American Go E-Journal » Go Spotting

Original Vampires Take a Cue from Teen Wolf

Thursday October 9, 2014

The.Originals.S02E01.Image.3The CW Network’s The Originals, a spin off from the popular Vampire Diaries, featured a go game between two characters in a key scene this week.  Perhaps after MTV’s stylish use of go in repeated episodes of Teen Wolf last year, the CW thought they would get in on the action as well.  Original vampire Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan), the vampire who made almost all other vampires, is seen playing go with Marcel (Charles Michael Davis), a vampire he sired in the 1800′s who then became his enemy in later years.  The game represents a kind of detente between the two characters, in their ongoing fight to control New Orleans, and prevent the witches, the werewolves, and the humans from getting the upper hand.  E-J reader Xinming Simon Guo says the game featured is a famous one, and challenges readers to see if they can identify it.  The entire episode can be streamed on the CW website here, the go game is about 21 minutes in. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo from the CW website: Charles Michael Davis playing go.

UPDATE: “Although it’s hard to see the rest of the board at this angle, that shape in the close corner looked strangely familiar, so I took a close look,” writes Michael Redmond 9P. “The famous Red Ear game, of course.” 

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Go Spotting: Wired Mag on Network Science, Go and Inscrutable Hairballs

Friday October 3, 2014

Two French scientists have decided to apply network science to the game of go, according to a 2012 report on the Wired blog we just came 2014.09.14_wired-mag-network-goacross. “They constructed their networks in a simple way,” Samuel Arbesman reported in Network Science of the Game of Go (4/20/2012). “If one board position can lead to another, they are connected. Using a dataset of about 1,000 professional games and 4,000 amateur games, they began to construct these networks.” Arbesman says the network analyses in the paper “are a bit odd, though they find many classic graph structures, such as a heavy-tailed link distribution and high amounts of clustering.” And though the networks constructed from amateur and professional games were distinct, Arbesman said that “while I know that network pictures are usually inscrutable hairballs, I was disappointed that networks weren’t visualized at all.” Still, he concluded, “this a fun little network analysis and I recommend checking it out.” photo courtesy Wired blog

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Go Spotting: 13 Assassins Play Go?

Saturday September 27, 2014

“Recently I was watching the movie 13 Assassins,” writes Cylis Dreamer. “Around the 42 minute mark the two main characters mention playing2014.09.03_13-assassins go together. There might have been more times it was mentioned, but I missed them. I didn’t see a board or stones either.” The 2010 Japanese film was directed by Takashi Miike

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Go Spotting: A “Highbrow” Game in 1949

Saturday September 6, 2014

Few charts deserve a page one feature article in The New York Times Arts and Leisure section, but pop sociologist Russell Lymes’ 2014.09.06_NYT-highbrowclassic 1949 delineation of “highbrow,” “middlebrow” and “lowbrow” tastes has been “reproduced and imitated countless times,” the Times reports (see Go Spotting: The “High-Brow” Game and An Unlikely Place 6/19/2014 EJ). Russell suggest typical preferences for each group in various categories, such as clothing, reading, favorite causes — and games. To see how go placed, click here.
- Roy Laird

 

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Go Spotting: Zhuhai, China

Friday September 5, 2014

Syracuse go organizer Richard Moseson’s cousin Bill Flarsheim saw this go-themed mosaic at a temple in Zhuhai, China, where he’s 2014.08.21_Zhuhai-game-spottingliving and working.

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Go Spotting: Esport Podcast Mentions Go

Wednesday September 3, 2014

A video podcast about esports that recently discussed randomness mentions go. “Randomness in Esports – How Chance Affects 2014.08.24_esports-screencapCompetitive Play” discusses (at 1:03) how the selection of the first player in go has long been debated as a huge competitive advantage. “Just a passing reference, but definitely nice to see,” says Brad Edwards of the Wauconda Go Club, who passed this along.

Update: The Extra Credits team just did a follow-up to last week’s episode, First Move Advantage – How to Balance Turn-Based Games, “and mention go much more often in this week’s episode, commenting on how game designers should deal with first-turn advantage,” reports Edwards. “They also categorize chess as a ‘static resource game’ while go is a ‘developed resource game’.  It’s just a short, but worthy of another look.”

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Go Spotting: Kore-eda’s Hana yori mo Naho

Thursday August 7, 2014

“In Kore-eda Hirokazu’s 2006 mock- or anti-samurai film Hana yori mo Naho (花よりもなほ, Hana – the Tale of a Reluctant Samurai), go has a small but very important place as the link between the main character and his deceased father,” writes Richard Neer. “The characters are impoverished and play with shabby equipment and although it’s a minor film, Kore-eda is one of the best known and most important Japanese film makers working today.” Click here for a trailer (in Japanese).

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Korean Action Go Movie Opens in US & Canada

Wednesday July 23, 2014

The new Korean action go movie “The Divine Move” (Dramatic Korean Go Movie Due Out in July 6/1 EJ) hits movie theaters across North America this Friday; click here for a trailer and local theater listings.

The movie has received warm reviews from Korean audiences, earning an 8.24 out of 10 rating on Korea’s search engine Naver.

When one thinks of the go community, violence and action are seldom the first thoughts that spring to mind. But Korean director Jo Beom-gu has painted go players in a new light in his action movie about a professional go player whose brother is murdered. Framed for the crime, he must spend time in jail. While there, he learns hand to hand combat and emerges tough as nails. After enlisting help from some unlikely candidates, he sets about getting his revenge, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. The film’s North American posters promise “War On The Board.”

It is not the first time that go has made it onto the big screen. But in Western movies, the scenes are often short or unrealistic. The Divine Move is different in that go is central to the theme of the movie and appears in many scenes. Several fights are decided over the board or with life and death problems, and each section of the movie is labelled according to the various phases of a game, opening, counting etc.

The film in US-Canada release is in Korean with English subtitles and opens in a second wave of theaters on August 1.
- Ben Gale, Korean Correspondent for the E-Journal.

 

 

Go Spotting: “White Vengeance” Film

Tuesday July 22, 2014

“Not sure if the movie White Vengeance has already been mentioned before in the American Go E-Journal,” writes Erwin Gerstorfer. “Just by chance I saw it recently on German TV. The storyline is sometimes a little bit confusing, but nevertheless this movie contains many go references.” White Vengeance, also known as Hong Men Yan, is a 2011 Chinese historical film directed by Daniel Lee, loosely based on events in the Chu–Han Contention, an interregnum between the fall of the Qin dynasty and the founding of the Han dynasty in Chinese history, according to Wikipedia. “Most notably, the film shows a blind go player playing five simultaneous games, and the coordinates of the first moves are mentioned explicitly, e.g. 4 – 4 in the lower left corner,” says Gerstorfer. “Go boards with stones are shown often, although in some close ups, the board position looks strange.” The film is available online or through Amazon.

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Go Spotting: IEEE Spectrum

Wednesday July 16, 2014

Human go players will undoubtedly  find the graphic for “Go-bot, Go” annoying, but the article in the July issue of IEEE Spectrum is an excellent exploration of computer go-playing by Jonathan Schaeffer, Martin Müller and Akihiro Kishimoto, who developed Fuego, which in 2009 defeated a world-class human go player in a no-handicap game for the first time in history. In the online version, AIs Have Mastered Chess. Will Go Be Next?, the Schaffer, Muller and Kishimoto explain how “a know-nothing machine that based its decisions on random choices and statistics” triumphed.
IEEE photo: Dan Saelinger; Prop Stylist: Dominique Baynes

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