The game of Go is probably the oldest board game in existence. It originated in China over 4000 years ago. The first mention of it in literature is by Confucius ( 500 B.C.).
The game reached Japan in the 8th century and is now considered the national game of the country and played by approximately 10,000,000 people. In Japan every newspaper has its Go section and the main papers sponsor amateur & professional events. It is also played extensively in China (30m) and Korea (5m).
Go reached Europe late last century and is now played in all European countries. Organised Go has been played by increasing numbers of Irish players since 1985.
Players are graded on strength, beginners rise up the kyu scale to 1st kyu and then aspire to 1st Dan the lowest master grade and onward to 9 Dan.The game is played on a 19 x 19 board; players alternatively play black and white stones strategically to surround more territory than their opponent.