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LEGO® GO – レゴ 囲碁

About the GO game and the basic rules of it. 1/2

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The name of the game as we know it in Europe (Go) came from the Japanese name of it by cutting off a caracter. :-)

  • Go (English spelling); 
  • Japanese: 囲碁 (igo);
  • Chinese Traditional: 圍棋, Chinese Simplified: 围棋 (wéiqí/wei-ch'i);
  • Korean: 바둑 (baduk/paduk); 
  • Vietnamese: 碁圍 (cờ vây);
  • Thai: หมากล้อม (mak-lom); 
  • Russian: Го or Облавные шашки (Oblavnye shashki / "encircling checkers").

Go is a very ancient abstract territory capturing strategy board game mostly for two players, in which the aim is to surround more territory than the opponent does (and capture more stones if it is possible). :-)

(RENGO is the name when they play the game in pairs and two players control the balck and two for the white stones after eachother.)

The game was invented in ancient China more than 2,500 years ago, and it is one of the oldest board game continuously played today. It was considered as well to one of the four essential arts of the cultured aristocratic Chinese scholar caste in antiquity. The earliest written reference to the game is generally recognized as the historical annal Zuo Zhuan (4th century BCE). The modern game of Go as we know it was formalized in Japan in the 15th century CE.

Despite its relatively simple rules, Go is very complex, even more so than chess, and possesses more possibilities than the total number of atoms in the visible universe. Compared to chess, Go has both a larger board with more scope for play and longer games, and on average, many more alternatives to consider per move.

The playing pieces ("figures") are called stones. One player uses the black stones and the other is white. The players take turns placing the stones on the vacant intersections/junctions (named "points") of a board with a 19×19 grid of lines. Black starts first. When the stone was placed it can not be moved but when it loses it's every "lifepoints" it must be removed from the board and placed to the "graveyard". Beginners often play on smaller 9×9 and 13×13 boards, and archaeological evidence shows that the game was once played on a 17×17 grid. However, boards with a 19×19 grid had become standard by the time the game had reached what was then the Imperial Chinese Tributary State of Korea in the 5th century CE and later to what was then the Imperial Chinese Tributary State of Japan in the 7th century CE. Now days the 19x19 board (grid) size is the official one which is used for championships.

The game starts with a bow to eachother formaly and wishes good game to the opponenet. Than black starts the game by placing a stone onto the empty board to a desirable intersection (peferably somewhere in on of the corners). The game proceeds until neither of the players wishes to make another move (so they both say "pass"). the game has no set ending conditions beyond this. When a game concludes, the territory is counted along with captured stones and komi (points added to the score of the player with the white stones as compensation for playing second usualy 6.5/six and a half points) to determine the winner. Games may also be terminated by resignation or by time when they using a go clock along the game. When there is a difference between the players strength in playing, balck player gets handicap stones from the stronger white player in a total of 9 on a 19x19 board and at least 2 stones (then there is no komi to add after the game so in the end of it can be even/a tie game.)

The end of the game looks somewhat like this:

But first we should start at the beginning! :-) Here comes the rules:


About the GO game and the basic rules of it. 2/2

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Let's demonstrate it in pictures! :-)

Black places a stone onto 14x13.

The black stone has 4 lifepoints here (the empty junctions next to it). Like this:

But if Black would have placed it's stone to the side of 14x19 instead, then the stone had only 3 lifepoins.

Or if it would have placed in the very corner or the uper right for example then the stone had only 2 lifepoins.

But let's just stay at the 14x13. Now White turns. If White places a stone onto 13x12 then nothing happens.

But if White plays 14x12 instead then it takes a lifepoint away from Black so they both have only 3 lifepoints left surrounding them.

Now Black places a stone somewhere else.

White continue to surround the black stone on 14x13 placing a white stone onto 13x13 leaving only 2 lifepoints for Black.

Black places a stone somewhere else again for example.

White continue to surround the black stone on 14x13 placing a white stone onto 14x14 leaving only 1 lifepoint left for Black. This is called the "Atari". The black stone is in atari now.

Now if Black still places a stone somewhere else again... :-)

Then White can surround the black stone on 14x13 completely by placing a stone onto 15x13. That black stone is dead now.

White must remove this black stone off the board and place it into it's "graveyard".

