Evolution of Go

Hello everyone,

It was recently suggested to me in a review to study some older games as a way to improve.
I’ve been playing for over 5 months now and I’m gradually getting acquainted with the history and current professional scene of Go.

What I’d like to know is the evolution of play strategies this game underwent over the centuries to get to this point, and perhaps some places where I can study these games.

Thank you.

There are many ancient games in GoGoD, but they are not commented there.
I haven’t seen many books in English that would comment on old games and explain historical background. Appreciating Famous Games comes to mind, and Invincible. I’ve also seen a commentary on Dang Hu series somewhere.

If you know one of East Asian languages well enough to follow a game commentary, much more can be found in books and on the Net.

As for the evolution of the rules and strategy, it might be better to ask on L19 Forums, there should be people there who did some historical research.


This may not be exactly what you’re looking for in terms of games to review, but Inseong 8d from France recently lectured on the history of opening theory. You may find it as interesting and/or motivational as I did:



A brief summary is that play back then was more territorial than modern times. 3-3 was often used in openings, even as B. Openings with 3-3 for 1 corner and 3-4 for the other corner was very common. 1 reason was because of the lower Komi. Over time with Komi increase and players like Go Seigen and Kitani Minoru with their Shin Fuseki Movement and Takemiya’s Cosmic Style, influence became more valued and played more. I do not know about the Korean or Chinese side of Go history so you’d have to research it yourself though I find it highly likely they followed after much of the Japanese’s ideas since Japan was indisputably the best of that time.


I’ve found some articles about history of go on usgo site.

and some other page about history.



AFAIC, it makes sense that players would move to a 21x21 goban, both when computers got TOO good at play – and our teaching methods got a quantum leap better.