I am going to hold my first course in the Asian game of Go (Japanese), or Weiqi (Chinese) or Baduk (Korean) at end of November 2007. in the article I will refer to the game by the Japanese term, as it is the most commonly used in English as in German. The purpose of this page is to collect some ideas for the two days' course of four hours each.
My plan is to introduce the game as Atari-Go on a $9\times9$ board, where the rules are altered the following way:
- the party that captures the first stone wins
- you are not allowed to pass.
I am not sure if the second rule is accepted regularly, but the strong point about it is that territory is important from the first game, because after both players have staked their territories they are forced to fill their own ground until in ate. After three games (at most) I will state that this process can be shortened by counting the territory. Only after some hours I will introduce the proper rules including Ko, but without Seki.
At first I will have to do a massive number of concurrent games. This will leave a lot of people waiting for my moves … not good. Maybe I can give five games simultaneously, and six people play each other. Whenever two playing me have finished, they'll have to play each other, and the next to playing each other will go next playing me.
With a couple of participants, it will be good to project a board. This can only be done in the computer lab. The idea is to discuss tactics after a couple of games.
I plan to introduce Go on the internet, as there will be no real Go group in town following this course and younger students will not be able to travel conveniently and may be required to be home before 10 or so. Some ideas are: watching a game, maybe offering a game (or rather, asking for shido-go) on a small board. Maybe some DGoB member could offer this service on the second day?
For recreation, I can show some Anime — but where to end? I can only offer an appetizer.
History of the game
Further it should be possible to recollect some history from the Go Almanac.
- Origin unknown
- second millennium BC
- Theory: evolved as method of divination by astrologers
- Japan: First game of the nobility, then of the monks, then (12th century) of the warriors, then of the middle class
- Japan: Primary goal: Not overcome opponent, but "hand conversation" against human weaknesses: greed, anger and stupidity.
All in all there should be enough variety to fill a weekend, but there is some preparation to do.
The Hebsacker-Verlag sponsors a starter kit with cardboard boards and stones (ouch!). I will try to collect as many small boards as I can get from Go groups around (Mannheim, Heidelberg, Weinheim, maybe Darmstadt) and enough glass stones.