Goro Hasegawa, who is widely credited with creating the board game Othello, which has sold tens of million of copies around the world since its introduction in the 1970s, died on June 20 in Japan. He was 83.The death was confirmed on the Facebook page of Benkt Steentoft, the event manager of the World Othello Federation. He did not specify a cause.Othello players take turns placing discs on a green board divided into squares, eight across and eight down. Each disc has a black side and a white side and is placed within a single square, and each player takes one color. When one player’s discs occupy spaces on either side of another’s disc, it is captured and flipped over, its color changed to that of the surrounding player’s discs. The player with the most discs of his color on the board at the end of the game wins.
Big news in gaming– a Google-affiliated company has apparently designed the strongest Go-playing computer yet. It’s already beaten a top European professional, but the program may need some tweaking before it can beat Korea’s Lee Sedol, probably the best living human Go-player. This AI goes beyond raw computing power, and seems to have accessed an ability that at least approximates what many professional players refer to as aesthetic judgements of game positions. Fascinating!