American Go E-Journal » 2013 » February

Korean Comic’s Go View of Corporate Life

Sunday February 17, 2013

A new Korean comic book provides a view of Korean corporate life through the eyes of a former go player. In Misaeng, artist/author Yoon Taeho “ describes the claustrophobic interpersonal relations between employees of Korean corporations, focusing on the banality of everyday life and the little struggles and tiny victories of survival in a corporate culture,” writes Emanuel Pastreich on his blog, Korea: Circles and Squares.

“The protagonist of Misaeng is Jang Gurae, a young man who starts out as an apprentice to the national baduk Association. After his father’s sudden death, Jang Gurae finds his family in serious financial straits. When he fails to qualify as a baduk player, he enters the corporate world. Quiet and introspective, baduk is the underlying formula for his survival.” Pastreich calls Misaeng  “a remarkable work of art that deserves to be widely read and analyzed.” Unfortunately, it’s currently only available in Korean.
Thanks to Go Game Guru’s David Ormerod for passing this along.

 

Categories: Go Art,Go Spotting
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Jasiek Releases New Book on Positional Judgement

Sunday February 17, 2013

Robert Jasiek has released Positional Judgement 1 / Territory, designed to help go players accurately assess territories in a given position. It also “answers the fundamentally important questions: who is ahead and by how much, what are the potential strengths and weaknesses in the current position, and which sequence of moves gives the best result?” says Jasiek. Click here to download a sample from the book (EUR 26.5, 272 pp.).

Osaka Go Camp Update

Saturday February 16, 2013

Thirty go players from North America, South America and Africa have already signed up for the Osaka Go Camp (Maeda Osaka Go Camp Details Released 2/8 EJ), June 30-July 20 in Osaka, Japan. Click here for details and to register before the camp fills up.

Gotham Go Group In the News; Manhattan Adds Another Go Night

Saturday February 16, 2013

“Most people go to the Hungarian Pastry Shop expecting a little peace and quiet—and maybe a shot of espresso,” wrote Tracey Wang in the Columbia Spectator on February 8 (Gamers find home at Hungarian Pastry Shop). “But on Tuesday nights, the shop on Amsterdam Avenue at 111th Street plays host to a more energetic crowd—a group of gamers who challenge each other in the ancient Chinese game of Go.” The report on the Gotham Go Group includes a short video on the club and quotes club founder Peter Armenia as saying that the joy of go lies in its simplicity. “There’s an abstract beauty about it,” he says. “It has a little more grace than chess.” Jasper DeAntonio, a math teacher in Harlem, said that he has been coming to weekly games at Hungarian since November and that the way go surprises him has kept him coming back. “I just enjoy the patterns and the critical thinking of it,” he said. In related news, New York photographer and Gotham Go Group regular Marilyn Stern has created a photo slide show of the GGG tournament last month that she has posted on YouTube. Also, there is now another weekly meeting of go players in the Village on Thursday nights from 5:30-10:30 at Pie By the Pound (124 4th Ave, between 12th & 13th streets).

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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Cacomo, the Go Card Game, Comes to iPhone

Saturday February 16, 2013

 

The Cacomo iPhone game is now available in the Apple app store, as of Feb 12th. Cacomo is a casual, go-like card game, where players try to capture each other’s stones on a board, but unlike go, players can only play a stone on a spot if they have the card for that spot.

Cacomo is perfect for relatives and friends who want to learn go but find its complexity intimidating, or for go players looking for a casual, portable go experience.

The card game was invented by Hiroko Shinkai 5P of the Nihon Ki-in.  It was made into an Apple app by Danielle Hyatt, a Seattle Go Center member.  The two met at the Seattle Go Center Anniversary Party in September of 2012.
- Brian Allen 

The Traveling Board: Terry Benson Visits the Cuban Academy of Go

Friday February 15, 2013

When a group of US go players (2013 US–Cuba Friendship Trip Planned 9/23/2012 EJ) arrives in Cuba this Friday, it’ll be the second visit from the United States in as many months. Former AGA President — and current American Go Foundation President — Terry Benson (at left in photo) visited the Cuban Academy of Go on January 11 during a personal trip to the island last month. His report follows.

