Public Touchscreen Go Table

Public Touchscreen Go Table

Contributor: Daniel Bösze
Project holder:
Edition: 2015
Start date: 04/10/2014

Project name: Public Touchscreen Go Table
Project description:
A public touchscreen Go table has been installed on Mariahilfer Straße, providing everyone regardless of age with an easy and inviting way to learn and play the game of Go. It features two 42″ inch Full HD Screens in a wheather-proof, unbreakable chassis that was customly designed. Running 24/7, protected from rain and sun by a pair of big sun shades, it is an extremely attractive spot for people to sit down and enjoy Go. Four players can play at once on the two screens with enough space for kibitzers.
3DGoban, the software especially created for the table, offers an attractive 3D-rendered interface with traditional japanese tatami, kaya Go board and shell and slate stones.
People can:


  • play on three different board sizes (9×9, 13×13, 19×19)
  • play against each other or against the computer
  • learn Go interactively in an easy-to-follow step by step tutorial
  • find out about the history of Go
  • save and load their games for later review
  • choose between different languages (German and English currently)
  • find out about the Go club Go7
  • watch a selection of famous professional games on the title screen

The Go Table is situated right in front of the Viennese Go Club Go7 at one of the most attractive spots on Mariahilfer Straße, directly at a metro exit. Since its Installation, it has proven extremely popular and is occupied during nearly all time, even at 3am in the morning. No major vandalism has happened so far.


Project aim:
With the touchscreen Go table on Mariahilfer Straße, we aim to give the game of Go as much public spotlight as possible and let anyone in the broad public learn and play Go interactively, 24 hours a day with maximum attractivity.
Mariahilfer Straße is one of the busiest shopping streets in Middle Europe. Having been already croweded in 2011 with more than 70.000 customers daily, nowadays the popularty of it has soared to even higher levels thanks to the car ban.
Mariahilfer Straße is especially popular with kids and students, but also with open-minded families and the young urban demographic.

Means of the project:
The Go table uses a complete custom design, because a similar public outdoor touchscreen tablen has never been created before. It is fully heated in the winter and cooled in the summer, with extra-bright screens and reinforced glass as a protection. During reconstruction of the street surface, a power line was laid to supply the table. The table along with its two concrete benches that were provided by the city are protected by two square 4 by 4 metres interconnected parasols. It is cleaned every two days by members of Go7.
The software that runs on it has been specifically designed and written for the table and offers a simple and very intuitive interface.
Time line:
  • June 2013 – Development start of a 3D Go Software, originally planned for tablets and phones
  • August 2013 – Start of a temporary pedestrian zone at Mariahilfer Straße shopping street, stirring huge controversy in car-affine Austria
  • October 26th 2013 – Birth of the idea for a public a go table in the new pedestrian zone during a brainstorming session after Austrian Open 2013 Tournament
  • October 28th 2013 – Reaching out to different vendors of outdoor advertisement installations to get an idea about the costs
  • November 15th 2013 – Successful presentation of the rough draft project to the sponsor
  • November 26th 2013 – Presentation to the head of Neubau District, Thomas Blimlinger. The district promises support for the Go Table after a detailed presentation where a visualisation is shown, but asks for caution because of the then ongoing political debate about the permanent car ban on Mariahilfer Straße which needs to be approved for the project to have any chance of implementation
  • Touchscreen-4-1500px

  • March 7th 2014 – After months of heated public discussion and controversy, a public vote is held whether to keep the pedestrian zone and start the reconstruction of the street or to revoke the changes and reallow car traffic. The vote ends in favor of the pedestrian zone with an extremely narrow margin of 53% to 47%
  • March 18th 2014 – Final approval of the Go Table project by the district of Neubau
  • April 2014 – Start of detailed plannings and nerve-wrecking meetings with different city officials, planning bodies and architects
  • May 2014 – Start of the manufacturing of the touchscreen Go Table in China
  • June 2014 – Final approval of all construction plans for the site of the Go Table by all involved parties
  • August 2014 – Construction of the undground concrete foundation for the Go Table and establishment of the necessary power lines under the street
  • September 4th 2014 – Public announcement of the project in Austria’s biggest online newspaper, Der Standard, with much debate and huge public interest
  • October 4th 2014 – Official opening ceremony with head of District, Mr. Blimlinger

Geographic extension:
On one of the busiest shopping streets in Europe, Mariahilfer Straße, directly in front of Go7
Since the start of the project in October 2014, more than 15.000 games have already been played on the two screens. This amounts to nearly 100 games per day. Many new Go players have been attracted to Go7 because of it and a great number of children and adults try the game on the table every day. Of course some don’t learn the rules and start to play right away, but even they have a great time. Often, there are people playing at the table who specifically come there to play Go..
Public exposure:
The project got huge exposure and quite a debate after the announcment of the project in DerStandard online newspaper which enjoys the highest user counts of all online newspapers in Austria: Der Standard.
A public opening ceremony was held with Thomas Blimlinger on October 4th, 2014.
Tables with go boards, a Japanese food buffet and of course the Go Table itself attracted hundreds of people and was featured by Kurier, one of Austria’s major newspapers: Kurier
Since the Go Table is located at one of the most crowded spots in Vienna, it receives big attention. A large number of people are becoming new Go players every day.


