“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.”
American Go E-Journal » Go Spotting
Monday February 23, 2015
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.
Friday February 6, 2015
Phil Straus found this reference to go in “The Math Book,” Clifford Pickover’s 2009 book, subtitled “From Pythagoras to the 57th Dimension, 250 Milestones in the History of Mathematics.” The book provides “a veritable history of mathematics by focusing on its greatest theorems and the geniuses who discovered them,” said Martin Gardner in a review. “Topics are chronological, starting with the calculating abilities of ants 150 million years B.C. and ending with Max Tegmark’s recent conjecture that our universe is not just described by math, it is mathematics. Dr. Pickover’s vast love of math, and his awe before its mysteries, permeates every page of this beautiful volume. The illustrations alone are worth the book’s price.”
Saturday January 31, 2015
Go drives the plotline in a second-season episode of JAG entitled “The Game of Go.” “Harm and a Colombian drug lord play a high-stakes game of go, with the prize being a Marine who was left behind during a covert mission, as Webb and the JAG team once again butt heads,“ reports Dave Holland.
“My recollection of the episode is that several moves were spread out over the unfolding of the plot with closeups of the contested part of the board. It represented middle game fighting. A little far-fetched for a US Navy lawyer and a drug kingpin to be such accomplished players but good exposure for the game nevertheless.“ Note that the moves are played inside the board squares rather than on the intersections.
“I enjoy the EJ’s ‘Go Spotting’ column as go has a way of showing up in unexpected places,” says Holland. “I live in Minneapolis and recently met a young player from northern Minnesota whose grandfather learned baduk during the Korean War. He also went to high school with Bob Dylan.“
Monday January 19, 2015
“I taught one of my best lessons ever this morning,” wrote Stephen Brivati recently on the violinist.com blog. “When this nice thing happens, I always try to figure out why. When playing Go, the greatest intellectual challenge in my life after the cat, one has to do things in the correct order or get slaughtered. Both teaching and practicing the violin are the same: you have to make real-time decisions about what to work on that is appropriate for that time and place and student. Get the wrong order, and the value of the lesson or practice diminishes significantly.”
- Thanks to Justin Teng for sending this in, his dad plays violin and follows this blog.
Saturday December 27, 2014
Return of The Hedgehog: “The French movie ‘The Hedgehog’ has a mention of go and a scene showing the game,” writes Bart Lipofsky. “It’s based on the book ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’ by Muriel Barbery, which mentions the game at a dinner table discussion. The adult is corrected by the young girl concerning rules.”
Previous EJ reports include Go Art: “The Hedgehog” Now Available Online (11/28/2012 EJ) and Your Move/Readers Write: The Elegant Hedgehog Pops Up Again (9/1/2012).
’42 Ozu Film: In the 1942 movie There Was a Father (“Chichi ariki”), directed by Ozu Yasujiro, “There are views of a go parlor at minute 35, then further mention of the game later,” reports Bob Barber.
For more about go on film, check out the European Go Federation’s Go Filmography.
Thursday December 25, 2014
Former AGA Board Chair David Weimer tipped us off about a forthcoming book with a go-themed cover. International Relations Theory, The Game-Theoretic Approach is by Andrew H. Kydd, a colleague of Weimer’s in the Political Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI. “Written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this is the first textbook on international relations theory to take a specifically game theoretic approach to the subject,” according to the book’s description on the Cambridge University Press website. “International relations theory is presented and analysed using simple games, which allow students to grasp the concepts and mechanisms involved with the rationalist approach without the distraction of complicated math.” The book is due out in March.