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Subject: Why I like Go better than Chess rss

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CARL SKUTSCH
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My problems with Go and Chess are twofold. Most importantly, I'm lazy. Both are deep games requiring some dedication to reach the higher levels of skill. I don't wanna do that! Second, abstracts seem a bit dull. I like thematic flavor in my games. Even bland Euros have some kind of theme and that makes me like them more.

I'll still play Go or Chess, I just don't seek them out. I'm actually more interested in Shogi and Xiangqi. Maybe because they're different enough that I find the novelty charming. Of course, I suck at all 4 games. Again, lazy.
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Ole Richard Tuft
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Butsudoka wrote:
drdranetz wrote:
While Go is a great game, I find it an interesting BGG oddity that in this community only does Go seem more popular than Chess.


Are you sure about that? According to most estimates, there are 40-60 million Go players in the world.


A 2012 survey estimated the number of people who play chess at least once a year to be around 600 million. http://en.chessbase.com/post/che-redux-how-many-people-play-...

Chess.com, one of many online sites, has 19887443 members. 2.2 million games of chess have been played there today, the site says.
 
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Mike Fogus
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drdranetz wrote:
While Go is a great game, I find it an interesting BGG oddity that in this community only does Go seem more popular than Chess.


Not to mention other little communities like Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China.

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CARL SKUTSCH
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fogus wrote:
drdranetz wrote:
While Go is a great game, I find it an interesting BGG oddity that in this community only does Go seem more popular than Chess.


Not to mention other little communities like Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China.


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jumbit wrote:
Ah yes, this is a gaming archetype I've become familiar with since joining this site. A lot of people out there, I've found, don't play games for the same reasons I do. They play games to experience a sense of control over themselves and their lives. If they don't get that feeling, they won't like the game. This is the source of, for example, Eurogamer rage against thematic games. Finding chess stifling while go is liberating seems to confirm this line of thought. Honestly, there needs to be an "satisfies need for control" category on appropriate games, just like we have "sports" or "worker placement" categories now.


I think you are barking up the wrong tree there and finding the wrong explanation!

My wife is very much a Euro player and doesn't want to play many of the strongly-themed games, but it's more to do with either they are high luck games (well, higher than she normally likes) or the theme is snoozeville for her (war, space, fantasy, sci-fi, trains).

I don't see her grasping for control of things in daily life. In fact, I think she's one of the most balanced people I've ever met. Unlike me!

zombie

She would rather play a game determined by skill than who rolled the best. I think for her it is about skill and enjoying strategy and having fun and enjoying those types of games.
 
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Prismattic wrote:
drdranetz wrote:
While Go is a great game, I find it an interesting BGG oddity that in this community only does Go seem more popular than Chess. Chess is a highly exacting game requiring years of practice to master, and possibly even some natural ability which cannot be taught. At the higher levels it is not a game of “surprise” and mistakes, but a game of abstract principles and forcing an opponent to bend to your will by deducing necessary moves many moves in advance.

Having played both, to me Go is much more arithmetic and general in its calculation, allowing for slightly more relaxed play styles, more akin to the way Chess was first conceived in the Middle Ages, before changes in the movement rules, especially with regard to the Queen, turned the game from a romantic couples game (as Go remains) into an intense tournament experience.

Go, while fun and competitive at times, seems to me to be like a sophisticated version of the “dot game” popular on restaurant children’s menu (no disparagement intended, really).

Perhaps the above oddity can be explained by the fact that the culture of the BGG community leans towards games that are more strategic than ordinary party games, yet still social enough to enjoy and play somewhat well enough even at first sitting than a game like chess.

I have noticed the same trend in card games, more accessible games such as Spades or the recent game Diamonds being preferred over Bridge, which takes months or years to master.


As someone who has played thousands of games of both and was at one time 4 kyu on KGS, this is hilariously wrong as a description of Go.

Hah, no kidding. I almost doubled over laughing at the bit about Go not being an intense tournament experience.

I have also played thousands of games of each. I prefer Go on the whole, but I do recognize some nuances of chess that Go lacks. In particular, movement (vs. static pieces in Go) allows for a sort of fluid dance that Go does not produce.
 
