Thursday, March 4, 2010


I used to be quite smitten with chess. Well, kinda interested in 90s, interested in go, say, 2003, but not really (just taking a board to Maui on my honeymoon, nothing big (no opponents, didn't break 20kyu)), then very interested in chess, say 2008-2009. then very interested in go, like, now (from Aug 2009 to present).

I went back and played some chess (Chessmaster 10) tonight after obsessing over go for the last 7-8 months and not having played chess since.

It seemed... foreign to me (irony not lost).

Chess seems all tactical, no strategy.

I keep thinking of the pseudo-proverb: "chess was invented, go was discovered".

Seems true.

So many elements of chess rules are arbitrary and weird.

Go's rules seem simple and pure. Granted, weird arbitrary things like joseki and patterns emerge, but they were not placed there, they are results of the simple, mathematical game rules.

I've heard of many people who've gone from chess to go and never looked back, I wonder if it ever happens the other way?

I suppose if you were raised playing go and suddenly discovered chess, it may seem novel.

Then again, I'm intrigued by all sorts of 'game' systems, from the classical good like go and chess and the classical bad like murdering and lawyering, to less-classical like Axis and Allies and Ticket To Ride.

Still, only go can boast things like the simplest core rules , the longest history, the hardest-to-solve (presumably) problem set.

Go is, truly, 'the grand game'.

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