American Go E-Journal » Go Spotting

Go Spotting: Awkwafina’s “Pockiez”

Wednesday August 1, 2018

American rappertelevision personality, and actress (Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8) Awkwafina’s new2018.07.11 Awkwafina Pockiez video “Pockiez” features go fairly prominently. NOTE: the video also contains explicit lyrics.

Thanks to Adam VanderHook for passing this along.

Share
Categories: Go Spotting,Main Page
Share

Go Spotting: “The Passions of the Mind,” and “1636: The Ottoman Onslaught”

Thursday July 19, 2018

Stone’s “Passions of the Mind: In Irving Stone’s biographic novel about Sigmund Freud, “The Passions of the Mind,” there is the following sentence, reports2018.07.11_The_Passions_of_the_Mind David Matson: “Sigmund stayed until one in the morning, playing Japanese Go.” It occurs in Section 9 of Book Two: The Longing Soul.

2018.07.11_1636_The_Ottoman_Onslaught“1636: The Ottoman Onslaught”: “Go is mentioned briefly in ‘1636: The Ottoman Onslaught” by Eric Flint,” writes  Mike Goerss. “The novel is in a series of an alternate history where a small American town finds itself in the middle of Germany in 1632. Third to last page, speaking about fighting the Turks as they invade Austria: ‘It is more like a game of go than chess. . . It is more of a game of position than maneuver.’”

“The Next Move”: “AlphaGo Zero, Google’s experimental AI, exists to play Go. There is no awareness, only intelligence.” So begins John Cooper Hamilton’s “The Next Move,” a very short story about AlphaGo in Daily Science Fiction, sent along by Paul Celmer, who published a non-go story in DSF last July, “Spooky Action at a Distance.”

“The Incredible Inventions of Intuitive AI”: Maurice Conti’s “The Incredible Inventions of Intuitive AI” TED talk video mentions AlphaGo beating Lee Sedol, reports Shawn Ray.

 

Share
Categories: Go Spotting,Main Page
Share

Go Spotting: “Escape Plan 2: Hades”

Wednesday July 11, 2018

Sylvester Stallone and Dave Bautista are shown playing go in the trailer for the new film “Escape Plan 2: Hades,” in which they 2018.07.11_stallone-filmmust figure out how to break into the world’s best hidden prison, release their kidnapped team, and make it out alive. Not clear how playing go helps; let us know if you’ve seen it and have the answer.

Thanks to Daniel Chou for flagging this.

 

 

 

Share
Categories: Go Spotting,Main Page
Share

Go Spotting: Milton Keynes pub

Saturday June 23, 2018

“The pubs here rotate their ale and beer and occasionally have special beers and ales brought in for a short period,” reports Jose 2018.06.24_milton-keynes-goSantiago. “The picture here is of one on offer (recently at the Milton Keynes pub where go players meet on Tuesday nights). Not quite go – but it is ‘game of stones’ Fred had a pint and then a half.” Milton Keynes is located about 45 miles north-west of London.

Share

Go Spotting: SFO Terminal 2

Wednesday June 20, 2018

Philippe Alexis spotted this recently at an exhibit in Terminal 2 at San Francisco Airport. It’s a Maneki neko pair imitating the2018.06.19_art-at-SFO gods Daikoku and Ebisu playing go. One cat holds a wish-granting mallet and mimics Daikoku; the other holds a sea bream, a symbol of good luck, and mimics Ebisu, two of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune in Japan.

Share

Go Spotting: “The Row” film

Monday June 18, 2018

“The Row,” a brand-new short film about life and death, prominently features go. The 16-minute film stars Vondie Curtis-Hall as2018.06.19_TheRow-film a prison warden who plays a final game of go with death row inmate Demetrius Grosse. The film is directed by Philiane Phang. “The filmmakers had chosen a game they thought reflected the situation, but wanted help with some equipment, showing the actors how to play the stones and such,” reports AGA president Andy Okun, who is acknowledged in the film credits.  The game depicted was the famous Honinbo Sansa Kashio Rigen triple ko game from 1582, with its suggestion of stalemate and ill fortune. 

Share
Categories: Go Spotting,Main Page
Share

Go Spotting: Counterpart

Friday March 23, 2018

The opening title montage for Starz’ new scifi, noir-spy series Counterpart is arresting: One black stone on a spotless white2018.04.01-Counterpoint S1-E1 - The Crossing go board separates into two stones, which then divide into numerous black and white stones across an endless board. This theme repeats throughout the rest of the series in both explicit and suggestive patterns, intimating that while the conflict you’re about to witness originates from a rigid black and white ideology, it is best played by the intuitive, shifting strategies of go.

Go players are taught early to “see the whole board.” That is nearly impossible in Counterpart, as the “board” grows and shrinks throughout the series, even as the acquisition and defense (or knowledge of ) territory remain essential.

The first episode, “The Crossing,” opens with a go game between the story’s central protagonist, Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons), and his friend Andrei (Silk is playing black, Andrei white)  in progress at an outdoor cafe in Berlin (above).

