American Go E-Journal » Go Spotting

Go Spotting: Ashes of Love

Tuesday July 9, 2019

Ashes of Love (available on Netflix) is a 2018 Chinese television series based on the novel Heavy Sweetness, Ash-like Frost by Dian Xian. “In the last ten minutes of Episode 11, there is a scene of Jinmi playing Go with Run Yu, the God of the Night,” reports Greg Kulevich. “She plays two consecutive empty triangles and then declares that she has won.”

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Go Spotting: Numberphile

Monday July 8, 2019

“I noticed this Numberphile video about the game ‘Amazons’ (and featuring the legendary Elwyn Berlekamp) uses Go stones to mark off borders during game play and makes a reference to Jujo Jiang 9p,” writes Daniel Gentry. “I have also had some success in using this game as a tool for teaching new players the value of controlling territory as a separate concept from attacking the opponent’s pieces.”

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Go Spotting: Gugong

Sunday July 7, 2019

Screen shot from the Shut Up & Sit Down review of Gugong (see video below).

In the board game Gugong, set in 14th century China, Greg Kulevich reports, “players are trying to skirt the new imperial decree forbidding the bribing of government officials by exchanging gifts instead. One of those gifts is a set of Go stones and bowls.”

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Go Spotting: “The Untold Story” video

Saturday July 6, 2019

“The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese-Americans in Hawaii” shows internees at the Honouliuli Internment Camp playing go (5:01, 6:35, and 8:22), writes Gordon Castanza.

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Go Spotting: Mono no aware

Friday July 5, 2019

“Hiroto,” Dad said as he shook me awake. “Pack up your things. It’s time.”
My small suitcase was ready. I just had to put my Go set into it. Dad gave this to me when I was five, and the times we played were my favorite hours of the day.

From the story “Mono no aware” by Ken Liu, published in the June 2013 issue of Lightspeed and sent in to us by A. Wadja.

This story is also included in “The Final Frontier,” a recently-published science fiction anthology, edited by Neil Clarke. The story includes go as a metaphor for patience and larger thinking, writes David Bogie. “The Japanese protagonist, young Hiroto, makes sure his go set is among the few articles his family is allowed as they prepare to abandon Earth. While trying to teach go to a young American, Hiroto is told, ‘All the stones are the same…boring. There are no heroes in go!’ The story calmly unfolds into tragedy proving there are heroes in space.”

Go also features in “Shiva In Shadow,” by Nancy Kress (also included in “The Final Frontier,”), which takes place on a star ship visiting a black hole. “Go is proposed as mental and social training intended to bring two scientists closer together as the team attacks a quantum physics discovery,” writes Bogie. “This does not end well.”

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Go Spotting: Go Museum in Kunming

Thursday July 4, 2019

“My son, Liam, went to the Go Museum in Kunming,” writes Rex Weyler. “Thought you might enjoy these images.”

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Go Spotting: Arrested Development & Humans

Wednesday July 3, 2019

On the season finale of Season One of Arrested Development (available on Netflix), Maeby Funke can be seen playing Go with her adopted Korean cousin “Annyong,” reports Greg Kulevich. The Go board they are using appears to be the mass market board sold in bookstores with small plastic stones. The board position is realistic for 20+ kyu players, which is probably the case. However, Maeby places a black stone, Annyong places a white stone, and then Maeby places a white stone, so they are not following the rules of Go.
In addition, six minutes into Episode 2 of the show ‘Humans’ (streaming on Amazon), “there is the end of a Go game and some following discussion,” reports David Doshay.

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Go Spotting: Code Jam 2019

Saturday June 29, 2019

“Google has hosted an annual programming competition for the last 15 or so years in early April,” writes Adrian Petrescu. “This year, the registration page looked like this. By the way, I wonder if any AGA E-Journal readers recognize the position on the board? It’s not, as far as I can tell, any of the AlphaGo games against Sedol or Ke Jie, though maybe it’s one of the hundreds of Master games.”

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Go Spotting: Remembering the No Exit

Tuesday June 25, 2019

Via EJ photog Phil Straus, Howard Rosen sent us this great shot of a mural that “was on the wall by the train tracks near where the No Exit (go club) used to be” in Chicago, Illinois.

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Your Move/Readers Write: On respect and harmony; “Altered Carbon”; “Levar Burton Reads”

Sunday March 31, 2019

On respect and harmony: “The negative tone and harsh criticism of the translator of the Cho Hunhyun book “Go With the Flow” (Empty Board #13 3/24 EJ) caught me by surprise,” writes Hanxi Zhang. “I have read the book in both English and Chinese. To me it is challenging to translate Cho’s abstract thoughts and philosophies from one language/culture to another, and the translator did a decent, if not perfect job. If – as Mr Cobb has often said — Go is all about peace, balance and harmony, I am afraid he has behaved exactly contrary to those virtues. I do not see the point of humiliating the translator, a cultural ambassador, for his imperfect work. In the oriental culture, recognizing people’s mistakes and weaknesses without exposing them in public is considered a virtue. Let’s constantly remind ourselves of these virtues, both when playing Go and in real life.”

“Altered Carbon”: A very plausible Go game shows up in the 7th episode of the Netflix series Altered Carbon at about 40 minute in, and continues to show up in several subsequent episodes. (see our 2/13/2018 Go Spotting: Altered Carbon) 
– Mark Gilston

“Levar Burton Reads”: I just heard the latest episode of the podcast Levar Burton Reads. In it Levar Burton reads Ken Liu’s short story Mono No Aware. The plot centers around culture, and go is ultimately central to the climax of the story. Worth listening to!
– Howard Cornett

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