Saturday, March 26, 2016

Bill Walsh's Standard of Performance

Bill Walsh was a Super Bowl coach for the SF Forty Niners between 1979 -1988. He leaded them to three successful Super Bowls for those ten years.    

Coach Walsh was quite innovative and was also the architect of the West Coast Offense system. 


Following is a listing of quotes from his book- The Score Takes Care of Itself :

“I came to the San Francisco 49ers with an overriding priority and specific goal – to implement what I call the Standard of Performance.

“When you know that your peers – others in the organization – demand and expect a lot out of you and you, in turn, out of them, that’s when the sky’s the limit.”

“It was a way of doing things, a leadership philosophy that has as much to do with core values, principles, and ideals as with blocking, tackling, and passing: more to do with the mental than with the physical.

“While I prized preparation, planning, precision, and poise, I also knew that organizational ethics were crucial to ultimate ongoing success.

“It began with this fundamental leadership assertion: Regardless of your specific job, it is vital to our team that you do that job at the highest possible level in all its various aspects, both mental and physical (i.e., good talent with bad attitude equals bad talent).

“There are also the basic characteristics of attitude and action – the new organizational ethos – I tried to teach our team, to put into our DNA.

“Of course, for this to happen the person in charge – whether the head coach, CEO, manager, or assembly line foreman – must exhibit the principles.”

"Scripting was a most effective leadership tool in fair and foul weather. In a very calculated way, I began calling the plays for the game before the game was played."

"The more thorough, the more extensive, the more rehearsed, the better you perform under the pressure of any situation that calls for an immediate decision. ...”

“When you prepare for everything, you’re ready for anything.”

"I was always consumed with the X's and O's of football. It was like a chess game to me. I could see 22 people in my mind when I closed my eyes. I can see exactly where they are, exactly where they are going. If it's not part of your nature, you're never going to make it big. "
- Bill Walsh's, for an AIM's Investment Funds commercial (a part of Investco Funds Group) in 2002

Following is a listing of comments on Coach Walsh from his peers:

"Bill's thought process was, 'I'm going to take advantage of what you do well.' He was doing a lot of substituting, getting certain matchups. It was fascinating."
- Tony Dungy, Former NFL head coach, who played for Walsh's 1979 Niners team

" ... The biggest thing to come to mind is just how comprehensive his knowledge was. Most people think of Bill Walsh and the West Coast offense, but it was the organization, the personnel evaluation, how to deal with players -- Bill was really the first to start players' programs. Every interactive aspect of the entire organization is what Bill was such a master of. ..."
- Brian Billick, Former Baltimore Ravens head coach and co-author of Walsh's book, "Finding the Winning Edge"

"One of the most important things I learned being around Coach Walsh was that nothing happened because of luck. He planned for every situation and every eventuality. We had an answer for every blitz, every coverage and game situation, because we were challenged to prepare. .." 
- David Shaw, Stanford coach, who played for Walsh at Stanford  

"He would lock himself in a room on Monday night, turn on classical music, and he would create plays. Like a great composer. Alone. And design all the plays."
- Ernie Accorsi  Former GM of the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Colts

The way we begin games with a "First 15." I firmly believe that this was in line with Bill's love of boxing. This is the idea of starting games by probing your opponent with a variety of plays like a boxer would "stick and move."

- David Shaw

Source: NFL

The Script: The Perfect Leadership Tool
" ... By 1980, the script of Walsh’s opening plays had grown from five plays to twenty-five plays, allowing his team to visualize days before the game how they’d attack their opposition. By the time it matured in San Francisco, Walsh’s offense seemed to be a step or two ahead of its opposition, able to set the tone of the game, take full advantage of the liberalized passing rules and keep the defense off-balance. … ‘American’s Team’ was the most imitated club in football during the seventies. The Cowboys used computerized scouting, and the rest of the league eventually followed suit. The Cowboys used a multiple offense with lots of shifts. The Cowboys based much of their defensive philosophy on computerized tendencies identified from an opponent’s previous games; the rest of league based on computer-generated tendencies identified from an opponent’s previous games.

But Walsh’s twenty-five-plays script subverted all of that. You couldn’t plan for the 49ers because the 49ers didn’t have an identifiable sets of biases on first or second down and they possessed such versatile running backs that they were equally effective running or passing on third down.  .."
Source: More than a Game: The Glorious Present--and the Uncertain Future--of the NFL    By Brian Billick, Michael MacCambridge    Pg 125-126

Other Notes 
During our spare time, our associates are still focused on completing our Scripting Book project.  It has passed the 70% mark. 

