The Master of Go, by Kawabata Yasunari.
This is a novel about go, and it's wonderful. It's about the last
official match played by Shusai, the last of the hereditary
Honinbos; his opponent is Kitani Minoru, though he is called
`Otake' in the book. The whole book is a report on the match; the
moves of the match are given, though with only minimal commentary
on them, enough to put them in their dramatic context but without
too much detail so that non-go players won't get put off.
I'm not very good at describing literature, so I won't try that
here other than to say that it's a very moving description of a
changing of the guard. Read it, tell your non-go playing
friends to read it as well.
It's currently available in a handsome Vintage International
edition. Look in the fiction section of any good bookstore, in
Here is a picture taken during this
match. (It's a JPEG, 108kb.) It's from the book Japanese Game of "Go", by
Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:56:45 PDT 2003