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Marco Grubert
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I keep trying to like Go, but the endgame ruins it for me every time. Is this group really dead? Who won? Japanese/Chinese scoring? yuk
 
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Cross_ wrote:
I keep trying to like Go, but the endgame ruins it for me every time. Is this group really dead? Who won? Japanese/Chinese scoring? yuk

It sounds like you mean the scoring phase, not the actual endgame.

While you are still unsure of life/death status of groups, Chinese rules simplify things: just play it out. As you advance, you understand these things better.
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lucky henry wrote:

While I like Go a lot, I like Pente even more.


+1
 
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Bill Cook
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A lot of chess is played very conservatively, with each side creating dense defenses and trying to eek out tiny positional advantages. But for literally* hundreds of years the game was played much more wide open. Pawns were often seen as being in the way. The Kings Gambit was one of the most common openings, where white throws away a pawn to open up attacks.

Nowadays, high level chess players almost never use the kings gambit. But none of us (or, almost none of us) are "high level" chess players. High Level chess is a very different game than what 99.9% of us play. (Side note, I think a lot of the criticism of chess you see on BGG - you have to memorize lots of openings, too drawish, etc. - are based on high level chess and not how people actually play).

Play however you want. And if you sister or anyone else doesn't like it, tell them to "make you stop" (i.e. beat you).

Personally, I see a ton of rapid and blitz chess being played. With a short clock, you almost have to open up the board fast. It isn't necessary the most positionally sound chess, but it's fun.

And that's the key. Play what you think is fun and how you think it fun. If that's go and not chess, enjoy. But don't let anybody put chess is a box and tell you it has to be played one particular way.

* And by literally, I mean literally, not figuratively
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Randall Ingersoll
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Note to Emily:

Have you tried Hive? https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2655/hive
It is like chess without a board. It starts with an empty space and the pieces are added as you play.

I am a reformed chess-a-holic who no longer plays chess because I become too obsessed and get too intense. I have never been able to get into go. But I love Hive.
 
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Emily Smith
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rmingersoll wrote:
Note to Emily:

Have you tried Hive? https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2655/hive
It is like chess without a board. It starts with an empty space and the pieces are added as you play.

I am a reformed chess-a-holic who no longer plays chess because I become too obsessed and get too intense. I have never been able to get into go. But I love Hive.


I'd love to try hive but I've only seen it in a shop once and couldn't get it then. Haven't had a chance since. Maybe I'll just make a set. It's just hexagons with insects on them right? I'll get a proper set later...
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givemeaname wrote:
rmingersoll wrote:
Note to Emily:

Have you tried Hive? https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2655/hive
It is like chess without a board. It starts with an empty space and the pieces are added as you play.

I am a reformed chess-a-holic who no longer plays chess because I become too obsessed and get too intense. I have never been able to get into go. But I love Hive.


I'd love to try hive but I've only seen it in a shop once and couldn't get it then. Haven't had a chance since. Maybe I'll just make a set. It's just hexagons with insects on them right? I'll get a proper set later...


Try it online first to see how you like it. There are several places to play Hive for free.
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Ben Kyo
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givemeaname wrote:
I'd love to try hive but I've only seen it in a shop once and couldn't get it then. Haven't had a chance since. Maybe I'll just make a set. It's just hexagons with insects on them right? I'll get a proper set later...

That's what I did before it became more widely available:


My pieces are really beat-up now, after taking them backpacking around the world, but I kept them for nostalgia value. The official set I bought more recently is much more durable, if less portable.
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Emily Smith
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Benkyo wrote:
givemeaname wrote:
I'd love to try hive but I've only seen it in a shop once and couldn't get it then. Haven't had a chance since. Maybe I'll just make a set. It's just hexagons with insects on them right? I'll get a proper set later...

That's what I did before it became more widely available:


My pieces are really beat-up now, after taking them backpacking around the world, but I kept them for nostalgia value. The official set I bought more recently is much more durable, if less portable.


Those look really good! Well done!
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Emily Smith
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lucky henry wrote:
givemeaname wrote:
rmingersoll wrote:
Note to Emily:

Have you tried Hive? https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2655/hive
It is like chess without a board. It starts with an empty space and the pieces are added as you play.

I am a reformed chess-a-holic who no longer plays chess because I become too obsessed and get too intense. I have never been able to get into go. But I love Hive.


