A Game of Go
For Two Pianos
10 minutes

Published by Frank E. Warren Publications.

See also the corresponding 2-part A Game of Go video.

A Game of Go (1987), for two pianos, is based on game 6 of a famous thirty-game match of the ancient Japanese board game played between Shusaku and Yuzo in 1853. Each move of the game is set to music, one player’s moves represented by one piano, and his opponent played by the second piano. This approach allows for variety and independence while maintaining the balance and sense of equality so essential to GO.

The strategy involved in the head-to-head combat of GO relies on a balance between aggressive and passive play. A typical game of GO has a rather cordial opening section as each player stakes out his own turf. The middle game begins when one player invades the other’s territory, and an intense struggle ensues as pieces are captured and board space is claimed. The ending becomes subdued as the victor methodically solidifies the win. The particular game portrayed here ended “jigo” (tie game), considered an ideal ending in which both players emerge as victors.

This composition was written for and premiered at the 1987 GO Congress. This performance included a video that displayed each move of the game, synchronized with the performance of the music. This composition may be performed with or without the computer program (for a third performer), which is available from the publisher.

Available on:

Northeastern Records NR 242-CD
Klavier, K11106

Audio Excerpts

A Game of Go (excerpt)