The rules of go - the past gives up its secrets


Once in a very long while a major piece of work occurs in go that comes as like a searchlight turned on in a pitch-black room. GoGoD is very proud to present one such work for the first time to the western audience.

It is an English version of work first published in Chinese by Chen Zuyuan, who is probably the premier expert in the world on go rules. At any rate, his forensic and creative re-examination of the problem of how go rules have developed and diverged over history is unparalleled. It is forensic because great skill is required in working with extremely difficult and scarce original texts. It is creative - and practical - because this precise and meticulous historical research has unlocked a possible and diplomatic way for modern rules of go to be unified internationally.

It is also thoroughly enjoyable as something of detective story.

Chen Zuyuan is, by profession, an optical research engineer. But he has also worked on the rules of go for more than twenty years. He has had extensive discussions with Ing Chang-ki (1913-1997) of Ing rules fame. He has published several articles in the Taiwanese magazine Weiqi since 1992. He has also published two monographs: New Rules Go On (2000), "History of Changes in the Rules of Go (2007); and - in China's Weiqi Tiandi and other publications - more than 35 feature articles. He collaborated in formulating the 2002 edition of the rules of go in China, and in 2008 drafted the go rules of the 1st World Mind Sports Games for the International Go Federation.

When Chen approached GoGoD to make his work known to the west, we were of course absolutely delighted and honoured. The final English version attached is by us. Any mistakes are our responsibility, not his. The Weiqi Tiandi articles and the book version obviously add many more details and explanations. The more rigorous readers are referred there.

The ancient Chinese works referred to in this summary are either given in partial translations or are further discussed on the GoGoD CD (see especially the Gateway To All Marvels pages). The historical games mentioned are also in the GoGoD database. Item 37 on this New in Go site will also be found to be relevant.

Please note that the original work remains the copyright of Chen Zuyuan. We are sure we speak for many western go fans by thanking him here again for allowing us to share it with you.

Next >>