Lee Sedol is the ultimate practitioner of the ancient game of Go, one of its greatest players and biggest advocates; in a nutshell – he is Go’s Gary Kasparov. Now Sedol is the prime mover behind a remarkable project that aims to bring this ancient Chinese board game to a much wider audience, by virtue of blockchain technology.
One of the oldest and most complex board games in the world is about to be given a facelift, and brought firmly into the 21st century. Created in China around four thousand years ago, “Go” is the oldest continually played board game in the world, and despite its visual simplicity, is actually far more complex than chess. Although almost totally unknown in the West, it has more than 50 million regular practitioners, most living in East Asia.
35-year old South Korean Lee Sedol is rated by many as one of the greatest Go players of all time. He ranks 2nd in terms of major trophies won, with eighteen titles to his name. Similarly to chess legend Gary Kasparov’s battles with Deep Blue in the 1990s, in 2016, Sedol was matched against Google’s AI computer, the AlphaGo. While Kasparov was able to defeat Deep Blue once, Sedol was unable to record a single win against AlphaGo.
The experience sparked something within Sedol, and two years after the AlphaGo experience, Sedol has collaborated with South Korean company The Blockchain Inc. on the creation of GoBlock, a blockchain based version of Go. The GoBlock project will be built on the Ethereum blockchain network, and base its own platform on the Ethereum blockchain protocols.
GoBlock Pro League
Once GoBlock goes live later this year, Sedol and The Blockchain Company Inc. believe that the best players from the millions who play Go as an e-Sport in China, Japan, and South Korea will be keen to compete in a new global professional GoBlock league.
Lee Sedol (pictured above) believes that the project will eventually create its own rewards system, from which everyone from players and fans, supporters and advertisers can benefit. As Sedol says:
“I was drawn to the blockchain technology due to decentralization and transparency features. If blockchain technology and the token economy are applied to Go game, it will be able to expand the game’s ecosystem and bring about unforeseen changes to the game’s ecosystem.”