What is Go?

The Go game, called Weiqi ( 围棋 ) in China, I-Go ( 囲碁 ) in Japan and Baduk ( 바둑 ) in Korea, is an East Asian board game for two people and with over 4,000 years the oldest board game in the world. It originally comes from China and found its way to Japan about 1300 years ago. Since then, the ancient Chinese form of Wei-qi has been developed by the Japanese into the form of Go that is primarily known today. Even today, Go or Wei-qi are still very popular in Japan and China, you can hardly find a newspaper or magazine without a column about the game. The game is also popular in Korea under the name 'Baduk'. Go is also played outside of China, Japan and Korea. Worldwide, the number of Go players is probably several million.

The Go-Rules - short and crisp

Rule 1: Two players take turns placing a stone of their color on a free intersection of the board, starting with black. The stone or the chain of stones to which this stone belongs must have at least one free point, i.e. a horizontally or vertically adjacent free intersection. Alternatively, the players may give up their move and pass. A stone that has already been placed is not moved. Both players try to demarcate more free intersections (area) for themselves than the opposing player.

Rule 2: If an opponent's checker or an opponent's chain of checkers loses its last freedom by such a move, this checker or chain of checkers is removed from the board and kept until the end of the game until the game is settled.

Rule 3: If the opponent has hit a checker in the last move, and if the checker that the opponent has set to hit could be immediately returned, so that the identical board position as before the opponent's move is created, then exactly this move is not allowed, in order to prevent endless back and forth.

The settlement: The game ends as soon as both players pass one after the other and agree on the end of the game. All stones in the opponent's area that could still be hit are now removed from the board as prisoners. Each captured stone and each demarcated area point counts one point. The winner is the player with more points. In case of a tie, the game ends in a draw.


  •    An interactive Go course in different languages gives a detailed introduction to the game of Go.
  •    We offer a game manual (de/en/fr), which can also be downloaded as a free PDF.

    There are over 30,000 Go players in Germany. Of these, 2,200 have organized themselves into clubs. At the time of the Weimar Republic, the first Go group formed in Berlin, which met irregularly in a café. Today, there is a Go club with regular games in almost every major German city. On almost every weekend a Go tournament is organized in a German city. In addition, German championships as well as European championships take place every year. Beginners and interested people are welcome guests at the many regular game evenings in the individual cities. There you can get the rules explained and try to get to the bottom of the game. A list of the game evenings in Germany can be found on the website of the Deuschen Go-Bund e.V.