Go, also known as baduk, wei ch'i, weiqi, and igo, is an exciting board game played by millions of people today. Although it originated in China over 4,000 years ago, its popularity continues to grow each day, including in the United States. In Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan the games popularity far exceeds that of chess and professional players compete for huge cash prizes.
Despite the rules being able to be taught in a matter of minutes, it can take a lifetime to truly master the art of the game.
The rules are fairly simple to understand, two players alternate placing black and white stones on a 19x19 board. The goal is to surround the territory, the stones never move, only being removed from the board if completely surrounded. This game strives to teach concentration, balance, and discipline, similar to teachings found in Eastern martial arts. In Asia, it is traditional to play on a carved wooden board with stones made from slate and clamshell.
A great deal of the game's popularity comes from the fact that anyone can play. It appeals to many types of people, including artists, musicians, mathematicians, computer programmers, children, and more. It can be played as a fun way to pass the time or as a lifestyle, such as how Michael Redmond has devoted his life to the game. He is the only Western player to be recognized in Asia as a top-grade professional player.