American Go E-Journal

Why We Play: Bill Phillips 1k, Jasper Emerton 7k

Monday August 1, 2016

Bill Phillips 1kBill Phillips
Age: 59
Lives in: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Years playing go: 42
Favorite thing about go: Bill learned to play go in 1974, the same year he learned to play Ultimate Frisbee- although he’s a lot more serious about go than Ultimate. That being said, he likes them for the same reasons. “Both are incredibly competitive,” he says, “But there’s also an element of compatibility and cooperation that’s required in both of them. In go, you start with an empty board and you build it up to a point where one person has a little bit more than half and one has a little bit less than half. And you want to be that one with a little bit more than half. It’s intensely competitive but it also requires this [cooperation] and respect of your opponent.” The relationships he’s built in the go community are a large part of his IMG_7704long-term go playing. “I’m also here at the Go Congress because of the people. The other thing I really love about go is that every stone is the same, it’s just the relationship with the other stones that are different. And so, the number of relationships far exceeds the number of stones. So the relationships between stones exceed the number of stones, and the relationships at the go tournaments far exceed the number of games I play.”

Jasper Emerton 7k
Age: 17
Lives in: Nashville, Tennessee
Years playing go: 1
Favorite thing about go: “When you’re playing, there’s trick moves that you can play such as snapbacks. Seeing that move before your opponent does and being able to trick them into it is my favorite thing… being able to see something that my opponent doesn’t see and taking advantage of their lack of reading.”

- report/photos by Samantha Fede, E-Journal special correspondent, reporting from the 2016 U.S. Go Congress