I'd love to try hive but I've only seen it in a shop once and couldn't get it then. Haven't had a chance since. Maybe I'll just make a set. It's just hexagons with insects on them right? I'll get a proper set later...


Try it online first to see how you like it. There are several places to play Hive for free.


I'll check it out. Thanks =)
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Travis Newhero
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I feel alone. I'm not a big fan of Chess, and I can't get into Go, though I only played on an app vs an ai without much of an idea that I was doing. I much prefer other abstracts like Shogi, Hive, and The Duke. Onitama didn't do it for me either. Heh.
 
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shumyum
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My biggest problem with chess was an aside in the OP: the "necessity" to study chess literature outside of playing the game and knowing defined openings. Otherwise, I think it's a great game. No doubt this is a "problem" (note it this is quite personal) with Go. I just don't play anyone who has studied it so it hasn't affected me yet.

As noted, Bridge has this problem baked into it with the bidding conventions, and the great game of Scrabble is ruined for me by people who memorize word lists.

Remember when Puerto Rico was #1 here? Its popularity ruined the game because people would get upset when players played outside of standard strategy. Ugh.

Anyway, this was a fun post and discussion. Welcome!
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Russell InGA
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shumyum wrote:
My biggest problem with chess was an aside in the OP: the "necessity" to study chess literature outside of playing the game and knowing defined openings. Otherwise, I think it's a great game. No doubt this is a "problem" (note it this is quite personal) with Go. I just don't play anyone who has studied it so it hasn't affected me yet.

As noted, Bridge has this problem baked into it with the bidding conventions, and the great game of Scrabble is ruined for me by people who memorize word lists.

Remember when Puerto Rico was #1 here? It's popularity ruined the game because people would get upset when players played outside of standard strategy. Ugh.

Anyway, this was a fun post and discussion. Welcome!


"For Money Games": Chess, Bridge, Go require dedication to the game. As indicated the good Bridge players are always studying and refining their own particular bidding systems.

I think part of the answer is finding people that are playing for the same reasons that you are playing (at Chess, or Bridge, or Go). If you are playing against someone that is onlevel and is doing the same amount of study or lack thereof then the game should be decently competitive and hopefully fun.

I quit Chess at the end of high school and got more into Bridge and other boardgames for reasons described by the OP. I have dabbled in Go but was never super enthused. (I didn't want to do any study!)
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shumyum wrote:
As noted, Bridge has this problem baked into it with the bidding conventions, and the great game of Scrabble is ruined for me by people who memorize word lists.

Remember when Puerto Rico was #1 here? It's popularity ruined the game because people would get upset when players played outside of standard strategy. Ugh.


Whoa, wait, are you me? Totally agree about Bridge and Puerto Rico. Stopped playing PR after some hoser got mad at me for “handing the game to someone else” and claiming “see this is why we have to randomize seating order, because he’s a new player.” Even more annoying was that I had actually played quite a bit; sure I wasn’t very good but probably mostly I just wasn’t doing what he wanted me to do.

I attributed it to the fact that people could play the game online — so people could quickly play literally hundreds and hundreds of games. That wasn’t possible with Euros for the most part.
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Chess, Go, Bridge and the like can be played at many levels. I really didn't understand the OP when she said that she likes Go more than Chess because the latter games has such elaborate opening strategies. While I don't play Go, I cannot imagine that game not having lots of study material for those who want to really get into it.

But the thing is, you don't have to go there, if your opponent doesn't do that either. Find people of the same level as you are, whose command of opening theory and strategy matches yours, and you get the most interesting and entertaining matches.

It's like with Magic: the Gathering. Don't bother playing against those dudes who spend thousands of dollars on their perfectly composed deck full of expensive out-of-production rares, because neither you nor your opponent will enjoy the game.

Bridge is the same. There is some fun in having a trusted partner with whom you develop an intricate bidding system full of conventions, but the game can also be played with just a basic system. I've often played with people whom I didn't know, and if you meet each other ten minutes before the game starts, you really don't have time to agree on anything but the basics of a bidding system. And despite having such a rudimentary system, you can still have fun. And you can still beat - and I'm speaking from experience - people with highly elaborate systems.

