Robert Gordon High, a Connecticut securities executive and a
devotee and promoter of go, the ancient Asian game of strategy, died last Friday
in an accident in Chile. He was 46 and lived in Manhattan.
Mr. High, who was also a white-water rafting enthusiast, died
while on the first commercial rafting expedition on the Futaleufú River
in the southern Chilean Andes. His raft capsized after entering a canyon, said
Michael J. Simon, treasurer of the American Go Association in New York, of which
Mr. High was the new president.
At the time of his death, Mr. High was an assistant vice president
and chairman of the research committee at Greenwich Capital Markets. An expert in
computer programming, he specialized in financial analysis.
Born in Oakland, Calif., Mr. High spent eight years studying
mathematics at the University of Califoria at Berkeley. He received an M.A. and
passed the doctoral orals with distinction in 1969 at the age of 22. But instead
of finishing his Ph.D., he worked for several years with Chilean refugees and human-rights
advocates opposed to the Pinochet dictatorship. He also taught mathematics at the
University of Chile in the early 1970's.
A designer of puzzles, Mr. High contributed mathematical games to international
magazines and became a keen competitive player of go. The game engages two players who seek to
control territory on a square, checkered board by strategically placing black and white "stones"
on the board's 361 intersections. The object is to capture the opponent's stones and secure
control over open spaces on the board.
The game is played by many people in this country and by millions in Japan,
China, Taiwan and Korea. Mr. High was a major organizer of the American Go Association, which
has about 1,500 members. His election as president became effective just eight days before his
Mr. High was engaged to Terry Assael of Manhattan.
He is survived by a brother, Tom, of San Francisco.