Sneak Peek: The GoBox
For almost a full five months, Pong Yen at Yellow Mountain Imports had been hinting of a new product coming on the horizon. I suspected that it might be a new bag for carrying Go equipment and I was right. Pong was kind enough to share with me the first public images of YMI's new GoBox.
You can see the pre-cut foam inserts to hold the board, the bowls, and perhaps a timer. According to the specs that were provided to me, the GoBox will accomodate boards up to 6cm thick and bowls as big as the wider Go Seigen style.
Photographers will recognize this case design. It's similar to those from Hakuba, Pelican or Mamiya which are used to transport expensive photo gear when travelling. Obviously, the GoBox is meant to transport expensive full-sized table gobans and protect them from damage. As many of us know, Kaya and Spruce are soft woods.
This design is a dramatic departure from the old padded duffel-bag design that was sold through Ishi Games and Samarkand years ago. Those older bags were designed to carry folding or take-apart boards that were about 1" thick along with bowls. That older design probably provided only moderate protection for the equipment.
According to Pong, the GoBox is constructed of ABS material and it has travel locks in its latches. These photos suggest that it might be sturdy enough to withstand the tortures of checked-in luggage but I may have to assess that for myself when I can get my hands on one.
I don't have the exact dimensions so it's still unclear to me if this bag would qualify as carry-on luggage on airlines. The general rule is that the sum of a bag's dimensions may not exceed a total of 45 inches but a lot of airlines set their own rules. The arbitrarily applied dimensions of 22" x 14" x 9" would not be wide enough to accomodate a full-sized table goban.
Here's the kicker-feature. The GoBox is mobile! It has a built-in pair of transport wheels and a retractable pull-handle similar to those of modern travel luggage and laptop carriers. This makes sense when you consider the total weight of a full-sized goban, bowls and stones.
This is YMI's second design of The GoBox (I don't know what the first one looked like). It certainly takes Go bags in a completely new direction. Maybe even Mr. Kuroki of Kuroki Goishi Ten should add these to his offerings.
I'm guessing that it will be made available in mid to late Spring of 2006. That date means that it would be available before the 2006 Go Congress in North Carolina (assuming one would have some reason to take one's goban along).
YMI has not yet released the price of the GoBox but it will be sold for less than the old Ishi Games bag (which retailed for a pricey $179).
There will be more news coming so stay tuned.
Fuseki Quiz 3/20
The answer to this quiz may surprise you but it makes a lot of sense.
Scoring of Last Weekend's Fuseki Quiz 2/20
- A = 6
- B = 10, White would be almost forced to defend with D13 after which Black could play R9. If Black neglects G14, then White turns at F15 and increases her potential of creating territory on the left side.
- C = 4
- D = 2
- E = 8