And it just gets better from there; there are several references to go and go memorabilia (including books), throughout the season’s episodes.

2018.04.01_Opening Scene_COunterpart_Episode5In episode 5, Shaking the Tree,  Silk –a heretofore weak player– nearly bests Andre (left). This is integral to the story as it tells us something important about this Silk (yes, there is more than one. I did mention this a scifi spy tale, right?) different from his counterpart.

According to cinematographer Martin Rhue, go was always integral to the show’s writers, which is why the game’s motif was incorporated into the title sequence.

Rhue confesses neither he nor Counterpart‘s creator /producer Justin Marks actually play go…yet.

But Rhue said a true go player would stage the board for each shot, as well as instruct the actors on how to handle the stones. Rhue did not know whether past famous games were  staged on the board or just a game from the contracted go player’s personal past.

If your are fond of noirish (scifi) spy tales reminiscent of le Carré’s Smiley’s People, as well as go, Counterpart – which wraps up its first season on Sunday, April 1 — might be just the series for you.
Charles “Doc” Sade

Share
Categories: Go Spotting,Main Page
Share

Historic go at Princeton’s Fine Hall

Thursday March 8, 2018

In the January 10 edition of the Princeton Alumni Weekly, there is an article by Elyse Graham called “Adventures in Fine Hall: The weirdness of math’s golden age.”  She writes of the hijinks of the great mathematicians of the 1930s gathering in the Princeton 2018.03.03_Math-EinsteinNew_0University Mathematics Department and the Institute of Advanced Studies: Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, Kurt Friedrich Gödel, Hermann Klaus Hugo Weyl.

Speaking of Fine Hall, the center of mathematics at Princeton, she writes, “To blow off steam, many students got into games, as players and creators both…. During the day, a visitor to the common room might see the nation’s mathematical brain trust absorbed in games of Go, bridge, double solitaire, or chess, played classic or whimsical variants.” She also writes that “A favorite was a double-blind variant of chess called Kriegspiel,” which Terry Benson has adapted for go at his Crazy Go nights each year at the U.S. Go Congress. “The boast went out that Fine Hall ‘could produce a champion in any game that was played sitting down.’”
- Ted Terpstra
photo (l-r): Luther Eisenhart, Albert Einstein and Walther Mayer

Share
Categories: Go Spotting,Main Page
Share

1971 Honinbo Tournament Game 2 video released

Tuesday March 6, 2018

A new video compresses the second game of the historic 1971 Honinbo Tournament into a compelling 4 1/2 minute sequence, 2018.03.03_1971-honinbo-videocomplete with music by the Blue Dot Sessions. Ishida Yoshio, just 22, entered the Honinbo League for the first time that year, won it, and went on to beat the established Honinbo, Rin Kaiho, in the title match. The second game is thought to be the most exciting of the match. “The focus of this project was to highlight the wonderful graphic beauty of a flowing go game rather than a analysis of the moves,” says video creator Mike Garland.

Share

Chess blogger Michael Bacon posts on go

Monday March 5, 2018

Chess blogger Michael Bacon — the “Armchair Warrior” has recently published some posts on go, including “AlphaGo and the Hand of God,” “The Surrounding Game” and “Weiqi (Go) Versus Chess.” In addition to being well-written, thoughtful – and sometime provocative — explorations, Bacon’s posts are well-illustrated with photos and videos. 2018.03.03_armchair-warrior-screengrab

“AlphaGo and the Hand of God’ is about the “AlphaGo,” documentary,  which Bacon calls “poignant,” adding that “While watching the movie the thought crossed my mind that what I was watching was a watershed moment in the history of mankind, analogous to Neal Armstrong’s ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’”

In “The Surrounding Game,”Bacon reminds readers that not only was Edward Lasker – attributed in the film as the source of a famous quote about go – an International Master, not a Grandmaster, as identified in the film, but that there is a dispute about the quote itself, with some attributing it to former World Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker, a distant relative. However, Bacon clearly likes the film, which follows the lives of several top American players, Ben Lockhart and Andy Liu, competing to become the first Western professional. “Despite their diverging paths, Ben and Andy face the same question: is a lifetime dedicated to Go truly worth living?”

And in “Weiqi (Go) Versus Chess”, Bacon contrasts chess and go in politics, popularity and player personalities. Noting that “Chess appeals to people who like to attack and who savor the win over the process,” Bacon says that go “is a game of patience and position. It appeals to very bright people who don’t expect to win quickly but who are willing to earn success one small step at a time. GO players enjoy the process as much as the win.” He also argues that “AlphaGo has done for the game of Go in America what Bobby Fischer did for the game of Chess when he defeated the World Chess Champion, Boris Spassky, in 1972… In a very short period of time the game of Go will be unrivaled, leaving all other board games in its wake.” Further, he suggests that “It could be that the people of the planet are moving away from the brutal, war like, mindset of a war like game such as Chess and toward a more cerebral game such as Go.”

Share