‘A Subtle Game of Equilibrium’: To Live and Die in Go

Go Players (by Ogasawara Issai)(1)

“Any game where the goal is to build territory has to be beautiful. There may be phases of combat, but they are only the means to an end, to allow your territory to survive. One of the most extraordinary aspects of the game of go is that it has been proven that in order to win, you must live, but you must also allow the other player to live. Players who are too greedy will lose; it’s a subtle game of equilibrium, where you have to get ahead without crushing the other player. In the end, life and death are only the consequences of how well or poorly you’ve made your construction. This is what one of Taniguchi’s characters says: you live, you die, these are consequences. It’s a proverb for playing go, and for life.”

– Muriel Barberry, “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”

“The go board is a mirror of the mind of the players as the moments pass. When a master studies the record of a game he can tell at what point greed overtook the pupil, when he became tired, when he fell into stupidity, and when the maid came by with tea.”

– Source Unknown

Posted in roundabout response to the WordPress Daily Prompt: Territory
(https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/territory/)

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4 Responses to ‘A Subtle Game of Equilibrium’: To Live and Die in Go

  1. lifelessons says:

    A lovely post. Oh that the world was conducted by the principles of “Go.” I used to play, long ago, but my Go game was blown away in a tornado. Now what do you suppose that teaches us?

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