American Go E-Journal » 2011 » April

Children’s Programs Flourishing

Monday April 25, 2011

Elementary school go programs are on the upswing, with organizers across the country launching programs for young kids. Xinming Simon Guo used the Chinese New Year last February to introduce 64 second-graders at Hawthorne Elementary, in Chicago, IL, to the game. “We celebrated a special Chinese Spring Festival. Besides having delicious food for the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the students were treated with ‘delicious’ Chinese culture in the game of weiqi (go).”  Guo reports that some of the kids will soon join his weekly program at the local Chinese school.

In Camp Hill, PA, Mark Lichtenstein started a program at Eisenhower Elementary.  ”I received go equipment from the AGF last school year,” reports Lichtenstein, “it got some use at the high school where I was teaching part time but the school closed over the summer, which I had anticipated.  I  brought the equipment with me to my new location, and I am glad I did, because it gave me the opportunity to lead a small go club at Eisenhower.  I had 6 to 8 children in the club plus an assistant from the high school for each meeting.  We met in February and March every other week for about an hour.  Everyone learned some basics.  Due to time constraints and attention spans, we started on 9×9 and moved to 13×13 but never went to 19×19.  A few parents approached me at other school events and told me that their children were having a great time.  The highschooler downloaded a go app for her smart phone.  The parent running the chess club a few tables over was intrigued but I’ve not got him playing yet.”

Programs like these are directly supported by donations to the American Go Foundation (AGF).  The AGF offers free equipment to any go program for kids in the US and Canada (through the CGA).  They also offer free sets of Hikaru no Go to school and public libraries.  For more information, or to make a donation, visit the AGF website. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo – at Hawthorne Elementary in Chicago, Guo is at far left, in the rear, wearing an orange shirt.  Photo by Xinming Simon Guo.

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Pray for Japan Festival Raises $1,300

Monday April 25, 2011

The Mexican youth go community helped raise funds for the Japanese at their Pray for Japan Festival on April 16th. “It was a great event,” reports organizer Siddhartha Avila, “we had 50 people participating, both children and adults, at the go workshop. Ranging from absolute beginners to dan players, everybody was teaching and learning, the public came by to learn about go during the day and we held the tournament at the end.  It was a cultural event with many activities like painting, sculpture and photography exhibitions, conferences,  music, movies, and workshops where children taught go and gomoku  to the public. All the artistic and cultural activities at the festival raised approximately $1,300 (in US dollars). The funds were transferred to the Japanese embassy in México City.”  More photos from  the event are here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Siddhartha Avila.

Categories: World,Youth
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Lee Sedol Evens Score With Gu Li in BC Card Cup Final

Monday April 25, 2011

The finals of the 3rd BC Card Cup started this week, with Lee Sedol 9P of Korea facing off against Gu Li 9P of China.

Lee is the defending champion, and qualified for the finals by beating up-and-coming countryman Park Junghwan 9P. Meanwhile, Gu defeated Heo Yeongho 8P to challenge Lee in the final. The first two matches were played on April 23-24 and the score is currently tied at one game apiece, with Lee evening the score in the second game.

This leaves many go fans waiting in suspense to see how the match continues, with the head-to-head record between these two players deadlocked at 12-12. Even the readers at Go Game Guru are evenly divided over who will win the final, with a poll about the outcome split at 50/50 at press-time.

Lee Sedol was in high spirits at the pre-final press conference and banquet in Seoul, admitting to the media that he was no match for Gu when it came to drinking. After Game Two, Lee said that he was lucky to win, after an unsatisfactory opening and that Gu must have made a miscalculation in the middle game. The next game will be on April 26.

- Jingning; based on her report 3rd BC Card Cup: One win apiece in the final at Go Game Guru, which includes the game records.

Categories: World
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GO SPOTTING: Discover Magazine on “Who’s Smarter, a Human or a Computer?”

Sunday April 24, 2011

“Go computers are not even close to human capability,” reported Andrew Moseman last February in Discover Magazine . In “Who’s Smarter, a Human or a Computer?” Moseman reviews “the ways that humans can still out-think our computational creations—for now.” On the eve of the IBM’s supercomputer thumping of Jeopardy champions, Moseman looked at checkers, chess, poker and go, as well as Scrabble and Risk, which are also games where humans still do better than computer programs. “There won’t be any major popular game solved for a while now,” University of Alberta professor Jonathan Schaeffer — a member of a research team that created a poker-playing AI that can best human players in limit Texas hold ‘em — says. “There’s a gap.”
photo: Watson faces its human rivals in a practice round. Image: Jeopardy / IBM

European Youth Notch First Win in Transatlantic Match

Sunday April 24, 2011

Over 1,000 spectators showed up to cheer on their favorite youth players at the 3rd Transatlantic Youth Match, held Sunday, April 17 on KGS.  From the start, it was a very close match, as the two under-12 boards split their games 1-1 early on in the first series.  While the North American side took the lead with victories by Andrew Lu and Jianing Gan, the Europeans quickly answered, tying the match 3-3 at the end of the series with Ali Jabarin’s victory over Bill Lin.  The second series was equally nail-biting.  Although the Europeans were seemingly down on their last leg, with victories by Gansheng Shi and Daniel Gourdeau putting them in a 4-5 hole, a close win by Thomas Debarre over Ryan Li tied the match up once again.  In the last game to finish, Ricky Zhao had a slight lead against Mateusz Surma, but a large ko in the end proved to be too much for him to handle, giving the Europeans a 6-5 win, their first ever in the history of the Transatlantic Youth Match.  More details, including game records, can be found on the TrabsAtlantic Youth website http://www.usgo.org/tournaments/TransAtlanticYouth/3/
- reported by Lawrence Ku, who also organized the match

