Posts Tagged ‘baduk’

Baduk in the British Museum in London

Sunday, January 20th, 2008
I found the following very interesting photo on flickr:

This photo was apparently taken in the British Museum in London (Korean room), and it has the following text next to it:
Wooden paduk board and pieces made of shell and stone Choson Dynasty, 18th-19th century Played mainly by men, this game is also popular in other Far Eastern countries, where it is known as weiqi or go. The Korean paduk board is unique in being hollow, with an arrangement of wires stretched inside which makes it resonate when a piece is moved on top of the board. There are 324 squares on the board but the game is played on the intersections, not in the spaces. There are many Korean paintings depicting Korean aristocrats (yangban) whiling away the hours playing paduk in a small summer pavilion.
You can find the photo on flickr.com and here are more flickr .com photos by the same author (Julio Martinez). Now I wonder what the position is – anyways it looks quite realistic, unlike the one in a previous blog entry. Update: Many thanks to Jordi Jané who sent me a photo of the same item but from a different angle, so I was able to write the whole text from the museum explanation above:

Here is also a link to a much larger photo version.

Decline in Go/Baduk Interest in Korea

Monday, December 31st, 2007
I was very surprised and sad to read today’s blog entry about a decline in Go/Baduk interest in Korea. In case you don’t know about this blog already: it is an amazing view inside the life of a 7 dan professional player in Korea, Cho Hye Yeon.

It is interesting also to read this so soon after my Go/Baduk Affected By “Internet Entertainment”? very recent blog entry, where I was commenting on some 2007 statistics which showed a decline in the revenue of Baduk clubs in Korea. My conclusion there was that players moved out of traditional clubs and play online more. After reading Hye Yeon’s blog, though, I understand that there is a real decline in Baduk in Korea: many Baduk schools are closing, less books being published, less children dream of becoming pro players… Sounds very much like the situation in Japan that started in early nineties (maybe earlier?). The reasons for this situation seems to be related to both extra sources of entertainment (when it comes to explain the decline in amateur players) and to the fact that attending top universities in Korea became more difficult, so parents are less inclined to gamble their kids future while letting them study Baduk (when it comes to explain the decline in the number of inseis). Here’s also a quote from a 2 years old blog entry of Mr. Ooijer’s:
So why do all these kids want to be a professional? It is hardly rational. They gamble with their career. Some western Baduk players do not see this hard life and have a much too romantic view about the life of a Baduk professional.
Let’s hope that in the new year 2008 Go/Baduk/Weiqi will grow again.

Happy New Year everybody!

Go/Baduk Affected By “Internet Entertainment” ?

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007
According to this source, Go / Baduk in Korea seems to be affected by other sources of entertainment available online: the article reports several changes in spending patterns in Korea, and apparently there was a 21% decrease in the revenue of Baduk clubs during the last five years:
“[...] there has been a plunge in revenue of bowling alleys (-35 percent), book rental stores (-32 percent), photo studios (-27 percent) and baduk clubs (-21 percent). The NSO attributed this to the growing popularity of Internet entertainment.”
This may not be alarming news in the end, though: I am sure a lot of regular Baduk club members have moved online, and the article seems to only count revenue change in “brick and mortar” businesses and clubs.

How to learn from Go problems

Monday, April 9th, 2007
There is a new article in the “Korea Times” series: Lesson 90: Life-and-Death Problems (Part 2) It makes a few very good points about how to learn from Go problems:
  1. find the right problem set for your level - most of the time it’s in very simple situations where mistakes occur, so there is no real benefit to study very complicated problems if you’re missing simple ones
  2. don’t look at the answers – in the real game there’s no Fujiwara-no-Sai to tell you the answer :-) I don’t suppose there is any harm in looking at the answers eventually – but just don’t look before putting a significant effort into solving the problems.
In order to read other articles in this series, here is the index page.

Playing Baduk in a Park in Korea

Monday, March 5th, 2007
I found today a blog entry of someone from Busan, South Korea, about people playing Baduk (the Korean for “Go”) in a park. See one of the pictures below; click on it and you’ll see more, on flickr.com:

It reminds me of parks in Bucharest, Romania where I grew up, except that people there play chess and backgammon, not Go :-) Now that I think of it, I don’t remember ever seeing people playing Go in parks in Japan…