Weiqi (go) is the oldest form of chess in human history. Playing weiqi is the product of combining scientific character with artistic quality and an activity of intellectual competition full of wit and interest. Chinese weiqi has a history of 3,000 years. It was introduced to other East Asian countries 1,000 years ago, and to many countries in Europe and America in past decades.
Weiqi was created in China. Ancient Chinese people regarded playing chess to be a symbol of refinement and elegance. Weiqi thus became the subject of poems and painting by artists and men of letters. Chinese ancient books on weiqi include principles, chess manuals, moves such as attack and defense, dead and alive, taking stock of the situation and making closing moves. They are the crystallization of the painstaking intellectual work of the ancient players in the past centuries and provide valuable data for studying the skills of ancient times. Therefore, they have received universal attention from both inside and outside China.
Weiqi is played with 181 black and 180 white, flat round pieces called stones, on a square board checkered by 19 vertical lines and 19 horizontal lines to form 361 intersections. The equipment is very simple. The game can be played anywhere. In the course of play, a player has to make decisions in a limited timeframe about how to cope with a quickly changing situation. It is not hard to imagine how tense the atmosphere can become. A good move can put one’s opponent in an awkward situation, but a wrong move may lead to the loss of a game. Therefore, the game requires both daring and calmness. Playing weiqi helps strengthen one’s determination and strength of will, and in general, increases one’s ability to make cool-minded judgments.
The exchange of visits between the Chinese and Japanese weiqi masters is a great event in the Chinese weiqi world. About 1,500 years ago, weiqi was introduced into Japan through the Korean Peninsula. Ever since the beginning in the 1960s, the Chinese-Japanese Weiqi Challenge Series has become one of the major tournaments in the weiqi world.