Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Baduk TV with English subtitles!

I have subscribed to this service for about a month now, and i must say that the videos uploaded there are very good. Hence I'm blogging about it here. I'm not paid to post this.

This service is brought to us, Go enthusiasts by Over there you can find many videos uploaded (of course, it's a paid subscription! thus demos are available below), either with english subs or without. The good thing about having these videos is that we are able to watch them as and when we like. As we are all people with lives of our own other than eating and breathing Go, something like this is very good. I, for one, have to go to school for lectures and thus more often than not, I find myself not being able to watch those segments of broadcast that i want. Especially the live competitions!

And this "Baduk TV on Demand" service allows me to.

After watching the game commentaries there, mostly the english ones as i understand them better, I have found the standard of my game to drastically increase. Most significantly after watching the Takemiya Masaki 9P game, which is the style i mostly play in. I'd highly recommend anyone to try the $1 trial, but before that at least know what the different subscriptions offer.

There are a couple of price plans available. Namely the BadukTV Live, BadukTV on Demand and BadukTV English.

Now that you have gone through the different subscription plans, you might still be unsure as to whether the $49.99 is worth it. I have encountered people who think that for all that it provides, $49.99 is too much. 

However, do keep it in mind that all subs are written by actual korean Go professionals who speak english and is edited and vetted by a native english speaking Go player. Hence for all the effort to ensure that the quality of the subs are the best they can offer, I'd say that the price is all right. (Obviously, since I have already subscribed to it.)

Now, before you make any important monetary decisions, make sure you have watched the free demo videos. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Go Seigen - Sixteen Soldiers Game

And so I was doing some googling to for Go Seigen, and i came across this short video showing how each move effects the rest on the goban, in terms of influence and territory. Seeing this clip now helps me in visualising the effectiveness of my moves in future games.

This game was played on 1933-10-10 in the Oteai, between Kosugi Tei (Black) and Go Seigen (White). White won by resignation.

Here is the clip:

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Go Master (吳清源)

I have decided to write my first post on The Go Master because it's the latest movie I have watched. It first came out in 2006, when I was first learning how to play Go. Even though i wanted to watch it then, Singapore simply didn't have it available on the shelves. Thus, it has waited 6 years.

And I'm glad I finally watched it.

This movie is about Wu Qing Yuan, better known as Go Seigen. It depicts his rise from a child prodigy from China to the No.1 Go player in the whole of Japan and finally his retirement. Go Seigen, together with his buddy Mr Kitani Minoru wrote the book on Shin Fuseki - the opening moves for modern Go. Cementing themselves in the pages of Go history as the fathers of modern Go.

A little history of Go Seigen:

Born May 19 1914 in Fuzhou, Southeast China, he didn't have any contact with Go until he was at the age of 9. His father, who have had lessons from Honinbo Shuho, was the one who taught him how to play. And soon Go Seigen quickly became known as a prodigy... 

More to be found here

The movie:

Based on Wu's autobiography, the movie shines a light on the life and times of him during his period of fame. It started out showing Go as a little kid running around in his courtyard before finally resting in a bedroom. And then abruptly switching to scenes where Go is much older, bringing the story to the crux of the movie. Go is played by Taiwanese actor Chang Chen. In this movie, I must say he did a very good job in playing the role. Never once throughout the whole movie had it dawn on me(or rather, reminded me) that the character is played out with an actor. Such is the professionalism and dedication of him. 

The story showed, Go and his family suffering from the tension of Japan having a Chinese in their midst during the Sino-Japanese war. With their windows broken by stones wrapped in paper that is filled with death threats (i assumed, because they did not explicitly mention the contents). Thus, his family have decided to return to China. However, Go remained to pursue his art.
The relationship between Go and his teacher, Segoe, is obviously close knitted. As there are a couple of times where Go falls sick and the ones shown taking care of him are Segoe and his wife. How Go met his wife(Kazuko) was also in the plot, although it was much further into the movie. 
The scenes in the movie are filmed in an artistic way and with an incredible attention to detail, that anyone even without any interest in Go could watch. Below is a short clip showing a game, the first of the many, between Go Seigen and Kitani Minoru in the movie.