Pair Go is a fun and interesting way to play Go
Pair Go is played by teams of two players – one male and one female – and was invented by Hisao Taki in 1990. It has quickly evolved into a new, formal, variant of Go, popularly played in many national and international tournaments.
Historically, Go with more than one player each side – called “Rengo” – has been in existence for hundred of years. Rengo was and remains to be broadly used in social occasions, often as a celebrational activity. Pair Go goes beyond such “play for fun” status, however; as witnessed by multiple, serious international championship competitions that involve top professional Go players.
The allure of Pair Go is gleaned by noting that, whenever more than one player is involved and no conferring is allowed, new game ideas emerge. In Pair Go each player must try to attain collaboration and tacit understanding with his/her partner in order to win. In the process each player gets to learn from partner’s depth of thinking and play style. Pair Go therefore can be used as a learning tool as well, especially for the weaker member of the pair.
There is a special etiquette of Pair Go. This involves avoiding unmannerly behaviour and attitude. The environment for the event should be pleasant and higher than the usual standard, as should the standard of dress (jacket and tie recommended for the men). In order to encourage good dress, a Best Dressed prize is traditionally awarded at all Pair Go events.
Pair Go was started in Japan in 1990 to promote Go as a more social activity with the aim of attracting more female players to competitions. The etiquette is part of the means of making events more attractive.