American Go E-Journal » Go Spotting

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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Go Spotting: Park Hoon-jung’s “New World”

Thursday March 14, 2013

A go board shows up in New World, the 2013 South Korean noir film written and directed by Park Hoon-jung. Starring Lee Jung-jae, Choi Min-shik and Hwang Jung-min, the film — released just last month — shows the conflict between the police and the mob through the eyes of an undercover cop. Click here to see a trailer.
Thanks to Vincent DiMattia for the tip. 

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Going to Extremes

Saturday March 9, 2013

If regular go is getting too easy, you may want to check out the eXtreme Mindgame Challenge, which proposes to expand play to a staggering 57 x 57 board.

“The goal of this project is to make this 4000 year old game really extreme,” say the project’s organizers, who say they’re planning to recruit two teams to eight players each to play on the biggest board in the world. “Players will be quite strong so that they can focus on the whole game,” they add.

It’s not clear who’s behind the grandiose effort, which is trying to raise $5,000 for the summer 2013 project but has only attracted two supporters for a grand total of $60 thus far.

With 3,249 intersections in a 57×57 board, project organizers calculate the number of possible game positions at 10 to the 2,000 power.

- Thanks to Paul Barchilon for passing this along

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Korean Comic’s Go View of Corporate Life

Sunday February 17, 2013

A new Korean comic book provides a view of Korean corporate life through the eyes of a former go player. In Misaeng, artist/author Yoon Taeho “ describes the claustrophobic interpersonal relations between employees of Korean corporations, focusing on the banality of everyday life and the little struggles and tiny victories of survival in a corporate culture,” writes Emanuel Pastreich on his blog, Korea: Circles and Squares.

“The protagonist of Misaeng is Jang Gurae, a young man who starts out as an apprentice to the national baduk Association. After his father’s sudden death, Jang Gurae finds his family in serious financial straits. When he fails to qualify as a baduk player, he enters the corporate world. Quiet and introspective, baduk is the underlying formula for his survival.” Pastreich calls Misaeng  “a remarkable work of art that deserves to be widely read and analyzed.” Unfortunately, it’s currently only available in Korean.
Thanks to Go Game Guru’s David Ormerod for passing this along.

 

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