The Temple

(Don’t take this seriously, this is all a joke)

I thought about something. Chess players have Caïssa, goddess of chess. We, go players, have nothing like that. Best we have is “hand of god” but it’s not very personal or interesting, it doesn’t do anything really.

Now, since introduction of Glicko, ranks changes became very tricky to predict - your rank goes up or down with such weird deltas. Plus the system as a whole is harder to understand. Most players don’t understand how it works, some know general principles, and maybe a very small minority if at all can check whether the system works as intended or not. Category ranks are a whole another story altogether.

So I propose to create our fantasy god - god (or goddess) of ranks. It would explain a lot. “Why did my rank rose by only X points?” - “Maybe you were arrogant in your play and the god of ranks is punishing you for that”, stuff like that. And honestly, the way the chat explains rating changes to beginners can be often summarized as “don’t worry about it, it’s magic” anyway. So I think creating our own mythology, starting with the god(dess) of ranks and a temple honoring them, is a needed move. Later we can expand our pantheon.

So, what we need to do:

  1. Think of a name that would stick.
  2. Determine their gender.
  3. Symbols and hats.
  4. Outline high priests - people who are able to interpret rank changes.
  5. Determine schedule and content of sacrifices.
  6. Develop a strategy to spread this.

But the name is first. Glicko sounds stupid.

Wanted to take this off my chest.


For some reason I imagined a cruel god named Grixis first thing.
But I’d actually have to put thought into it for more :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: Now I know why, Grixis is apparently an MtG thing…

  1. Name: Aleaitia

  2. Female

  3. Symbols and Hats: Determined by the same methodology as sacrifices (see below).

  • Interlude for some Mythology
    • Aleaitia, being the goddess of luck and good fortune in games, particularly ones requiring great wisdom and skill, is often capricious in her comport, yet rarely acts without a plan, though that plan need not always be the best: life as a goddess can get quite dull without human drama to spice things up. This philosophy has made a kind-of friend out of Eris, goddess of discord. Eris is ever attempting to convince Aleaitia to go along with ever more chaotic plans, and Aleaitia often tries to sell Eris on the chaotic value in some baseline stability, but neither really ever convinces the other for long since they’ll both interpret the outcome of any plan that the other came up with as either going well due to their influence, or failing due to the other’s. They often enjoy playing poker together though, being goddesses, they have to continually create new variants to keep the games interesting.
  1. Priesthood: There are three types of Aleaitian priests named after her two daughters and one son (Eris claims they’re hers, but she’s Eris, so who knows): Naletia, Estatios, and Emotia. Naletia (f.) is the goddess of newfound luck (good or bad): she has no interest in luck which remains constant, but finds joy in turns of fortune. Estatios (m.) is in many ways Naletia’s opposite: he finds solace in luck that is predictable, much to his mother’s chagrin (though Eris finds it hilarious). Emotia (f.) is the goddess of mortal reactions to luck: she can be seen convincing mortals that either her brother’s or her sister’s philosophies are true on any given day, though she does not enjoy schadenfreude so much as Naletia, (Estatios to a lesser extent), Aleaitia, or (well, duh) Eris; rather she does so because she feels like it.
    All three may bestow either good or bad fortune in their respective areas, though loyalty to one may convince them to give you more good luck than bad, and perhaps (for the most devout), even some protection against the envy of the other two, though when Eris and/or Aleaitia set their minds to messing with something, the three siblings’ power to interfere is limited.
    In order to become a priest of any of the three orders, one must first ensure that their loyalty lies towards the god(dess) of their respective priesthood. Once confident in their choice, they need only declare their desired priesthood and hope a string of bad luck does not follow. If it does, they have been rejected, though they can (of course) try again. If no string of bad luck follow, they can be confident that they have been accepted into their chosen order. One can only belong to one order at a time (though one can, of course, attempt to curry favor with any number of them), and can only be removed from priesthood by voluntary resignation (though nothing stops the god(desse)s from visiting bad fortune upon them until they “voluntarily” resign).
    In disputes amongst followers of the Aleaitian god(desse)s, priests of any of the three orders have priority in judgement over non-priests. If the dispute involves two or more priests, Naletian priests preside over Estatiosan priests, Estatiosan priests preside over Emotian priests, and Emotian priests preside over Naletian priests. If this doesn’t resolve the dispute, well Eris and Aleaitia are laughing at you, so don’t bother asking them for help.

