It’s no secret to anyone that I love playing boardgames. I will usually never pass up the opportunity to sit down around a table with some nice people and put our minds together over some fun, interative game. (By the way, if I do decline a game invite then I’d recommend calling an ambulance as I may well be very sick).
Of all the games I have played and enjoyed, nothing compares to my love for the game of Go. Known as Igo (囲碁) in Japan, Baduk (바둑) in Korea or Weiqi (圍棋) in China, it is one of the oldest boardgames in existence and, in my humble opinion, the greatest. It definitely hasn’t been around so long for no good reason.
I’ll be writing a blog post in the near future that introduces the game and my history with it, but for now I wanted to share with you a nice experience I had last week.
I met with a local friend in Berlin who makes a living out of visiting schools across Berlin and teaching the children how to play Go. The weather was appalling — pouring down with rain with the occasional cracks of thunder ahead. Naturally I suggested sitting indoors at the cafe where we met, but he insisted on sitting outdoors under a canopy that extended out in front of the store. I was sure that we’d get soaked through before we even began playing but it turned out to be a lovely afternoon of gaming. The rain was coming down in blankets not 2 or 3 inches from where I sat, splashing up from the tops of nearby parked cars and the heads of unfortunate passers-by. It was a very surreal but enjoyable experience to be out in such weather yet having the majority of my mental capacity taken up trying to prevent my opponent from crushing me.
To make things even more surreal, my friend brought along one of his (many) go sets with a very unique set of Go stones. Traditionally, like in chess, player’s pieces are either white or black. However, we played a game with translucent blue and yellow stones which reflected the sunlight and rainfall beautifully. I’m sorely tempted to seek out my own set of coloured glass stones but he told me that they were specially imported by a friend from Korea… so at least now I have yet another reason to visit Korea in the future!
Anyway, for now I’ll leave you with another view of our game but do check back soon for my full report on my all-time favourite game…. Go!