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1.2 Go Spreads into the World

The recent growth in the number of go players in the Occident is highly encouraging. Professional players have of course worked hard, but essentially this growth has come about because go is an excellent game and people have realized how interesting it is. Go players should rejoice at seeing their game, born and developed in the Orient, spread out into the world. As the number of foreign players increases, it is conceivable that go will undergo even further development. When world go championships, comparable to the world chess championships, are held in Tokyo, New York, or Beijing, interest in go will increase greatly, and this will contribute greatly to international friendship.

For this reason it seems that Japan, the country where go is most highly developed, needs to make still further efforts, one of the most important of which is to achieve a rational, established set of rules. Among occidental go players are many mathematicians, physicists, and engineers. There is, accordingly, even greater interest in the rules than in Japan. When a person attempts to understand a new and foreign game, it is only natural to start by puzzling out its rules. The defects in these rules, which tend to be overlooked in Japan because we have become so accustomed to them, may well seem illogical to someone in another country.

Go is such an excellent game that I think we ought to create a rational set of rules for it no matter how great the hardships involved. What I intend to do is to study the current Japanese, Chinese, and other rules from various angles in the hope that this will provide material for establishing a future set of Japanese rules.

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