  2. Sacrifices: Any priest may declare a standalone ritual and/or sacrifice, or an entire holiday to honor their deity, which may or may not include sacrifice(s). The fortune (good or bad) which follows the event will determine whether or not the event has found favor in the eyes of the priest’s deity. Do not be alarmed if an event which previously seemed favored no longer seems so: the god(dess) probably got bored with it. Or is trying to get you to resign your priesthood. Always a possibility.

  3. TBD


I don’t think Go players worship rating systems, but instead strong play. We care less about increasing rank and more about finding the divine move.

If we are looking to name a God, perhaps one has already been named.


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This was my first thought too :laughing:

There could also be lesser deities for…

  1. misclicks
  2. mis-reading
  3. playing tesuji without knowing it
  4. being overcome with bloodlust
  5. etc

Speak for yourself, while I’m gonna try to rank up honest I’m definitely trying to rank up


So I’m gonna try to flesh out something a tad more interesting.

I’m gonna start out with a premise that most gods of mythology start out somewhat simple without a lot of backstory or traditions – it’s the years of time that create them. However, we need that span of time to speed up to just us on a page.

First the name, which very often comes from something related to the deity. I’m gonna start with Glicko, but Japanify it to Gurikko, then a few (random-ish) sound changes to Kurikko -> Kurigu -> Kurigun -> Korigun

I envision Korigun as less of a “god from nature/the beginning” but a “hero who achieved the status of godhood” in our case. Which then how he achieved this will be pivotal to the symbols and structure. Ofc, I’d need some time to actually write and think this out to flesh it out further.


I heard stories in my childhood about the goddess of life and death, Yan. She has many eyes, and if she looks upon you with at least two of them you get to live. If she turns her eyes away from you, you die a horrible death.

She’s said to sometimes take the form of a peacock.


Isn’t there already a God of Go? Don’t know if anybody did it better than Honinbo Shusaku, who remained undefeated in the Castle Games. A book detailing his performance in the games is referred to as the Go Bible by many dan level players (Invincible - The Games of Shusaku). There have also been a few Go Saints :wink:.

Frankly there are so many cool players throughout Go history, if there were priests, or some sort of elevated status individuals who were worthy of recognition by a God(dess) of Go, these players get my vote for stocking those positions. As players, do we not continually look for inspiration, teaching, and guidance from such individuals? Many of us fantasize, strive, or are driven to be equal or better than these amazing examples. Personally, I’m 38, but hope to be like Sumire Nakamura when I grow up :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I don’t mean to say that we don’t care about getting stronger. In fact, my entire statement is meant to convey that actually getting stronger (or “ranking up honestly” to use your phrasing) is more important than just doing what it takes to make the rating number larger (which can also happen from luck, opponent mistakes, gaming/abusing the rating system). I think we are essentially in agreement.

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I have two ideas for two gods that represent i think the two fundamental aspects of every go player.


Hikaru Shindo representing the student, and Fugiwara No Sai, representing the master. Sure they are fictional characters, but the lore around them is already there. And in my opinion they represent the best and worst in Go players, which is what any and all Go related gods, should do.

Other than that im cant say im ready to make Alpha Go a god, or indeed just make one up. I think it should be based in the history and lore of the Go world to begin with.

Edit: Addition:

In terms of the priests and other stuff… there need not be any of that. What makes this special is that any relationship that we have with another go player can fall in to the master/student roll. We are all masters and all students, and thus, each of us is inherently the propogater and keeper of said gods ideals.

I think its more elegant than having a too rigid structure personally, and its should be about the symbolysm as opposed to actually trying to make a religious sect as it were.

So interesting to see everyone thinking about their own representation of what go is all about. I was meaning to kind of make fun of difficult to understand rating changes, that’s all. But this is turning into more than that, I like it.

Of course, my own thoughts are more in line of @mekriff’s DnD type of thinking.

AlphaGo worship is already kind of religion. We have plenty of AlphaGo fans refusing to accept that AlphaGo maybe isn’t as strong as other modern bots. It’s as if chess players worshipped Deep Blue.


The analogy was a bit unclear. Since you mentioned Caissa first, it seemed that’s what you were after. I thought that bringing up Glicko seemed odd, since it would be like suggesting that chess players worshiped Elo.

AlphaGo is just one many at this point. You have its direct descendants, up to AlphaZero, and then the many similar architectures that it clearly inspired. Still, AlphaGo was the first in an ever growing pantheon.

Is that really the case? Clearly, the earlier versions that were still called AlphaGo were superseded by AlphaZero. Given that Google seems to be done with developing that further and maybe moved on to other things, there’s no doubt that a static AlphaZero is bound to be left behind.