Thursday March 31, 2016
As AlphaGo finished playing the first round of its historic matches against Lee Sedol, news media around the world was reaching out to go organizations around the world. In the US there was a large number of print and internet publications. In three cases AlphaGo was talked about on TV for the US. The Daily Show covered AlphaGo and its AI prowess. On March 9th Michael Chen met with Poppy Harlow on CNN’s Quest Means Business on CNN International. During the segment they discussed the importance of the match and some basic of the game (Transcript). On March 10th Andrew Okun was interviewed by Ivan Watson from CNN International about the second loss from the matches. Okun talks about how far go has come to get to this point (Transcript).
- Steve Colburn
Thursday March 31, 2016
“I was looking at manga online when I happened across this comic strip style manga called BugCat-Capoo,” writes Taylor Litteral. “It’s a very interesting series and had this cute scene of BugCat ‘playing Go’ against his dog friend.” This particular sequence, or chapter, is titled “Go Experts” and portrays BugCat and the dog pretending to play a heated game of go to the befuddlement of their caretaker. BugCat thinks of an impressive move only to realize that it was a mistake when his friend sabotages his plan. He gets mad and throws a tantrum, ruining the game, while his friend calmly watches.
- edited by Crystal Lin & Joel Sherman
Saturday March 26, 2016
Showtime’s Billions: On the March 20 episode of Showtime’s Billions (Episode 9: “Where the F… is Donnie?”), during a scene at the DA’s office with Chuck (Paul Giamatti’s character), go was referenced while the Axelrod case was being discussed, reports Joe Maia. “Bryan explains to Chuck that the AG’s office was about to pull the Axelrod case so he found it prudent to let slip their upper hand (their informant from Axelrod). Chuck approves of the kikashi play.”
Lucifer comic: Go makes an appearance in Issue #3 of Vertigo’s comic, Lucifer (right), reports Cylis Dreamer. “The plot is confusing as is comic tradition, plus this comic series is a continuation of an older comic from over a decade ago, (but) Lucifer is sitting in a dreamscape playing go with his current cohort. It’s the last page in the issue, so it’s a little dramatic.”
Wednesday March 9, 2016
Peter Shotwell just caught one of the History Channel’s two-hour “Art of War” series devoted to the teachings of Sun Tzu’s book by the same name. A professor from the Military College of Canada and several very knowledgeable authors began with a vivid in-depth discussion of Sun’s classical war and life ideas. This is followed by the Vietnam interplay between chess-thinking American bombing, battle strategies left over from WWII vs. the evolving Sun- and go-like Vietnamese strategies and use of spies that culminated in the Tet Offensive and its complicated aftermath. Finishing it was a highly innovative discussion of the clash of the two kinds of thinking during the Battle of Gettysburg and the World War II invasion of Normandy. It’s now on You Tube, and all the material plus a discussion of the role of language and the use of the “36 Strategies” is available in Appendix VIII of Shotwell’s “Speculations” article in the Bob High e-Library.
Thursday February 25, 2016
“I’m reading ‘When the Emperor was Divine’ by Julie Otsuka, a small book about the forced Japanese internment during the second World War,” writes None Redmond. “At the beginning of the second chapter as the family of three arrive at the desert camp, the boy thinks he sees his father everywhere in a variety of camp activities as well as ‘Playing go with the other men in their floppy straw hats …’ I was reminded of Tom Tamura who I remember telling Peter that he had learned to play go when he was a child in the desert camp. Interesting that as a child Tom had no feeling of the camp’s restriction nor when he was an adult any resentment over his imprisonment. Peter told me that Tom said he had enjoyed being with the other youngsters there, playing football as well as learning to play a little go. It was when we lived in Santa Barbara that Peter and Tom became quite close over the go board.”
Saturday February 20, 2016
“In the movie ‘The Warlords,” there are two men playing go and a third discussing it starting at 56:19,” writes Austin Harvey.
For more on this, see our May 23, 2010 post.
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 games 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.”
Friday November 27, 2015
Mark Sachon reports that in Richard Flanagan’s novel “The Narrow Road to the Deep North,” “References to playing go are found on pages 264, 269 and 295 in the hardback edition. “Moving deftly from a Japanese POW camp to present-day Australia, from the experiences of Dorrigo Evans and his fellow prisoners to that of the Japanese guards, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.” (Amazon).
Sachon also found go in the 1993 movie “Temptation of a Monk,” (You Seng), noting that “two rivals play weiqi in the first few minutes of the film.” Set in 7th century China, the film, directed by Clara Law, stars Joan Chen as a beautiful princess and destructive temptress who wreaks havoc in a young general’s life, telling “the epic story of a disgraced man’s journey into self-discovery.”
Monday November 9, 2015
Vagabond Manga: “A favorite coffee barista of mine suggested I read the manga Vagabond, a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takehiko Inoue,” writes Devin Fraze. “It portrays a fictionalized account of the life of Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, based on Eiji Yoshikawa’s novel Musashi. In Volume 6, go is being played by the hero’s love interest. Unfortunately more of the game play is not shown as her opponent “accidentally” knocks over the board.
The Uncommon Series: One of the protagonists in The Uncommon Series is an avid go player. “The thriller trilogy follows a pair of entrepreneurs that drop out of college to found a new tech startup and get caught up in an international conspiracy along the way,” author Eliot Peper tells the E-Journal. “James Chen is the protagonist who’s a go enthusiast. He’s Chief Technology Officer of the startup in the book and the brains behind the whole operation. He develops a complex algorithm that identifies fraud in large financial datasets, allow law enforcement to take down money laundering rings, etc. He loves go because it’s all about pattern recognition and is the perfect analog for the breakthrough software he’s developing. He even uses online go players to train the software’s artificial intelligence routines. As the startup in the book skyrockets from garage to IPO, they have to use his technology and their own wits to take down a major cartel that’s in bed with the big banks and government regulators.”
Spotted go somewhere? Let us know by emailing us at email@example.com!
Wednesday October 14, 2015
In this rather sad elegiac 2002 film — directed by Yojiro Takita — about the end of the Samurai age, at 46:03 minutes we see a goban (floor board) with two bowls of stones on top of the board, in the background of the scene. At 48:51 we see the local lord playing go on a floor board.
- Duncan Brown