Recently you might have seen the detailed video story about Go aired on Channel One (the first among Russian country-wide channels). The filming took place at Igor Grishin and Mikhail Emelyanov’s Russian school of Go and Strategy. As a result the web traffic of Russian Go-related websites burst for several days (from 500 to 1000 hits daily on major websites).

We’re going to publish this video with English subtitles as soon as we make it. Still you can watch this program in Russian here:

Lo and behold the game of Go again appeared on Russian television. Moreover, it came as a central part of the movie – a television series where Go becomes a key element of the plot.

This is not the first time when Go appears in a film. Here is the list of movies that make a reference to the game of Go with detailed descriptions

But this TV-film is the first for our country!

First of all here is some information about the film:

Title: Ordered to Marry (Приказано женить)

Studio: Telefilm Production

Produced by: Pavel Babin, Rodion Pavlyuchik


Here is the video (about 7 minutes) with selected moments when Go is in the spotlight from the first episode of this television series:


The most important thing is that the film was guided by a Go expert – a 4 dan player from Moscow. His words from one of Go forums:

In summer 2011 someone asked me to sell him Go equipment for the film stage. This information was mentioned quite occasionally so I can treat it as a fortune that we could arrange a meeting and started a conversation. I hope that my minor interference in the process of film production brought some nuances that are familiar for all Go players. Though the Go terms are still used quite improperly and can cause a smile. The major thing is that the game will be seen by millions-strong TV audience, it doesn’t matter how the Go terms are used – they still bear no sense to common people who are unfamiliar with the game. They will obtain their meaning when some spectators decide to learn more about Go.

I could not make any serious changes in the screenplay. I merely hoped that people behind the screen could catch the overtones, subtle features of the game.

It is hard to see how the final result evolved from the prototype and how my interruption changed the understanding of the game. I totally like what I’ve seen!

What is this film about? It is a love story where Go comes as it’s central part. The mutual interest to Go draws two main characters – captain-lieutenant Vladimir and admiral’s daughter Lara – closer to each other. The genre of this TV film is a traditional Russian comedy. A lot of such television series are produced in Russia now. Each of them finds the audience. This film will be close for all Go fans. We should always remember that it’s a comedy. One shouldn’t treat it too seriously when the main character sagely makes a tsuke and then says “How do you find my hane?” Vladimir declares himself as a 6 dan but his words suggest that he is about the newcomer level and has just learned the rules.

A kind “strategic” humor appears in every episode: a man who reads a book “Russian Teacher of Japanese Go” (written by Igor Grishin) makes a suicidal move thus breaking the basic rules of Go; “This is a premium-class Go set” – he says about a bamboo board. Vladimir and Lara look like pros in comparison with this character. They have not still perceived the essence of Go. They are like children who discover their wonderful world unachievable by other people where there are just the two of them and their communication via the game. We feel their aspiration. If they find a good teacher they can probably achieve a dan level. Who knows? But this is not important at all. They truly and sincerely love the game.  Lara plays Go very well, she experiences a real pure rapture when playing with a strong opponent. We feel her competitive spirit, she is a true fighter.


I’ve imagined these characters sitting at the goban exactly as they appeared in the film. People who are unfamiliar with Go were quite good at portraying the scenes from our (Go players’) life. There is a scene when Lara faces the presentation of Go. The game is presented by a person who knows nothing about the game, though he has read the Go book that appears on the screen.

And later on… Later we face the truth. There are no red lights, beautiful scene and theatrical drama. Later we face the game. The game is in the focus of the cameras and the characters’ lives.

–         “Thank you for this wonderful game”.

–         “And thank you for giving me this pleasure”.

–         “I’ve given you pleasure five times already and as for you – not a single time”. – These words are said in the above mentioned 7 minutes video.    Send article as PDF