The first World Amateur Championship of GO -- one of the world's oldest board games -- began in Tokyo on Tuesday (13 March).
The first World Amateur Championship of GO -- one of the world's oldest board games -- began in Tokyo on Tuesday (13 March). Thirty-two expert players from sixteen countries are taking part.
SYNOPSIS: The winner will receive this handsome trophy.
The championship is being held at the Nippon Ki-in, and players are from China, Japan, France, Canada, Britain, Yugoslavia, Argentina, the United States, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Austria, West Germany, and South Korea. They represent four different continents.
The 1978 European Champion, Helmut Hasibeder of Austria, reads the pledge of good fellowship by the contestants, the cream of some ten million players around the world. Invented by the Chinese between four and five thousand years ago, the game was brought to Japan thirteen hundred years ago and to Europe a century back.
Played on a board marked into squares, GO is a territorial game featuring black and white stones set one at a time onto the grid lines and left in position. Each player tries to surround vacant areas, which become his territory. A secondary tactic is to capture stones by occupying all points near them. The game ends when neither player can make any more territory, or take any more prisoners, the winner being the one with the most territory.
The tournament is being played under rules devised by the Japan GO Association, called The Nihon Ki-in. A time system under these rules allows players situated in different countries -- or continents -- to compete against one another. Although the stones are static, the game projects a strong sense of advance and retreat, growth and weakening, stability and change. Hasibeder's performance attracted much attention from photographers in this country, where the game has reached its greatest heights.