Weiqi

Known as Go in Japan and Baduk in Korea, Weiqi is more commonly recognized by its Chinese namesake in Singapore. To one who has had limited experience with the game, it is convenient to label Weiqi by its Chinese character "围", which means to surround, instantly transforming Weiqi into a board game which focuses on territorial expansion. However, to those who have played the game at a higher level, Weiqi is a lot more complex.

From a mathematical perspective, Weiqi is interesting on many levels. It is a game which is easy to learn, but difficult to master. With many areas to focus on at any one point of the game, Weiqi trains one's ability to calculate and visualize different possible scenarios, while enhancing other areas such as pattern recognition skills.

Weiqi is very much recognized and appreciated in Asia. In China, the government strongly supports the organization and promotion of Weiqi. In Japan, Go is seen as being very much part of their culture, adopting a prominent role in young people's education, leisure activities and mental care for the elderly. It is promoted as much as an art as it is a sport.

In Korea, there is much emphasis on the promotion of Baduk. Many of the top professional players in the world now are Korean youngsters, and there are three television channels in Korea dedicated to Baduk to provide national coverage. In many schools, it is part of the curriculum.

There have been many references to Weiqi in popular culture.
- In multiple wuxia shows and movies, Weiqi is commonly present when the characters engage in philosophical discussions.
- Even in American television, there are references made to Go. Russell Crowe plays the game in the movie A Beautiful Mind, while there are episodes on television (such as CSI: Miami) on the intricacies of the game.

There are also many books and papers written on the relationship between Weiqi and many external branches of academia, such as philosophy and economics.

Interesting fact: If the first move possesses three hundred and sixty-one possibilities, and subsequently, the second move three hundred and sixty possibilities, the total number of possible moves in just the opening sequence will total 361 x 360 = 129,960. Indeed, mathematicians have concluded that the number of possible Go moves in a single game can exceed the number of atoms in the universe.

   

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