American Go E-Journal » 2012 » September

Seattle Go Center Celebrates 17th Anniversary

Tuesday September 25, 2012

With events on two recent weekends, the Seattle Go Center celebrated 17 years of teaching and sharing the game of go.  Hiroshi Yamashiro 9P, the V.P. of the Nihon Ki-in,  and Hiroko Shinkai 5P, a former student of Go Center founder Kaoru Iwamato 9P, visited the Go Center from September 13 – 16, playing simultaneous games and giving lectures.  They also attended the anniversary party, which featured the koto ensemble “Silk Strings”.  At speeches during the  party on September 15, which also was attended by Japanese Special Consul Hana and AGA President Andrew Okun, both the Seattle Go Center and Nihon Ki-in “reaffirmed their commitment to Iwamoto-sensei’s vision, and to cooperating over the long term toward achieving that vision together.”  More information on the visit by the Nihon Ki-in is posted here.

The SGC Anniversary Tournament attracted 20 players on Sunday, September 23.  The Open Section was won by Ho Son, with Edward Kim second and Kum Kang Lee third.  The handicapped Section A was won by Chris Kirschner, with Frank Brown second.  Section B was won by Gordon Castanza, with Yukiko Miyake second.  Tournament Director was Bill Chiles, with assistance from Dan Top, and also from John Hogan, who provided support by phone from his new home in Michigan.

Photo: Hiroshi Yamishiro 9P playing simultaneous games at the SGC.  Photo and report by Brian Allen. 

Categories: U.S./North America
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Korean Kim-In Cup Invites Foreign Players

Tuesday September 25, 2012

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to head to Korea to play go, the Kim-In Cup could be just the ticket. The 6th Kim-in Cup International Senior Baduk Competition, sponsored by both KBA and KABA, will be November 2-5 in Gangjin, Korea; players must pay their own way to Seoul “but food and accommodation is paid for and if you arrive on the right day, the bus to Gangjin is paid too,” says AGA President Andy Okun, who will head up the U.S. delegation. “They really want a good turnout from overseas,” Okun added.  Men have to be 50 or older and women 30 or older to participate. There will be three events: the Men’s Team Tournament (4 players per team), a Women’s Team Tournament (4 players per team) and an Individual Tournament (1~5 Dan). Gangjin is in Jeollanam-do, known as a scenic and less-developed part of Korea, with towering mountains, rugged coastline and numerous islands.  The town is the main producer of Korea’s famed celadon pottery, and the food is said to be very good.  Deadline for registering is October 19; email president@usgo.org for more details and entry forms.

New Go Comics on Tiger’s Mouth

Monday September 24, 2012

The American Go Federation’s (AGF) youth website, tigersmouth.org, is publishing new comic strips weekly again.  The most recent addition is Aji’s Quest, by Collette Bezio, which features the adventures of a quoll named Aji and a tanuki named Tenuki.  What’s a quoll?  Good question. To find out, check out the new strip here.  Bezio runs an AGF program at her library, in Seymour WI, and is a writer as well as an artist.  You can see more of her work on her website.  The Better Move is another new comic available on Tiger’s Mouth.  Deftly illustrated by Maryland cartoonist Yi Weng, in a Chinese brush painting style, the strip features mini comics on different go themes.  Liberty races, capturing the cranes in their nest, and how to play first capture go have all had their own stips, and the monkey jump is coming out soon.  Tiger’s Mouth will keep adding new strips weekly for the next few months, so check in on Saturdays for the latest updates. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Graphic: A quol named Aji, by Colette Bezio.

 

Go Classified: Players Wanted in Pittsburgh

Monday September 24, 2012

I’m looking to contact players in Pittsburgh, PA. In particular, someone involved in any local clubs there. I have some questions about the club that seems to be based at CMU and go life in Pittsburgh in general, but the contact information on the web site seems to be out of date since there are no responses there. Contact billchiles-gocenter@hotmail.com.

Categories: Go Classified
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Go Spotting: Area no Kishi

Monday September 24, 2012

Go makes an appearance in Episode 24 of in an anime about soccer called Area no Kishi (The Knight in the Area). Thanks to EJ reader Benjamin Meoz who sent this in.