Human resources:
The project was preconceived, created and implemented by Daniel Bösze, Board Member of the Austrian Go Federation.
He spent nearly one and a half years voluntarily and unsalaried planning and designing the table itself, writing and designing the software and scheming and negotiating the Installation of the table on the street.
Huge bureaucratic hurdles had to be overcome and everything had to be done in a very short time constraint since the project could only be implemented during the reconstruction phase of the street. Currently, he works on new features and improvements for the table’s software.
Daniel had big support from the Austrian Go Federation, especially from Christian Anderson who served as a mentor and big advocate for the project, as well as from Michael Winkler, President, and Lothar Spiegel who both made big efforts in supporting the project.
From the city of Vienna, Thomas Blimlinger, Susanne Häßler, Robert Hart and Ulrike Pitro among many others helped to make the project a reality.
Financial resources:
The costs for the Go Table’s hardware and its installation on the street were sponsored by the CEO of Palmers Immobilien AG. He also sponsored the parasols and financed the contract that had to be closed with the city. All in all, the costs of the project amounted to around $20.000, not including the work hours for the writing the software and planning the project which were unpaid. The table itself cost around $11.000.


In the future, the Go Table will receive new features as the software is constantly developed further. Potential new features include:
  • support for other languages, such as French, Japanese, Korean, Hungarian, Chinese…
  • tsumego and other Go problems
  • tutorials for advanced players
  • the possibility to play online, eg. on IGS
The goal for the project itself would be to install another touchscreen Go table in Vienna or even in other cities around the world. Since the software is ready for any language, the hardware has already been designed and a lot of refinement and improvement has been done since the opening day, implementation of a similar project somewhere else will be a lot easier. We really hope that the success of our project inspires other Go communities to replicate the project.
Due to his day-to-day job as a 3D graphics artist, Daniel’s ressources are somewhat limited on how much time he can spend with improving the software. In order to speed up development and to enable a potential release of 3DGoban on other platforms like tablets, a sponsor would be needed.
Additonal comments:
Please find some additional images of the project along with some screenshots of the software here

Giochiamo a Go nelle scuole – let’s play Go in schools!

let’s play Go in schools!

Maurizio Parton
Prize winner:
European Iwamoto Award 2012


The project is structured in four main parts:
1. Providing materials. We wrote a book in Italian language containing the rules and some very basic notions of the game; the book was then sold, at price cost, together with 9×9 plastic or 13×13 wood sets. The book can also be downloaded on the Internet for free. The book+Go set served as a base for the following steps.
2. Training of teachers. We trained 4 teachers through 4 lectures: after a discussion about the educational potential of Go, we gave them historical and cultural fundamentals about the game and we taught them the rules. At the end, these 4 teachers were able to help us in the following step.
3. Lessons in schools. We started a series of courses in Italian schools, covering three levels: primary, middle and high schools. The courses were generally held in the afternoon, after the regular lessons, on voluntary basis; in one case, though, the course has figured as a part of the ordinary activity of the school, and took place in the normal school time. At the present day, the project interested 4 schools, involving about a hundred of students.
4. National Juniores Championship. The first “Campionato Italiano Juniores 13×13” (Italian Junior Championship 13×13) took place on the 17th of June 2012, and saw the presence of 48 participants, from 7 to 19 years old, the most of which were been taught in our courses (we had also some independent participants). You can see the pictures of this extraordinary event here.


For what concerns Go, our goals are
1) to spread the game between young and very young generations;
2) to scout for young talents;
3) to spread Go in contexts that would be hard to reach in normal conditions – far from universities, game enthusiasts, Far East connoisseurs, etc.
As teachers, we deeply believe in the educational potential of the game, in particular its ability to develop logical and mathematical skills, to help focusing on specific tasks, and to elaborate strategies to realise ones goals.


The most relevant premise for the project to work is that a contact is established between Go world and the school system. In this regard, having suitable relationships (or an ability to establish them) appears to be the main issue. In our case, the fact that one of the organizers of the project (Alessandro Salpietro) works in a primary school as a teacher played quite a significant role in the outcome of the project. Maurizio Parton, as a mathematician, managed to provide useful contacts between middle and high schools teachers of mathematics. Having a Go player (Olivier Turquet) in chief of a publishing house was also very helpful for the first part of the project (providing materials).


