American Go E-Journal » Go Art

What Go Players Can Learn from Track and Field

Wednesday July 20, 2016

John Zombro, a life time Track and Field athlete and coach recently attended the Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR and wrote up some of the things he learned from the character, philosophies and performance of the athletes. E-Journal photographer Phil Straus thought this list “is excellent for serious go players, as well for potential Olympic athletes” and sent along some illustrative photos. 

Intensity: When Joe Kovacs placed second in the shot put, and secured his place on the team to Rio, it was an excellent 2016.07.18_Japanese-man-with-fan-and-boardexample of intensity. The shot put requires the athlete to concentrate all his/her power into less than a second. Kovacs finished fourth in 2012 and needed a breakthrough throw to make the team. The intensity of his place-garnering throw rocked the stadium as loudly as his roar, and the crowd’s applause.

Aggression: Sometimes in life, and in sport, we need to be aggressive. There is no event where this is more true than in the 100 meters, and when Justin Gatlin toed the line for the final, it was all about aggression. Athletes learn to turn this on before an event, and turn it off soon afterward, but in the heat of battle, well, it’s all about the fight. Gatlin won the 100 going away in a true show of aggression.

2016.07.18_Xie-He-and-four-boardsConfidence: Not to be confused with arrogance, confidence is that trait exemplified when an athlete refuses to have doubts, trusts his/her training, and is resolute to fully utilize talent and give a maximum effort. There were many examples of this at the trials, but none better than Emma Coburn in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. Coburn, easily the class of the field and a Rio medal contender, exuded confidence before the start and throughout the race.

Humility: Bernard Lagat dropped out of the men’s 10,000 meters on a hot evening, unable to stay with leader Galen Rupp at the 7400 meter mark. At 41 years of age, Lagat, a champion many times over at 1500/mile and 5000m, just humbly commented that he could not stay with the leaders and was determined to come back in the 5000 and make yet another Olympic team. To the surprise of some, but not to others (including this author), when the pack exploded for the finish over the 5000’s last lap, Lagat took the lead in the homestretch and impressed us all.

Poise: Brenda Martinez was in contention for a medal in the women’s 800m, when, on the final turn, her stride collided with that of Alysia Montano, and her chances of making the 800 squad were dashed. She did not blame Montano, and instead said the collision was a “blessing in disguise.” She stated “The track doesn’t care about your feelings, you’ve just got to move forward”. She did just that in the 1500m final, gathering herself to take the third and final spot on the team to Rio in a photo-finish.2016.07.18_Roy-Laird-playing-go

Focus: Molly Huddle, winner of both the women’s 5000m and 10,000m, in similar fashion, gave us a lesson in focus. She won both races by leading from the gun and then gradually pulling away from the field. Her ability to concentrate is only matched by her talent and work ethic in training.

Patience: Chaunte Lowe, the American record holder in the women’s high jump, a veteran at 32 years of age and mother of 3, convincingly won the women’s high jump. After a rather unsuccessful 2015, she patiently put in the training, and ruled the vertical leap. “I’m not quite done yet”, she said.

Execution: Sometimes you just have to execute. Have a race plan and follow it, but also see what develops and react appropriately. Allyson Felix executed in the women’s 400m, displaying a homestretch gear that no one else could summon, and going 49.68 in the process. Still recovering from a severely sprained ankle from a training injury in April, Felix stated that she knew she had to be patient and use her sprinter’s speed in the final 100m, regardless of how her ankle felt or what the other runners were doing. Always a class act, she attributed her victory to her coach, physical therapist, chiropractor, and massage therapist. Executing her race plan effectively “executed” all competitors.

Celebration: Occasionally we see athletes who deliver phenomenal performances but are never satisfied. “If only I’d trained harder, done this or that, or the weather was blank,” has been said a few times. But there is also something to be said for living in the moment. Sam Kendricks, in winning the men’s pole vault with a jump of (5.91m) 19’-4.5”, was jubilant in his victory. He took the microphone and thanked the athletes, the coaches, the spectators, and really shared the joy in his accomplishment. Kendricks was a graceful champion and captured the spirit of the trials.

Appreciation: In this modern world, we sometimes lose track of those human qualities mentioned above. We have so many distractions in our connected, electronic, social media-driven world. However, I can say for certain that those Olympic ideals of striving to go higher, farther, faster, and to do it with honor and respect, were alive and well in Eugene and they are pulsating in our Olympians. Go USA!

