Goban is a board where the game of Go is played.

The appearance of the board is simple, but the quality is very high. Go board is also used to play games like Gomoku and Pente.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Go board

Board types

There are 3 main types of the Go board: 19×19, 13×13, and 9×9.

19x19 regular Goban

Theory of the game is made on 19×19 board as this size is the main one.

History of Goban

At first, Go was played on 17×17 board.

17x17 Go board
Ancient 17×17 board. Approx. 2000 years old

After some period, they’ve switched to 19×19

oldest 19x19 Go board
Oldest 19×19 board. Approx. 1900 years old

We don’t know the main reason of switching, but there is a theory that seems very plausible: As the board has 19 horizontal and 19 vertical lines, if we multiply them we’ll have 361. That number is very close to the number of days in a year (365).

So this theory suggests that the four corners of the board reflect four seasons of the year (90 in one corner).

Board dimensions

There are some regulations when making a board. You must follow board width, board length, and line spacing requirements, but you can change the thickness of the board.

Board width42516.5
Board length45517.5
Board thickness1515.5
Line spacing – width220.87
Line spacing – length230.93
Line thickness10.15
Star point diameter40.9

These dimensions can change proportionally when resizing the width and length of the board.

Board materials

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Goban can be made with different materials.

Historically, boards for royal people were made from the wood of Kaya or Katsura. Ones made of Kaya are superior in their color, brightness, and hardness. Aesthetically, kaya boards are considered ideally suited to the shell and slate stones.

Kaya board
Board made from Kaya wood

Usually, boards made from Kaya are very expensive, so the cheap alternative is wood called Agathis. This material looks similar to Kaya, but it’s very hard wood, so usually, stones get broke while placing on them, unless it’s high-quality glass.

Agathis board
Board made from Agathis wood

Goban prices

As I’ve mentioned, different materials have different prices, but dimensions matter as well.

Here I list approximate prices of different board types

DescriptionMaterialThickness (mm)Price
Fabric boardFabric0.2$ 5-10
Plastic boardPlastic1.2$ 10-15
Foldable boardWood2$ 20-40
Table boardWood5$ 50-150
Floor board (With legs)Wood20$ 1000+

About the author

Irakli Khizanishvili

Hi, I'm Irakli from Georgia.
I've been playing the game of Go for a few years now. During that period I've read lots of books about all aspects of this interesting and beautiful game.
On this website, I'm glad to share my game knowledge and experience with you.
I hope I'll be able to help improve your skills and proficiency in the magnificent game of Go!
Remember, it's never too late to learn new things!

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