The long game with Lukas continues, following 10.0 and 10.1. I’m ambivalent about my position now, though I’m still having a blast. I am eager to discuss this game with Lukas, and perhaps do a little AI analysis, but I’ll be patient until the game’s conclusion. Admittedly I am frustrated after certain moves, particularly L14 – not to mention the disaster on the left side – but trying to stay strong.
At rest before the glacier’s pour
And dwarfed by breadth of Admiralty
On Summer’s edge of evening light
He slits a pack of bait,
Stuffs the rectangular prism
Inside the cylindrical cage:
A crab pot to sink in the orange boat’s wake,
This island on the placid sea.
The ferries are running, he tells me and points—
I smile and agree,
Fearing the edge of the map and the knife,
The cut of horizons I’d never see without him:
A current of birds drifting on water,
Low clouds protecting a mountain,
A captain commanding me in Carhartts.
I pretend I’d drown before I’d fight,
Laugh underwater, mistake my phone for a life.
But later, driving back from the dock,
I think of the crab, the bait, the cage—
And wish for a boat to sail through night.
The long game with Lukas continues below. I am satisfied with my position, but when playing a much stronger player, early misunderstandings about the status of certain shapes can bring about a swift collapse later in the game. What I experience as a stable position may in fact be tenuous. In any case, I am doing my best to approach this game with confidence – there is no sense in playing fearfully, as if I am going to be punished at every turn. Instead, I play as an equal, and will learn all I can from the experience of defeat.
EDIT: The time settings are 3 stones/week, but we have each been playing roughly one move per day.
When evening parts with day At midnight I turn on the light the house begins to shake And show old surfaces: a soft cat Unraveling carpet seams in slumber. A broken window— A bear at the window— Who knows whether asking for a treat In darkness a smear of licorice I find my dreams inside a wrapper.
The morning showed me Steller’s jay
A flicker in the day of living blue
Unfiltered and true, as sapphire’s shade
Shows its clade the royal facet
A gown beneath a carbon jacket
I am always looking for new ways to learn Go. Poetry keeps me on the tsumego train, but I felt the need to spice up my regular games. Inspired by the long game in Yasunari Kawabata’s The Master of Go, I decided to ask Lukas if he would play a long correspondence game with me. This way I can think a little more carefully about each move, and write about the game as I play. I don’t know if this will produce a higher quality game on my end, but so far it has interrupted my usual habits and forced me to think of at least a few more possibilities than I normally would.
Below are the first 20 moves of the game. I am playing white. The time settings are 3 moves/week, giving me the freedom to check in when I have some free time and ponder some variations. Although black controls three corners so far, I’m satisfied with my position. Lukas probably has other thoughts, but I feel confident – a bit of the Dunning-Kruger effect, perhaps.
Raven struts on rooftop’s edge
Pauses by the mast
Wonders of the treasures
Behind each building’s glass.
Something shiny? A yogurt? A morsel of bread?
Never mind, says the raven, flaps his wings by the flag—
The sun shines. The forest provides.
What’s inside that plastic bag?
Call across the canyon
Carved in heart’s striations
Scarred by empty days
That history has drowned.
The echo makes an absent bridge
That falls and falls and falls
To the gone old world
That never makes a sound.
Here’s a flower.
For an hour
It has power,
Then it wilts.
Make it count:
I’m all out
In this drought.
Ask for rain.
I wish we could meet
Where the pen starts to write
When blue gives way to darker blue
And tapers off to night
Leaves us all to gaze upon
These rectangles of light