Go Timeline

Here is a chronological listing of historical Go events. If you feel something is missing, please Contact us.

Date Event
ca. 2200 BCE According to Chinese legends, Emperor Yao invents Go to educate his son.
ca. 2000 BCE Yunzi-style stones were used in Siberia (recently discovered by Russian archaeologists and dated to be 4,000 years old).
ca. 475-221 BCE Analects of Confucius are written and make a reference to Go.
ca. 389 BCE Zuo Zhuan - a Chinese history text - is published and makes a reference to Go in 548 BCE.
ca. 206-25 BCE The oldest surviving, complete, unambiguous Go board, a 17x17 stone board, was dated to this time. It was discovered in 1952 in a tomb in the Chinese province of Hebei.
109 BCE Chinese armies invade ancient Korea; Go was possibly introduced to Korea at this time.
ca. 230 CE The "Wu Diagrams" are created, containing the earliest recorded Go game.
475 Go-playing priest To-lim from Goguryeo (one of the ancient Three Kingdoms of Korea), used Go to play a key part in the successful invasion of neighbouring kingdom Baekje.
608 A Chinese envoy to Japan writes about Japanese fondness of Go.
ca. 700 The oldest survivng Go painting was created.
701 "Taiho Statutes: Rules for Monks and Nuns" is published in Japan and makes a reference to Go.
712 The current Japanese character for "Go" is first seen in Kojiki ("Records of Ancient Matters").
735 According to legend, Kibi no Makibi brought Go to Japan after studying in China.
747 An ancient Korean poem from the Silla Kingdom makes a reference to Go.
880 A 17x17 stone board dated from this time was found in Korea. It is believed that famous scholar Ch'oe Ch'i-weon played on it.
ca. 1008 Murasaki Shikibu's classic The Tale of Genji is written and contains references to Go.
1330 A Mongol emperor inquires about whether it was dignified for the "Son of Heaven" to play Go.
ca. 1339 The Classic, a Chinese collection of over 300 Go problems, is printed.
Jun. 26 - Oct. 28 1575 Augustinian monk Martín de Rada lives in China (as leader of a Spanish legation of the Philippines) and collects many books, including one on Xiangchi (Chinese Chess) and Go.
June 20 1582 Honinbo Sansa and Kashio Rigen complete the famous "triple ko" game at Honnō-ji temple in the presence of the Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga. The temple is attacked the next morning and Nobunaga commits seppuku, resulting in a triple ko being considered a bad omen.
1588 Toyotomi Hideyoshi sponsors Japan's first national tournament and ranking system.
ca. 1601 Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit missionary, writes on how popular Go is amongst Chinese Officials.
ca. 1603 Honinbo Sansa is appointed as Japan's Godokoro (person in charge of official Go matters) by Tokugawa Ieyasu.
ca. 1605 Top Jappanese players begin playing official games in the presence of the shogun and court.
1612 Japan's four major Go houses are established: The Honinbo, Inoue, Yasui and Hayashi.
1616 Ernest Augustus, duke of early German state Brunswick-Lüneburg, translates a paragraph on Go by Matteo Ricci to German in Das Schach- oder König-Spiel ("The Chess or King Game").
1617 The third edition of Purchas, his Pilgrimage by English writer Samuel Purchas is published and contains a reference to Go.
1628 The "castle games" in Japan are formalized into an annual event at Edo Castle.
1643 Álvaro de Semedo, a Portugese Jesuit missionary to southern China, mentions Go in Relatione della Grande Monarchia della China ("Relation of China's Great Monarchy").
1678 Honinbo Dosaku is appointed Godokoro after years without a Godokoro.
1694 Thomas Hyde writes De Circumveniendi Ludo Chinensium ("About the Chinese Encircling Game"), the first detailed description of Go in a European language (Latin).
1766 Satsugen is appointed Meijin ("Great Expert").
1770 Satsugen is appointed Godokoro.
1799 The collection of Dutch-American merchant Andreas Everhardus van Braam Houckgeest from Christie's auction house in London, England, contains an essay on Go, a board, and two bowls.
Jun. 6 1829 Honinbo Shusaku, one of the greatest players in his time, is born as Torajirō Kuwabara.
Sept. 11 1846 Gennan Inseki and Honinbo Shusaku play the famous Ear-Reddening Game.
ca. 1852 Many Chinese immigrants begin settling and playing Go on the west coast of North America.
1876 British diplomat and sinologist Herbert Allen Giles mentions Go in his book, Chinese Sketches.
1877 Herbert Allen Giles publishes Wei-chi, or the Chinese game of war.
1880 German Engineer Oscar Korschelt publishes some articles on Go, which later become a book. These writings popularize Go in Europe.
