Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Not a Master of GO



I played checkers and chess when I was a kid, but only in a casual way. I did understand what the games were about. Later I read about chess masters, and looked a bit into what they did. Can’t claim I got a lot from it.


Years later I became interested a bit in Japanese literature, and recall reading about a Go Master. Then I began looking into the game of GO. I found it fascinating and even bought a cheap set for my use. I learned how the game was played (a very small bit) and worked at it over the years a bit.


I found it described that if Chess was a battle between two sides, GO was a war between two sides. And in Japan there was master level play both in Chess (Japanese and world wide) as well as GO.


In GO you use either white stones or black stones and attempt to build structures which have a least two consecutive spaces that cannot be surrounded by the opponents stones. You are jockying for the most free spaces. And play proceeds one stone at a time. There is more that that but I believe that suffices for a brief description


I never went beyond light attempts to play.


Then now living, working and teaching karate in Derry, NH. A new opportunity presented itself.


I had a teenage Korean student, Young Lee, and spent a lot of time with him, helping him acclimate to American culture, for his parents had moved here from South Korea. One day our conversation turned to GO and he told me his cousins played it with him when he was a boy.


That gave me the opportunity I wanted, someone to play GO with. I didn’t understand how different he was taught to play it. It was speed GO, my best description. And in 5 minutes I had my head handed to me. Whatever I had learnt wasn’t enough to give him a challenge. My head was handed to me on a platter.

I would never become a Master of GO.

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