85321 - Transcription: Podcast With Us #120: Go, Strategy and Applications

N. Lygeros

This podcast is dedicated to some aspects that we can find in strategy or even in Grand Strategy. Those aspects are present in many abstract strategic games because they are important and they constitute in fact the foundation of strategy. Some of them are present in go game. If we can see them as basic strategic aspects of the game, it’s also in reality aspects of the reality. What I mean with that? Remember that in the Second World War Japanese use go game for the invasion in Pacific Ocean. The idea was for the Americans to learn that game and to find an efficient counterattack. Let’s see some aspects. One of the most important ones it’s certainly the connection because when you have your stones which are connected it’s a way to find a shape which can be a living shape. So the connection is a very good point but if you only connect your stones  you will waste Time. So the idea is to find something which looks like an equilibrium but at the end it’s more or less harmony. So you have the connection and on the other side you have the cut, so in fact it’s to oppose the connection of the enemy. So you want what at the beginning? You want to stay alive. A way to stay alive is to have at least two eyes because it’s a way to avoid an attack from the enemy because the suicide is impossible. But if you can’t have this aspect it’s better than death of course to have a Seki. A Seki is a mutual life and it means that if you make your move, the other will win. If the other makes the first move, you will win. So there is exactly an equilibrium, so a neutrality about the territory but it’s better than death. Death is exactly when you loose your stones. So if you want to loose them it’s possible because you can make a sacrifice but you have to take care of your stones because they are important in many aspects, not only as stones and as units but also as the boundary of your territory. Your territory is in fact a shape on the goban and one way to attack a territory is of course the invasion, so the idea of the invasion is to put inside another territory of the enemy of course, a shape which is a living shape. In this way you reduce the gain of the territory but in another way if you can’t do that and if you can’t go inside, so it’s impossible imagine that you can have an invasion but you can choose in this case the reduction. The reduction is to use another way, the influence from outside of the structure to reduce the zone of influence of the structure of your enemy. So it’s very important because it’s a way to control the structure from the outside. The reduction sometimes is a construct on the moves which are calling sante and they allow us to provoke a gote on the other side. So in this kind of initiative and on the other side you have forced moves. So the way to use this from inside and outside, imagine this in the Pacific Ocean, imagine all these islands, imagine that in this abstract model they are looking like stones on the goban, so the idea is to use this kind of aspects to apply them in reality and to get new results because it’s an innovative way of thinking. So we have a very old strategic game but its application is tough, difficult and you need to be sharp to find an efficient way to apply them. So the idea is if you can use this in a war, in a fight or even in kung fu it’s possible to have added value on your own value and the way and your vision of what we call a world.