Another tale of go behind bars – this one from Poland – comes from E-Journal European Correspondent Peter Dijkema. Seems that Slawomir Sikora picked up the game while serving a 25-year prison sentence for the brutal 1994 murders of two men who were blackmailing him and his business partner. The case became world-famous when the film “Dlug (The Debt)” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0225535/ came out in 1999. According to Dijkema’s sources (his wife is a Polish journalist), after learning go from a book his mother gave him in prison, Sikora and his fellow inmates made their own sets out of cardboard and paper, and when he soon had his cell-mates taking serious handicaps, they concluded he was the dan-player, while they were weak kyu’s. The film helped Sikora become a hero in the eyes of many and he was freed in 2005, pardoned by the President of Poland after many prominent Poles signed a petition on Sikora’s behalf. “We do not know of any of his games outside jail, nor how his dan-level would match up on the Polish ranking list,” Dijkema reports. Click here http://www.kinokultura.com/specials/2/dlug.shtml to read more about the case.
American Go E-Journal
Monday February 22, 2010