I was do sad to hear about Ben Lockhart this morning. While I didn’t know him personally, after watching his journey in The Surrounding Game, I was inspired by his intense desire to deepen his understanding of this incredible game. While it’s too soon, and I wouldn’t presume to know what shape it should take - I would just like to suggest a tournament named in his honor - maybe something associated with the AGA. Again, I don’t mean to be presumptuous, it seems fitting that we find a way to honor him. Perhaps his family already has ideas.
The Surrounding Game was my first introduction to Go. It piqued my interest and led me to find the AGA’s website and to read The Way To Go. Ben, and so many others in that film, have played a small part in leading me to a passion that brings me regular joy. I will be forever thankful to everyone involved in that wonderful endeavor. My heartfelt condolences go out to Ben’s family
Link to obituary on the AGA website:
I knew Ben. I wasn’t that close with him but I was so surprised to hear of his passing. I had no idea he was ill. He always seemed strong and healthy to me. I was impressed with his conviction to live life the way he wanted regardless of what society says. Definitely one of (if not THE) strongest non-Asian Go players in the Western Hemisphere. He never did become a pro Go player though.
I first met Ben in 2015 at the AGA pro qualifying tournament held in Los Angeles where I served as a game recorder. We hit it off and he befriended me even though we were vastly different in rank. Some people tend to get snobbish as they reach the upper dans and are on the verge of turning pro. Ben was never that. I’ll always remember his humourous defiant attitude and quick wit. Some of my favorite quotes from Ben are, “I chose my moves like I chose my women. Because they’re thick.” and, “I want to spend all my time in the world of Go. And I don’t want to spend much time dealing with the real world…”