Go is an ancient game played with black and white stones on a square grid. Players alternate placing stones on the board, trying to control the most area by surrounding it. The rules are extremely simple, but the strategy is deep and complex. Some say, in fact, that go is the most complex game in the world.
It is interesting that even the best chess players in the world can be beaten by computer programs, but the go program has not yet been written that goes beyond the level of an intermediate player.
I mentioned the novel The Master of Go before, which is about a historic go match. It's a fabulous read, written by a former reporter who covered the go match for the newspapers while it was happening. The match stretches over many months. It's a classic tale of an old master facing up to his last and toughest challenge, and you don't have to understand go to enjoy it.
I do not play go, prefering instead games such as Uno or Twister that make me feel smart and capable. But I love reading the proverbs about the game. I've arranged some of them into a poem. I only tweaked a word here and there from the original proverbs.
Things I Wish I'd Known
Strange things happen at the one-two point.
Play away from thickness.
One is never aware enough of the violence.
Even a fight over nothing means something.
Beware of going back to patch up.
Beware of the clumsy double contact.
Don't go fishing while your house is on fire.
Don't make empty triangles.
Don't throw an egg at a wall.
Check escape routes first.
You should sacrifice plums for peaches.
You should make a fist before striking.
Big dragons never die.
Learn to play under the stones.