I have been playing the game of Go since 2000. Over that time I have advanced to the level of three dan, which means I’m pretty good at the game for an amateur.

This game, also known as Weiqi in China and Baduk in Korea is an extremely old asian board game - a little similar to Chess.  The game is not well known in the west which is a shame.  Perhaps it takes too much dedication and patience to achieve a level of mastery where you enjoy it? Or perhaps western game players prefer games where you trick and crush your opponent to games that are more about mastery over yourself.

The game of go is fascinating for many reasons. It is a very Zen game, where your personal qualities and your current mood will significantly affect how you play. It is often quipped that a pro reading the game record of his students can tell when the tea lady entered the room. I doubt there is any other game where you can measure the how greedy, tolerant or flexible someone is just by watching them play.

Apart from playing, I enjoy studying and teaching the game, especially to New Zealanders. In the evenings I can often be found on the go serverKGS reviewing games. I also run the New Zealand go society website.

Computers are famous for how poorly they play go. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how this could be resolved, largely based around extremely careful heuristics for evaluating each position and almost no searching. While I have started writing a go playing program, it has not yet got beyond random moves.

Some Game Records


Do Young