1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Go
GO, or Go-bang (Jap. Go-ban, board for playing Go), a popular table game. It is of great antiquity, having been invented in Japan, according to tradition, by the emperor Yao, 2350 B.C., but it is probably of Chinese origin. According to Falkener the first historical mention of it was made about the year 300 B.C., but there is abundant evidence that it was a popular game long before that period. The original Japanese Go is played on a board divided into squares by 19 horizontal and 19 vertical lines, making 361 intersections, upon which the flat round men, 181 white and 181 black, are placed one by one as the game proceeds. The men are placed by the two players on any intersections (me) that may seem advantageous, the object being to surround with one’s men as many unoccupied intersections as possible, the player enclosing the greater number of vacant points being the winner. Completely surrounded men are captured and removed from the board. This game is played in England upon a board divided into 361 squares, the men being placed upon these instead of upon the intersections.
A much simpler variety of Go, mostly played by foreigners, has for its object to get five men into line. This may have been the earliest form of the game, as the word go means five. Except in Japan it is often played on an ordinary draughts-board, and the winner is he who first gets five men into line, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally.