Renju History

On this page you will find the history of Renju and other five in a row games.

This are the basics of five in a row game:

The game is played with two people, usually a board consisting of 15×15, 19×19 squares or a squared paper. The players usually uses black- and white stones. There are different rules for the opening of the game depending on which version of five in a row that you play. The players to first get five in a row either horizontally, vertical or diagonally wins the game.


Five in a row have been played on Go-boards since 700 A.D. The game came to Japan from Chine. There are many different names for five in a row games. A few names that are use are Kakugo, GoMoku, GoBand and Itsusi-Ishi. The basics of the game is very simple which makes it a popular game to play world wide.

When players got more skilled they found out that the starting player had great favour of winning the game. With the most simple rule it is a sure win for the starting player. That is why Renju Rules and other types of five in a row games have been developed. Renju is more than 100 years old and was founded by a Japanese named Meijin. In the beginning of the 1900s people started to play the game more organised.

During the time until today the rules have been changed several times to make the gameplay as fair as possible. Every year there are championships and competitions all around the world.