It is currently Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:41 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
Offline
 Post subject: Kamakura
Post #1 Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:37 pm 
Dies with sente

Posts: 101
Liked others: 24
Was liked: 16
I started reading John Fairbairn's Kamakura book, about a 10 games match between Go Seigen and Kitani Minoru, without komi and with changing handicap as it was the fashion in those days.

I am enjoying it a lot, so thanks John for this book!

I have a question: the book is describing a lot of verbal exchanges between the two players, every few moves one or the other has something to say, according to the book.
This doesn't seem to happen nowadays in pro titles, rather some players just talk to themselves (like Cho Chikun). Is it something special about these two being friends in real life, that makes this dialog normal?
I feel that with this being a very serious match, they would not exchange small jokes with each other, I found it quite surprising!


This post by alphaville was liked by: Galation
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #2 Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:51 am 
Oza

Posts: 2352
Liked others: 15
Was liked: 3417
It happens today, depending on the personalities, but there is much less time to talk nowadays. In those days it still depended on personality - Shusai wasn't much of a talker - but the games had very long time limits, so the players had time to gossip, and they were "sealed in a can", eating and sleeping in the same place far away from families. Sometimes, as with Go and Kitani, the players were friends anyway. The commentators were also often friends. It would have been unnatural not to talk, really, especially if you add on to all that the fact that this was all done for a sponsor who needed words to fill a newspaper column every day.

Cho Chikun may be a self-mutterer but will chat on occasion. The disconcerting cases are people like Cho Hun-hyeon, who sings folk songs during play, or Sakata, who picked his toe nails. Is that gamesmanship?

Probably not. But western players can often see all this through the prism of chess. I once took chessmaster David Levy in to talk to a pro shogi player who was not just in the middle of a game, but in the middle of a room full of other games going on. We didn't talk about the game but had a good chat. I thought nothing of it until we stepped outside into the corridor and David literally couldn't contain himself and just burst out with "That could never happen in chess?" But tightly controlled chess is notorious for psychological tricks such as blowing smoke. Maybe the Japanese system provides a pressure valve and tends to ease the problems of gamesmanship.

A lot more happens in go (and shogi) that couldn't happen in chess. The 1930s were different in many ways and the Oteai room antics were often captured in pen drawings published with every Oteai bulletin. The scene was more like ne of those Brueghel or Hogarth paintings.


This post by John Fairbairn was liked by 10 people: Akura, alphaville, betterlife, ez4u, Galation, gowan, HKA, imabuddha, Ortho, sparky314
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #3 Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:56 am 
Gosei

Posts: 1385
Liked others: 359
Was liked: 386
Rank: 5d
GD Posts: 1000
These tidbits of life in the game room help to bring things to life. The late Nakayama Noriyuki 7-dan was well known for anecdotes such as were published in translation in Treasure Chest Enigma, and there were also a few in issue number 50 of the now no longer published Go World. Some 30 years ago these stories were greatly appreciated by go fans in the West. Entertaining stories must exist about the contemporary go world but we don't hear of them.


This post by gowan was liked by: alphaville
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #4 Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:04 pm 
Oza

Posts: 2352
Liked others: 15
Was liked: 3417
Here are a couple of examples of Oteai sketches I found.

The players are usually easily recognisable. They are not saying anything funny. Indeed, in one of the examples here they are talking about the Spanish Civil War, and typical remarks at all times include "I'm going upstairs to watch the top players" or "I'm going for a shower." In other words, they are telling their opponent they will be disappearing for quite some time, which puts a perhaps unexpected perspective on the long time limits!). But what the balloons do show is how much talking goes on.

While these sketches are not meant to be funny, there are others that are: e.g. a mini-series on the "100 poses of the spectators" (my favourites include guy standing with his back to the board and another is a chap rubbing his glasses in disbelief - this was the New Fuseki era, and the back-stander was probably displaying his contempt for these new-fangled ideas).

One very nice thing about these sketches is how often they show (without objectification) women playing with the men - often with success, I might add.

The bottom picture is on two levels as a way of showing the A Section on the first floor and the B Section on the ground floor. As you might expect, the B Section (typically 4-dans and below) was often something of a bear pit.

I expect some of the older hands here will recognise the moon-face of Shinohara Masami, a gift to cartoonists.


