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 Post subject: New exhibit in Museum of Go Theory
Post #1 Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:32 pm 
Oza

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You know what they say: enjoy one Chinese go book and you want another five minutes later. Well, don't worry. The Museum of Go Theory opens its doors again just days after the stunning success of Cheng Lanru's "Game Records from Evening Fragrance Pavilion" of 1754. All ten visitors so far have been able to keep more than the regulation two yards apart.

The latest exhibit goes back even earlier, to 1682, and showcases "Evergreen Go Records" (Bugu Bian) by a genuine master, Wu Ruizheng. This book is remarkable because Wu introduced a hugely diverse palette of go vocabulary, and thus theoretical concepts. He did this through longish commentaries over a wide range of games (66) featuring a wide range of master players (over 20). Indeed, there is a feeling that he was aware that he was inventing much of the theory as he worked through the commentaries. This feeling comes from the fact that he harped on certain concepts such as pressure 紧, good technique 细 and call-and-response 照应 through constant repetition. In later manuals, these concepts never disappeared, but they are mentioned less, simply because they were by then taken for granted. Later commentators preferred to focus on refinements such as the superiority of the 9-3 points over the 8-3 points or even on psychological factors or novel openings. Personally I regard "Evergreen Go Records" as Go Theory 101, but it is rich fare. And that is without mentioning the pièce de résistance: it was the book that first introduced the genius Huang Longshi (the “Chinese Dosaku”) to the wider world!

This Museum book gives a full translation of all the commentaries and includes the original Chinese text. I have also added biographical notes on the players, one of whom quixotically died when riding out on horseback with a bow and arrows to fight off the Manchu (= Qing) invaders. There is also a major appendix on the go vocabulary that includes discussion of how Chinese go theory differs from Japanese theory (and in several respects marries up with AI). This is similar to the one in "Evening Fragrance Pavilion" but much expanded, to accommodate the much richer vocabulary of Wu Ruizheng.

Evergreen Go Records is available from Amazon/Kindle, in paper form only (and in colour) under ISBN 979-8508046958. Amazon says that it can take time to reach certain markets, and features such as look-inside also take extra time.

The next planned item on the menu is a Ming book from 1590, currently being proofread. You will no longer need to fret about that Ming vase you can't quite afford. You can now have a Ming book for your coffee table instead.

All books in this series work especially well if you have a nice board and stones to play over the quite remarkable games in a very easy-to-follow format. These games and comments were chosen by a Chinese gentleman for people of refinement. We seem to have far fewer nowadays, but, as I say, at least ten have surfaced so far.

I might add that the appearance of these books themselves is remarkable, considering the worse-than-usual havoc caused by Windows and Java updates. I have felt very like the guy with the bow and arrows this past week.


This post by John Fairbairn was liked by 2 people: sorin, Theo van Ees
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 Post subject: Re: New exhibit in Museum of Go Theory
Post #2 Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2021 2:48 pm 
Lives with ko

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Wouah, great work. Thank you so much for your work. Is it possible te see a sample ? I would to love to buy it ^^

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