Wood You Believe It?

British Go Journal No. 19. January 1973. Page 6.

Editor Chris Barton

The B.G.A. were interested in a letter which was received by Derek Hunter recently from Robert H. Rushmer of Massachusetts, U.S.A. It seems that Mr. Rushmer has met with difficulties in obtaining the sort of equipment he requires at reasonable expense, and has been considering ways of making equipment, particularly a board, and of materials which could be used. He recalled a kind of wood called kwila which he saw at Hollandia, or what was formerly Dutch New Guinea, and is so enthusiastic that I cannot do better than to quote from his letter:

"It is the colour of dark caramel. ... This wood has a deep-reflective radiance about it. It will never shrink, warp, crack, check, or shake. I made a small frame for a picture with it and all that was ever done to it was to rub it with another piece of kwila for the final finish. You would swear that it had been sized and waxed to look at it. The reason I think of it in terms of a go-ban is that this piece rings like a xylophone when tapped. ... This would be a break with tradition, but a board made of that wood, and inscribed with the 19 lines in bright yellow, would certainly be a marvel! And it would last for three lifetimes. The piece I have is crowding 30 years old, and, except for the fading of the (natural) yellow deposit, it has not lost one bit of the original natural lustre in that time. Its only care is to rub off the dust now and again. It has never had one milligram of artificial finish - wax, laquer, varnish or whatever. When the sun hits it, it is ablaze with the deep, radiant, reflective richness."

Certainly an unorthodox material, but to play on such a board would probably be quite an experience.

Editor Chris Barton

Mr. Rushmer also mentioned that, on a visit to a meeting of the Massachusetts Go Association, his first chance of seeing experienced players in action, he watched a Japanese player who was playing two simultaneous boards constantly between 7.30 p.m. and 12.00 midnight. His estimated time of thought was an average of 7 seconds - in other words, he played approximately 2500 stones in the session. I have often heard British players say that, to learn, one should play as many games as possible and play quickly, but how many could achieve this feat?

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This article is from the British Go Journal Issue 19
which is one of a series of back issues now available on the web.





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