Game of Stones II – The Easy Truth of Go

Game of Stones II – The Easy Truth of Go

Go, the truth is in the stones

Last week we looked at the origins of the board game Go and we discussed a little about how the game is played. In our second segment we want to dwell on some of the misconceptions about the Game of Go (Igo), Baduk or Weiqi and reveal to you the truth. We look at three popular misconceptions people have about go, look at how it actually benefit the human brain and we tell you about the Go-themed anime Hikaru No Go.

Popular Misconceptions

Misconception 1. Go, Baduk or Weiqi is too difficult or too hard to play

You may think that the game is too difficult or too hard to play. That is not the truth. In the beginning when you watch two people playing, it might seem that the game is very complex, but in fact if you are watching 2 people play on a 19 x 19 board, they are already experienced players playing a more complex game. New players generally start on a much smaller and less scary 9 x 9 board or by playing Atari or Capture go. We have seen children at a very young age play this game. The truth is that the game is easier than it looks and is for all ages.

The game is not just played by people with high intelligence but by your run of the mill everyday people, this is why the game is so popular in Asia. The game is also very stimulating and helps with the thinking and memory process, thus playing the game will make you smarter.

Misconception 2. I am not good at it

The truth is, everybody is not always good at something when they try it at first. Igo is a game where you get better at playing every time you play and there is always someone on your level playing the game. The best thing to do is to find someone to practice, play and improve with. Igo is also a mind sport and as any player (Tennis, PlayStation 2 etc.) will tell you that with practice you can become great in everything you do.

So you might not be good at it now. But persevere, play a few times… your game will improve and you will be well on your way to your first Dan ranking and your Pro status.

Misconception 3. I can’t always find opponents

This MIGHT be a problem, but if you are reading this article it means you have access to the internet. There are a few on-line Go sites where you will always find somebody to play against, Many Go servers have rooms set up for different countries so you may even find somebody in your city or town to play against.

You can also search Google and look for Go, Igo, Baduk, Weiqi Clubs in your city or area and the people at the these clubs will welcome you and help you with pleasure and connect you with other players to teach you and improve your game.

If you give yourself a chance, you will see that this game is for everybody and you deserve the chance to tell yourself: ‘I have tried that game.’ You might just become as addicted to the game as we are. The easy truth of Go is that it is for every one.

Baduk

Baduk

‘Baduk’ and the Brain

You may remember that Go is also known as Baduk. There are a lot of rumours that the game of Baduk (Go) is good for the brain and can improve memory and brain functions. In an article posted by the Seoul National University Hospital there is some interesting news on discoveries made regarding Baduk and the human brain.

A research team led by Professor Jun Soo Kwon (SNU College of Medicine) found that Baduk has enormous influence on the structural plasticity of the brain. And that the structure of the brains of professional players shows that different brain areas are more closely related to each other and that information route transmissions are well developed. In the study 17 young baduk players (17 years average age, 14 of them men and 3 women) were part of the experiments. 9 of them were professional Baduk Players. Baduk is good for the brain. (See link to the study at the bottom)

Hikaru no Go

Hikaru no Go

Hikaru no Go

There are more than one fun way to learn the amazing board game of Go. One of them is the Anime (Japanese Animation) series called Hikaru No Go.

In Hikaru No Go a young boy discovers an old Go board while clearing old stuff in storage. He plans to sell the board for pocket money but then discovers that the ghost of a man named Fujiwarano Sai, a man that taught the emperor of Japan Go during the Heian Era, inhabits the board. At first Hikaru decides to help the ghost to play his beloved Go game as a kindness and also to get tips for his history homework, but Hikaru gets interested in the game and he and Sai also become great friends.

The anime has a great storyline and it teaches you about Go episode for episode while keeping you interested in the plots as the tale unfolds. Lots of nice tips for beginners are learned, like in episode 2 they show you all about the Go board rule of Atari where you are in Atari when surrounded by three sides of the opponent’s stones.

Also in the episodes after the end credits there is a small extra series called Go, Go, Igo – a live action series where Teacher Yakari and her helpers Mai-chan and Yuuki-chan teaches us about moves and rules of the game. Example: In Episode 2 Teacher Yukari shows how easy it is to surround one stone in GO and in Episode 5 you are taught moves that are forbidden in Go like placing a stone in the middle of an opponent’s “eye” on the board. You should definitely watch this anime it is fun and educating.

We leave you with these words…

“This is the universe, and I am placing stones one by one on that. Like I am increasing the number of stars one by one. I’m making the universe. It’s like I’m a god. I am going to become a god on this Go Board” Hikaru said that in episode 5 which shows you that you are master of your game’s destiny, you are part of the flow and outcome of the game.

Here is a trailer for Hikaru no Go. Please follow our link: http://bit.ly/Hikaru-no-Go-Anime-Trailer

Another kind of Kung-Fu Panda

Like the Panda in Kung-Fu Panda, you can only get better through training, practice and playing when you are a Go Enthusiast. A nice place for doing just that as well as watching other games, studying and enjoy a game is the Pandanet Internet Go Server. Any given time of the day, hundreds of other players across the globe goes to Pandanet. They even broadcast matches from events, tournaments and lots more for free and also have a teaching section to teach people about Go.

So what are you waiting for? Go and have a look by following this link: http://bit.ly/Pandanet-server

Here is information about the study that was made on the influence of Baduk on the human Brain, please follow our link: http://bit.ly/Baduk-and-the-brain

Join us again next week where we will share the misconceptions about Go and more. Any suggestions, opinions or requests especially about Go, please mail us at bentobox@animefanatika.co.za