American Go E-Journal » Go Spotting

Go Spotting: The Go Board in ‘Turing’s Cathedral’

Sunday June 30, 2013

In “Turing’s Cathedral, author George Dyson’s description of Princeton’s Fuld Hall – where the Institute for Advanced Studies was to be housed – includes this line on page 90: ‘ A chessboard (and later a Go board, favoured by Oppenheimer’s young particle physicists) sat near the windows overlooking the Institute Woods.” Dyson’s account reveals how the digital universe exploded in the aftermath of World War II, illuminating the nature of digital computers, the lives of those who brought them into existence, and how code took over the world.
- None Redmond

 

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Go Spotting: Go Builds Math Skills

Wednesday May 29, 2013

A recent article on the Business Insider website extols the mathematical benefits of the game of go, which is the 6th of 13 Things That You Can Do To Make Your Child A Genius At Math.

The article asked professional mathematicians what got them started in math. ”There is no better way to train your brain, said one respondent, than the game [of] Go.

Can you tell who is ahead in the go position that the article displays?  (Assume Black to play and a komi of 6.5.)  The full article appears here. Thanks to Chris Sira for sending the link.

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Go Spotting: Chinese Military Fantasy Novels

Saturday May 25, 2013

An article in the May 23 issue of the magazine Foreign Policy entitled “Pulp Liberation Army” surveys the strange and terrifying underground world of Chinese military fantasy novels. One such novel, 2066: Red Star Over America, “portrays the United States in the throes of a Cultural Revolution, where bands of marauding U.S. students fight battles in the country’s ravaged countryside. China is the world’s top superpower, and an earthquake has sunk Japan, erasing it from the map. The protagonist, a Chinese Go player and diplomatic envoy, tries to return civilization to a crumbling United States.” Go player to the rescue! Read the full article here. Thank you Matthew Curran for sharing this.

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Go Spotting: “The Economist” On “The Game To Beat All Games”

Monday May 13, 2013

“The heavyweight pros on late-night cable television boast nicknames such as Monster, Razor, Butcher, Assassin and Knitting Needle. The most famed matches in history include the Blood Vomiting Game of 1835, the Famous Killing Game of 1926 and the Atomic Bomb Game of 1945. No, this is not some bone-crushing contact sport. It is a simple parlour game where two opponents, comfortably seated and often equipped with nothing more than folding paper fans and cigarettes, take turns placing little stones, some black, some white, on a flat wooden grid…”
- excerpted from the December 16, 2004 report  on “The most intellectually testing game ever devised?” in The Economist; thanks to Glen Peters for passing it along. Photo Getty Images, courtesy The Economist

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Go Spotting: Playing With Da Vinci’s Demons

Sunday May 5, 2013

The most recent episode of Da Vinci’s Demons  “The Prisoner” (Episode 3) — is structured to parallel a game of go, played by Riario and the eponymous, mysterious prisoner.  ”The villain forces a prisoner to teach him go,” reports EJ reader Diego F. Pierrottet. “The villain then uses the go strategy and philosophy that he is learning against his enemies, in this case DaVinci’s employer and DaVinci himself.” The series airs Friday nights at 9 pm on Starz.
- Dave Weimer

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Your Move/Readers Write: Detective Dee Returns

Monday April 29, 2013

“At the 1:10:00 minute mark of ‘Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame’ there is a beautiful scene with an elaborate goban and stones,” writes Vincent DiMattia. I don’t know if this has been reported before but (even if so), watch the movie for it’s great production and story line. It’s filled with mystery and magic and is top quality. Fight scenes are impressive also.”
Read more about this in our October 22, 2011 post: Go Spotting: The Mystery of Detective Dee and the Go Board.

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Go In The News: “Go Big Or Go Home” on Narrative.ly.com

Tuesday April 16, 2013

“It’s a cold night in January 2012 and Peter Armenia is sitting on a Flushing-bound seven train, anticipating culture shock,” writes Lani Conway in “Go Big Or Go Home” in the April 2 edition of Narrative.ly. “For two decades, Armenia has played the ancient Chinese game of go, always wondering how his skills would hold up at a traditional Asian club. Tonight, he’s finally getting his chance.” The piece is an excellent portrait of the current American go scene, with a focus on New York City but touching on last year’s first American pro tournament, an introduction to the history of the game and how to play, as well as a nice report on Armenia’s humbling visit to a Flushing Korean go club that weaves in stratagems from “Thirty-Six Strategies: The Secret Art of War.” graphic: detail from Mo Oh’s story illustration

Go Spotting: Game AIs on Web Comic

Sunday April 14, 2013

Fr. Mark Lichtenstein found this on xkcd, “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

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Go Spotting: Vagabond Go

Tuesday April 2, 2013

“I found this in an old manga called Vagabond which follows the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi,” writes Taylor Litteral. It was in Volume 6, chapter 50, page 6.

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“Fascinating” Go Video Fundraiser Nears Goal as Deadline Looms

Thursday March 21, 2013

The Walthers brothers are tantalizingly close to raising the $8,000 they need to create a free movie trailer (German Brothers Team Up to Produce “Fascinating” Go Video  2/4/2013 EJ) to inspire more go enthusiasts. Sven Walther, a go player and computer scientist, and his brother Lars, an actor and filmmaker, plan to make the video available on YouTube, so anyone “can use it to promote the game wherever you want.” Their goal “is not to explain the rules, but to create some fascinating atmosphere to represent the game. The novice will see it and say ‘Whoa, what’s that game? Wanna learn more!’” The project will only receive funds if at least $8,000 is raised by Monday, March 25 at 11:59PM PT.
- Annalia Linnan 

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