Stevens website is dedicated to the wonderful world of go. If you took a wrong turn on the information highway and want to get a quick lowdown on what go is all about, look at the next heading. If you arent here by accident, then know that at this website youll find out more than youll ever care to know about Stevens go career and his go statistics. Youll also find some quizzes to test your knowledge on this wonderful game and some problems to test your go-playing skills.
In a nutshell, go is an oriental board game of unimaginable antiquity whose origins can be traced back to ancient China. Although many people think of the game as one of Japan's great contribution to world culture, this is somewhat of an inflated view of Japan's role in the development of this game. To be sure, the Japanese contribution to this games is certainly not insignificant; but this contribution is certainly not as wholesale as some would have others believe. Go is an "oriental" game, or, at least, it ought to be thought of as such, particularly because of the many contributions made to the devlepment of this fascinating game by peoples of non-Chinese descent, specifically, the Japanese and Koreans (some may want to include the Tibetans in this list as well). The common trait that is shared by these peoples is the way they took to the game and made it part of their cultural heritage, just as though the game had taken root in their lands instead of in China per se.
Westerners need to be reminded from time to time that the origins of go is oriental, not Japanese, at least, not specifically Japanese, and this, despite the fact that the contribution made by the Japanese people to the development of this game is not inconsiderate. Naturally, matters are not made any easier when one considers that the name that is used to refer to this gamethat is, the name gois itself Japanese. At the time that the Japanese term of "go" was adopted, many Westerners were simply unaware of the shared national origin of this game. Furthermore, the linguistic usage that was then in vogue in universities and linguistic circles encouraged the language "experts" of the time to accept this term as the natural choice. By following their natural inclination, the linguistic experts were contributing to the perpetuation of the fallacy that go is a decidedly Japanese game.
Moving on, the other fact about the game that is worth noting is the game's great antiquity. Apparently, there would be evidence to suggest that go, or, at least, what evolved into becoming the game of go as we know it today, can trace its origins all the way back to the third millennium before Christ. That's right, that would place the origins of the game as having occured at about the same time as the ancient Egyptians were building the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The game was slow to spread outside of the Orient, heck, it was even slow to spread inside the Orient itself, indeed, there are siginficant parts of China where go has never set foot, at least figuratively speaking if not literally. Although the game was sometimes mentioned by Christian missionaries in their famous travel logs during the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of this activity; however, it was not until well into the 19th century that the game started to take a firm hold in Europe, and, a little later on, in North America (well, in the United States, at least, if not in Canada).
Today, go is firmly established on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean; however, it has fared less well in establishing itself in orther parts of the world, such as Latin America, the Middle East, and the Near East; and in Africa, for all intents and purposes, the game is still unknown.
In Europe, as in Asia, the spread of the game was certainly not even everywhere. The game's greatest success was experienced in those parts of Europe that were, and still are, rich in germanic culture and traditions (one thinks of Germany, of course, but also of those German-speaking regions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and of the Netherlands.)
In any event, since the end of WW II, and, more particularly, since the beginning of the 1960s, in both North America and Europe, the game has definitely been on the march, the critical mass has been reached and there's no turning back.
The reference to 361 intersections made above is in connection to the surface area of a standard go-board. A standard go board has 361 intersections because such boards have 19 columns and 19 rows (hence 19 x 19 = 361).
The aim of the game is for each player to surround as many empty intersections as he can before the game comes to an end (the end of a game occurs when both players agree that there are no more pointseach empty intersection counts as one pointthat either player can acquire for himself or deny to his oppponent). In his endeavour to surround these empty spaces, however, each player must be vigilant that the stones he plays to surround these empty spaces are not themselves surrounded and captured by his opponent.
The tension that is generated by this conflict between capturing enemy stones (or groups of stones) and the risk of having one's own stones (or groups of stones) captured, can at times become very intense, especially when one considers that both players are constantly striving to gain more territory than his opponent, regardless of whether that territory take the form of vacant intersections or of dead or captured stones. This conflict is at the heart of what makes go such a stimulating game. In his efforts to anticipate an attack on his stones, each player is constantly evaluating the status of each one of his weak groups to determine which rescue strategy, if any, will be available to him when the time comes for him to save one or more of his vulnerable groups.
