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Version: 1.0 | Updated: 03/21/08 | Printable Version


(Famicom Igo Introduction)

NES 1991

Version:        1.0

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Weiqi in Chinese, Igo or Go in Japanese, and Baduk in Korean , is a strategic,
zero-sum, deterministic board game of perfect information. It was played in
ancient China before 200 BC. The game is now popular throughout the world,
especially in East Asia.

Some legends trace the origin of the game to Chinese emperor Yao (2337 - 2258
BC) who designed it for his son, Danzhu, to teach him discipline,
concentration, and balance. Other theories suggest that the game was derived
from Chinese warlords and generals who used pieces of stone to map out
attacking positions, or that Go equipment emerged from divination material. The
earliest written references of the game come from the Zuo Zhuan, which
describes a man in 548 BC who likes the game, and Book XVII of the Analects of
Confucius, compiled sometime after 479 BC.

In China, Go was perceived as the popular game of the aristocratic class while
Xiangqi (Chinese chess) was the game of the masses. Go was considered one of
the cultivated arts of the Chinese scholar gentleman, along with calligraphy,
painting and playing the guqin, together known as Sėyė, or the Four Arts of the
Chinese Scholar.

Go had reached Japan from China by the 7th century, and gained popularity at
the imperial court in the 8th century. By the beginning of the 13th century, Go
was played among the general public in Japan.

In 1603, Tokugawa Ieyasu created Japan's first unified national government.
Almost immediately, he appointed the then-best player in Japan, Honinbo Sansa,
head of a newly founded Go academy (the Honinbo school, the first of several
competing schools founded about the same time). These officially recognized and
subsidized Go schools greatly developed the level of play, and introduced the
martial arts style system of ranking players. Players from the four houses
(Honinbo, Yasui, Inoue, Hayashi) competed in the annual castle games for status
and the position of Godokoro, or minister of Go. Players like Honinbo
Shusaku became national celebrities. The government discontinued its support
for the Go academies in 1868 as a result of the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate.

Historically, Go has seen unequal gender participation. However, the opening of
new, open tournaments and the rise of strong female players, most notably Rui
Naiwei, has in recent years legitimised the strength and competitiveness of
emerging female players.

Around 2000, in Japan, the manga (Japanese comic) and anime series Hikaru no Go
popularized Go among the youth and started a Go boom in Japan.

Scott A. Boorman's The Protracted Game: A Wei-Chi Interpretation of Maoist
Revolutionary Strategy, likens the game to historical events, saying that the
Maoists were better at surrounding territory. Mao Zedong himself was a Go



D-Pad:    Move the cursor, cycle through menus.
A-Button: Confirm selections, place stone
B-Button: Undo move
START:    Pause/Resume game


There are three modes to choose from the main menu.

ƒ‹[ƒ‹Ž›Žq‰Ū Terakoya Rules (Training)

Pick one of the options, the "End" option simply returns to the main menu
(remember you are reading from right to left so it's the 'last' option like on
most menus you use in games).
 I—đ End
 ‰ž—p‚Ö Application
 Šî‘b‚Đ‚į Basics

Each of the two training modes have several subcatogories to learn. The
description is quite detailed and has lots of visual aids. It isn't the best to
learn without any prior knowledge, but it helps to refresh your memory and
teach you some more things you may not have known already.

‚Ē‚ī‘΋Į Play Igo

There are several options to choose from. Select the ones you which to use and
start the game with the START button.

At the top left is a box with all sorts of important information. At the top
you have the xŽč–Ú x-Turns that have been played. The current player's turn is
shown by •”Ô for Black's turn and ”’”Ô for White's turn. Underneath are the
‚ ‚Æ remaining x•b seconds for the current move. This can be changed in the
options. If the time runs out, you lose. There is a neat little animation that
counts down the time as well, don't get distracted from playing though!
Finally, the bottom left corner has the score for captured stoness. This is
important for deciding the winner later.

Use the directional pad to move the cursor to the desired grid position. Use
the A button to place your stone on this spot. B button resets the last move.
SELECT for option for music (‚Ļ‚ņ‚Š‚­)  to be on (‚ ‚č) or off (‚Č‚ĩ). Press
START to PAUSE the game and unpause again when ready to continue.

If you reset the game while a game was in progress, you can use the continue
option (‚‚ÂŦ‚ð‚·‚é) or start a new game (‚ ‚―‚į‚ĩ‚­). Remember to use START
to begin.

ŒŸ’č‚ĖŠŲ Test Building

There are two options immediately after picking the test center. You can choose
to stop which returns to the main menu, or you can start the rest. The only way
to interrupt the test once you have started is to reset the machine.
 ‚â‚Á‚Ä‚Ý‚é Have a go. ‚â‚ß‚é Stop.
You get asked 20 questions and have 3 choices to give the correct answer. After
all of them are answered you get the result screen and that is it already for
this mode. You have to be pretty good in order to achieve a good result here.


Note: This is a very basic introduction to the Go rules that should get to
      started playing. For advance rules you should consult an in-depth guide,
      book or perhaps join a school/club.


There are two players in Go, one controls the white stones and the other the
black ones. Both place the stones on the grid that has intersecting lines
called points. The grid is standard 19x19 but can be resized to the players'
needs or desired. Amateurs usually play on a 13x13 grid. Each player has a go
one after the other, but one may also pass across to the other player and not
do any move. Should the other player also pass the game is over.

Black always starts out. In case of a handicap there might already be a few
stones placed but otherwise the board is empty.


To capture an opponent's, one needs to surround the stone completely. The
capture stone will be removed from the board. For example: 
| |o| |
| |*| |
The white player (o) can now place a stone at the * point to remove the black
player's stone (x). You can capture more than one stone at any time by
surrounding them all with yours.

One may also place a stone into an enemy territory where it would normally be
removed, as long as the placement removes the other stones to free up the
points. If the other stones were not to be removed by this move it would
result in what's called a suicide. This is not allowed.


By creating a group that cannot be captured, the player has surrounded
territory. Enclosing these groups is important for winning in Go. For example:
|o| |o| |o|
| | | | | |
There are two points in the territory the enemy cannot place a stone in, nor
surround it with black stones to capture them. In general, having two eyes
in a group will prevent it from being removed. For more advanced information
you should look up 'Eye' and 'Live'.

In this example, should white place another stone in one eye, it would break
the inaccessible group, leaving it up to grabs by the other player.


Should a player remove the opponents' stone, s/he in turn cannot simply repeat
the move from before and return the board to the layout it had before. For
| |o| |
|*| |*|
| |*| |
Should white capture the black stone, black cannot simply capture the white
stone in return, as it would result in the previous layout.


At the end the game (unless one person forfeits), the stones and empty points
surrounded by them are counted towards a total score. Each one is worth 1
point. Should both players have the same score, the result is a tie.

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