The Bob High Memorial Library

Former AGA Membership Secretary and President Bob High, who played a crucial role in the AGA's development, liked to read and write about all aspects of go. Welcome to the Bob High Memorial Library, which houses a collection of links and original articles that Bob would have enjoyed (and some that he wrote.) This is a unique resource for scholarly research and more.

Articles downloaded from this site are copyrighted, so material that is "checked out" cannot be copied, used or quoted, except for brief passages with adequate citation, without the authors' written consent. There is no fine for late return of checked out materials.

The 2012 International Go Symposium The first such scholarly gathering to make a complete video record of the proceedings on its own YouTube channel. In addition, links to all the videos and to associated papers, links and contact information can be found at the Symposium website.


Hikaru No Go A coming-of-age tale that has captivated Japanese youth. English version available in manga and anime formats.

The Go Kiburi Stories by Bob High et. al. Learn of the exploits of Go Kiburi, go player extraordinaire, and his sidekick, Iki Jibiki.

The Honinbo by Bob High A parodist's paradise! Bob High wrote this 43-page adaptation of The Mikado for the world of go

The AGA Songbook (3rd edition) edited by Bob Felice Dozens of go-theme parodies based on well-known American songs. There is also the 2002 songbook supplement.

Francis Roads' Go Song Collection The singer, writer and raconteur extraordinaire's new site presents dozens of European go songs, with sheet music.

Francis Roads' Go verse If you like silly go songs, you're likely to enjoy these as well. The AGA Songbook (above) also contains a poetry section.

Some Quotes From Over 2000 Years of Go History Some examples of what has been said about go throughout history , especially in China. Compiled by Peter Shotwell from his other downloads on this page.

Judge Dee and Go Steganography by Peter Shotwell In Robert Van Gulik's The Chinese Lake Murders, a secret message is concealed in a kifu. See Steganography below for more on hidden codes in game records.

Go in the Emerald City by Michael Ryan The origins of the Black Hole Go Club.

A Disturbance at the Chicago Airport Nakayama Noriyuki, Pro 7-Dan, master raconteur and the author of The Treasure Chest Enigma, recalls his encounter with a formidable opponent -- the Chicago airport, as he was en route to the 2000 US Go Congress.


Speculations About The Origins of Go by Peter Shotwell Probably the most extensive discussion of the origins of go anywhere, in any language. With nine appendices.

Richard Bozulich on Kissinger on China and Go In Henry Kissinger's book On China, he claims that weiqi thinking guides military and political thinking in China. The founder of Ishi Press and author of many English-language go books disagrees.

History of Go Eminent go scholar John Fairbairn writes about weiqi (go) in ancient China.

The History of Go Rules A leading expert traces the evolution of the rules as we know them today.

A Weiqi Classic from 1000 Years Ago Qijing Shisanpian, written around 1050 AD, is the oldest known written work on the game of go. Paolo Zanon's commented translation was originally published in Annali di Ca'Foscari; Venezia; University Ca'Foscari; Vol. XXXV; N. 3; 1996; pgs. 375-398.

Opposition of the Literati to Go in Ancient China The earliest references to go, in Chinese ancient Chinese texts, view the game as a useless distraction, barely better than doing nothing at all. Yet the game eventually became one of the "Four Accomplishments" of the Chinese gentry. Paolo Zanon shows how go eventually won favor with the Chinese upper class.

Behind The Rules of Go At least three different counting systems can be used to figure out the result of a go game, all of which lead to the same result 99.9% of the time. There are at least five distinct "rule sets" of conventions and procedures. Charles Matthews thinks through some issues involved in creating a viable rule set.

Sufficient but not Necessary Charles Matthews continues his review of fundamental concerns behind the rules, explicating the dilemmas posed by ko and seki, and how they are best resolved.

Learning from the Stones: A Go Approach to Mastering China's Strategic Concept, Shi David Lai, a professor at the US Military College, uses go as a paradigm to illustrate some essential characteristics of Chinese thought. Kissinger weiqi thinking is based largely on his understanding of this article.

‘Real’ Go in Ukiyo-e: Some Artistic Aspects of The Physician Hua Tuo Scraping the Bone of Guan Yu to Treat an Arrow Wound by Kuniyoshi Utagawa by Peter Shotwell Why does the goban in Kuniyoshi's famous ukiyo-e have 21x21 lines instead of 19x19? Shotwell explores this and other aspects of the print that appeared on the cover of JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Go in Ancient and Modern Tibet by Peter Shotwell Shotwell traveled to Tibet in the early 1990's, on the trail of the origins of go. Here is what he found. A revised and expanded version of an article that appeared in Go World #69.

Doers and Dreamers -- Weiqi Players and Poets by Peter Shotwell An expanded version of an article that originally appeared in The American Go Journal.

