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I used to......

I used to have a Go playing friend in New York City. He had served with the U.S. forces during the Korean War and occasionally was able to get to Tokyo. In Tokyo he used to visit a Go club located under the railroad tracks at Yurakucho Station. People there would play with him and my friend, lets say Bill, would lose by 1 or 2 points. He was confident that he was doing well and that his game was improving. One day he actually won a game by a point or so and was extremely happy. His opponent, said; "lets play another." Bill agreed and his opponent then proceeded to capture all of Bill's stones. Then Bill recognized what the game was, it was to win by one point.

The Yurakucho Station is one of the busiest in Japan. It is the first station after the main Tokyo Station and on the main line to Nagoya, Osaka, etc. The results is after few minutes there are trains going in each direction, It is strange, but I don't ever recall hearing the trains go by on the few occasions when I played Go there.

I have visited the Go club several times. It was a rather grimy and depressing place. However, once the game started the surroundings disappeared. There have been a lot of changes in that area and I doubt if the club is still there.


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Robert A. McCallister

The author Robert A. McCallister can be reached at:

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