Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Not chess on TV

Normally Chess is the 'go to' game when movies and TV shows want to show how clever/cunning/intelligent a character is. Of course the ability to play chess well doesn't actually translate into a world dominating genius, as shown by the number of GM's not actually ruling the planet.
So I was a little bit surprised, and somewhat pleased, that the makers of the series "Da Vinci's Demons" chose to go down another path. In this somewhat fictionalised version of the life of Leonardo da Vinci, two characters (one a mysterious prisoner), are shown playing what looks like Go, while engaging in the usual banter about "plans","strategies", and what it takes to defeat an opponent. Of course the prisoner eventually wins the game, giving a clear message to his captor that he still has a lot to learn.
Two points however. Given the historical setting of the series I'm not sure that Go had made it to Italy by 1500 AD, although this may have been deliberately done by the writers to illustrate another point. And while I'm not a serious go player, the position on the board looked a little "rough and ready" compared to games I have observed. Random tactics seems to abound, with a rather messy arrangement of groups. 


Anonymous said...

Go is a game much older than chess and could well have been seen and brought back by Marco Polo before 1300.

Anonymous said...

thank you