The Politics of Go in Old Shanghai translated by Roy Schmidt, edited by Peter Shotwell Tales of intrigue in the early 1900's in Shanghai. Translated by Roy Schmidt and edited by Peter Shotwell.

Go In World War II Internment Camps by Peter Shotwell The story of how Japanese-Americans preserved their way of life, and their dignity, while being held in American concentration camps during WW II.

The Art of Black and White: Wei-chí in Chinese Poetry This article originally appeared in The Journal of The American Oriental Society.

The Flavor of the Game Bob High reflects on what makes go special.

Go: The Study of Buddhist Ideals An essay by American Ing Goe President Ernest Brown.

The Glass Bead Game Further reflections by AIG President Ernest Brown on the essential nature of go.

Go As a Model for Change Dr. Robert Israel explores the metaphoric implications of chess and go.


The Most Possible Go Games, Positions and Length of the Longest John Tromp, one of the top board game mathematicians, has now finished his work on Go and will proceed to Chess.

Play Go and Grow! by Roy Laird, Ph.D. A child specialist explains why go, among all similar games, is the best choice to stimulate cognitive and personal development.

The Deoksoo Study: Go Makes Kids Smarter Korean researchers found that studying go had a strong positive impact.

fMRI Study Shows Go Players Use the Whole Brain A Chinese team found that in contrast to chess player, who rely primarily on left-brain activity, go players use both hemispheres.

Go and Cognition by Peter Shotwell How do we learn to play go? What makes masters stronger than the rest of us? Peter Shotwell summarizes and discusses studies of go players that try to understand the nature of thought itself. Related chess studies are also discussed.

Exploring Project Management by Exploiting Analogy with the Game of Go In his doctoral thesis, Grant Kerr identifies 83 principles from the game of go and discusses effective application of them in the business world.

Combinatorial Game Theory Elwyn Berlekamp, David Wolfe and others have applied mathematical principles to analysis of the endgame in books like Mathematical Go and Chilling Gets the Last Point. Charles Matthews describes some of their thinking in this article.

Coupon Go This go variation involves a deck of cards with various point values. Each player chooses between making a move and taking a card. Dr. Berlekamp explains how he created this variation in his quest to measure the precise value of moves, and answers questions.

A Time Line of Supercomputer Go: Temporal Difference Learning to Monte Carlo Programing by Peter Shotwell The story behind recent stunning developments in computer play.

To Test a Powerful Computer, Play an Ancient Game Why can't computers play go? Despite years of effort, the strongest programs are easily defeated by talented children. New York Times science writer George Johnson explains why.

On-Line Samurai Transform an Ancient Game New York Times writer Katie Hafner visits the world of online go in this article from December 24, 1998. Available online from The New York Times archive.

All Systems Go This article by former insei David Mechner, which originally appeared in the January-February 1998 issue of The Sciences , describes some of the problems the would-be go programmer faces in even more detail.

Steganography In Games: A General Methodology And Its Application to the Game of Go by Julio C. Hernandez-Castro et. al. The authors describe how data can be hidden in game records, using their program STEGOGO.


Go and Chess Ethan Goffman compares two great games as vehicles for learning. This reprint made available by Knucklebones magazine.

Deviant Go Bob High suggests some unusual things to do on the go board.

Small Board Go Myron Souris finds surprising complexity on boards as small as 2x2.

Games of No Chance and More Games of No Chance Richard J. Nowakowski, editor Scholarly essays on a wide variety of "combinatorial games" of perfect information, where all possible moves are known to all players (unlike bridge, Stratego or Monopoly for instance). Each volume contains several interesting go-related articles such as "Loopy Games and Go" and "Go Thermography".

Exploring Project Management by Exploiting Analogy with the Game of Go Grant Kerr earned his Ph.D. with this study of how the principles of go can be applied to project management.

Last Dango in Rochester by Bob High The only known crossword puzzle with a go theme. Give up? Here's the solution.

Life and Death on the Go Board An article by Peter Schumer of Middlebury College that appeared in Math Horizons magazine.

An Interview with Go Seigen Pieter Mioch talks with one of the great players of all time. A three part series.

Other Pieter Mioch Interviews and Articles Living in Japan, Mioch covers the go scene there.

New In Go This page contains more than 80 essays by eminent go historian John Fairbairn on a wide range of topics.

The Surrounding Game Interview with Cole Pruitt If you’ve been following the E-Journal over the last several years, you will know that Cole Pruitt, Will Lockhart and many friends have been working on The Surrounding Game, the first major documentary about what’s “going on” in the world of Go today. Here’s Peter Shotwell’s recent interview with Cole during a visit to the Los Alamos, New Mexico labs where Cole was conducting labs tests for his Washington University of St. Louis PhD thesis.