Getting into the right contract - which is the purpose of a bidding system - is only half the game. Playing that contract and getting your tricks, or playing against the contract and denying them to your opponent, is at least as important. And an elaborate bidding system doesn't help a mediocre player, whereas a good player will win games even with a simple bidding system (and I don't mean to say that I'm a good player).
A basic system will get you in the right contract about 90 percent of the time. A more elaborate system will raise that percentage to about 95 percent. In the long run that can be advantageous (and that is why long-term partnerships have more elaborate systems), but for just one evening of bridge, the bidding system will make the difference for one or two hands at most. That is easily overcome by playing better when the bidding is done.
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International Chess Master Edward Lasker's quote about Go vs Chess: "While the Baroque rules of Chess could only have been created by humans, the rules of Go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe they almost certainly play Go." - Edward Lasker

Somewhat dated but still interesting article on Chess, Go, and the Laskers: http://users.eniinternet.com/bradleym/America.html

I was a competitive Chess player years ago, but solidly prefer Go now. It just feels to me like there's just more going on in Go--it's like multiple chess-style tactical battles all over the board that you must connect into a well directed symphony, not just the single extended tactical struggle that is Chess. I get kind of bored with Chess when I play it now, although 5 min blitz are still so so fun, such a rush! But given the option, I always choose Go.

But I'll have to disagree about a lack of opening theory in Go, the literature is immense...every approach to an opening stone has long sequences of possible josekis, leading to vastly different midgame results. I like the 3 star point opening for black (the 'sanrensei'), there's a great book on it by Michael Redmond. It's kind of advanced, though. Read this excerpt and then tell me that Go doesn't have complex opening theory: http://www.slateandshell.com/pdf/Patterns%20of%20the%20Sanre...

If you are looking for a more basic book on opening theory, I'd highly recommend Opening Theory Made Easy by Otake Hideo, it really bumped up my opening game when I was ready to take my game deeper, about 7 years after learning how to play: https://www.amazon.com/Opening-Theory-Made-Easy-Principles/d...

I also disagree that Go is a more casual game. IME, the opposite is true. There's far more pressure for me! This is something that Chess players like to say about *any* game besides Chess, but the common dismissal is not often paired with any real understanding of the other game. But it all depends on what level you want to play at--how seriously you take a game is a function of the player, not the game.

I had great fun playing Go at a very low level as well, for years after I learned it I just fooled around with friends, not reading any literature. it felt like I was finding out cool things with every game for the first year I played. It was many years later that I decided I wanted to take the game for a bigger spin, see what it could do. WOW. My absolute favorite game.
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Kristian Karlsek
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drdranetz wrote:
While Go is a great game, I find it an interesting BGG oddity that in this community only does Go seem more popular than Chess.


I assume you're talking about mostly western communities here, where Chess has been played for centuries and is grounded in culture on a completely different level than Go. I'm sure both my parents know Chess well enough to play a game, but have never heard of Go.

The BGG community is made up out of enthusiasts who simply have more knowledge to pull from.

As a footnote, I believe Shougi (a Japanese equivalent of Chess) enjoys about the same popularity as Go in Japan. So it's not a stretch to imagine that Go and Chess would be similarly popular in western society if they were equally ingrained in culture.
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Ben Kyo
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ShogunCharlie wrote:
As a footnote, I believe Shougi (a Japanese equivalent of Chess) enjoys about the same popularity as Go in Japan.

As a footnote to your footote, Shogi is way more popular than Igo in Japan. Similarly, Xiangqi is way more popular than Weiqi in China. Chess is not all that popular in either country, by comparison.
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About pawns which some people feel just get in the way.soblue Chess does not play on a flat little wooden or cardboard board of squares

Chess plays on a landscape of hills and valleys made out of pawns

Philidor said "Pawns are the soul of chess"

You move one or two pawns to open a door and maybe a window in your house so that your pieces can get out of bed and go to work.

You aim to move each piece once until you have all your pieces out. The person who is "king of the hill" of pawns in the centre has a great advantage and can spray out pieces in all directions.

What kind of landscape you design depends on where you have moved your pieces on their first moves.

Every game of chess is different because every game of chess has a different landscape

Hope you will now hate pawns a little less
 
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