Following is an abridged listing of "possible" topics that the book will cover:
  • the basics of our Assess, Position and Influence model;  
  • the conceptual bridge between our Assess, Position and Influence (API) process model and the script;
  • the basics of a starter script (aka. the first 25, openers, drive starters, etc.);
  • the basics of a well-developed scripted play;
  • the basics of staging and shaping the competition with the integration of orthodox tactics and unorthodox tactics.
  • the art and science of "scenario planning and modeling"; and
  • the technical differences between our Assess, Position and Influence (API) model and John Boyd's Observation, Orientation, Decision and Action (OODA) model.

Side Notes    
We are still deciding on whether it is necessary to transpose the basics of the Sunzi's "Victory Temple" Paradigm into this book.

Click here and here for more quotes from Coach Walsh.

# # #

Friday, March 18, 2016

Assessing the Lottery by Estimating One's Chance of Winning (updated)

(updated at 03.27.16)

Heaven knows that there are some people who enjoyed the experience of risk-taking while "quietly" loathing the concept of gambling with bad odds.  It does not matter what the odds are because they believed that they have a chance to win.

Playing the Lottery
Click here on why playing any type of lottery (Powerball, etc.)  is not a good wager.  The odds of winning a substantial prize are so low.

(updated at 03.26.2016)

Everyone is always looking for some type of advantage. So, what should the budding gambler do?   ... Knowing the abstract theory on Lotto always helps.

Click here on calculating one's chance of winning the lottery. Click here on one's amateur view of winning the lottery.

Click here on a 2016 article on why it is quite difficult to win the Power Ball lottery.

Compass Principle (1): Identifying the Odd Number 
Edge Over Odds. The Odd Number Wins

Determining the right quantity of odd numbers on a lotto card is one theory.   It begins by identifying the configuration of the situation and always focusing on some level of balance

In the game of 21 blackjack, the right odd number usually wins.

Compass Principle (2): Knowing When to Estimate and When to Assess
Assessing strategically allows one to be a pragmatic opportunist.

It begins by knowing the dao of the factors and recognizing the tectonic level behind the "factors" model.

Compass Principle (3): Playing the Scenario Modeling Game
 98 percent of my time thinking about 2 percent probabilities."   ... It becomes the alpha priority especially in the area of managing risk in different situations. 

The successful strategists are always perform scenario modeling and forecasting before implementing a strategic decision. 

Side Note
Click here on the outcome of a poor decision after playing the lottery.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Game. Set. Match. Google's DeepMind 4 Lee Se-dol 1 (Legendary Go player)

Click here and here on the gist of the outcome.

Comments From the Compass Desk
Does the outcome of the event matter?  Click here for one's perspective and here for another perspective.

Regardless of the results, this was a learning experience for both sides.
Man learns that they must be able to manage the pressure of stress when competing against a machine. On the other side, the Deep Mind team learned the importance of anticipating the unorthodox in a near-predictable setting like a Go (weiqi) gameboard.

Some people might considered that the Deep Mind  had the superior advantage in spite of the situation. 

Based on the amount of the computing power, was it a fair match?  ... 

Second Thoughts 
Will an AI-driven machine possesses the strategic advantage over man in all near- predictable situations?  

It depends on the configuration of one's situation.   By focusing on the singularity, the mindfully aware strategist might be able to identify the positive exception that could give him an strategic advantage.

Futurists have already predicted the irreversible decline of blue collar jobs through global outsourcing and robots in the next 10 years. With AI as the force multiplier, the rate of declining blue collar jobs will increase.

Why is Go is Superior to chess?
"Chess only has around 10 to the power of 60 possible ways a game can be played, compared to 10 to the power of 700 possible scenarios in Go.  ..."   -  Information Age

"Go is to Chess, what chess is to double entry accounting" - Trevanyan's book - Shibumi

Monday, March 14, 2016

Lee Se-dol (Legendary Go player) Finally Beats Google's DeepMind

Click here here  and here for the latest news on Lee's victory.

Beside the basic message of human's spirit prevailing, one learns that the strategists with a cluster "world class" strategic experience, can detect weaknesses with any opponent. Exploiting it properly is a different topic.

Experiencing the positive experience of winning while learning from the negative experience of failing is almost everything.

Today is Pi Day While Wishing Happy Birthday to Albert Einstein

source (updated at 6:28 am)

Pop culture is about the irrational exuberance by the unmindful masses, on some irrelevant subject matter that has a life cycle of a lemming.  A few people might look beyond the basic facade and discovered some glimmer of substance.  It is rare but possible.

A Note on Pi
So, how does  the Pi constant of  Pi Day connect to strategic thinking?

The uniqueness of  this specific math constant transcends time and space because it is found in a vast array of math and physics formulas.  

Because of its historical value  and its pertinent value to our setting, the nerds decided to give the Pi constant its own day.

Side note to the non-nerds: There is more to the Big Tangible Picture of strategy than organizational leadership,  tactics, resources, technology and operational strategy.

Math plays a part in every day of our lives.   It is used in predicting weather, time, money management.  Beside the apparent formulas and equations and the emphasis of rational logic,  math is a superb tool that can be used to solve many predictable and near-predictable problems.

In some instances, math is quite relevant in your choice of tactics, your management of resources and technology and your overview of the strategy.

Connecting to the Bigger Picture
Before assessing the scope of the Big Tangible Picture strategically, the budding amateurs should learn how to estimate the scope of certain prevailing factors.  

Good strategists who usually comprehend the connectivity of the relevant (ultra-level) tactical specifics that play the important role in the configuration of their terrain and beyond.  (In some rare cases, these ultra-level tactical specifics could be a game changer in the impact of our lives. )

For some situation, the experienced strategist could use the configuration of the terrain into their strategy.  It helps to understand the math, the physics and the chemistry that operate within it. 

Side Notes  Click here on how some future engineers and scientists celebrate this day.  Then, click herehere,  here and here   on other views of this event.   ...  Celebrate this day by baking a pie.  Fwiw, the hardcore nerds are more interested in the Tau day.

A Quick Note on Albert Einstein

Source: Wikipedia

Today is Albert Einstein birthday. He would have been 137.

So how does Albert Einstein fits into the BTP of strategy? 

His "Big Picture Thinking" in the area of theoretical physics lead to the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics).  It also lead to a Nobel Prize 

Interestingly, many of his ideas started with something small. It then  slowly evolve into something big by experimenting it in the many specific realms of life.  Like most great thinkers, Einstein was seeking that absolute  "game-changer" idea that could positively explain the ultra specifics of life that affect our lives.   

Connecting to a Similar Situation 
To create or innovate a new idea, one starts with a base idea and slowly evolve it by connecting it to another similar idea that operates in a similar terrain.

This approach is similar to how Tesla operated.

“My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get a new idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination, and make improvements and operate the device in my mind. When I have gone so far as to embody everything in my invention, every possible improvement I can think of, and when I see no fault anywhere, I put into concrete form the final product of my brain.” - Tesla

You do think like that.  ... Do you?

Final Thoughts
Regardless of the realm, good strategy is about comprehending the connectivity of the tactical particulars within one's terrain and the results from it before building the strategic plan that leads to one's projected goal.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Google's DeepMind 3 Lee Se-dol 0 (Legendary Go player)

"Concentrate every effort on subduing its heart and mind." 
- Sun Bin Chapter 33  (Ames translation)

"I do apologize for not being able to satisfy people's expectations," said Lee, who believes that he had no chance in the first game, missed opportunities in the second, and succumbed to pressure today. He asked for people to continue to show interest in the remaining two games, despite his overall loss. "I believe [Lee] would have been difficult to beat today by any other top professional," said 9-dan pro player and match commentator Michael Redmond, who called AlphaGo a "work of art" that could revolutionize Go play in the future.

Click here , click hereclick here for additional commentary.

The Question of the Day
"The expert in using the military has three basic strategies which he applies: the best strategy is to attack the enemy's reliance upon acuteness of mind; the second is to attack the enemy's claim that he is waging a just war; and the last is to attack the enemy's battle position (shi).   
- Sun Bin , Chapter 34 (Ames translation)  

At this moment, do you think Lee has lost faith on the acuteness of his mind?

A Chinese Way of Seeing the World Part 6 (The Game of Go [ Weiqi ] )

Following is an 2001 article that was formerly found in MSOWorld .com  

Read and enjoy.

Click here for Part 1. Click here for Part 2. 
Click here for Part 3. Click here for Part 4.
Click here for Part 5. 

The rivalry between Japan, Korea and China

There are said to be basic inter cultural differences in the very conception and finality of the game. According to Zhang Yunqi, except for the standardization of the game and of the rules for counting points for competition purposes, about which a consensus was reached [42], the very vision of the game differs among the Chinese, the Japanese and the Koreans:
"The Japanese Weiqi Institute and the Korean Weiqi Institute consider that the aim of the game consists of the encircling of territory, and that this territory represents its purpose and decides victory. The Chinese Weiqi Association, for its part, considers that the aim of the game is the occupation of territory by the pieces and the empty spaces, and that this occupation decides victory". [43]

The Chinese are said to represent through weiqi the primordial and vital act of man for his survival, which consists of settling in a place in order to secure his subsistence and his reproduction. This point of view of Zhang's seems somewhat in conflict with the well-known interpretations which associate weiqi with warfare! Let us note that Zhang is contradicted by Heaulmes who explains with greater objectivity that it was in a historical (rather than a geographic!) way that the game in fact evolved in this direction:
"The early game therefore evolved naturally towards another game in which the aim was to surround larger free areas than the other player. One can easily imagine that then the initial aim (of capturing stones) may have blurred, becoming secondary, and have been completely forgotten, to the point of allowing capture as a way of making territories". [44]

One might also think that capture has always been incidental since the first component wei of the word weiqi means to encircle, and is thus revealing of the mechanics and the intentions of the game... These theoretical subtleties, about which we would have great difficulty deciding, and in which the Chinese still claim the right to possess and to defend the truth, are not entirely foreign to the traditional rivalry between these three Asian countries (Taiwan, which established a Taiwanese weiqi Institute in February 2000, is not taken into consideration here). China is symbolically vested with the authority of the founder when it is a question of history or of the principles of weiqi. But the inadequacy of its players in competition (which is to be understood as competition between China, Japan and Korea) until recently undermined its prestige and supposed authority. Kawabata drove the point home with this judgement, which is widely shared in Japan and in the West:
"Go comes to us from China, but it took on its traditional form in Japan. Chinese go, nowadays as was the case three hundred years ago, does not bear comparison with ours. The elevation and also the depth of this game came to it from Japan... The Japanese sowed this store of wisdom, this "way of the three hundred and sixty one squares" which symbolized to the Chinese the principles of nature, the universe and human existence. They saw an entertainment rich in spiritual possibilities and called it the relaxation of the immortal. It is the Japanese who sublimated the game". [45]

In the last few years, the Chinese have had the joy of seeing Kawabata shown to be wrong . As reported by the New China news service, "a new page in the history of weiqi was written" on the 25th of March 1995, when the two national champions, Nie Weiping and Ma Xiaochun, carried off the honors for the first time in an international championship, the sixth Dongyang Zhengquan Bei tournament held in Korea.[46] This "historic breakthrough" against the Japanese finalists set off a wave of emotion in the country. Our two champions were indeed used to coming in third or fourth place in that tournament. During this final victory, the Friday evening weiqi class was in progress at the University of Beijing.[47]

Professor Jin Tongshi had arranged to be faxed the outline of the game under way between Nie Weiping and his Japanese adversary Yamashiro Hiroshi, and he was commenting it at the blackboard pointing out the various possibilities open to the two competitors. Suddenly his beeper sounded and he peered down avidly to read the figures that had appeared on the screen. Lifting his head slowly, he scanned the class with his eyes and announced superbly: Women shengli le (We have won!). He had arranged with a colleague at the Chinese Weiqi Institute (we can imagine them all, over there, religiously soaking up the news of the moves being faxed from Korea) to tell him the verdict by means of a code on his beeper. A wave of applause, and a palpable feeling of pride, swept over what had been a silent classroom. Sweet revenge in the heart of China, which dates the emergence of this symbol of identity, this "venerated totem of the nation", back to five thousand years ago.

As is fitting, Ma Xiaochun and Nie Weiping (who had been elected a member of the sixth Consultative Political Conference of the Chinese People in 1993, and a member of the Permanent Committee of that body in 1994), were met at the airport by a delegation of dignitaries and players. We asked Liang Weitang, an elite player and eighth dan, if the honor of victory was above all individual or national:
"Generally, if I play inside China, I represent Guangdong; if I play abroad, I represent China, my country. The individual performances of those who represent the country are certainly assessed, but fundamentally, in international competitions, it is a question of the country's prestige".