1. Writing the book: 60 hours;
2. Training of teachers: 4 lectures of 3 hours each, 2-5 trainers involved;
3. Lessons in schools: for the primary school, 2 hours per week, during the whole year, 1 Go player teacher. For middle and high school, 3 hours per week, 6 weeks long, trained teachers + 2-5 Go players;
4. Championship: 1 day for the organization, 1 day for the tournament, 6 Go players involved.
From a didactic point of view, the role of direct lessons is – at least with kids – vital and irreplaceable. Older students, instead, can recur to the book to learn the rules (if unable to attend all or some of the lessons), or simply use it to deepen and review what they’ve learned at school. For what concerns the sets, besides the ones sold with the book (about 25), a wide variety of makeshift sets was put in place. On the Internet, we created a room on KGS (“Giochiamo a Go nelle scuole”), specifically intended for the kids from our schools, that also hosted, once, a little
tournament. The most important resource remains, anyway, the willingness of volunteers from the FIGG and the help from the world of Italian teachers and school workers.

Possibilities of copying this project

Referring to the description, in order to copy this project you need:
1. to produce a book stating rules and some tactics in a simple and understandable way, in native language and a cheap 9×9 or 13×13 set;
2. to communicate to the schools that you can train teachers in order for them to support you in giving Go lectures to students;
3. to organize a final event, giving all the students the chance to participate in an actual competition.
Ad. 1: the FIGG released his book under a Creative Commons license, so step 1 reduces to translating the book. If you want to write the book by yourself, we suggest using LaTeX and Igo package. The Go set, book included, should be cheap.
Ad. 2: we produced a letter for schools, which could be translated. Having Go players which are also school teachers would be very helpful.
Ad. 3: the final event is more or less an ordinary tournament: just keep in mind that 7 years old players can be noisier than usual :-) An official acknowledgement from the national Go Association give to the tournament an additional value.


Internet coverage of Go


Harry Weerheijm
Prize winner:
European Iwamoto Award 2007


EuroGoTV was born in 2007 with the idea to provide modern coverage of the events and news of the ancient exciting game of Go. The mission of EuroGoTV is to cover all aspects of the Go game. We truly believe that Internet is for Go what television is for soccer. It is the element that can revolutionize the game, bring more fans, and with that, more sponsors.
For years, various Go organizations have been trying to create large scale tournaments and yet players receive relatively low prize fund. The main reason is that Go lacks adequate global coverage. We hope EuroGoTV can help Go Federations/Associations/organisations to eliminate the mentioned problems and will bring the game to a higher level.


Strasbourg rules

Strasbourg rules


Albert Fenech
Prize winner:
European Iwamoto Award 2001


The Strasbourg rule is a new set of rules to simplify explanation of the game. It states that to win the game a player has to get more stones on the board than the opponent. Game stops when every group has just two eyes. The same rule is also used by O Meien, Honinbo, in Japan. It makes the end of the game clear, prevents difficulties with the explanation of life and death, and makes counting easier. To spread these rules a nice flash production was made. It can be seen on internet. It is an animated explanation of Go with Strasbourg Rules, through several stages (like capture-go), in 525 moving screen pictures. Available in English, French, German and Japanese. The program can be translated to other languages.


Manpower: low (having the basic material).
Costs: initally reasonable, the translation costs about 100 euro, thereafter low.


Click here for a website with the demonstration in several languages.

Colorful Rating Book

Colorful Rating Book

Kalli Balduin
Berlin Go Association
Prize winner:
European Iwamoto Award 2003


I developed a rating list for people who work with many children in different big groups. In a colourful booklet children are listed with their actual rating, starting at 50th Kyu. With every won game (on 9×9 or 13×13) they move up one Kyu up to the Kyu. If they lose a game, they will stay at their rating place. From the 30th Kyu up every Kyu is devided in 9 single steps, that means children have to win nine games. But if they lose a game they go down one single step, but only until the lowest place at that Kyu. The childrens names are written on nice stickers which can easily be removed, if they go up and down the list. On these stickers you can write some more extra infos, like group to which the child belongs and in which month they played. Before promoting to the next Kyu they have to make test games against the teacher. This list helps to easily see the activity and progress of many children at the same time. It also helps to give handicap stones among children. The children like this list very much, because they can see their progress and that of their friends.


I wanted a useful help to handle many children in different groups. Children also can easily see their progress. It can be a big help for teachers, who have regular Go children groups.You can compare the development and progress of children playing in different groups. It can be used everywhere and the teacher can carry it with him. It’s a kind of every day up-dated portable rating list.


In my own list there are now more then 400 children listed and I improve the quality and make new editions of the list if necessary.


You just need the pages, a computer and a good printer. Paper of course. A person to use the computer and printer. Cost of paper, ink for printing and (post-it) stickers.

Possibilities to copy this project

See above. It can be used everywhere.