Physics Hosts “Go” Tournament Celebrating Ancient Chinese Game

Posted: July 12, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

On Saturday, July 15, at 9 a.m., the Physics Department hosts a “Go” tournament. Go is an ancient board game that originated in China more than 4,000 years ago. It is played today by millions of people, including thousands in the United States. In Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan, it is far more popular than chess is in the United States, and professional players compete for large cash prizes. The tournament, run by the Northern Virginia Go Club, is held in the Johnson Center, Room H, and is open to the public.

It is said that the rules of Go can be learned in minutes, but that it can take a lifetime to master the game. Two players alternate in placing black and white stones on a large ruled board, with the aim of surrounding territory. Stones are never moved, and are only removed if they are completely surrounded. According to the American Go Association, “the game rewards patience and balance over aggression and greed; the balance of influence and territory may shift many times during the course of a game, and a strong player must be prepared to be flexible but resolute. Like the Eastern martial arts, Go can teach concentration, balance, and discipline.”

The game also combines beauty and intellectual challenge–the patterns formed by the black and white stones are visually striking, and “can exercise almost hypnotic attraction as one sees more and more in constantly evolving positions.” The game appeals to many kinds of minds, from musicians and artists, to mathematicians and computer scientists, to entrepreneurs and options traders.

For more information about the tournament, call the Physics Department at x31280.

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