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Go Spotting: Pokemon Go Go

Wednesday July 20, 2016

Pokemon Go Go: Thanks to Matt Lecin and Ramon Mercado for sending this in.2016.07.19_pokemon-go-go

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Pittsburgh Artist Seeks Go Players for Film Project

Monday December 21, 2015

Pittsburgh-based artist Jesse Kauppila is looking for two “highly skilled go players, hopefully dan-level, who can memorize and reenact a 2015.12.13_Jesse-Kauppilahistoric go game which I can film.” An artist in Carnegie Mellon Univeristy’s MFA program, Kauppila is working on visualization/film project in which “I will be visualizing a game of go using a 7 axis Robot and 20,000 Legos.” The project is an extension of Kauppila’s recent public art project, “Checker Brick House.” “I am located in Pittsburgh, but I am willing to travel for this project,” Kauppila says. Contact him here.
Image: Kauppila’s “Bitmap Machine”

 

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Your Move/Readers Write: “Tokyo Newcomer” Games Realistic, Redmond Says

Saturday November 28, 2015

“I just found ‘Tokyo Newcomer‘ on the net,” writes Michael Redmond 9P, “but I see that you covered it in the ‘Go Spotting’ column in 2014. The 2015.11.28_newcomer-screenshotgames in the movie were realistic, and there is a scene about 36 minutes into it that shows pros playing in what looks like elimination rounds for a hayago tournament. In this scene the main character is playing against Matsumoto Takehisa 7P. Takemiya Yoko 5P poses as a TV analyst for a game later.”  

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Go Spotting: Leibniz calls go “ingenious and quite difficult”

Thursday June 11, 2015

“I easily believe that the magnitude of the Board and the quantity of pieces render this game quite ingenious and quite difficult,” wrote the 2015.06.06_Leibniz_WeiqiGerman polymath and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz about go in 1710. Leibniz, in “Miscellanea Berolinensia” goes on to note “the singular principle” of go is not “the death of the enemy, but only to push him to the limits of the Table,” which, while not perhaps technically accurate, certainly gets at the heart of the game, though he goes on to draw the questionable conclusion that the game’s inventor “abhorrent of murder, wished to obtain a victory not soiled by blood.” Leibniz learned about go from the book “Christian Expedition among the Chinese,” by Nicolas Trigault, a missionary to China in 1600s.
graphic: from Miscellanea Berolinensia; thanks to Simon Guo for passing this along.

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Go Spotting: Cat Go

Tuesday November 18, 2014

The Internet is filled with cats, so Steve Colburn wasn’t too surprised to come across this piece by Tango that combines cats and go. “The tumblr2014.11.17_cats-go this came off of has a lot of fun images for simple perspective and jokes,” Colburn adds.

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The Art of Propaganda: North Korea’s Mansudae Art Studio

Tuesday November 4, 2014

This oil painting depicting a go game between a young Korean girl and an older western man is featured in an October 31 ArtNet News 2014.11.02_KimHyonMyongConfrontation-oilnorthkoreareport about North Korea’s Mansudae Art Studio. Perhaps the world’s biggest art factory, “It employs around 4,000 laborers of which under a quarter are artists who mostly graduated from the Pyongyang University of Fine Arts. The studio churns out propaganda for the Kim family leadership, producing everything from trinkets to murals and gigantic Soviet-style monuments.” This piece, entitled “Confrontation” is by Kim Hyon Myong.

Thanks to David Fruchtenicht for passing this along.

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Go Stamp Collection on View This Weekend in St Louis

Friday June 27, 2014

If you’re in the St Louis area this weekend – or maybe just passing through the airport – you’ll want to stop by the stamp show at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel. Longtime go player and philatelist Les Lanphear will be showing his award-winning stamp exhibition “Go, The World’s Oldest Board Game,” which uses brilliantly-colored stamps from around the world to tell the story of go, from its’ origins through development of the game, the people involved, as well as various related historical developments, including go’s transmission to Japan, Europe and the United States. “The last time I showed the exhibit was around three years ago,” Lanphear tells the E-Journal. “About 50% has been changed with many new items.  I am getting it ready for an international exhibit on Korea in August.” The hours of the show are 10a to 6p Friday and Saturday and 10a to 4p Sunday.
photo: Lanphear at the 2008 US Go Congress in Portland, OR; photo by Chris Garlock.

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Subtitled “Tokyo Newcomer” Available Online

Wednesday March 26, 2014

German go journalist colleague Tobias Berben recently sent a link to an English-subtitled online version of Tokyo Newcomer  (New Go Films: Tokyo Newcomer & Weiqi Wonders 5/7/2012 EJ). In Jiang Qinmin’s 2012 film, Chinese go genius Yoshiryu (Qin Hao) comes to Japan to hone his skills in the game, but finds he’s too busy earning a living to study go at all. One day, he meets an old woman hawking vegetables, who turns out to be a descendant of a prestigious go family. “Written and directed by a Mainland Chinese, but utterly Japanese in look and feel, ‘Tokyo Newcomer’ is an engaging light drama centred on a young Chinese guy’s passion for the board game of go and his assimilation into the country which has made the (Chinese-invented) game into a national expression of its mindset,” writes Film Business Asia’s Derek Elley.

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Go Spotting: Blanket Love Story

Wednesday December 18, 2013

Frequent Go-Spotting contributor Zhiping You came across this amazing go blanket online, which turns out to have a fascinating story behind its creation, which includes a love story, Hikaru No Go, learning how to crochet and instructions on how to make your very own go blanket.

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