The rescue strategies available to each player are limited to following three: (1) the ability to make two "eyes" (The concept of two eyes is fundamental in understanding the game of go. Any group that succeeds in surounding two empty but separate intersections, is unconditionally alive. Such a group is absolutely unassailable to any kind of threat to its survival, (2) the ability to link the besieged group to another group, one that is already unconditionally alive, or (3) the ability to counterattack the attacking group in the hope of capturing it before it succeeds in capturing the group that is attacking it.
A player can consider himself blessed if any one of his weak groups can avail itself of at least one of these three strategies in its defence. In the real world, of course, this is not a situation that is likely to occur very often, if at all, for the simple reason that in the real world one can only play one stone at a time. In these circumstances, the player under attack will seek to steer the attacker towards the smaller or least valuable of his besieged groups while concentrating all his efforts in his attempt to save his larger group, or, if he has more than two groups at risk, his largest group.
In the end, however, if all fails, and the group under attack eventually dies (a group dies when it becomes impossible for that group to make two eyes or to link up with a group that already has two eyes, or, at least, is well on its way to obtaining two eyes and with them immortality. Once a group dies, it is simply left on the board as is
However, the player whose group of stones is considered to be dead, at least, for the time being, must not loose heart. In go, dead stones have a way of influencing the manner in which a game evolves. In fact, given the right conditions, a group of dead stones, or, at least, a sizeable number of such stones, can experience a resurrection, if the grieving player plays his cards right. Although the occurence of such miraculous happenigs are not unusual, one must hasten to add that they are not that common, either. All this to say that if a player, grieving over the loss of group of stones, analyses carefuly his opponent's situation as well as that of his own, strives to identify the strengths and weaknesses of both sides, will advance his cause by playing the right moves, at the right places, in the right order.
During the counting phase, when all dead stones must be removed from where they are found on the board and placed in the territory of each player's opponent (i.e., all dead black stones are placed in Black's territory and all dead white stones are placed in White's territory). When this part of the counting phase is completed, it will have had the desirable effect, if all went well, of reducing the total territorial count of each player by the same number of points as there were dead stones to place in each player's territory.
Finally, the last category of dead enemy stones that must be dealt with during the counting phase are those stones that are called "prisonners". The viewer will recall that this category of stones is composed of dead enemy stones that were physically removed from the board during the playing phase of the game (not the counting phase) and these stones were removed because the liberties of these stones were occupied by the enemy of these dead stones. Once all their liberties were removed, these stones, now considered to be captured, were then physically removed from the board, were then renamed prisonners, and were then placed in the turned-over covers that serve as the lids of the players' bowls of stones.
Both players should be aware that during the counting phase, in contrast to the rules governing the removal of enemy stones from the board during the playing phase, neither player is required to actually capture these dead enemy stones by removing their liberties.
After the dust settles, the player who succeeds in surrounding the largest number of vacant intersections wins the game. As a final step, the score of the winner is subtracted from that of the loser to determine the margin of victory. The margin of victory is a useful extra, Although no tangible advantage flows from the use of this measure, its usfulness comes into being by giving an evaluation of the extent of the victory or defeat of the two players.
The reader may find it interesting to know that unlike some other board games, such as chess and cherckers, where victory is absolute; in go, the situation is completely diffrent. In go, victory is relative, not absolute. In all go games, the measure of victory comes down to the difference between the total number vacant intersections between Black and White. The difference between these two totals -- the remainder -- constitutes the margin of victory, and this margin can vary in size, meaning that this margin can be described as either wide or narrow.
The margin of victory is a useful device because it measures the extent of a player's victory or defeat. It can also provide a psychological benefit to the loser if his margin of defeat is very narrow. For example, if his margin of defeat is very low, say 2 or 3 points, and his opponent was makedly stronger than me was, then his defeat is almost a victory. It gives the defeated player the bragging rights on the outcome of his "loss".
Once the game is over, both players lean back in their chairs, survey the go board as their faces express a look of tired contentment, like artists gazing over a work of art, which, to a certain extent, is what the go board has now become.
