Go set arrives

Goban

The Go set I ordered arrived yesterday, not bad considering I only ordered it from Japan last Thursday. I got stung with a £67 charge for customs duty, VAT & customs clearance, but overall the set still worked out much cheaper than buying it here or from the US.

When I tipped the goishi (stones) into the goke (bowls) I was puzzled to see that although there were the same number of black and white stones, the black bowl was considerably fuller than the white one. After some research it appears that the black stones are deliberately made slightly larger than the black ones to compensate for an optical illusion that would otherwise mean that the white ones looked larger. I already knew that the 'squares' on the goban (board) are in fact rectangles so that they look square when viewed from either end of the board, but I didn't know the same attention to detail applied to the stones. And when I took a closer look at the bowls one was ever so slightly taller and broader than the other, and that was the one I has the white stones in. I swapped the stones around, lo and behold they both appeared to be equally full. Trust the Japanese to pay such minute attention to detail!

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