1892 Edward Falkener from London, England, mentions Go in his book Games Ancient and Oriental.
1897 The book Kōgyoku Yoin, containing 100 of Honinbo Shusaku's games, is published by Ishigaya.
Jan. 1904 Zain Danso is published by Ando Nyoi and Yamada Gyokusen, revealling Honinbo Jowa's controversial efforts to secure the Meijin Godokoro title.
May 1904 Shusaku Koketsu Kifu (Shusaku's Games as Revealed to Me) is published by Ishigaya (a pupil of Josaku, Shuwa and Shusaku) as a follow-up to his last book.
1905 Chess player Edward Lasker learns about Go from Oscar Korschelt's articles.
1905-1910 Max Lange becomes the first to learn Go in Germany and travel to Japan to study the game.
1908 Leopold Pfaundler publishes "The Chinese-Japanese Game Go" which promotes Go in Austria.
Arthur Smith, who learned of the game in an Eastern tour, writes The Game of Go in New York.
1909-1910 Leopold Pfaundler publishes the German Go Journal, the first Go journal from outside of Asia.
1910 Go first appears in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
1911 The first substantial English Go book, Goh or Wei-Chi is published by Horace Cheshire.
1914 Shusai becomes Meijin and is called the "Invincible Meijin" as he won all of his big games.
Edward Lasker moves to New York and founds the New York Go Club with Karl Davis Robinson and Lee Hartman.
Edward Lasker writes his own The Game of Go, which helps popularize Go in North America.
1924 The Nihon Ki-in (Japanese Go Association) is formed after the Kanto Earthquake.
1928 Go Seigen, a Chinese prodigy, travels to Japan with sponsorship from Baron Okura Kishichiro.
ca. 1930 In a journal, the rules of Go are published in the Czech language for the first time.
1934 Edward Lasker rewrites The Game of Go and it is published as the popular Go and Go-Moku.
1936 Honinbo Shusai transfers his title to the Nihon Ki-in, and it later becomes a tournament title.
1937 Edward Lasker, Karl Davis Robinson, and Lee Hartman form the American Go Association in New York.
1937 The German Go Association is founded.
July 1939 The first biannual Honinbo tournament is held.
1939 In Cologne, socialist resistance fighters use go boards to camouflage their activities (and play).
1942 During World War II bombings, large quantities of German Go literature are destroyed.
1950 Honinbo Hashimoto Utaro founds the Kansai Ki-in after Japan's Osaka group has a dispute.
1950s Chen Yi popularizes Go as a national sport in China, and Go institutions in Beijing and Shanghai are formed.
1953 John Barrs founds the British Go Association.
1957 The first European Go Congress is held in Germany.
Jan. 25 1958 In Korea, Go is broadcast on TV for the first time.
1960s Chen Yi invites five Japanese players to contend with Chinese players. These "Super Go" competitions were held annually until 1972 (when they were interrupted by the Cultural Revolution).
1970 John Williams, Harry Schwartz and Dr. Yoshio Tsuchiya form the Canadian Go Association.
Oct. 19 1970 The French Go Association is created.
1973 The current Chinese Go Association (a branch of the Zhongguo Qiyuan) is formed.
1978 The current French Go Federation, an association of French Go clubs, is created.
Jan. 26, 1978 Manfred Wimmer from Austria becomes the first Western professional Go player.
Sept. 1978 The first Canadian Open Championship is held in Toronto.
Spring 1979 The first annual World Amateur Go Championship is held in Tokyo, Japan.
Mar. 18 1982 Shizuo Asada and 29 members form the International Go Federation.
1984 Roger B. White, a Cleveland industrialist, establishes the American Go Foundation.
1985 The first annual U.S. Go Congress is held in Westminster, Maryland.
1988 The American Go Association begins participating in the World Go Championship (Fujitsu Cup).
Sept. 1989 Korea's Cho Hun-hyun wins the first ING cup, with a prize of $400,000 USD.
1991 Manfred Wimmer introduces Go in Madagascar (and, reportedly, in Kenya around this time).
Feb. 1992 The Internet Go Server (the first dedicated online Go server), starts and is based from the University of New Mexico, where it was mostly written by Tim Casey.
May 9 1992 The European Go Cultural Centre is opened in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It is founded by the Iwamoto Foundation.
1996 Astronauts Daniel Barry and Koichi Wakata become the first people to play Go in space.
1997 The Department of Baduk Studies is established at Myongji University in South Korea.
1998 Hikaru no Go, a Japanese manga about Go is first published. It becomes very popular and encourages youth worldwide to learn Go.
2000 Michael Redmond becomes the first and only Western Go professional to reach the 9-dan level.
Feb. 2000 Korean Rui Naiwei becomes the first woman to win a major title (the 43rd Kuksu).
Apr. 1 2010 Japanese Fujisawa Rina becomes the youngest Go professional, at age 11 years 6 months.
The launch of All About Go!
Oct. 2015 Google DeepMind program AlphaGo defeats Fan Hui 2p, the first time a computer won against a professional Go player in an even game.