One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A game played on a go board, in which each player seeks to be the first to place five counters in a row.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Irish Times. From Japanese goban game board, go-board (10th cent.; 1603 as gobã in Vocabulario da Lingoa de Iapam; from Middle Chinese; compare Chinese qípán and its elements qí kind of board game and pán plate, tray, game board).
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