Wednesday June 17, 2015
A go-playing President of the United States would probably be a better president. That’s according to David Z. Hambrick, a professor in the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University who wrote recently in Scientific American that “my colleague Brooke Macnamara and I found that fluid intelligence—the general ability to reason and think logically—was a strong positive predictor of skill in the board game GO, as measured by a laboratory task that was specially designed to measure a GO player’s ability to evaluate game situations and select optimal moves. In turn, performance in this task was strongly related to a player’s tournament GO rating.” Hambrick adds that while IQ isn’t the only predictor of presidential success, “what science tells us is that a high level of intellectual ability translates into a measureable advantage in the Oval Office.”
Thanks to Mark A. Brown for passing this along. Photo credit: Sam Boulton Sr. via Wikimedia Commons
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 German 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.
Tuesday June 9, 2015
While esports have becomes hugely popular in recent years, garnering large audiences, broadcast on ESPN and major sponsorships, they may still have something to learn from the ancient game of go. That’s the premise of “Go: The First Generation of Competitive Games,” an article published recently in “1337,” major e-sports trade magazine. “Despite similarities, go and esports are worlds apart in terms of perception,” writes Michael Cohen. “While go is intertwined with some national cultures, esports faces the stigmatization of video games as a whole.” Noting that go is “accepted by all generations as a legitimate game of mental strength and strategy, as well as a tool for teaching life values to children and adults alike,” Cohen suggests that go “may also be a predictor of what esports can hope to become throughout everyday life.” In an ironic turn, “it looks like they’re looking to go for an example for how to make the jump to legitimacy as a reputable pastime, compared to how we look to them for tips on marketing, sponsorship, and promotion,” says AGA VP of operations Andrew Jackson, who sent us the article.
Friday May 15, 2015
Korean 9-dan professional go player Cho Hunhyun crushes it in this amusing short video. Considered one of the greatest players of all-time, Cho reached professional level in Korea in 1962. Since then, Cho has amassed 150 professional titles, more than any player in the world.
Wednesday February 25, 2015
Go is mentioned while developing a friendship with the character named Yu Jin in the game “Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends, Complete Edition,” reports Tyler Keithley.
Monday February 23, 2015
“When I was reading the book ‘Chess Secrets I learned from the Masters,’ Edward Lasker’s semi-autobiographical book, I found that weiqi/go is mentioned in the introduction and in the middle of the book,” writes Xinming Simon Guo. “To my surprise, his go story covers two and half pages in the 6-page introduction.” Lasker and a friend had learned go’s rules from a magazine. “To our amusement, the game was called a ‘competitor’ of chess,” Lasker writes. “But on closer examination we found the statement was well-founded, and we played Go at the slightest provocation.”
Sunday February 22, 2015
The Go Blog @thegoblognet recently tweeted some stills from the Korean go film “The Stone” (Go Spotting: New Korean Movie “The Stone” 11/28/2013 EJ). #baduk #weiqi #igo #囲碁 #바둑 #围棋 #gogame #moviestills ift.tt/1C98g3g .
Tuesday February 17, 2015
“The rare, post-fermented tea called Goishicha is made in the town of Ōtoyo in the mountains of central Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku,” according to the Yunomi tea website. “The name, goishicha (碁石茶), is taken from the Japanese game Igo because the tea is reminiscent of the stones used in the game.” “I haven’t tasted this,” says Richard Simon, who passed this along. “It may not be everyone’s cup of tea.”
Monday February 16, 2015
“36 Hours in Koreatown, Los Angeles,” the video accompanying the February 11 New York Times What to Do in Koreatown, Los Angeles article, starts with two men playing go. Also featured is the Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, which hosts the annual Cotsen Open. Thanks to David Matson for passing this along.
Thursday February 12, 2015
SyFy’s “12 Monkeys”: The latest episode of SyFy’s “12 Monkeys” is titled “Atari.” “A character describes a dire post-apocalyptic predicament as being ‘in atari,’” reports Steve Berthiaume. “The character describes go (and) how he used to play it.” Adds Jeffrey McLellan, “He and his friend are in rather desperate straits and he tells his friend that they are in atari. They only have one more move or they are finished. ‘Being in atari is bad.’” Click here to watch the episode.