Technorati href="http://www.technorProfile Thinking Nurse: The Ancient Japanese Game of Go

Thinking Nurse

This blog will reflect my interests in learning disabilities, nursing, nursing theory, philosophy and politics and my general interests in the arts and literature. (Nursing is an art as well as a science!) Philosophy and nursing have been intrinsically linked since the days of Socrates, his mother was a midwife, and taught him everything he knew!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Ancient Japanese Game of Go

When I am not learning how to be a Learning Disability Nurse, and not blogging, I like to play a rather fiendish game of strategy known as 'Go'.

The basic principles of the game are very simple. You either have black or white 'stones', and place them alternately onto a grid, at the points where the lines cross.

If you fill all the points around an area of the board, that area becomes your territory. The aim is to surround as much territory as possible, without becoming surrounded yourself.

From such simple rules however, a game of immense depth and complication emerges. Games can last for months. Masters of Go sometimes play full chess amtches against each other to relax in between moves!

A full size GO board is 19X19, leading to an immense number of possible permutations of the game. So far, unlike chess, there is no computer programme that can even come close to beating the best human players.

You can play go online at the system works well, and there are a good bunch of players there of all levels of ability, so it is easy to get a good game.

I play as 'Mostly Harmless' - here is a link to a discussion on the philosophy of Go.

Another good place to limber up and gain Go skills is Go Problems here you dont actually play an opponent, but try to solve Go puzzles, ranging from basic beginner level, right up to downright impossible.

If you decide to take up Go, the motto is 'lose your first 100 games quickly'. To be a Go player, you need to forget about quick and easy victories. Rather like life, you build up your skill and awareness slowly and incrementally, then still lose anyway!


At 2:40 PM, Blogger Jodie said...

I've played Go many times, unfortunately with someone who had to win, no matter what. It's hard to play games when you plan to lose to keep someone from being angry...luckily I'm not married to him anymore, but it's still hard to enjoy a game with so many negative associations. :)

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