Go is thought to be the world's most ancient board game, with deceptively simple rules that lead to deep strategy. After centuries of play, new ideas about the game are still being developed on a regular basis.

Japanese geisha playing go.

The game is believed to have originated in China, and is still most popular in East Asia, particularly Korea, Japan, and China. In Korea, it is called 바둑 (Baduk), pronounced / pa.tukʰ /, Japan where it is sometimes known as 囲碁 (I-Go), pronounced i.ɡo, and China, the game's original home, where it is named 圍棋 (trad.) / 围棋 (simp.) / wéiqí (Pinyin) pronounced ueɪ2.tɕʰi2. Each of these three countries have professional associations that allow individuals to hold the status of a professional Go player. It enjoys a small but rising popularity in other parts of the world.

For consistency, the rest of the book will use the name Go, and use Japanese terms. Korean and Chinese terms will still be listed.

Table of Contents


  1. About this book
  2. Why should I learn to play Go?
  3. Philosophical Beginnings
  4. How to Learn
  5. History


  1. What you need to play
  2. Lesson 1: Step-By-Step Guide to Playing
  3. Lesson 2: Basic Rules and Foundational concepts
  4. Lesson 3: Basic Capturing Techniques
  5. Lesson 4: Life and Death
  6. Strategy


  1. Lesson 3: Fuseki
  2. Lesson 4: Joseki
  3. Intermediate strategy


  1. Advanced strategy
  2. Tutoring

Beyond the Guide

  1. Glossary of terms
  2. Resources
  3. Contributors e.g. authors and editors