 

Categories: Go Art,Go Spotting
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Pandanet-AGA City League Registration Opens

Sunday September 23, 2012

Registration is now open for the inaugural season the Pandanet-AGA City League. Fully sponsored and funded by Pandanet, this new online tournament will provide players an opportunity for regional competition. “This is an exciting new opportunity to develop our go community here in the US,” says AGA President Andy Okun. “Thanks to Pandanet for a great competition that will build up the US go community in new ways.” Teams will consist of four players, three of which will play in each round on a rotating basis, and a non-playing team captain. Each team will represent a city or a region. The tournament format will be double round robin, with 10 rounds each season. The top six teams will make up an “A” League and will play a double round-robin with each other throughout the year on the International Go Server (IGS). A final round between the top two teams in the A League will be played at the US Go Congress. Other teams will be placed into a “B” League and possibly a third, “C” League. The top finisher in the B League moves up to the A League after each season, replacing the bottom A League team. Registration for Season 1 closes December 20, 2012 and the first season will begin January 1st on an accelerated schedule, with all following seasons beginning September 1st of each year. In addition to generous cash prizes provided by Pandanet, teams are encouraged to seek their own local sponsors to provide the team with travel, training, game-fees, celebration and community events. “Teams of all strengths are welcomed and encouraged to register!” says tournament director Jon Boley. Click here for tournament information, procedures, and rules.  Click here to register online.

2013 US–Cuba Friendship Trip Planned

Sunday September 23, 2012

Playing go with Cuban players is part of a trip to Havana, Cuba being planned for February 15-21, 2013. “The highlight will be 2.5 days of go with Cuban players at the Academia Cubana de Go,” says Bob Gilman, who’s organizing the trip in association with the Academia Cubana de Go and Philip Peters of Antilles Resources and which will take place as a ‘people-to-people’ trip under a license issued by the US Department of the Treasury. The itinerary also includes three days of excursions involving substantial contact with the Cuban people, which may include a tour of Old Havana, the city’s colonial core, to see how its architecture is being restored and preserved, and to meet the people involved, and a visit to Ernest Hemingway’s home just outside Havana. While all trip participants are expected to participate in the itinerary, there will also be free time in the evenings in which to enjoy Havana or play informal games with Cuban players. Email goincuba@gmail.com for more information. There is also a trip blog  which will provide information and field comments as travel plans develop.

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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New in Print: Commented Games of Lee Sedol (Volume I)

Sunday September 23, 2012

by Roy Laird
What does the world’s top player do when he’s not playing go? In the case of Lee Sedol, the answer turned out to be: write wonderful go books. In June 2009 Lee abruptly retired from tournament play in a dispute with the Korean Baduk Association, which was later resolved. During the break, as Lee reflected on his career, he reviewed several of his most important games in detail with his sister Lee Sena, a former female amateur Myeongin (Meijin), who had just returned from a long stay in Australia. Three books emerged from this collaboration, and, as we reported last week, the first  has just been published in English by Baduktopia as Commented Games of Lee Sedol I. In unparalleled depth, Lee explores his first title-winning game in 2000; his loss against Lee Changho in the 2001 LG Cup; and the game with which he won his first international tournament, the 2002 Fujitsu Cup.  Using dozens of game records and hundreds of explanatory diagrams per game, Lee takes us through each contest step by step, with more than 100 pages of analysis per game. As a mid-level player, I was slightly daunted to find that the very first page of analysis explains why Lee decided, at move 6, to avoid a 30-move variation of the hard-to-fathom takamoku taisha variation. But as I kept reading, I also found clear and insightful points on many different levels. There’s something for everyone in these wide-ranging game analyses. The large format, open layout and use of multiple game records – some contain only two or three moves — make everything so easy to follow, you may not even need to play along on a real board. Lee also offers personal reflections on subjects ranging from his life growing up on a farm on Bigeum Island off the southern coast, to his thoughts and feelings during and after the games. Lee’s father was a crucial figure and great go aficionado — we learn that he even included the word “Dol” (“Stone” in Korean) in his children’s names.  (“Sedol” means strong stone.) With more than 300 7.5”x10” pages in quality paperback form, it’s a hefty volume, with a price to match – over $40. But if the best way to improve is to study professional games, this is the most thorough discussion ever in English of play at the highest level. It’s found a home on the top shelf of my library with Invincible and those great classic game review books that John Fairbairn has been putting out lately. I’m looking forward to Volumes II and III.
photo: Lee Sedol with his daughter in 2008

The Traveling Go Board: The Zen of Turn-Based Go

Sunday September 23, 2012

By Lee Frankel-Goldwater 

Morning can be open, glorious and bright. It can also be foreboding, especially if the day ahead holds worries, uncertainty and concerns.

