Hone your strategic thinking at the Library

The Library's Go set features a heavy bamboo board and natural stone playing pieces.

The Library’s Go set features a heavy bamboo board and natural stone playing pieces.

When two tigers fight, what is left is
one dead tiger and one wounded one.
-Chinese Proverb

Go is a board game that originated in China more than 5,000 years ago. Like chess, Go has always been regarded as a tool for developing strategic thinking, but the mentalities required for success in the two games could hardly be more different.

Chess is a metaphor of decisive battle. Each player strives to capture the opponent’s king by annihilating his capacity to resist. This means that the strategic sense developed by chess is one where the object is total victory.

In contrast to chess’ emphasis on calculation, Go emphasizes judgement. Therefore, Go seems to resemble business or international relations more than warfare. The object is not to destroy, but to build territory. In Go, patience is essential, and greed is punished.

Go writer Peter Shotwell writes that “Japanese executives learned to look at the national and international corporate worlds as Go boards and designed many of their strategies accordingly…One should try to win, but that had to involve allowing the opponent to win something too, because all-out fights might destroy both competitors.”*

The Library has a new professional quality Go set, in front of the reference desk. We hope this set will inspire some of our students to learn about this rich and beautiful game. Intrigued? Check out this short tutorial on the rules:


If you are interested in learning to play Go, contact Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu for suggestions on getting started.

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*Peter Shotwell, Go! More Than a Game, (Ruland, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 2003), xi. http://library.regent.edu/record=b1545173~S0