Dobe asked about Peter and games. I have a couple of things to say in that area, but I’ll start with this one.
Peter taught me to play Go when I was a kid. The way he taught me went kind of like this:
He would play a stone.
I would look at the board and not know what to do.
He would tell me where the best place to play was.
I would play there.
He would then make a better play of his own that cancelled or countered the play I had just made.
After several repetitions of this, it began to feel to me like (a) he was really just playing himself, while I watched (I wasn’t really participating); and (b) the moves he was telling me to make were only leading me into trouble.
I’m sure none of that was intentional on Peter’s part; he was trying to share this wonderful game with me. Not his fault that his approach to teaching it to me pushed some of my buttons.
But I never really got into Go. Even though several of my friends have gotten into it over the years.
I was pleased recently to pick up a Go book belonging to someone or other (Kevin, maybe?) and to be able to follow it; it was a detailed introduction to liberties and how to tell whether a group is alive or dead, and it made a lot more sense to me than it did when I was a kid. (My feeling as a kid was that Peter would point to a group of stones and tell me “Those are dead,” and I could never understand how he knew that; it always seemed kind of mystical and vague to me.)
Still, the traditional boardgames (chess, Go, Othello, checkers, etc) were never my strong suit, and knowing that I could study my whole life and still never be all that good made me more or less uninterested in playing Go.
But I know it was always one of Peter’s great loves.
What ended up happening to Peter’s big solid wooden Go board? Do I have it in the garage? Dobe, did you end up with it? I hope it’s somewhere where it’ll be used.
…At some future point I’ll write about pinochle and/or poker. But not tonight.