Niwot South Paw
Go vs. ChessThursday, December 10, 2009 By Collin Downs, Southpaw staff writer
Go is a board game for two players, noted for being rich in its strategic complexity despite some very simple rules . The game is played by two players who alternately place black and white stones (playing pieces, which are now most often made of glass or plastic) on the vacant intersections of a grid of 19×19 lines. The object of the game is to control a larger portion of the board than the opponent. A stone, or a group of stones, is captured and removed if it has no empty adjacent intersections, the result of being completely surrounded by stones of the opposing color. Placing stones close by each other helps them to support each other and avoid capture. On the other hand, placing stones far apart creates “influence” across more of the board. Part of the strategic difficulty of the game stems from having to find a balance between these conflicting interests. Players strive to serve both offensive and defensive purposes while choosing between tactical urgency and strategic plans. Go originated in ancient China more than 2,500 years ago, and although it is not known exactly when the game was invented, by 3rd century BC it was already a popular pastime, as indicated by a reference to the game in the Analects of Confucius . The game is most popular in East Asia, but has gained some popularity in other parts of the world in recent years. A conservative estimate places the number of Go players worldwide at approximately 27 million.  Go reached the West through Japan, which is why it is commonly known internationally by its Japanese name. Chess is a board game played between two players . The current form of the game emerged in Europe during the second half of the 15th century after evolving from a much older game of Indian origin. Today, chess is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs , online, by correspondence , and in tournaments . The game is played on a chessboard , which is a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. At the start, each player (one controlling the white pieces, the other controlling the black pieces) controls sixteen pieces : one king , one queen , two rooks , two knights , two bishops , and eight pawns . The object of the game is to checkmate the opponent's king, whereby the king is under immediate attack (in " check ") and there is no way to remove or defend it from attack on the next move. The tradition of organized competitive chess started in the 16th century. Chess today is a recognized sport of the International Olympic Committee . The first official World Chess Champion , Wilhelm Steinitz , claimed his title in 1886; the current World Champion is Viswanathan Anand . Theoreticians have developed extensive chess strategies and tactics since the game's inception. Aspects of art are found in chess composition . One of the goals of early computer scientists was to create a chess-playing machine . Today's chess is deeply influenced by the abilities of chess programs and the opportunity for online play. In 1997 Deep Blue became the first computer to beat the reigning World Champion in a match when it defeated Garry Kasparov .