Table of contents:

What is Japanese checkers and how to play them
What is Japanese checkers and how to play them

For lovers of board games will not be alien to such fun as, for example, chess, backgammon, dominoes, monopoly and many others. If you haven’t played checkers, then everyone has heard about it. But, do you know what the Japanese version of this game is, and how it differs from what we are used to? It is quite possible not. Let's figure it out, and then maybe even play them!

Japanese Checkers is…

A logical board game designed for two people and involving a sequential alternating rearrangement of chips in a rectangular field marked in black and white in order to surround as much space as possible - this is, as they are also called, Go checkers. In terms of complexity, they are not inferior to chess, since here it is also necessary to think over the moves in advance, otherwise the game may end in failure, and are considered one of the most difficult games in the world.

japanese checkers

Today, more than 50 million people play them. They are very popular in eastern countries, among the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, where Japanese checkers are considered a special sport. With their help, it developslogical thinking and the ability to organize information. In addition, with the help of images that are formed during the game, people have a penchant for philosophy. Maybe that's why there are quite a few computer alternatives to "talking hands" (as the Chinese call them), and if they exist, they are not very productive.


What does the term "Japanese checkers" mean? The name of the game consists of two hieroglyphs: the first means the word "fence", and the second - Go - means the pieces themselves.

Despite the fact that the game has such a name, it originated in ancient China about 2.5 thousand years ago. Probably, readers will have a completely fair question about what caused such an unfair attitude towards Chinese culture. The answer is very simple: this game came to the European continent from Japan, where local masters explained all its subtleties to Western travelers.

In the 7th century, the game came to Japan, and in the 15th century it gained great popularity in the eastern part of the world. One of the Chinese legends says that it was invented by Emperor Yao for his stupid son to develop his powers of concentration and intelligence, but there is no documentary evidence for this.

The very first textbook with the rules of playing Japanese checkers in Europe was published by engineer Korschelt in Germany at the very beginning of the 20th century.


Before you start the game process in Japanese checkers, you need to make sure that all inventory is present, namely: goban, chips and bowls. The first term refers to a special rectangular wooden boardforms with lines drawn vertically and horizontally, forming cells. The number of lines can be any, but 19x19 parameters are welcome. The board itself is not square in order to provide players with a good angle of view on the field.

japanese checkers

Chips (stones) in the amount of 361 pieces should be of a contrasting color so that they visually differ from each other better. Usually it is black and white, but other colors are quite possible. Depending on the preferences of the players, they are made from different materials, from wood to precious metals.

Bowls with lids are used to store chips. Winning figures are placed in one of the halves of such a vessel.

japanese checkers name

Basic rules for playing Japanese checkers

The goal of the duel is to surround the area as quickly as possible so that you have more of it than the enemy. Usually the black stones move first, followed by the turn of the white ones. This cycle repeats throughout the game. A chip is placed at the intersection of the lines, provided that it has a handicap - an unoccupied place on any of the neighboring points. If a figure is surrounded by enemy forces and has nowhere to go, then the opponent has every right to take it from the battlefield. You can skip your turn by saying the word "pass", however, if you have already touched the chip, you must definitely move it - these are the rules of Go.

checkers go

In the case when one player rearranges his chips twice in a row without waiting for a move or a passopponent, he loses. The winner is determined by counting the captured stones and the cells surrounded by his pieces.

Popular topic