The Games of Honinbo Shuei, Volume 2
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The middle phase of the game is the most combative, and usually lasts for more than moves. During the middlegame, or just "the fighting", the players invade each others' frameworks, and attack weak groups, formations that lack the necessary two eyes for viability. Such groups must run away, i. It is Go 13 quite possible that one player will succeed in capturing a large weak group of the opponent's, which will often prove decisive and end the game by a resignation. But matters may be more complex yet, with major trade-offs, apparently dead groups reviving, and skillful play to attack in such a way as to construct territories rather than to kill.
The end of the middlegame and transition to the endgame is marked by a few features. The game breaks up into areas that do not affect each other with a caveat about ko fights , where before the central area of the board related to all parts of it. No large weak groups are still in serious danger. Moves can reasonably be attributed some definite value, such as 20 points or fewer, rather than simply being necessary to compete. Both players set limited objectives in their plans, in making or destroying territory, capturing or saving stones.
These changing aspects of the game usually occur at much the same time, for strong players. In brief, the middlegame switches into the endgame when the concepts of strategy and influence need reassessment in terms of concrete final results on the board. The earliest written reference to the game is generally recognized as the historical annal Zuo Zhuan  c. Today, in China, it is known as weiqi simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: wiq; WadeGiles: wei ch'i , literally the "encirclement board game". Go was originally played on a line grid, but a grid became standard by the time of the Tang Dynasty In Korea, the game is called baduk hangul: , and a variant of the game called Sunjang baduk was developed by the 16th century.
Sunjang baduk became the main variant played in Korea until the end of the 19th century. The game reached Japan in the 7th century AD where it is called go or igo the game became popular at the Japanese imperial court in the 8th century,  and among the general public by the 13th century.
In the same year, he assigned the then-best player in Japan, a Buddhist monk named Nikkai n Kan Yosaburo, , to the post of Godokoro Minister of Go. Although there are some mentions of the game in western literature from the 16th century forward, Go did not start to become popular in the West until the end of the 19th century, when German scientist Oskar Korschelt wrote a treatise on the game. In , Edward Lasker learned the game while in Berlin.
Two years later, in , the German Go Association was founded. Both astronauts were awarded honorary dan ranks by the Nihon Ki-in. In Go, rank indicates a player's skill in the game. Traditionally, ranks are measured using kyu and dan grades,  a system which also has been adopted by many martial arts. More recently, mathematical rating systems similar to the Elo rating system have been introduced.
Dan grades abbreviated d are considered master grades, and increase from 1st dan to 7th dan.
First dan equals a black belt in eastern martial arts using this system. The difference among each amateur rank is one handicap stone.
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For example, if a 5k plays a game with a 1k, the 5k would need a handicap of four stones to even the odds. Top-level amateur players sometimes defeat professionals in tournament play. These ranks are separate from amateur ranks. Such rules may differ between events. Rules that influence the game include: the setting of compensation points komi , handicap strategies, and time control parameters. Rules that do not generally influence the game are: the tournament system, pairing strategies, and placement criteria.
Common tournament systems used in Go include the McMahon system,  Swiss system, league systems and the knockout system. Tournaments may combine multiple systems; many professional Go tournaments use a combination of the league and knockout systems. To prevent this, the ko rule is sometimes extended to disallow the repetition of any Go 16 previous position.
This extension is called superko. State sponsorship, allowing players to dedicate themselves full time to study of the game, and fierce competition between individual houses resulted in a significant increase in the level of play. During this period, the best player of his generation was given the prestigious title Meijin master and the post of Godokoro minister of Go.
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Of special note are the players who were dubbed Kisei Go Sage. The only three players to receive this honor were Dosaku, Jowa and Shusaku, all of the house Honinbo. After the end of the Tokugawa shogunate and the Meiji Restoration period, the Go houses slowly disappeared, and in , the Nihon Ki-in Japanese Go Association was formed. Top players from this period often played newspaper-sponsored matches of games. After his return to Korea, the Hanguk Kiwon Korea Baduk Association was formed and caused the level of play in South Korea to rise significantly in the second half of the 20th century.
With the advent of major international titles from onward, it became possible to compare the level of players from different countries more accurately. As of , Japan lags behind in the international Go scene. Historically, as with most sports and games, more men than women have played Go. Special tournaments for women exist, but until recently, men and women did not compete together at the highest levels; however, the creation of new, open tournaments and the rise of strong female players, most notably Rui Naiwei, have in recent years highlighted the strength and competitiveness of emerging female players.
A famous player of the s was Edward Lasker.
In , Manfred Wimmer became the first Westerner to receive a professional player's certificate from an Asian professional Go association. In total, as of , only nine non-Asian Go players have ever achieved professional status in Asian associations. Equipment A traditional Japanese set, with floor board goban , bowls goke and stones goishi It is possible to play Go with a simple paper board and coins or plastic tokens for the stones.
