Go - The Awful Truth
Go - The Awful Truth
As go players, we tend to believe that we play the greatest game. Our noses are somewhat up in the air, we study, post eloquently on the merits of the game and tout its superiority over others. When pressed, we compare it to that Western icon of intellectual activity Chess.
Driving to work this morning, I realized the awful truth.
This is not meant as a criticism, until today, I was a go "snob", believing that I had found the ultimate intellectual activity, the greatest challenge, the interest to take me into my declining years,
But the reality is far more pedestrian.
Have you ever been to a Senior Center and looked around at the folks there? I have. Before today, I would guage the quality of life, or more accurately, the quality of minds in the room. No more - the horror!
Before today, I would give a mental thumbs up to the two old men playing chess, or the three tables of ladies playing bridge. I would even smile at the checkers players, or at least envy the laughter of the guys around the pool table. I would feel sorry for those simply gathered around the TV.
I had always expected that, as a go player, I would someday rank first in this intellectual hierarchy. No more.
Because there is another group at the senior center, and indeed, in living rooms all over this country (U.S.A.) that, until today, I had always held in high...contempt. Over in a corner, huddled over a card table - now I realize this is where I am headed.
I am speaking of Go's closest cousin in world of leasure activity - jigsaw puzzles!
The similarities are as stunning as they are undeniable,
Game Set Up and Equipment - Both games begin with empty boards and a large number of conceptually equal pieces.
Game Procedure - Players place the pieces one at a time - once in place, they do not move (not even for captures!) Play continues until it is recognized that there are no more legal plays.
Strategy - You should start in the corners - these are the most efficent opening plays. Then, play will continue onto the sides. Normally, plays in the middle of the board are made last.
Skill set - This is a game of shape recognition, matching the correct next piece, efficiently, with pieces already on the board.
I am so depressed.
Next - the ghastly similarities between reviewing game records and hidden word search books.
This page created by George Caplan
Very good :-)
And, clearly, the aim of the game is not the winning, but the cooperative creation of a work of art.
However, perfect play does exist and games may end up being repeated - at least the end position is often repeated.