Go with the flow

Photo by Ryan Kwok on Unsplash

Go with the flow

Book review

As Artem Kachanovskyi won the European Go Championship 2019, I saw a picture of him with his award and a book raised in his hand, given as a prize I'm guessing. A book that somehow slipped pass by me.. It was Cho Hunhyun's "Go with the Flow". I purchased it immediately and started reading.

Cho Hunhyun is one of the greatest Go masters in history.He became a professional Go player at the age of nine as a child prodigy, he has won 1,935 matches and taken various championship titles as many as 160 times over 56 years, his record of the largest number of victories is still unbroken. When most professionals consider retirement, he became the oldest winner of a international competition at the age of 50. If you wanna know more about Cho Hunhyun, you can check his Wikipedia page or his page at Sensei's Library.

Most of the go books are educational, focuses on a subject like attacking, opening, joseki etc. and has a lot of diagrams of positions. There are just a handful of go books that are text only and goes deep into its philosophy, talk about the inner game of go and this is one of them. It's also a memoir of Cho's life, a door to his emotions, heart and mind. The stories with his cold but deep relationship with his teacher Segoe Kensaku, known through his students Cho Hunhyun, Utaro Hashimoto and Go Seigen. Stories that could have otherwise become forgotten.

There are lots of anecdotes from his life and comparisons from the go board to life itself.

"The game of Go is not just a sport that one needs to win; it is a form of art, just like music or painting, with which one expresses one's unique individuality. In order for it to a be a work of art, it needs to have a creative and unique aspect that can speak to us. Go is not just about winning. More importantly, it is about expressing oneself."

Master Shuko in a letter to Lee Changho, In "Go With the Flow"

It's not a book just for go players but for anyone who wants to learn from a master and I strongly recommend it. While reading the book I came a cross another name and a set of rules he has written that I had no idea of. Wang Jixin and "The Ten Golden Rules of Go". The next post is about that.