American Go E-Journal

Russian Go Congress Hosts 1st “Go-Poker” Tournament

Friday July 5, 2013

The first-ever official go-poker tournament is being held this week at the 16th annual Russian Go Congress in Saint Petersburg. Also known as “Dango,” the go variant is well-known in Europe, where it’s played by top players like Matthew Macfadyen and Alexander Dinerchtein 3P. At the beginning of the game each player has 36 cards that can be either go shapes or “action cards” (placing or removing stones, pass etc). Opponents alternate turns, taking a card and “playing” it on the board. Unlike go, Dango introduces a significant measure of luck and randomness but proponents say “it is not on any account a foolish game,” noting that go-poker “requires memorizing, counting and tactical skills.” The entertainment factor for players and viewers lies in the unexpected twists that can turn the whole game upside down after each move. The go-poker tournament at the Russian Go Congress is being held in the evenings after the major regular competitions. Alexander Dinerchtein 3P, who’s a fan of Dango, is participating, providing amateurs with perhaps their best chance to best a professional go player.
- reported by Daria Koshkina, Russian correspondent for the E-Journal; photo credits: cards photo from; players photo by Alexey Kozhunkov

Categories: Europe