American Go E-Journal

Go Quiz: How Many Heads of Honinbo?

Sunday April 13, 2014

Camel Redux: First of all, your quizmaster would like to thank E-Journal readers for welcoming us back. Our recent poll column on the best Western cultural reference to go was incredibly popular, as evidenced by the many follow up emails, some of which have already been published in recent EJs. My fondness for the print ad inspired the following response, which needs to be preserved for posterity. “The Camel ad was splashy to us back in the late 70′s when it came out (it appeared in Playboy!),” writes Peter St. John, “but what I remember was Gene (Eugene) Zaustinsky, a professor of mathematics at Stony Brook, telling me that he had composed the position. The story was that someone had called the NY Go club and Gene just happened to be handy, maybe the strongest person in the room at the time of the call. He said it was from a game a friend of his had played.”
Last Week’s Quiz: Our question last week about who was the first player to come back from an 0-3 deficit and win a title inspired other responses from old friends. Two of you made what I call the “smart” guess, choosing early big title veteran Sakata Eio as logically the first to comeback from 0-3. Four of you made the “educated” guess of Cho Chikun, who certainly achieved the feat, indeed, he did it more than once. But 8 of 15 joined the legendary return of Grant Kerr — the man who is never wrong — with the correct answer of Rin Kaiho (right), and I will let the detail man Mr. Kerr explain why. “1973 in the Old Meijin, over Ishida Yoshio. Prior to this comeback, Rin had lost 9 title games in a row to Ishida. In 1983 Cho Chikun came back after losing 3 to win the Kisei. And Rin came back again after losing 3 to Cho Chikun later in 1983 (Honinbo). Cho Chikun did it again the next year to win the Meijin, and again in 1992 for the Honinbo.” Kudos to AGA tournament sponsor and veteran Young Kwon for finding the answer the old school way “From my distant memory.” Speaking of repeats, Brian Kirby searched the internet (as usual) and discovered that this question is a repeat from an earlier Go Quiz. While your quizmaster strives to avoid such mistakes, sometimes it happens. Think of it as a classic worth revisiting from time to time. Finally, welcome back to Trevor Morris, who also chose Cho, relying on his probability defying consistent reliance on chance. Congrats to Andy Tu of Saratoga, CA, this week’s winner, chosen at random from among those answering correctly.
This Week’s Quiz: Early Kido editor Hayashi Yutaka was famously quoted “when the mountains of the Honinbo House stretching from the distance crumble and fall into the sea, one lone peak will remain soaring proudly into the sky: Shuei.” This week we ask: From Sansa to Shusai, how many different people were head of the Honinbo school?” Was it 19, 20, 21 or 57? Click here to submit your responses and comments.

Categories: Go Quiz