Attachments:
img040.jpg
img040.jpg [ 199.97 KiB | Viewed 3752 times ]
img039.jpg
img039.jpg [ 189.67 KiB | Viewed 3752 times ]

This post by John Fairbairn was liked by 7 people: alphaville, EdLee, ez4u, goTony, imabuddha, jptavan, Shenoute
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #5 Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:43 pm 
Gosei

Posts: 1402
Liked others: 691
Was liked: 457
Rank: AGA 3k KGS 1k Fox 1d
GD Posts: 61
KGS: dfan
Chatting with other players during tournament games while strolling around the hall between moves is pretty common, including at the top levels (maybe even more so), although I get the sense it has become less common over the last couple of decades.

Talking to your opponent (or to anyone else while you're sitting at the board) is not done, though, except to offer a draw or resign. Occasionally I'll run into an amateur player who likes to narrate the highlights of his game in progress, but I get the sense that this is mostly just done by people who have difficulty restraining themselves from thinking out loud rather than out of a desire to actually engage in conversation.

[Edited to add: somehow I forgot to mention that all of the above is about chess tournaments! (It was replying to a comment of John Fairbairn's.) In general people are a lot chattier at the go tournaments I've played in.]


Last edited by dfan on Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

This post by dfan was liked by: alphaville
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject:
Post #6 Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:05 pm 
Honinbo
User avatar

Posts: 8667
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Liked others: 323
Was liked: 2007
GD Posts: 312
Quote:
Chatting with other players during tournament games while strolling around the hall between moves is pretty common
Yes, walking around between moves is common for both amateur and pro tourneys ( for non-blitz games ). I've only experienced the US Open's final (6th) game twice, and in both times, the overall atmosphere seemed to be more relaxed than during game 1 ( people more tired after 6 days; out-of-towners enjoying photos with their opponents, etc. :) )


This post by EdLee was liked by: alphaville
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #7 Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:10 pm 
Dies with sente

Posts: 101
Liked others: 24
Was liked: 16
What was the purpose of "sealed in a can" environment for the players during such multiple-day matches?
Initially I was thinking this is so that they don't read the published commentaries in the newspaper and be influenced by it for the rest of the game, however that cannot be the reason, since they seem to hear (at least some of) each other's comments to the newspaper writers during the game breaks.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #8 Posted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:37 am 
Oza

Posts: 2352
Liked others: 15
Was liked: 3417
Your are misleading yourself by assuming it had to have a purpose. Tinned foods had become popular, especially with wars around, and "kanzume" was just the inevitable result of taking players to relatively remote places like spas and ensuring there were no distractions. The players were not always mollycoddled. They often had to make their own way to the venue, which was sometimes chosen because the newspaper (or director) owned it or had a stake in it. But once there, as there were constant visits by local bigwigs or local pros, the players had to be on hand at all times.

There was a time lag for publication of the games, and the commentaries were often not based very much on the players' comments but on those of an observer (or the "press room"). Favoured quotes from the players were those that might show their psychological state (e.g. how well they slept), and stating what they had for lunch was de rigueur, for much the same reason (noodles meant you were going for a long stamina-sapping game, eel indicated you needed a pick-me-up). In days when even ordinary people were more used to reading between the lines of newspapers, details such as Go Seigen thanking hosts for a vegetarian meal would alert people to the fact that the others didn't express their gratitude and probably couldn't wait to rush down to the local teriyaki bar.

Also, at certain times, players could not be seen to be enjoying themselves because there was a war footing or there was a war on.

In short, it was a different world.


This post by John Fairbairn was liked by 2 people: alphaville, goTony
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #9 Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:46 pm 
Dies with sente

Posts: 101
Liked others: 24
Was liked: 16
I finished reading about game 1. I felt bad that they had to finish it late at night, instead of going into the 4th day fresh - after spending so much time to play the opening and middle game, it feels a bit of a gamble to leave the deciding part of the game happen when the players were obviously tired (and Kitani sick).

What was the prize for these 10-game matches - is it public information?
I imagine it was smaller compared to top titles in Japan nowadays (even accounting for inflation) since the times were different, on the other hand it must be much more than just a symbolic value, since these were top players and made a living from playing Go.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #10 Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:33 pm 
Dies with sente

Posts: 101
Liked others: 24
Was liked: 16
I was amazed when reading about game 2, to learn that the nowadays very common pincer with 1 in the diagram, was considered an unusual (sub-optimal) move in 1940!
Also, black's reply with 2 was unusual in those times.

There is a reference in Kamakura to the classical Chinese book "The Gateway To All Marvels" that supposedly has both of these "unusual" moves. However that book is a problems book, not a fuseki/joseki book (at least from what I read about it online - I don't have the book).
Is there any modern version of the classical Chinese book that includes fuseki/joseki?

