THE PLEASURABLE WAY TO A SUPERIOR MIND
© 2004 Milton N. Bradley
● SIMPLE, ELEGANT RULES.
○ Rules as simple as checkers. Strategy more profound than chess.
○ No different piece moves to master.
○ No fixed starting setup. Each game uniquely structured by the players themselves.
○ Integral handicap system allows even players of widely different ability to enjoy truly competitive games.
○ Suitable for age 3 - Ph.D.
● NO "LUCK" OR CHANCE. Just outsmart your opponent to win.
● A GAME OF EXQUISITE SUBTLETY.
○ Profound Strategy. (Like football, many different plays from the same initial "set".)
○ Dazzling Tactical Magic. (Like Judo, use the opponent's strength against him.)
○ Features pincer attacks, ambushes, feints, diversions, traps, and "airborne" invasions behind enemy lines.
● VAST SCOPE, ALMOST LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES.
● ALWAYS CHALLENGING. Every game different, never routine or boring..
● FULLY UTILIZES/INTEGRATES ARTISTIC/ANALYTIC ABILITIES.
● ABSTRACT MODEL OF REAL WORLD BUSINESS/ECONOMIC COMPETITION.
● DEVELOPS GOOD STUDY HABITS.
● TEACHES VITAL REASONING SKILLS. Creates an enjoyable, mentally stimulating environment in which even very young children learn how to:
○ Objectively appraise a competitive situation.
○ Identify what's important and what's not.
○ Evaluate the feasible alternatives.
○ Recall/apply pertinent facts and techniques.
○ Recall/apply pertinent facts and techniques.
○ Develop appropriate alternative strategy and tactics.
○ Calculate the value and risks of each alternative.
○ Prioritize them.
○ Make and implement decisions.
○ Observe the outcome, cope with the consequences, and then
○ Repeat the decision making cycle, as appropriate.
TEACHES REAL-LIFE REASONING/JUDGMENT SKILLS
○ Long term planning succeeds, "instant gratification" fails.
○ Greed is counter-productive. The opponent must always get his due.
○ No simplistic, fixed plan can succeed against competent opposition. A balanced, flexible approach is the only possible route to victory.
○ Rote memory is useful but insufficient.
○ Deep positional analysis, understanding and sound judgment dominate even the best tactics. No "quick kill" is possible against competent opposition.
ABSTRACT MODEL OF REAL WORLD BUSINESS/POLITICAL COMPETITION.
● Overall strategic judgment and patient development dominate tactics.
● Investment for the future is generally superior to emphasis on immediate profit, but ultimate success almost always requires a carefully balanced set of tradeoffs between both objectives.
● The game that taught Japan the strategies that have moved them into leadership in such fields as automobiles and semiconductors!
AIDS MEMORY, REVERSES SENILE DEMENTIA, MAY HELP PREVENT ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE.
In his regular column "The Empty Board" in the American Go Journal, Vol. 34, #3, Fall 2000, William S. Cobb reports:
"Last June (I visited) Japan to participate in a symposium on the educational benefits of teaching Go in schools. ....... On this trip I discovered that the Japanese have become seriously interested in the possibilities of using Go as a therapy for people with mental problems."
And Cobb goes on to say:
"In recent years, Dr. Kaneko Mitsuo, a Japanese neurosurgeon with an international reputation, has been working with older people suffering from senile dementia. Using PET scans he has shown that there is substantial area of the right brain that begins to atrophy in people who suffer from dementia. This turns out to be essentially the same part of the brain that is most active when engaging in musical activities and in playing Go. To research this further, Dr. Kaneko has been teaching Go to patients in the beginning stages of dementia. (He) is now convinced that learning to play Go can reverse the development of dementia in virtually all patients in the beginning stages of the disease. Of course, this does not apply to Alzheimer's, which is still an incurable condition, but it does work for common dementia."
Other recent medical research indicates that older individuals who vigorously and consistently exercise their REASONING abilities also have a far lower incidence of Alzheimer's Disease than those who do not!
And, as you may have gleaned from the foregoing, for this purpose the 4000 year old game of Go is far superior to any other known mechanism! Why? Because playing Go regularly is not only enjoyable but also results in intense exercise and integration of both left and right brain function to a degree not otherwise achievable!
The number of Alzheimer’s cases in the US has been estimated at 4 million in a total population of about 280 million. But because Alzheimer’s is essentially found only in the elderly, the true basis for comparison is really no more than half that number, or 140 million at most, yielding an expectation of Alzheimer’s incidence in the general population on the order of approximately 3%. Given that there are currently approximately 400 recognized Go professionals in the world, and that there have been many, many thousands in the period from 1612 when Go was institutionalized in Japan under the rule of Shogun Tokugawa until the present time, if their incidence of Alzheimer’s disease was the same as that of the general population there should be at least 6 current sufferers in their ranks, and a long history of those who contracted Alzheimer’s in the past. But in fact there have never been even a single one!
This was validated by the following email I received on Monday June 14, 2004 in response to my enquiry on this subject:
Dear Mr. Bradley,
To our knowledge, there have been no professional go players who have ever suffered from Alzheimer's. In a note President of the World Bridge Federation recently gave me are put these lines: "Very serious medical studies carried out by universities in California have proved that groups of bridge players, for example, are much less likely to develop Alzheimer's or Parkinson's than non-players." It appears that the same goes with Go. There have been published since a couple of years books by Japanese neurologists regarding Go and mental health of the aged persons, all of which have proved positive effects on aged go players. It is related to the function of "right brain".
Advisor, Overseas Dept
Click Here To Return To Milt's Go Page