Salt City Tourney Draws Skateboarders & Nonagenarian

Sunday April 24, 2011

This year’s Salt City Go Tournament, held April 16 in Syracuse, NY “was remarkable for the efforts that several made to attend it,” reports organizer Richard Moseson.  Brandon Mills traveled the farthest, driving six hours up from Pittsburgh, PA and returning home that evening, while teenagers Justin Gagne and Lyndon Whitney caught an early train from Rochester and then skateboarded (!) the final eight miles to the tournament.  Winner of the Dan Division and taking home the $250 first place prize was another distant traveler, Phil Waldron 5d, who drove down from Ottawa, Ontario.  He and Jared Beck 2d of Ithaca, NY — who captured the $100 second place prize — both finished with 3-1 records. The top two finishers in the B Division, both with 4-0 records, were Seth Rothschild 10k and Tom Smith 11k, students from Syracuse University and the Rochester Institute of Technology respectively, while the first two places in the C Division were won by Lyndon Whitney 18k and Yuk Ki Chau 13k. Seventeen prizes –including several go books generously discounted by Slate and Shell – were awarded in all, out of a field of 30.

Photos: right: top two winners Phil Waldron (l) and Jared Beck (r) with Wayne Nelson and 3rd place winner Jonathan Wang watching. Left: Nonagenarian Milton Sack 11k, playing in his first tournament ever. photos by Richard Moseson

Categories: U.S./North America
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Free Go World Offer

Sunday April 24, 2011

New or renewing members of the American Go Association can pick up as much as 1700 pages of Go World in a special membership offer. For a limited time, the AGA is offering as many as 27 issues of Go World magazine to those who join, re-join or renew their memberships. Go World, Kiseido’s quarterly publication, is the ultimate source of go knowledge in English, each 64-page issue is packed with extensive review of at least ten major title match games by top professionals as well as problems, instructional articles and series, and coverage of historical, cultural and other aspects of the game. “If you’ve been thinking about joining, now’s the time to do so,” says AGA President Allan Abramson. “And even if you’re already a member, this is a great opportunity to renew and collect a nice bonus; and the more ears you add, the better it gets!” Click here for complete details on how to take advantage of this offer, plus download a free sample of Go World. “The AGA is grateful to the American Go Foundation for making this special offer possible,” Abramson added.

Categories: Go World
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U.S. Go Congress Registration Nears 200 Mark

Monday April 18, 2011

Registration for the 2011 U.S. Go Congress is approaching 200, with 174 registered, including 96 kyu-level players, 57 dan-level players, and 20 non-players. “Initial deposits must be paid by June 1st to ensure the lowest price!” say organizers Lisa Scott and Andrew Jackson. The Congress runs July 30 – August 7 in Santa Barbara, CA, and the registration thus far “suggests that turnout is going to be very high,” say Scott and Jackson, “and also that the discount we’ll be able to offer will be high as well.”  Click here for details and to register.

photos by Gen Zhang & Edward Zhang at the 2010 U.S. Go Congress

Notes From Europe: Pandanet Go European Cup Finals; Greece-Cyprus Go Match

Monday April 18, 2011

Pandanet Go European Cup Finals. The Pandanet Go European Cup finals will be held in Paris, April 23-25, in conjunction with the 39th annual Paris Go International Tournament. The first two boards will be broadcast on EuroGoTV, and all the top games will be relayed to IGS, along with one game each round that will be relayed to KGS. Over 200 players from 20 countries are expected at the tournament.  Greece-Cyprus Go Match. Alexios Voudouris 3D of Greece and Dimitris Regginos 1D of Cyprus, who are among the top players for their respective countries, are playing a ten-game series on KGS.  The games will be played weekly and the first was a win for Regginos by resignation on April 14.

Categories: Europe
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More Tourneys Raising Aid for Japan Relief

Monday April 18, 2011

As aftershocks continue to hit Japan, more go tournaments are raising funds to aid in the earthquake/tsunami recovery efforts. This Saturday the Tsunami Relief Tournament will be held in New York City; space is very limited, so you MUST pre-register: email  Badukboris@gmail.com And thanks to sponsorship of the April 30 Western Maryland Go Club Spring Tournament by the Insei League on KGS, “we will be able to donate the majority of the entry fees to the tournament to Japan relief efforts,” reports Trevor Morris. Pre-registration is not required, but if you think you might be coming, let them know on Facebook. The recent Go4 Japan tournament – usually known as the Antwerp Go Tournament – raised $800 for the Japanese Red Cross Society. The April 9-10 event in Antwerp, Belgium drew 30 participants from Belgium and Holland, and “we made both the regional newspaper and television, which is nice as well,” reports Joost Vannieuwenhuyse.