Click Here To Show Diagram Code
[go]$$W
$$ +----------------------
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . O . . . . . O .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . X . 2 . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . 1 . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . . . . . . . . .
$$ | . . . , . . . . . , .[/go]

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #11 Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:04 am 
Lives in gote

Posts: 399
Liked others: 78
Was liked: 123
Rank: igs 4d
There are actually quite a few game records in Gateway to all Marvels. Here are the first two (Guo Fan vs. Li Baixiang) in my 2005 Chinese edition, both featuring the pincer and tobi.

Both differs from the version in Gogod by having a white stone on the tengen and the second one also by having a very different sequence in the upper-right corner. Different editions of the book, having slightly different records of the games?





Attachments:
Xuanxuanqijing_game 1.sgf [1002 Bytes]
Downloaded 433 times
Xuanxuanqijing_game 2.sgf [1.01 KiB]
Downloaded 447 times

This post by Shenoute was liked by 2 people: alphaville, Bill Spight
Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #12 Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:01 am 
Dies with sente

Posts: 101
Liked others: 24
Was liked: 16
Shenoute wrote:
There are actually quite a few game records in Gateway to all Marvels. Here are the first two (Guo Fan vs. Li Baixiang) in my 2005 Chinese edition, both featuring the pincer and tobi.

Both differs from the version in Gogod by having a white stone on the tengen and the second one also by having a very different sequence in the upper-right corner. Different editions of the book, having slightly different records of the games?


Thank you for the SGFs! I remember now seeing this sort of games in the past, I did not realize that "The Gateway to all Marvels" has them - how many are there in the 2005 Chinese edition, by the way?

As for the differences between different versions - the presence/absence of the center stone should make a huge difference, I am very surprised it is missing in some versions.

In this version, the upper-right sequence in the 2nd game looks like just a big blunder by black, while for the other fights where one side or the other is losing stones it can be debatable whether it was a sacrifice or a mistake :-)

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #13 Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:06 am 
Lives in gote

Posts: 399
Liked others: 78
Was liked: 123
Rank: igs 4d
You're welcome. There are 9 game records, if I counted well.

Yes, the white tengen surprised me and it made me think at first that the games were not in Gogod.

I love ancient Chinese games, they are so bloody and full of relentless fights one after the other. Actually, encoding these two put me in the mood for replaying a few games of Huang Longshi :D

I also checked Gateway to all marvels more carefully, there's a Joseki section with quite a few sequences starting from the one space pincer-tobi. I found them quite interesting and will post them in a separate thread.

Edit. Done, see here.

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #14 Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:39 am 
Lives in gote

Posts: 323
Location: Washington State
Liked others: 241
Was liked: 58
Rank: OGS 11kyu
KGS: gotony
OGS: nghtstalker
John Fairbairn wrote:
Here are a couple of examples of Oteai sketches I found.

The players are usually easily recognisable. They are not saying anything funny. Indeed, in one of the examples here they are talking about the Spanish Civil War, and typical remarks at all times include "I'm going upstairs to watch the top players" or "I'm going for a shower." In other words, they are telling their opponent they will be disappearing for quite some time, which puts a perhaps unexpected perspective on the long time limits!). But what the balloons do show is how much talking goes on.

While these sketches are not meant to be funny, there are others that are: e.g. a mini-series on the "100 poses of the spectators" (my favourites include guy standing with his back to the board and another is a chap rubbing his glasses in disbelief - this was the New Fuseki era, and the back-stander was probably displaying his contempt for these new-fangled ideas).

One very nice thing about these sketches is how often they show (without objectification) women playing with the men - often with success, I might add.

The bottom picture is on two levels as a way of showing the A Section on the first floor and the B Section on the ground floor. As you might expect, the B Section (typically 4-dans and below) was often something of a bear pit.

I expect some of the older hands here will recognise the moon-face of Shinohara Masami, a gift to cartoonists.


Thanks for sharing I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the cartoons. Would love to see the whole series with English captions! I also recently bought Kamakura and have only glanced at it so far. I really enjoy the history and personalities as much as the games. I look forward to reading it all.

_________________
Walla Walla GO Club -(on FB)

We play because we enjoy the beauty of the game, the snap and feel of real stones, and meeting interesting people. Hope to see ya there! お願いします!

Anthony

Top
 Profile  
 
Offline
 Post subject: Re: Kamakura
Post #15 Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:18 pm 
Dies with sente

Posts: 101
Liked others: 24
Was liked: 16
I found a nice video commentary by Michael Redmond, on the first of the ten-game series: https://badukmovies.com/episodes/student-of-go-seigen


This post by alphaville was liked by 2 people: goTony, imabuddha
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 15 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group