Recently, we have been using starter Go boards and stones loaned to us by the Germantown Public Library. However, I need to return those sets to them on November 29th.
Obviously, some of us have our own sets, but others don't. There are usually just two of us that show up with a board and stones, so that would allow four people to play at a time on the 19x19 boards and, maybe, 2-4 others on the small 9x9 boards.
I just wanted to give you all a heads up on this, so that you could plan ahead. If you want to buy your own board, you can usually find some inexpensive sets on ebay.com. Also, you might check out www.usgo.org and look under the "Equipment and Resources" button on the left. If you're interested in a nice set for under $100, check out Yellow Mountain Imports (www.yellowmountainimports.com)
The purpose of this group is to meet in person in order to learn and play the 4,000 year-old strategy game known as Go (in Japan and the Western World), Wei qi (in China and Taiwan), Baduk (in Korea). Beginners and kids are welcome! It only takes one minute to learn the rules!
Ever heard of "Hikaru no Go" or seen the movie "A Beautiful Mind"? If so, then, you may already be familiar with the game of Go.
Go is a 4,000 year-old strategy game that is the official National Game of Japan! The 5th and 15th of January are "Go no hin" (Go Days) holidays in Japan to honor the place that Go plays in their culture.
Although the game originated in China, (as did other aspects of Japanese culture, like the Kanji characters, for example), the Japanese, until recently, were the best players. It came to Japan in the 700's. Playing it is considered, by many, to be a type of "meditation". In China, even during Confucius's time, it was considered one of the four things that a nobleman needed to master: Go, poetry, music, and writing.
It is played in Japan, China and Taiwan, and Korea. MRI studies showthat, whereas Chess just uses the left half of the brain (the sequential/analytical side), playing Go requires both halves of the brain!The right side being the global/creative/intuitive side.
In order to help their children's brain development, Japanese parents are really pushing their kids to learn and play this game (maybe we should be doing the same!?) The book "Go as Communication", written by a Japanese professional Go player, recounts how it has been introduced into K-12 schools all over the world and, according to the book, everywhere it has been introduced, academic perform has gone up and problem behavior has decreased!
Wow, just from playing a game!? I find that pretty amazing!
BTW - professional Go players can make millions of dollars and, there are a lot of female professional Go players, too. The AGF (American Go Foundation) provides FREE starter sets for K-12 Go clubs at schools, libraries, YMCA's, YWCA's, etc.
Like Western Chess, it is taught at West Point Military Academy. U.S. General Douglas MacArthur studied it in WWII, because the Japanese military played it a great deal. Also, Mao Zedong (communist leader of mainland China), said that he would use its principles to conquer China. So, it has had an impact upon history, too! There are even business books written on its principles! Some have found similiarities between it and mathematician's, John Conway's, "Percolation Theory" that is used in the prediction of the spread of infectious diseases and forest fires.
You can find all of the "Hikaru No Go" videos on YouTube.com. They're pretty interesting - worth watching the first couple ones, anyway! A lot of younger players come to the game via Japanese anime "Hikaru no Go". They learn of the game, want to learn how to play it, then get hooked on it! just about all of the current University of Oklahoma Go Club players learned of it through Hkaru no Go.
The game takes less than one minute to learn. It's got less rules than chess, for example. For more information, you can check out these websites: www.usgo.org (American Go Association), www.okgoplayers.org,www.godiscussions.com, and, as always wikiepedia.com. You can also play online or watch others play at www.gokgs.com.