Cribbage and Go

I wonder how many Cribbage players, like me, also play the board game Go (also known as baduk or weiqi). I think there are some interesting similarities.

Both Go and Cribbage are games where your winning strategy depends on the way your opponent plays. You need to be constantly thinking about what your opponent's plans might be, and try to frustrate them at the same time as advancing your own plans. When you're behind on score, you need aggressive and risky tactics to change the balance of the game, but if you're ahead, quiet and solid play is the key.

Go is a game of perfect information where there is no element of chance, whereas in Cribbage you are subject to the luck of the deal, and you don't know what's in your opponent's hand. However, both games require a balance between intuition and pure calculation.

You also need a strong pattern-matching ability: in Cribbage, to understand what your opponent's play tells you about their hand; in Go, to understand the way that the placing of stones on the board exerts power and influence, and to work out what patterns your opponent is trying to create.

If you play Go, you might like to check out Shimari, my Go blog which recounts my daily ups and downs, wins and losses, and some of my more interesting games. If you don't know anything about Go but would like to find out a bit more, have a look at Sensei's Library, an excellent community web site for beginners to advanced players.

If you play both Cribbage and Go, comment here to let me know!