Robert High
Class of 1963

©Published on January 15, 1993

Robert G. High Is Dead at 46; Designed Puzzles


Robert HighRobert 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.Robert High, 1975

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 death.

Mr. High was engaged to Terry Assael of Manhattan.

He is survived by a brother, Tom, of San Francisco.