After reviewing key moments in their game, the two players end their involvement in that game by pickingup the stones that are still on the board and placing them in their respective go bowls. This means that Black picks up all the black-colored stones, and White picks up all the white-colored stones. This tradition is simply a subtle way of making sure that neither player leaves the table prematurely making the other player think that he has picked up his share of all the stones that were played.
The above description on the game of go, though succinct and accurate, is much too brief to adequately describe the incredible richness of this wonderful game. If youre interested in obtaining more information on this game, the links that are provided on the last page of this website will direct you to the resources that can provide you with the location of the club or clubs nearest you. There, enthusiastic go players will be delighted to provide you with more details on how to play this wonderful game, the game many call the greatest game in the world.
By the way, when this site was put togehter, the Webmaster used MS Internet Explorer as his prefered design tool. He tried to accomodate the coding needs of Netscape, which, at the time, during the height of the browser wars, was the main rival to Microsoft's browser. All this to say that certain features at this website might come out better when using MS Internet Explorer than when using some other browser.
As you, the viewer, can plainy see in Table 1, this website was launched on June 16, 1997. This is more than twenty years ago -- a full two decades -- As much as possible, the Webmaster tries to update the information found at this site on or about the first Sunday of each month. This goal is achived most of the time, but not always. In fact, from about April, 2016, to about now (July, 2017) the updating of the statistics as well as the non-statistical information available at this website has been, as some like to say: "Honored more in the breach than in the observance". The reason that explains this sad decline in an important service go our valued visitors is the renovation program that was instituted for the benefit of this site and its go-loving visitors.-
From the report provided below, the Webmaster confrms that this renovation program is drawing to an end. Very, very soon, everything will be back to normal, including the re-establishment of a regular, reliable updating service.
|For Your Information|
|Web Site Created:||June 16, 1997|
|Last Update:||January 10, 2018|
|Next Update:||February 7, 2018|
Perhaps youre scratching your head, asking yourself in a half-audible voice, Why hasn't this wonderful, instructive website not been visited by more viewers. The simple and honest answer is: I just don't know.
For all intents and purposes, the overhaul of this website is now complete. However, some visitors, espcially those with eagle-sharp eyes will spot, here and there, some places where a few finishing touches are still needed.
But when one considers how the long-suffering habitués of this website have had to endure the inconvenience of a messy place ever since the decision was made, last April, 2016, to undertake this overhaul, I'm confidant that they, along with our nouveaux venus, will appreciate the changes that have been woven into the fabric of the existing former content.
It's true that the amount of time that was invested in this overhaul exceeded, and by far, the amount of time that was originally forcast for this project. However, although there are a few odds and ends to look after, the lion's share of the work has been completed. What is left to take care of are the minor details that always seem to get kicked down the road each time these details call attention to themselves.
What is new, you ask! Well, visitors will notice an increase in the number of charts, always a crowd-pleaser, from the original set of about 8 charts to a whopping new total of 23. Also new are the number of tables of which one in particular (Table 1 in the Tournament page) is one that I am particularly proud of. Finally, the one innovation that served as the major impetus for this renovation program was the deep desire to modernize the contents of the Saliant Statistics Page. This has been accomplished. The level of the innovations that were ushered in on this page is left for the readers to discover on their own once they get to that web page.
Web Master (2017-07-06)
Uppermost in Steven's mind is the anticipation of the arrival of that great historic day when Steven will play his 20,000th game. The identity of Steven's opponent to-be is a closely guarded secret. Even Steven himself doesn't know the identity of this lucky individual. Heck, even the opponent himself doesn't know who he is.
However, despite this very deep level of secrecy, there are two things that are known with a God-like degree of all-seeing and all-knowing absoluteness about Steven's opponent to-be. First, believe it or not, it is known with a very high degree of infallible certainty that the opponent to-be is, like Steven himself, a fellow Montrealer. Second, believe it or not, it is also known with a very high degree of infallible certainty that the opponent to-be is, like Steven himself, a fellow male player.
Steven is on the final leg of achieving his lifelong goal of reaching his 20,000th game. (It became "lifelong" only after he played the 10,000th game of his go career, which he played on June, 26 2001).
