Go strategy Go players and tournaments Computer Go Go Rules and History

Go software

There is an abundance of go software available to support players of the game of Go. This includes software programs that play Go themselves, programs that can be used to view and/or edit game records and diagrams, programs that allow the user to search for patterns in the games of strong players and programs that allow users to play against each other over the Internet.

Go playing programs

The newest programs can play a professional level game on the reduced 9x9 board size and amateur dan level on 19x19. A more in depth look into Go playing programs and the research behind them can be found in the article on computer go.


There are several file formats used to store game records, the most popular of which is the Smart Game Format (SGF). Programs used for editing game records allow the user to record not just the moves, but also variations, commentary and further information on the game


Electronic databases can be used to study life and death situations, joseki, fuseki and games by a particular player. Programs are available give players pattern searching options, which allows a player to research positions by searching for high level games in which similar situations occur. Such software will generally list common follow up moves that have been played by professionals, and give statistics on win/loss ratio in opening situations.

Internet servers and clients

Read main article: Internet Go server

Many Internet-based Go servers allow access to competition with players all over the world. Such servers also allow easy access to professional teaching, with both teaching games and interactive game review being possible.

The first Go server that started operating is the Internet Go Server (IGS), which began service in 1992 and is still active today. Several other servers, all with the same basic server-client architecture, followed. Such servers required players to download a client program, and many such programs were therefore developed for a wide range of platforms. Around 2000, Kiseido publishing started the Kiseido Go Server (KGS), which allowed players to play without downloading a client by utilizing a Java applet in the web browser. This server quickly became popular and still is today. IGS and KGS were as of 2007 the most popular real-time go servers for the English speaking audience. Online Go Server (OGS) and Dragon Go Server (DGS) were as of 2011 the most popular turn-based go servers.

Read more:

User Interfaces

These programs provide graphical interfaces on a variety of platforms, performing various combinations of the services listed above.