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Posted on Wed Jul 4th, 2012 @ 2:50pm by Lieutenant Martin Smith
Edited on Wed Jul 4th, 2012 @ 7:20pm

Well, there goes any hope of sleeping tonight...

I settled down with the computer to see if I could get a good game of go out of the onboard program. It normally doesn't get much call on starships that I'm aware of, so I didn't have high hopes, but it was surprisingly competent. After three hours, the situation was getting particularly intricate. I was slightly ahead, which with the white stones was a state of affairs that I could live with. The computer then decided to start a ko fight, which I escalated to a double ko fight. After about five rounds at double ko, the computer went for a triple ko and a drawn game.

I'm more than slightly unsettled. Looking at the board, there was no better state of affairs for me than to perpetuate the ko, and the computer didn't seem to have any inclination to work out of it. However, the reason I'm unsettled is NOT that I drew a game of go against a computer (as white, a draw is a moral victory). I'm unsettled because of the mythos behind triple kos. In 1582 AD, Honinbo Sansa played a game against his rival Kashio Rigen. The game was played in the presence of Warlord Nobunaga at a monastery in Kyoto. Due to a triple ko, the game was suspended without result. The next day Nobunaga's ally Akechi Mitsuhide rebelled, surrounded the temple, and killed Nobunaga. Ever since, a triple ko has been considered bad luck.

Funny, I never thought myself to be superstitious. Guess that's one of the many things that are changing in my old age...


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