But! Two steps earlier if Black wouldn't place it's stone somewhere else but instead placing it onto 15x13 then could have connected it's stones and save the black stone on 14x13 by creating a small "shape" of it, gaining 3 more lifepoints. Like this:


About the LEGO® GO set:

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I have already written down the basics about my set during the submitting process. But some people keep asking the same questions from me frequently. :-)

- How could I made the black lines and dots onto the 2x2 flat tiles?

- Have I made the whole grid on the surface brick by brick?

- These 2x2 flat tiles ont the top are official LEGO® bricks?

- How could I gather the needed particles for the set?

So, let's see then from the beginning! :-)

At first I designed my idea in LDD. And after several changes in the design and rebuilding the set a few times I finally got this result:

If you are interested in the list of the used up bricks then you can find them here:

(Plusz one more brick of course, but 400 pieces of it! The '6013081 Tile, Modified 2 x 2 Inverted' in Brick Yellow / Tan color! :-) )

After I had the virtual layout or the digital realization of my idea I had to built it in real life.

So instead searching for the pieces one by one on Bricklink.com I had found a LEGO® club on Budapest in Hungary. They even asked me to build not just one board but three of it right away for start, if I want to teach the kids and the visitors about the game on LEGO® Shows. :-) So I built all the three than:

And for the final step. I had to make the grid in Adobe Illustrator than put it into Photoshop. Than I found a small company in Hungary (fotodoboz.hu) which makes souvenirs by printing pictures on different kind of surfaces. Even onto the LEGO® bricks' flat sides. I asked them to do so and they printed the grids onto my LEGO® boards for me. :-)

So, in this year more and more kids and even many adults started to love my LEGO® GO set on the internet and in real life as well and a lot of them had the opportunity already to try out the LEGO® GO set on events, and some people even asked me when and where can they buy it! :-)


On a LEGO® show

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The LEGO® GO set was quite popular among the visitors of a LEGO® show on Budapest as well! :-)


On the Anime Christmas

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At HungExpo again on Budapest a nother great event the Anime Christmas was held. Visitors had the opportunity to play with the LEGO® GO set again too! :-)


Go teaching

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Nursery school and elementary school students and their parents played GO on a family event. The LEGO® GO set was used by them all along! :-)


Board Game Feast

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Here are some photos from an event which was dedicated to celebrate every known board game. The place was on Budapest in Hungary. The LEGO® GO set was a great success here as well!!! :-)

 


Japanese days on Budapest

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On this week at 'Fővám téri' great market on Budapest many foreigner guests and Hungarian alike had the chance to pay a visit on the 'Japanese days' event! A Lot of people were amazed when they found out one of the GO sets was made from LEGO® bricks! :-)


On the MondoCon of Autumn

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In last month on Budapest at HungExpo the great event the MondoCon of autumn was held. The visitors of this big convention had the opportunity for the first time to try out the prototype of the LEGO® Go set. They loved it very much fortunately! :-)


Lee Sedol vs AlphaGo - the 4th Match

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As you all may know roughly about twenty years ago Russian Chess Grand Master Kasparov was defeted by an "A.I." a professional computer chess software demonstrating that a robot can win against a human. People had to admit this fact that time but they were romaticaly thinking about the even more complex board game Go as they last hope where a Go Grand Master "Sensei" still can overcome easily on any given Go softwares... Untill now. :-)

Last year Google's DeepMind group has made the brakthrough with they A.I. software, the AlphaGo. It is true the A.I. nedded a huge server farm to operate and the developer enginers had to teach AlphaGo about a million already played and documentalized game play of Go from the last two thousend years... but than they finally succeed. :-) Now AlphaGo can learn, develop it's self and beat Grand Masters.

These pictures and video are related to the challenge between 9Dan South Korean Baduk (Go) Grand Master, Lee Sedol versus Google's DeepMind A.I. software, AlphaGo. In the fourth game of the five matches, only once was able Lee Sedol to defeat AlphaGo. He has lost the rest of the five games, unfortunately. In this fourth game Lee Sedol played white and AlphaGo played black. After the 180th move of White (Lee), Black (the A.I.) has resigned the game. The final board set of the 4th match can be seen on the third and fourth pictures.: :-)