The other big unknown regarding this historic event is the date on which this event will take place. In this regard, the Date Calculator, found at the bottom of the Milestone Predictor Page, and which is an excellent example of that branch of statistics called Inferential Statistics, should be a very helpful tool in shedding light on this matter.
The Date Calculator works by entering a key value, and this key value is called the predictor value. This value is the average number of sessions per month that a player is likely to play in the foreseeable future. This average figure is not difficult to obtain, one needs only to divide the overall total number of sessions, which is by the total number of months, which is The resulting quotient, which is is the average number of sessions per month. It is also the predictor value, or, more precisely, the session predictor value.
The very next thing that must be done is to enter the session predictor in the Session Predictor box in the Date Calculator and then click the Find Date button. (Of course, one presumes that the appropriate target year has already been selected, if such is not the case, then one must immediately select the correct target year by clicking on the checkmark-like symbol and then selecting the correct year from the drop-down list, before clicking the Find Date button).
By the way, knowing the overall total number of games, which is and also knowing the overall total number of sessions, which is this means that we can divide one by the other and obtain the average number of games per session, which is
Multiplying this last value by the average number of sessions per month, which is we obtain the average number of games per month, which is
Once the Find Date button is clicked, three useful items of information are provided by the Date Calculator. These three items will help the user narrow the focus on the approximte date on which this historic event will take place. These items are: (1) the Remaining Months (in this case, 22.902 months), (2) the Expected Month, (in this case, April), and (3) the Expected Year (in this case, 2019).
A News Bulletin was released late in the afernoon of July 28, 2017, by officials at the Bureau of Date-Calculator Management.
The bulletin, reads, in part: After much research, the Bureau is able to state with a high degree of confidance that Steven is expected to play his 20,000th game sometime in April, 2019, some 23 months from now (the start that was used to make this prediction is the date that is found at the bottom of the last page of the Bulletin, next to the signature of Mr. So-and-So, Vice-President in Charge of Odds and Ends, formerly called the Department of Nothing Important, and before that, the Department of Loose Ends.
Furthermore, the Bulletrin also reads, in part, that the likelihood that this historic event will indeed be held sometime in the sprecified month (i.e., April) and during the specified year (i.e., 2019) is backed by a 95% level of confidance, 19 times out of 20.
In conlcusion, the bulletin states, the officials at the Bureau of Date-Calculator Management want to caution the company's enthusiastic stock-holders that despite the very high degree of confidance that in this event will take place as predicted, there is, nonetheless, a possibility, remote though it would appear to be, that this event could be imperiled by any number of acts of God. At the very least, for this event to be held at an unspecified date in the specified month and in the specified year, this historic event will be dependent on the successful maintenance of a minimal average number of sessions per month (i.e., or, by the equivalent of an average number of games per month (i.e.,
If this minimal requirement is maintained, and there's no reason to even think that it would not be, and if Providence can rerstrain the hand of God from casting any of his acts upon his creation, then the holding of this event will indeed take place in the specified month during the specified year.
Here's the Countdown Watcher. Each time this site is updated, which is once a month, this countdown tool is updated as well.
Steven played 20 games in 9 sessions, and he won 13 of his games (65.000%).
Steven played 27 games in 11 sessions, and he won 13 of his games (48.148%).
The more reliable of the two methods of navigation is the one that was designed for newbies. This method is the more reliable of the two because if the newbie uses this preferred method exclusively each time he visits this site he is guaranteed never to get lost and never to find himself bypassing any section without realizing it. This failsafe method is easily recognized by the presence of two, intermediate-sized, green, navigagtional buttons ("Next" and "Back") that is found at the bottom of each web page, immediately below the name of the webpage that lies above these buttons).
The second method of navigation is the one that is composed of the list of all the web pages that are found at this web site. This method is designed for the experienced player, that is, the player who is best described as a regular visitor, someone who, by the force of his many vists, has come to know this site very well. This person knows precisely what he wants to see, and he knows precisely where to go to see it. The second method of navigation was designed for him because this method is a time-saver. By using this method, the experienced player does not have to waste his time going though each page at this site in a sequeantial manner until he gets to where he wants to be. This list lies immediately below the two green navigational buttons. The very first item to appear on this list, which is found at the bottom of every Webpage, including this one, is the Home Page.