The Surrounding Game is a documentary film by Will Lockhart about the game of Go, which follows some young American Go players as they begin the first ever American professional Go qualifying tournament in 2012. The film is available for download from the website, either for rent or sale. Here’s the trailer…
Go is played professionally in China, Korea and Japan, places in which this game is a really big deal. Players start studying to be professionals as children and work at the game for many hours each day, and professional players are held in great esteem. While the game has been growing in North America, if you walk down the street and ask people if they play Go, or even know what it is, many will still not know what you are talking about, even after all the media attention garnered by the artificial intelligence called AlphaGo.
The American Go Association decided in 2012 to hold a tournament to promote 2 players to “professional”. Never mind, with only 2 professionals in the country, there isn’t a lot of pro competition. However, part of the deal is that the initial pros in the USA are sent to Asia to participate in major tournaments over there. In other words, they’re making a push to develop some players to a world class level, even if that push is in its infancy.
I’ve been playing Go for many years now and still in the scheme of things I’m puny and weak. The more I learn, the stronger I get, the more I realize how little about the game I know. It becomes more and more interesting and is a very satisfying lifetime study. I liked The Surrounding Game. It is well done and highly engaging, and if you have any interest in the game at all, I think you’ll really enjoy it. It might even inspire you to learn the game.
If there is anyone here in Long Branch interested in learning Go, I’d be happy to teach you. Just drop me a line.