42. The rules are in fact numerous; the weiqi associations of the various countries have codified their own versions of the rules which were all originally based on the Chinese rules. Thus, in general, when one goes to play in Korea, one will adopt the rules of the Korean baduk Association. But among the very numerous tournaments which take place in the world and particularly in Asia, some have their own rules, such as the ING tournament, after the name of the Taiwanese billionaire Ing Chang-ki who has extensively subsidized go in his country. The variations are not sufficient to pose real problems of adaptation from one country to another and the players adapt from one tournament to another. On this subject visit the BGA website. I would like to express my thanks here to Jan van der Steen and to François Lorrain for their valuable information on this subject.

43. Zhang, 1991, op. cit., p. 1.

44. Reysset, op. cit., p. 36.

45. Kawabata, op. cit., p. 104.

46. Renmin ribao (The People's Daily), March 26, 1996.
47. For a semester we attended this class, which credited in the student's degree course just like any other subject. Made up of a historical part of about ten hours (the "historical" character prevails however, as the games analyzed later are generally the "classic" games of the masters), the class is then given over to the basics of scoring, rules, concrete strategic problems, handicaps and to the detailed analysis of the various stages of a game. Exercises are given in class and explained on the board. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Chinese Way of Seeing the World Part 5 (The Game of Go [ Weiqi ] )

Following is an 2001 article that was formerly found in MSOWorld .com  

Read and enjoy

Click here for Part 1. Click here for Part 2. 
Click here for Part 3. Click here for Part 4.

The ritual aspect
Chess, taiji, religious or political services, repetitive practices, collective and socializing, sacred because they are vital, creative because they are constantly adapting to new diktats, if only also because of the numbers involved, the simple practices of daily life in China all have, to the observer, the characteristics of ritual. In the case of weiqi, the ritual aspect of the game, especially during competitions, is intimately related to the ethical and aesthetic aspects we have just discussed. Is it the religious silence or the contemplation described in the legend of Shishishan, to be observed in the competitions we have witnessed, which suggest the word ritual? There are in the unfolding of a game or a tournament several of those characteristics which have been used to define ritual, among them the absorption of the players in a flow ("holistic sensation present when we act with total involvement"). [38] 

In a competition, playing and thinking time is very precisely measured for each player by twin clocks, and the gradual positioning of the pieces is meticulously noted by a referee. Each player is identified by a card placed on his side of the table and, when the game is over, the result is posted on the game organization chart. Official competition is obviously much more highly regulated than a game between friends, but in both cases the almost perfect silence, the non-intervention of observers, the absolute taboo on moving a piece already placed, are immutable rules.

In both cases, a game between friends or a competition, the game will be replayed after its end, methodically, in order for the players to benefit mutually from their mistakes and their good moves. In this ritual, one witnesses again the self-effacing of the winner in an act of creation; when the game is over it is not yet over, it gives place to the necessary synthesis. The winner takes on the role of master, and there is symbolic communication with the liminal world of weiqi in the constant and quasi sacred references which the winner and his partner make to classic "openings", to the famous games of the masters, to the ancient qipu, the chess manuals, the oldest of which is said to date back to the Han dynasty. [39] These games are so many rituals through which the player accedes to a higher level of understanding of the world of weiqi and of the world itself, stages marked in a practical way by the passing of the "dans".

Moreover the Chinese Weiqi Institute, in Beijing, displays all the characteristics of a temple. It is as difficult to enter as most "work units" [40], but the same nonchalance does not predominate there. A large board dominates the right hand side of the entrance, where are related the most recent exploits of the members of the Chinese Weiqi Association. A huge calligraphy engraved in stone and a bust of Chen Yi [41] impose their dark and massive presence in the middle of the foyer, like a statue of Buddha on an altar. An impressive peacefulness reigns in this place: one learns weiqi by watching, by absorbing and by playing, and only the click of the stones on the board punctuates this muffled celebration.

38. Victor Turner, " Variations in the Theme of Liminality ", in Secular Ritual, Amsterdam, Van Gorcum, 1977, p. 48.

39. Xu Jialiang, Zhongguo gudai qiyi (The Ancient Art of Chinese Chess), Beijing, Shangwu yinshuguan, 1991, p. 20.

40. Necessity to present identity papers and letter of introduction first to the guard and then to the authorities of the establishment.

