Welcome to Games of Go on Download

Games of Go on Disk began in the era of floppy disks, and we have since moved to a more modern format of digital download.


GoGoD Books

Book 1 of 33

About Games of Go on Download

Games of Go on Disk began in the era of floppy disks. T Mark Hall had begun transcribing games of Honinbo Shusaku from Invincible onto disks, and then small collections of other games from English sources – collections were then limited by disk size to 300 games.

A major step forward came when Mark was able to acquire a complete edition of Go Seigen games in Korea and eagerly began transcribing over 800 games. But he needed help with translating the names and tournament data that went with the games. This was where John Fairbairn came in.

The resulting collections were in great demand among British go players, and the GoGoD partnership was formed to offer sets for each player.

For the first few years, only player sets were offered, but in August 2001 we began offering a database. The first edition, introduced at the European Go Congress in Dublin, had around 11,700 games.

At that stage, looking at our own resources and the number of pro games being played, and the time it took to input games, we thought that the upper limit for any database would be in the region of 40,000 games. As of January 2014, the total had zoomed to over 79,000.

The number of pro go tournaments expanded rapidly, and we also became more efficient at inputting games. But two other factors spurred on growth. One was the fact that the two founders were in a position to build up a library of sources through frequent visits to the Far East. The other was that many friends began helping with the project.

A list of people who have helped in some significant way is given below. But two, in particular, have helped with inputting: Jan van Rongen of the Netherlands and Tom Koranda of the Czech Republic. Harry Fearnley and Charles Matthews have also given massive help by providing loans of rare sources.

In the course of producing twice-yearly updates, both Mark (a diplomat) and John (a journalist) officially became grumpy old men and so were able to devote themselves to the database fully, and to a huge encyclopaedia that was bundled on the database CD. Nevertheless, they decided that a finite cut-off point was needed, and settled on a target of 100,000 games.

Sadly, Mark was cut off in his prime with a long illness that eventually took him from us in December 2013.

Nevertheless, he expressed a strong wish that GoGoD should continue. Over the years, as Keith Arnold of Baltimore kindly pointed out in the many tributes that accompanied the announcement of Mark’s passing, “according to GoGoD” had become to the western go world what “according to Hoyle” had become to games players in general. Mark was also the public face of GoGoD, through the miniature stall he set up at tournaments throughout the world. He was well aware of how attached today’s players had become to the idea of having a huge number of games on tap.

He, therefore, left a large reserve of games to be added towards the 100,000 and John has undertaken to try to keep the ship afloat.

Still, it has to be said that Mark, indefatigable and totally reliable, is quite irreplaceable, and so some major changes have had to be made – all with his blessing.

The first is to shift from CD distribution to an online download via this site – no more CDs will be issued at all. Second, the encyclopaedia and the various programs such as the database reader, all of which require constant maintenance, have been ditched. We now offer only raw sgf data and it is up to the user to find ways of using the data.

But for those who like their ready-cooked beans in a can with lashings of sauce, the entire database is also available on SmartGo (www.smartgo.com) products for Windows, Mac, iPhone and iPad. The Mac and iOS versions of SmartGo also include access to the massive GoGoD Names Dictionary which contains biographical data on just about every go personage – players and others – of note.

New from 2019: Extracts from the GoGoD Encyclopaedia

The GoGoD Encyclopaedia ceased publication following the untimely death of GoGoD partner T Mark Hall in 2012. It appears it has been much missed but we have had mostly to ignore requests to make it, or parts of it, available so as to concentrate on the sgf database. However, we have now been persuaded to offer extensive an extract of most the GoGoD Encyclopaedia HTML suite.

But that does not change our time constraints, and so these files are offered strictly on an as-is basis as a kind of legacy item. They are partly out of date and will not be updated, use old technology (pre-Unicode, for example), and have gaps where series left off. On the other hand, they
contain a wealth of go information not available in English elsewhere. They include the popular New In Go, Coffee Break and Concepts columns, as well as things like tournament data, historical and other features, and so on. In all there are about 3,000 files packed into something like 25MB.

