View Full Version : How many squares are there on a go board?

29th May 2007, 08:36
How many squares are there on a go board?

Kami Kaze:
How many squares are there on a go board? Go away and think
about it and write your answer down before reading on!

20 kyu:
361 of course. "Wrong" says Kami Kaze.

10 kyu:
No silly, that's the number of vertices. There are 18x18 or 324
squares. "Wrong" says Kami Kaze.

(A pause follows, but frantic calculations occur.)

1 dan:
Aha, there are also squares 2x2 and 3x3 and so on, which means
that the total is 18x18 + 17x17 and so on making a grand total of

Aaaahh very clever! "But wrong" says Kami Kaze.

3 dan:
You've forgotten that they aren't squares, they are rectangles.
There are no squares on a go board!

That's a dirty trick. "And still wrong" says Kami

(Another pause, and many puzzled faces.)

Well how many squares are there on a go board then?

Kami Kaze
It is perfectly true that the smaller areas are rectangles, and
each of these is one twelth longer than it is wide. Therefore, if
we take an area twelve rectangles long and thirteen wide, we have
a large square, and this is the only size which works. There are
(19-12 ) x (19-13) or 42 such squares. The answer is forty-two.

Douglas Adams
We all knew the answer, it's the question that we didn't know.
Thank you Kami Kaze, the whole question of the meaning of Life,
The Universe and Everything is simply "How many squares are
there on a go board?"

I tried to tell them, but you know what humans are like, they
have the attention span of a dead gnat. Here I am with a brain the
size of a planet, and having worked out all the possible games of
go, the meaning of life is to have two eyes except in seki when

Which restaurant shall we eat at tonight?

(The crowd departs leaving Marvin talking to himself.)

I can tell you what the strictly correct komi is if you really
want to know? Oh never mind me, just carry on. I haven't got any
feelings of course .....

(found on the net somewhere where all truth originates ;) )

29th July 2007, 19:26
Now this is really nice! :)
Thanks, Robert-san, for the great find!
And it also leads us to the conclusion that Go, in fact, isn't actually The Game Of Life but The Game Of Life, The Universe, And All The Rest. So goodbye and thanks for all the fish! ;)