More popular midrange equipment includes cardstock, a laminated particle board, or wood boards with stones of plastic or glass. More expensive traditional materials are still used by many players. The most expensive Go sets have black stones carved from slate and white stones carved from translucent white shells.
Traditional equipment Boards The Go board generally referred to by its Japanese name goban typically measures between 45 and 48 cm 18 and 19 in in length from one player's side to the other and 42 to 44 cm 17 to 17 in in width. Chinese boards are slightly larger, as a traditional Chinese Go stone is slightly larger to match. The board is not square; there is a ratio in length to width, because with a perfectly square board, from the player's viewing angle the perspective creates a foreshortening of the board.
The added length compensates for this. The traditional Japanese goban is between 10 and 18 cm 3. More recently, the related California Torreya Torreya californica has been prized for its light color and pale rings as well as its reduced expense and more readily available stock. The natural resources of Japan have been unable to keep up with the enormous demand for the slow-growing Kaya trees; both T.
Traditional Japanese stones are double-convex, and made of clamshell white and slate black. The material comes from Yunnan Province and is made by sintering a proprietary and trade-secret mixture of mineral compounds. This process dates to the Tang Dynasty and, after the knowledge was lost in the s during the Chinese Civil War, was rediscovered in the s by the now state-run Yunzi company.
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The term "yunzi" can also refer to a single-convex stone made of any material; however, most English-language Go suppliers will specify Yunzi as a material and single-convex as a shape to avoid confusion, as stones made of Yunzi are also available in double-convex while synthetic stones can be either shape. Traditional stones are made so that black stones are slightly larger in diameter than white; this is to compensate for the optical illusion created by contrasting colors that would make equal-sized white stones appear larger on the board than black stones. These particular stones are made of Yunzi material, and the bowls of jujube wood.
Bowls The bowls for the stones are shaped like a flattened sphere with a level underside. Chinese bowls are slightly larger, and a little more rounded, a style known generally as Go Seigen; Japanese Kitani bowls tend to have a shape closer to that of the bowl of a snifter glass, such as for brandy. The bowls are usually made of turned wood. Rosewood is the traditional material for Japanese bowls, but is very expensive; wood from the Chinese jujube date tree, which has a lighter color it is often stained and slightly more visible grain pattern, is a common substitute for rosewood, and traditional for Go Seigen-style bowls.
Other traditional materials used for making Chinese bowls include lacquered wood, ceramics, stone and woven straw or rattan. The names of the bowl shapes, Go Seigen and Kitani, pay homage to two 20th-century professional Go players by the same names, of Chinese and Japanese nationality, respectively, who are referred to as the "Fathers of modern Go". For these situations, table boards are usually used instead of floor boards, and are either made of a lower-cost wood such as spruce or bamboo, or are flexible mats made of vinyl or leather that can be rolled up.
In such cases, the stones are usually made of glass, plastic or resin such as melamine or Bakelite rather than slate and shell. Bowls are often made of plastic or inexpensive wood. Common "novice" Go sets are all-inclusive kits made of particle board or plywood, with plastic or glass stones, that either fold up to enclose the stone containers or have pull-out drawers to keep stones.
Magnetic sets are also available, either as portable travel sets or in larger sizes for educational purposes. Go 19 Playing technique and etiquette Go players in Shanghai demonstrate the traditional technique of holding a stone. The traditional way to place a Go stone is to first take one from the bowl, gripping it between the index and middle fingers, with the middle finger on top, and then placing it directly on the desired intersection.
Time control A game of Go may be timed using a game clock. Formal time controls were introduced into the professional game during the s and were controversial. Go tournaments use a number of different time control systems. All common systems envisage a single main period of time for each player for the game, but they vary on the protocols for continuation in overtime after a player has finished that time allowance. The top professional Go matches have timekeepers so that the players do not have to press their own clocks.
Two widely used variants of the byoyomi system are:  Standard byoyomi: After the main time is depleted, a player has a certain number of time periods typically around thirty seconds. After each move, the number of full time periods that the player took often zero is subtracted. For example, if a player has three thirty-second time periods and takes thirty or more but less than sixty seconds to make a move, they lose one time period. With seconds, they lose two time periods, and so on. If, however, they take less than thirty seconds, the timer simply resets without subtracting any periods.
Using up the last period means that the player has lost on time. Canadian byoyomi: After using all of their main time, a player must make a certain number of moves within a certain period of time, such as twenty moves within five minutes.
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This is comparable to algebraic chess notation, except that Go stones do not move and thus require only one coordinate per turn. Coordinate systems include purely numerical point , hybrid K3 , and purely alphabetical. The Japanese word kifu is sometimes used to refer to a game record.