41. A member of the CPC since 1923, Chen Yi has had a brilliant military and political career. He was mayor of Shanghai in the 1950s, and then Foreign Minister from 1958 to 1972. He was the first Director of the Chinese Association of Weiqi players and an annual competition has been named after him. He is said to have been an excellent player of the game. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Google's DeepMind 2 Lee Se-dol 0 (Legendary Go player)

Human ingenuity defeats human intuition again.  

Click here, here and here for the current update. 

A Chinese Way of Seeing the World Part 4 (The Game of Go [ Weiqi ]

Following is an article that was formerly found in MSOWorld .com 

Read and enjoy

A Chinese way of seeing the world
Part 4

Ethics and aesthetics

Poetry has contributed to draping weiqi in an air of intrinsic nobility, has dressed it in symbolic greatness, has made it possible to emphasize its profound affinity with the values of Taoist harmony and Confucian humanism.

The great Chinese classical novels also all bear the mark of weiqi, where its importance is finally set in the daily lives of bourgeois and merchant families:
"Rhyming prose of the Han, short poems of the Tang, sung verse of the Song, theatre tunes of the Yuan, all declaim verses about weiqi ; The Three Kingdoms, The Pilgrimage To The West, The Dream Of The Red Pavilion, Strange Tales From The Liao Cabinet all include texts which describe weiqi." [28]

The famous erotic novel Jin Ping Mei is not to be outdone, and weiqi occupies an important place in the daily lives of the protagonists, and particularly the women. [29] The bourgeoisie of the period took over the game and its rituals to make them into a pastime that those of modest means could not afford. 

Here is what Giles says about this:
"Only the educated play wei-chi. In China knowledge of this difficult game puts anyone above ordinary people. The subtleties of this game are beyond the reach of the lazy, its triumph is too exquisite for the vulgar and materialistic man... The great project of wei-chi rises above them in all its fullness and beauty". [30]

This beauty of weiqi is impalpable, it is linked to a notion of ethics where the 
beauty of the game resides in the mutual respect of certain rules, where the unspoken takes up more space than the rules themselves. [31]

Zhang Yunqi lists the qualities required to excel at weiqi: the tactic of the soldier, the exactness of the mathematician, the imagination of the artist, the inspiration of the poet, the calm of the philosopher, and the greatest intelligence. [32] But it is the requirement for wisdom or of "philosophical calm", as the player's main assets, which recurs the most frequently in the discourse about weiqi. The same author, who compares the spirit of weiqi with the Olympic spirit (is this a case of the old Chinese dream of seeing weiqi recognized as an Olympic sport?) found an equivalent of the slogan "Faster, higher, harder": "More benevolent, more intelligent, more courageous" with ren - benevolent - implying the Confucian concept of humanism. 

Here we see outlined the traditional Chinese virtues as incarnated by the multitude of exemplary heroes scattered over Chinese history. The parallel with the Olympic spirit goes further; just as the Olympic spirit features the peaceful competition of the body, so weiqi embodies the peaceful competition of the spirit. This is how Lin Sitong describes it:

"Weiqi is an antagonistic activity. This kind of antagonism rules out the drawn swords and bent crossbows which prevailed on ancient fields of battle, or the fists raised as in a boxing ring. During the whole duration of the confrontation, there is no knife or gun, no blood or sweat runs, there is no smell of powder or sound of cries..." [33]

Jacques Gernet has markedly similar things to say about the art of war, and we draw a parallel with weiqi, in order to show the non-violence of a game which nevertheless remains a enactment of confrontation:
"As in Chinese techniques of warfare, it is a case of procedures which make it possible, with the greatest economy of means, to shift the relations between the dominated and the dominant, by taking advantage of the momentary weakness of the opponent, of the unstable balance of his situation, or even by deliberately tricking him in various ways. These stratagems imply a dynamic notion of time and space and assume the idea of transitory strategic configurations, which one must know how to take advantage of at the opportune moment. Chinese thought seems to have invested itself to a large extent in this subtle apprehension of the play of forces which animate space and time and bring about future developments. [...] According to the ancient treatise on strategy by Sunzi, probably written in the 5th or 4th century BC, victory due to the force of arms alone is considered inferior, victory through diplomacy comes second, but first place goes to that made possible by the use of stratagems. The ideal is to defeat without even having to fight". [34]

Jin Tongshi, a national level referee, and Professor of weiqi at Beijing University, also emphasizes the importance of intuition in the mastery of weiqi as in that of the arts: without a basic talent, studying is useless. However, without an intuition of the good and of the beautiful, intelligence is useless also. One cannot therefore avoid thinking of a "gift" proper to the weiqi master, and, because of this grace which he is given, the master in China is wrapped in an aura of prestige and wisdom which obviously brings him certain privileges.

