Pointless Fun Facts and Sayings (for beginners)


I felt productive today, but didn’t really feel like doing anything usefull, therefore I decided to start a small daily series for beginners. DISCLAIMER: This will probably not be usefull to you in any way (whoever you are), but leave a like anyway (I think I might get some new badge if I get enough likes :stuck_out_tongue: .) And of course if you feel like adding your own fun fact AND a saying, please do.

Fun fact:
Traditional goban has a rectangular grid (not squareish). It is made so to appear sqareish when you view it from the side in an angle.

Saying to improve your game:
Do not go fishing, when your house is on fire.

How does one play a teaching game (as the teacher)?

Fun fact: Black stones should be slightly larger in diameter than white stones to compensate for the optical illusion where black is percieved as thinner when surrounded by white.
more info

Saying to improve your game:
If you wish to attack the east, make noise in the west.


Fun fact:
It is believed that there are more possible game variations in go than there are atoms in the observable universe.
if you understand math

Saying to improve your game:
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.


Fun fact: Go is (EDIT) the oldest known abstract strategy board game with full information which is still played in the form relatively unchanged from its first written descriptions (/EDIT). However there have been some slight changes. The oldest found goban was 17x17 while komi rule is only about 100 years old.

Saying to improve your game:
A Rich Man Should Not Pick Quarrels with poor.


I think this is wrong, but it is, AFAIK, the oldest known strategic board game.
Many other and simpler games, children’s games, etc., will be much older.


Yes, sorry and thank you. Wiki says oldest BOARD game with some source I can’t really check. :microscope:


Fun fact:
Tengen is the sixth most played first move in pro games (according to this database http://ps.waltheri.net/) appearing in more than 100 (non-handicapped) pro games with almost 50% win ratio.

Two sayings to confuse you and ruin your game (I really heard both, can anyone confirm? :-D):

  • He who first plays at tengen wins
  • Play at tengen is always wrong.


[quote=“Adam3141, post:7, topic:10253”]
I really heard both,[/quote]I’m not surprised …

I can’t but I like such fuzzy and even contradictory proverbs in Go—they make me THINK for myself, and they force me to focus on the specific situation instead of just playing some move habitually.

I remember the proverbs about the four corners, as talked about on Sensei’s Library:

  • The player who has all four corners should resign.
  • The player whose opponent has all four corners should resign.

Odd, eh? But easily resolved if it’s changed to this:

- If any player has all four corners, Black should resign.


I’ve even seen this meta-proverb:

- Go proverbs only apply to Black.


Well, minor details may differ, but the gist of the message remains clear: one should resign. :wink:


Wiki also says backgammon is some 5000 years old, which makes go look young in comparison. :slight_smile: Checkers games in one form or another are comparably old and it’s quite possible that mancala games were there pretty much forever. So we probably should say go is “the oldest known abstract strategy board game with full information which is still played in the form relatively unchanged from its first written descriptions” or something like that. :slight_smile:


Hehehe, deal :smiley: that sounds even more awesome anyway


Fun fact:
The computer and video game company atari was named after a go term.

Saying to improve your game:
A very obvious move should be very suspicious to you.


Fun Fact: Chess is 1200-1600 years old and is competing with Go for Most Strategic Game.
Chess also has more games possible than atoms in the universe.




I agree that mancala is probably incredibly ancient, in view of its simplicity and the materials it uses. However, I don’t think mancala can really be called a board game, because the board does not function as a game board in the strict meaning of the phrase. You can’t play Monopoly without a board–that’s a game board–but you can play mancala without a board, which is probably how it was originally played–just moving stones around from pile to pile. I was introduced to mancala at an early age by some teenagers at a sort of quasi rec center with one board. If more people wanted to play, they simply put the stones in piles on the picnic table, or sometimes on the ground. An analogy would be cribbage, which is not a board game, even though it has a cribbage board. In both cases the board is merely a convenience.


Sure, and I’ve heard in Africa it is still played like this often enough. But if your definition of game board is that strict, go board doesn’t look like much of a board either.


Wonderful cartoon! And so appropriate to the discussion! I do think there is difference, however. In the cartoon, the ground itself is the board, because in go the board contributes the lines to the game. Or viewed another way, the lines themselves are the board. The mancala board, by contrast, contributes nothing. The hollows are merely a convenience that can be dispensed with.


I still do not see how mancala board differs from, say, backgammon board… but this discussion is becoming an off-topic, and a hairsplitting off-topic at that :slight_smile:


Fun fact:
Did you realize that when playing atari-go even a one-eyed group can be immortal?

Saying to improve your game:
Just because you do not know how to answer does not mean you can tenuki


It is possible to cheat an unwary human opponent in a face to face game by bumping a stone or swiping one. Online go and bots diminish the game by eliminating this facet of it.