We must clearly stress again that this data has not been updated or fully corrected and is supplied ENTIRELY AS-IS, with no guarantees as to how it may (or may not) appear on your machine. You are expected to read the usual ReadMe file and to know how to access and manipulate html files. No correspondence will be entertained as the GoGoD database alone takes too much time already.


Games of Go on Download

  • July 2022 GoGoD Database
  • Summer 2022 edition (July 2022).
  • Well over 115,300 zipped sgf games.
  • Complete games of Honinbo Shuwa (600+).
  • 196 games by Nakamura Sumire.
  • Newly found Go Seigen game!
  • The Names Dictionary (readings and mini-biogs) now has 4475 entries.
  • View all features
Buy now

GoGoD Encyclopaedia

  • 2019 GoGoD Encyclopedia
  • New In Go
  • Coffee Break and Concepts columns
  • Tournament data
  • Historical data
  • 3,000+ files
  • View full description
Buy now

Frequently Asked Questions

When I unzip the database why am I not seeing all the files?

Because of the amount of files in the GoGoD zip file some unarchiving tools struggle to unzip them all. We have found that 7-zip is the best free program to unarchive all the files successfully. Click here to download 7-zip

GoLibrary search program from Summer 2016

From Summer 2016, after many requests, we are including our own GoLibrary search program. But please note this is complimentary and unsupported - although it has worked for many years bug free, and we still use it daily. It is also for Windows users only. See the file ReadMeFirst.txt in the download package.

What is in the download?

The download includes individual sgf files. Note that the sgf files include games on board sizes other than 19×19. You may wish to delete the folders for other sizes if the program you use cannot cope with other sizes. It also includes the updated names dictionary in xml format (Windows reader included) - over 4,000 entries! Also includes a complimentary GoLibrary database search program (Windows only). Please note that your purchase only includes the latest database. It does not include access to any future updates. New editions can be purchased twice a year, summer and winter.

Is the New In Go archive included?

No, but as of October 2019 we are including New In Go as HTML documents in the GoGoD Encyclopedia.

Names Dictionary now updated!

You can read this in a browser, of course, but for Windows users the complimentary XML file is included to enable you to search on players' names (in several languages) and biographical data. Please note that both the xml file and program should be treated as beta versions. The xml file needs a more thorough proof-read and while it is very up-to-date as regards actual players, some of the rank data still needs updating. Refined versions of both items will be included in the Summer 2017 edition.

Why do I have to download the whole database every time, and not just get the latest games?

We constantly check the current games and do make corrections or add moves, and other data, as we aquire new sources. By downloading the entire database, you are getting the latest version of every game.

Are the sgf files encrypted?

No. They are all text files in simple ascii format. Our philosophy has always been to trust go players, and that trust has largely been rewarded.

Are go games copyright?

We operate on the widely accepted (though strictly untested) assumption, based mainly on chess practice, that individual game records cannot be copyrighted. However, commentary data added to the records is copyrightable, and a collection is also copyrightable. GoGoD asserts its rights to any copyright that may apply. If you use selected games in articles of your own, we do ask that, as a courtesy, you quote GoGoD.

Is the SmartGo version identical?

The main difference is that the files there have been compressed and so are not easily accessible as individual files. Also, SmartGo's use of the names dictionary file is specific to itself.

Can I get a CD?

From Winter 2013, we no longer will produce CDs or alternatives such as USB. The only method of obtaining the database will be via download from this site.

Are old CDs still valid?

In general yes, but we do quite extensively update and correct existing games as we acquire new sources.

Can I view my purchase history?

Yes, if you created an account. Click this link to log in Log-in here.

Problem with the website or your download?

Send us an email to gogodonline@gmail.com or message us through twitter @GoGoDonline

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