game record appeared in newspaper (Donga Ilbo)
  • 15.04.1956 The first professional tournament started (Kuksu Cup)
  • 10.1957 The first radio translation of Kuksu titlematch
  • 25.01.1958 Go on TV for the first time
  • 09.03.1962 Kim In went to Japan to study Go
  • 26.03.1962 Cho Sangyeon (know as Cho Shoen, brother of Cho Chikun) went to Japan
  • 31.07.1962 Cho Chikun went to Japan
  • 06.01.1963 The first international telephone game Cho Chikun vs Ishida Yoshio
  • 26.10.1963 Cho Hun-hyeon went to Japan
  • 30.12.1963 Ha Ch'an-seok went to Japan

4. Timeline Non-Asian Countries

  • 1615: the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), who spent his last 30 years as missionary to China, writes some diaries in which explains the game of Wei-Qi. In 1615, five years after his death, another Jesuit, the Flemish Nicolas Trigault (1577-1628) translates these diaries into Latin and publishes at Augsburg the book De Christiana Expeditione apud Sinas suscepta ab Societate Iesu, which becomes highly popular, and goes through at least 16 editions in a number of European languages in the several decades after its first publication.
  • 1694 Publication of De Ludis Orientalibus Libri Duo with a 5 page reference to Go.
  • late 17th through mid-19th century: Some westerners come into contact with Go and mention the game in writings without disclosing all rules. See [ext] Early Mentions of Go in Europe. Of particular interest may be the German philosopher and mathematician Leibniz (1646 to 1716) who published an entire article about go including a picture of a go game; however, Leibniz states that he does not know all the rules.

Phelan: [ext] This comic is all I can remember about Leibniz and Go at the moment. Feel free to create the Leibniz page! :)

  • 1880: Oscar Korschelt writes an article on Go, effectively starting Go in Germany and from there Europe
  • 1905: Edward Lasker learns Go in Berlin, and later founds the New York Go Club.
  • 1934: Go and Go moku by Edward Lasker is published, and helps popularise the game in the US.
  • 1935: AGA founded
  • 1937: German Go Association founded
  • 1978: Manfred Wimmer 1944-1995; first western professional (Kansai Kiin). 1-dan January 1978, 2-dan November, 1978
  • 1978: James Kerwin b. 1946; first western professional at Nihon Ki-in.
  • 2000: Michael Redmond b. 1963; first western 9-dan professional
  • 2003, Jan 16: Hans Pietsch b. 1968, German Nihon Ki-in 4-dan, murdered while on a go promotion tour in Guatemala. Jump promoted to 6-dan posthumously.
  • Late 20th Century, early 21st Century: Increasing numbers of westerners qualify as professionals in Japan and Korea (Janice Kim, Catalin Taranu, Alexandre Dinerchtein, Svetlana Shikshina, Diana Koszegi, Joanne Missingham)
  • 2011: American Go Association signs agreement with the Korean Baduk Association to promote its own Professional System
  • 2014: European Go Federation creates its own Professional System

5. Timeline Internet Go

  • December 19, 1976, Taiwan vs U.S. International friendship match, played via Teletype machine
  • April 14, 1978, UK vs. USSR International friendship match, played via telephone
  • Sometime in the 1984, Greg Hale wrote inetgo. This was the first(?) program to use the internet to play Go. Inetgo was one of the foundations for the Internet Go Server (IGS).
  • February 2, 1992, IGS starts. Written mostly by Tim Casey, it is the first server dedicated to Go, based at the University of New Mexico.
  • 1994, Mar 25: First review on the Go Teaching Ladder: rabbit (7d) commented a game between Jan van der Steen (3d) and jon (1d).
  • 2016, Apr: Active part of Go Teaching Ladder is shut down

6. Timeline Computer Go

  • 1968: Albert L. Zobrist wrote the first ever program which played complete Go games.
  • 1976: David Benson publishes an algorithm for unconditional life determination.
  • 1984: The Acornsoft Computer Go Tournament: first ever computer go event, for programs for the BBC micro (6502 chip) personal computer; devised by David Johnson-Davies and Charles Matthews. The winning program written by Bronislaw Przybyla, was published in 1985 in the Acornsoft range. See [ext] Mick's go page for some computer go 'firsts'.
  • 1985: Ing Cup and Ing Prize are started. This prestigious award drives computer Go progress for the next decade.
  • 1989, Mar 13: GNU Go 1.1 (first stable release) was posted to comp.sources.games
  • 1993 B. Bruegmann implements Gobble, the first program based on random playouts (Monte Carlo). It was no champion, but impressive considering it had almost no Go-specific knowledge.
  • 1999 April GNU Go 2.0 released. This rewrite was nine stones stronger, and eventually led to a champion level opponent.
  • 2000 The Ing Prize expires. The last challenge won was HandTalk defeating a young pro at an 11-stone handicap.
  • 2006 Kocsis and Szepesvari develop the UCT algorithm, a form of best-first search which uses Monte Carlo evaluation (random playouts) to evaluate moves. Already in the same year, a program using it (CrazyStone) wins the Computer Olympiad 9x9 Go event.
  • 2008 A programming team from INRIA led by Sylvain Gelly organize a 9x9 match between Catalin Taranu (5p) and their program MoGo, running on a supercomputer. MoGo loses the match, but wins one of the three games.
  • 2008 At the US Go Congress, MoGo challenges an 8p Korean pro to a 9 stone handicap exhibition game, and wins.
  • 2012 Zen defeats Takemiya Masaki in 5- and 4-stone handicap games.
  • 2015, October AlphaGo, made by Google, challenged the reigning three-time European Go champion Fan Hui (2p) and won 5 games to 0 (equal games, no handicap). It was the first time a computer program had ever beaten a professional Go player.
  • 2016, March AlphaGo challenges Lee Sedol (9p) and wins four of the five games (equal games, no handicap). The victory against one of the strongest players of all time yielded a lot of media interest all over the world. The loss is regarded by many as the end of human domination of the game.
  • 2017, May AlphaGo challenges current world No. 1 ranked player Ke Jie (9p) and wins all three games. Ke Jie describes AlphaGo's improved play as "like a god of Go."

7. Timeline Sensei's Library

More details are at SL History and Wiki News.

8. Timelines Elsewhere

9. Related Links

  • Are there any game records of games played by Europeans before the twentieth century?

Note that John Fairbairn was gradually publishing a varied and fascinating series of [ext] historical essays (archived) and other (often historical) materials on the [ext] features (archived) page at MindZine. The site has become inactive but it and the materials were still there until 2011, but is now only available as archived by the Wayback Machine, while Johnís latest material is available from GoGoD. Most materials on Go history in English are about Japan. John's work is much broader, covering not only the big three (China, Japan, and Korea) but digressing to Tibet and Okinawa as well. Read them while they last. And if you have the opportunity, push John to find a new venue for publishing additional works as well!!

John now publishes all the material he wants to on the GoGoD CD Encyclopaedia and Database. (T Mark Hall, 2003-12-16)

Go History last edited by bugcat on May 23, 2023 - 17:08
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