No platypus here. Move along.
GO 围棋; 碁, 囲碁; 바둑
Have you ever heard of the game of Go?
Pronounced “Baduk” in Korean, “WeiQi” in Chinese, “Igo” in Japanese, – and perhaps the world’s oldest and most complex game – it is amazingly easy to learn (impossible to master) and is far more versatile than chess. The handicap system in Go assures an enormous range of skill levels at which players can compete. This is one defining difference from chess, which has only timing for adjusting advantages in accordance with variations of player skill levels; If a 1600 rated chessplayer plays a 2100 rated chessplayer, the 1600 player has a grotesquely probable chance of being violently crushed. In Go there is a threshold, but one that is far more flexible than that of any other equally dynamic and complicated game. This makes Go perhaps amongst the most neglected of social blessings. The potential for non-repetitive ever-changing game situations, as well as the beautiful interface between competitors of wildly varying natures, is quite possibly the universal antidote to undesired solitude. Go has brought me much joy (and frustration) and affected the way I think. If you’ve any doubts regarding the significance I attribute to this wonderful game, please visit this remarkable and free resource for learning, playing and admiring the game of Go and sign up for a free account. I am confident that whether you ever play a game or not, you will find something unquestionably worthy of respect.
*Image borrowed from wikipedia
Goes great with green tea – sorry, I really like these guys,.. or their tea.
A Note on Chess
Although I was once sorely defeated by a Russian who removed his queen before the first move, in no way do I have any criticism for chess in any shape or form. I love chess and value the game as an intricate part of who I am, even though I never advanced beyond a feeble amateur. I simply found elements in Go which I’ve found in nothing else and which leave me content. I particularly admire the games of Alexander Alekhine and Mikhail Tal.
Other Go Resources
Fiction, with Go as part of the theme – Shibumi by Trevanian
A little window into China: www.yokungfu.com/