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a real board
Go is the oldest and one of the most popular strategic board games in the world. It has been played throughout the Orient for thousands of years.
Go is an easy game to learn. You can master the rules in less than half an hour; you can devote a lifetime to exploring its depths. An overview of rules and the complete rules are available here. An in-depth discussion is available in Wikipedia.
Go starts with the simplest elements---line and circle, black and white---but builds into deep and complex structures. Fast games can be played on a board having 9 rows by 9 columns. More challenging games can be played on a standard 19 by 19 board.
If you would like to learn Go, browse to the excellent interactive learning site. Also, take a look at these sites, also excellent: Tel's Go site, the rules at Yahoo!, and The British Go Association, to see which one fits you best. You can also download an introductory booklet online, courtesy of the American Go Association.
You can play the game at Yahoo!.
Here is some free software for playing on your computer, courtesy of Smart Games.
I believe that the best way to learn Go is to read good beginner's Go books. Unfortunately, the books I have seen are usually far too complicated for true beginners. But good news: I have finally found a series of short books that teach the game in a way that beginners can truly understand.
After you have read these, hundreds of other books at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels are available. You can also buy boards, stones, and other Go equipment.
Recommended Go Suppliers