Tuesday nights are bustling at the Seattle Go Center with more than three dozen people
hunched over wooden Go boards on the organization’s second floor. Players speak quietly as they sit in pairs and gently tap black and white stones at the intersections of the grid lines. Others sit crossed-legged on mats in the center’s Tatami Room.
But after more than 20 years in the University District, the Seattle Go Center is looking for a new home. Wataru Ueno, who joined the center in 2015, said he learned to play the game of Go in Tokyo. Ueno said he will miss the bonds he made over the game.
“Go is pretty popular in Japan, but coming to the U.S. it’s very rare to meet people who know about the game — let alone play it,” said Ueno of Capitol Hill. “It feels like an end of an era.”
Seattle Go Center opened in 1995 to teach and promote Go, an ancient strategy board game that historians estimate was invented in China 4,000 years ago. Go is a game of territory, which means whoever controls most of the board wins. The longtime hub for Go culture in Seattle is moving to a temporary location after its lease ends later this month.
“It’s very sad,” said Bill Chiles, president of the Seattle Go Center. “It’s not unicorns and rainbows, but we’re still going to come out of it and be OK and have a thriving community.”
- Excerpted from the Seattle Times; read more here