Thursday, January 22, 2009

Invincible, The Games of Shusaku

Invincible: The Games of Shusaku, edited by John Powers, is one of the most expensive readily available books on the game of Go (Baduk, Weiqi), currently as much as $129 at

The price makes it one of the many bootleg Go books found at The Pirates Bay, which you may Google on your own dime.

I find it passing strange that Go could be that popular — a century ago, it was an aristocratic game principally valued for its ability to fill a drowsy afternoon of empty moments to its gilt-flecked brim.

Were it not for the anime (and manga) Hikaru no Go, Shusaku would enjoy the dimmest of twilights in this century. (Name the year and place, and the Shogun and principles present for the ninth castle game. One of them was Shusaku. Who were the top Korean players that year? True or False: Inoue Matsumoto Inseki presented a massive kaya goban to the bemused Commodore Perry in 1854 during a three-day intermission in the eleventh castle game.)

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