Last week’s quiz: Before turning to the poll results, here’s my personal all-time favorite go reference. This Camel ad from the late 1970s should have worked. It was certainly popular, often featured on the back covers of numerous magazines. While not the best board, the bowls are nice, the board position reasonable, the decor splendid and our hero dutifully takes black against the master – top marks. And for coolness it hits the all-time high. I mean, he has a piercing gaze, cool mustache, is at home in a world few men ever see and women bring him drinks. Unfortunately, it only got more folks addicted to smoking, and not go.
I found all of your responses interesting, from the mysterious “Love and Go” by Wando Wende (on which I could not find any information) to the intriguing – and new to me — French cartoon “Code: Lyoko”, which certainly looks interesting and features the characters playing the game and discussing it, reports Alison Fotness. Brian Kirby offers “PopCo”, a novel that features go prominently. Others chose brief references in “Tron: Legacy” and “Da Vinci’s Demons” while I was surprised no one chose “Star Trek” appearances or the cool background ambiance appearance in “24″. It was great to hear from old friend David Erbach, editor of the early journal “Computer Go,” who suggested Henry Kissinger for featuring go in one of his books. Ramon Mercado came up with the interesting choice of “ATARI” the computer game company. Full marks go to Drew Chuppe for selecting the film “Heaven Knows Mr. Allison”. This World War II drama features Robert Mitchum as a soldier stranded on a Japanese-occupied island. While breaking in to a store-room for food, he tensely hides while two soldiers play a couple of games. A popular film, an accurate depiction as well as a wonderful use of the game as part of a suspenseful part of the plot makes this perhaps the greatest western film reference, but at the time, as an obscure game played by the “enemy”, it failed to gain go much popularity here. Finally, Michael Goerss intrigued me with his spotting of go in Martin Sheen’s hotel room in “Apocalypse Now” but I must confess, I do not see it.
Tenuki-ing to those chosen by more than one of you, the films “A Beautiful Mind” and “Pi” garnered two votes each. I must say I was expecting “A Beautiful Mind” to be the winner. The Best Picture Oscar winner certainly wins the popular honors, and many folks got interested in go as a result, but the go scenes are less than convincing and minor. Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi” does a better job and go is more central to the plot, thanks no doubt in part to credited guidance by “Go Advisors” including former AGA President Barbara Calhoun, Michael Solomon and the late Don Wiener (misspelled in the credits as “Dan”). Sadly, this first effort by the director of many critically acclaimed films was not widely seen. Your quizmaster will have to go along with the choice of 6 of you: “Shibumi” by Trevanian. The thriller features go-related section headings and a marvelous, lengthy section about the main character’s training and playing of the game. And if a film version ever makes it to the screen the novel’s number one position could be solidified (or destroyed). Many, many players were intrigued by the game as presented in the book, and learned to play as a result. So, until Steven Spielberg makes “The Tesuji Kid” about an unpopular but cute middle schooler who comes across a small asian garden while hiding from some bullies, meeting three old men playing go who teach him lessons from the game, which become lessons in life, foiling the bully, impressing his/her teachers and getting the boy/girl – Trevanian is number one. Congrats to Steve Miller of Ramsey, MN, this week’s winner, randomly chosen from those who suggested Shibumi.
This Week’s Quiz: Hearty congratulations to Gu Li for taking game three of the jubango; could this be the start of a comeback? In the Japanese top titles, the matches are best of seven. Who was the first player to come back from an 0-3 deficit and win a title in what was termed a “miraculous upset”? Was it Sakata Eio, Rin Kaiho, Kato Masao or Cho Chikun? Click here to submit your responses and comments.