Then there’s go. Open-ended yet with clear purpose. A desired result but sometimes an unclear path. Freedom within boundaries. Everything looks black and white, but often it isn’t. Yet always a sense of focus, of peace, at the challenge as everything else melts away.

Which brings me to the Online Go Server (OGS). When I first discovered the turn-based OGS and the accompanying Android app I was overjoyed at having finally found a way to keep up my playing in the context of a busy life. On the bus, go; on the train, go; in the middle of a cross walk, go. I soon became obsessed with the new playing medium, so much so that sometimes I would wake up, hit the alarm, and open my games.

After a few days, I noticed something lovely; I felt more focused, more at ease, and clearer than in some time. Morning tummy and foggy thoughts had evaporated, replaced by a satisfying sense of accomplishment before my first cup of tea.

As a yoga and meditation practitioner I’m well-versed in the maxims of getting up early to practice, the value of a morning run, the teachings that creativity first thing in the morning can return benefits for the whole day, but even so, I was startled to discover how rewarding a little turn-based morning go turned out to be.

In researching Blue Zones, the areas of the world with high longevity populations, I have learned that a sense of purpose for waking up in the morning is a key to health and happiness. And while my initial fervor for instant morning go has now waned a bit, the lesson has not.

Lee Frankel-Goldwater is a freelance author, designer, traveler, and teacher who blogs at www.HolisticPanda.com Click here for more on Internet go, including turn-based go.  

Categories: Traveling Go Board
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Go Review: Pro Game App Released; Two Books for Advanced Players

Friday September 21, 2012

Pro Game App Released: Canadian software developer Wei Cheng has just released “Weiqi2Go,” an Apple iOS app aimed at bringing the latest professional games from Asia into the hands of North American go fans. “Many of us (are now) forced to stay up late watching games on Tygem or other go servers which is neither good for our family life nor good for our work the next day,” Wei Cheng says. Weiqi2Go — $4.99 in the App Store — currently includes about 500 professional games from the past year. On the plus side, there are 650 pro games from 2011 and 2012 tournaments, and the app has handy auto-play and numbered-move options. Minuses: the app’s game interface is a bit clunky at this point: the board and stones are small and cannot be enlarged, and the forward and back arrows are not terribly responsive. Also, virtually all the game and player names are in Chinese, so for those who don’t read Chinese it’s difficult to know what you’re looking at. Apparently you can search using names in English but as all the game info is in Chinese it’s not much help. Wei Cheng suggests this is a feature, not a bug, telling the EJ that “Serious student(s) of go would be interested in the game records without paying attention who played them, as long as they are played by top pros.” Bottom line: great idea, decent execution but has some serious drawbacks for non-Chinese players; plenty of room for improvement in future updates. Note: there’s no extra charge as the games library is updated.

Two Books for Advanced Players: Two books recently came our way from Hinoki Press – The Ins and Outs of Life and Death and The Art of Positional Analysis (both available from Yellow Mountain Imports and both translated by Robert Terry). All professionals recommend studying life and death problems to get stronger – among other things it improves your reading ability – and Ins and Outs is a valuable addition to any serious student’s collection. Examining life and death problems from a variety of perspectives, including the artistic, Ins and Outs 150 problems are drawn from the pages of Kido Magazine, the famous publication from the Nihon Ki-in, and feature legendary tsume-go masters like Maeda Nobuaki, the ”God of Life and Death Problems” (including a fascinating examination of his career and one of his teaching essays), Mimura Tomoyasu, 15 masterpieces from the inimitable Fujisawa Shuko and six of the late Hashimoto Utaro’s compositions. As a special bonus there are ten problems selected by professional players as the best of all time. In and Outs is on sale for $20 but note that it’s correctly filed under “Advanced” go books; definitely not for beginning or intermediate players!

Ditto with The Art of Positional Analysis (also on sale for $20), a collection of high-level game analyses, first published as a series of articles in Kido Magazine. The 323-page book addresses the question of where this is the time to be aggressive, or to consolidate the lead by looking at a dozen games analyzed by Kobayashi Koichi, 12 more with commentary by Takemiya Masaki, as well as the five games of the 11th Kisei Title match. “Positional judgment requires more than intuition,” notes Yellow Mountain, “it requires a reasonable amount of analysis and the discipline to alter course accordingly.” This book enables the advanced player to see that analysis in action.
- Chris Garlock
Got review? We’d love to hear your thoughts on go software, apps, books and equipment! Email journal@usgo.org and let us know what  you’re interested in reviewing.