It is without doubt to Kawabata, in his work "The Master or The Go Tournament", that the honor must be attributed of having most agreeably expressed the requirement of an aesthetic feeling, his connivance with the ethic of the game:
"The game is over, Mr Otake has spoilt it with his embedded move, as if he had smeared ink on a picture we had painted together". The master had composed his tournament like an aesthete; it seemed to him that black had just been smeared on the work, in short a work of art, at the most exciting moment. The game of Black on White, as carefully thought out as a work of creation, takes on its forms. The movement of the spirit is found in it, a harmony like that of music. All is lost when a wrong note is sounded, when one of the two musicians launches alone and without warning into an eccentric cadence. One of the adversaries, insensitive to the humors of the other, can spoil a perfect game." [35]

Thus the connection between ethic and aesthetic: the board is a physical space which one occupies as the ink occupies the sheet of white paper, and here the beautiful is indisputably linked to the good. Exactly as in a certain kind of war in the Middle Ages, where, Cazeneuve tells us, when the adversaries considered themselves to be equal - which must be the case in any game of weiqi, since the handicap system makes possible a balancing of the conditions of the game - combat resembled a tournament and a potlach. [36] Victory is gratifying to the extent that the game has been an ambitious struggle, a fruitful exchange, a calm construction of territory, where "dignity and elegance prevail over intrigue" (Shi Dingan (1710-1770), great Qing dynasty player). [37] 

28.  Tukui Zhang,  Jin  Ping  Mei qutan  (Anecdotes  on  Jin Ping  Mei),  Beijing, Zhongguo lüyou chubanshe, 1994, p. 6. 

29. See also on this subject the preceding work by Zhang Tugui. 

30.  Herbert A.  Giles,  " Wei-chi, or  the  Chinese game  of  war  ",  in Temple Bar, England, Vol. 49, n° 194, 1877, p. 45. 

31.  There  are  also  common  precepts  in  the  world  of  chess,  the  literary origin of which, if  there is one, no one was able to  tell us: "guanqi bu yu zhen junzi " or "The gentleman says not a word while  watching a  game",  "  luozi  bu hui da  zhangfu  " ou  " The  true man does  not  retract  (does  not  take  back  the  stone  once  played)  ". 
There  is another  expression which  is  typical of  the game, qing bie zhi  zhao,  literally  "Please  do  not  indicate  or  make  a  sign".  The spectators therefore participate in the ritual, but they are expected to  be  silent  and  respectful  towards  the  players".  (Xiao  Fang, " 
Zhongguo  minjian  youxi  yule  de  tezheng  ji  gongneng  tanlun" 
("Research into the characteristics and functions of Chinese popular games and amusements"), in Beijing shifan daxue xuebao, 1992, p. 55. 

32.  Zhang  Yunqi,  Weiqi  de  faxian  (Discovering  weiqi),  Beijing, 
Internal document of the Chinese Weiqi Institute 1991, p. 2. 

33. Lin, op. cit., p. 15. 

34.  Jacques  Gernet,  "  Le  changeant  et  l'immuable-Quelques  réflexions  à  propos  de  la  Chine  "("The  changing  and  the  unchanging- some thoughts on China"), in Actes de la recherche en  sciences sociales, n° 100, December 1993, p. 29. 

35. Yasunari Kawabata,  Le maître ou  le  tournoi de go (The Master or The Go Tournament), Paris, Albin Michel, 1975, p. 142 et ss. 

36. Caillois, op. cit., p. 778. 

37. Yang , op. cit., 1990, p. 57 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Google's DeepMind 1 Lee Se-dol 0 (Legendary Go player)

Click here and here for more information on this historical event. 

Defeating a top ranked player with the handicap of zero stones is what made this match interesting

Comments From The Compass Desk
Go (known in China as Weiqi) is an instinctive game at a high level where the grandmasters recognized patterns and calculate the best possible move before deciding the next move.

Regardless of the outcome, Go Mind is still evolving in the emulation of human instinct.