View Full Version : Go tactics & ideas

30th July 2000, 00:16
I'm new to go playing, stumbling across it one day at e-budo :D. My question is why was go developed? I understand that there is a long history behind it.

I've been playing it in total for about a month Vs my friend, and it's a fun game. Generally i try to link my pieces to a place with a untakeable liberty (against the edge of the board or something) then enclose the opponent. Or alternitavely i would try to set up formation like the following to make a impenetrable spot (doesn't work to well for me) ;)


- = space

I think this is some kind of common play?
Has anyone else got any tactics or anything to add?
it's all appreciated :)

1st August 2000, 01:09

Welcome to the E-budo Go Forum! For that matter ... welcome to Go. :)

The history of Go goes back about 3,000 years. There are different theories on it's origin, but the common theory is that it was some sort of divination or something. Anyway, Go has developed into the game it is today due to the development of Go in Japan over the past 400 years. An excellent link for the history of Go would be: http://www.cwi.nl/people/jansteen/go/history/index.html
If you're a top pro in Japan, you could expect to make around a million dollars (U.S. equivalency) or more per year. That would include game fees, tournament winnings, lectures, television appearances, go schools, and go publications (books and articles). That's how big the game is in Asia.

Tactics and strategy? Endless! Everygame can be different and involve literally myriads of different strategems and tactics. Because of this, the game is constantly evolving. The wonderful thing about the endless possibilities is that you can create and experiment. Of course there are some common strategic principles and tactics ... you can check into some go books for that.

As a beginner, you should play alot of games (start on 9x9 boards to become comfortable with basic tactics, then work your way up to 13x13 and then the full sized board 19x19) ... hopefully with many people (the internet is a good way to do that). You can start studying books to address weaknesses and to expand your knowledge on the game. As you learn new things you can experiment and apply them to your games. By this time, you'll be completely drawn into the game and your interest will turn into a love for Go.

Anyway, the shape you outlined in your post is a "ponnuki" shape. It tends to be quite strong. Other principles and ideas you'll hear about would include ... influence, thickness, reducing, invading, leaning attacks, life and death (problems on the board mainly), tesuji (correct tactical moves - brilliant tactical moves), connectivity, good/bad shape, and on and on and on and on ... .

It is worth remembering that the idea is to take more territory than your opponent. If capturing stones is a means to that end, that's fine ... however, it is often incidental. We westerners tend to get caught up in trying to capture stones ... probably because of our backgrounds in Chess. Capturing stones is fine as long as the war is won (more territory).

Just a couple of statements about Go (source: http://www.kiseido.com/ ):

Go uses the most elemental materials and concepts -- line and circle, wood and stone, black and white -- combining them with simple rules to generate subtle strategies and complex tactics that stagger the imagination. -Iwamoto Kaoru, 9-dan professional Go player and former Honinbo title holder

You're striving for harmony, and, if you try to take too much, you'll come to grief. -Michael Redmond, American Go player when 23 years old and already a 5-dan professional(currently the highest ranking westerner in the world at 8th dan)

The board is a mirror of the mind of the players as the moments pass. When a master studies the record of a game he can tell at what point greed overtook the pupil, when he became tired, when he fell into stupidity, and when the maid came by with tea. -Anonymous Go player

Plus, if you like ... I could arrange to play a few games with you on the internet.