I was picked up by Rafael Torres Miranda and Señorita Kenia, the professora de go at the Academy, who drove us 15 minutes to the school’s location, west of Havana in the Playa district quite far from Old Havana and downtown.
The Academy was established in 2009 with funding from Japan’s Kansai Kiin, Benson says, and followed previous visits from various pros. The Academy occupies a space under the sports stadium and is supported by the government sports department. The professora is 15 kyu and gets an average and modest monthly Cuban salary to teach and run the club.

The academy is open Mon to Fri. 4 to 8 and sometimes later, but is not open on the weekends at all, when the professora is off. Attendance averages 10-15, out of a local group of 40-50. There are about 450 go players in the country. Tournaments are in the 50-player range. To play in a tournament you must show up a minimum of four times a month.

At the Academy they have mostly home-made boards and Cuban-made stones. The boards are ok, one sided with paper applied to something like foamcore. The stones are very light. There’s no internet access and no computer. They need both: they didn’t know about the go symposium held last year. They have a few dan level players including one 5 dan, some women, and the kids who come after school.

I played an even game against Yordan Cruz 1-dan (at right in photo), which was about right. I managed to eke out a 1.5 win after a poor endgame. We used an ancient set of thin slate and clam shell stones on one of the few thicker boards. The room was big, 60×30 or so, room for 30 boards plus lecture space. There’s also an office, kitchen, and two bathrooms. The space is well lit, with lots of posters.

The poor state of Cuban public transportation – and that most Cubans don’t have cars -  encourages the creation of local clubs. So the Academy is one of several in Havana.  Cuban go is old style: face to face.  Despite the limitations, the Cuban go players were like the many Cubans I met – musicians, farmers, fishermen, artists – content, happy to be playing/singing/working, and encouraged by the changes which are gradually transforming their island world. They hope for more contact with the go world, and as this year’s visits show, this will surely happen.  Who won’t want to play go under the sun on a beautiful beach with a stone in one hand and 7 year Anejo in the other?

Categories: Traveling Go Board
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Club Updates: Updating Club/Chapter Info

Friday February 15, 2013

Little Rock, AR: The Little Rock Go Club has been re-started in Arkansas, reports Aulden Murch. “ We have six enthusiastic members so far but have not found a place to meet yet.” In the meantime, reach Murch at  Littlerockgoclub@gmail.com or call 501-337-3451.
Silver Spring, MD: The Arthur Lewis Go Club has moved to the Mid County Community Center (2004 Queensguard Rd, Silver Spring MD 20906); 240-777-6820 • montgomerycountymd.gov/rec where it meets Tuesdays from 6-8:45p.

The AGA maintains go club contact info on our website; if you are the current head of a go club you can edit and update that information yourself. Just log into the membership database with your user account and you can not only be able to edit your own personal information but also your club’s. Once you log in, look for “Manage [Go Club's Name]” where you can edit the club’s data, which will automatically update the information on the club listings on the AGA’s web site.

Categories: U.S./North America
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SmartGo to Sponsor KGS Meijin Qualifiers

Thursday February 14, 2013

SmartGo is sponsoring the February and March qualifiers for the KGS 2013 Meijin tournament. Smallbird won the 2012 KGS Meijin inaugural effort, with some of the strongest players on the server competing for the final prize: $500 and a special icon. The 2013 KGS Meijin season has already started, with Alex12 winning the first spot in the qualifiers (finals will be held starting in November). SmartGo’s February round has 18 entrants thus far, with ranks up to 6 dan. The single-elimination tournament will take place February 16-17; see the tournament web page for more details.

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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Sun and Chiu Leading in USYGC

Thursday February 14, 2013

The United States Youth Go Championships (USYGC), held Jan. 19th on KGS pulled in 63 players.  The withdrawal of the Ing Foundation from the event did not appear to have any effect on attendance.   Kids and teens competed in five different bands, with players ranging from 7 dan to the double digit kyus.  First place winners will be receiving crystal trophies in the mail, while second place winners will get a Sai plushie.  All players can also now claim $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to US Go Congress, on a first come first serve basis.  The scholarships are courtesy of the AGF, which helps bring dozens of young players to the Congress every year.   Dan level kids were also competing for entry into the four player finals, and the big prize of a free trip to the US Go Congress. Sixteen-year-old Calvin Sun 7d (at left) finished first in the qualifiers for the Senior Division (under 18) while ten-year-old Jeremy Chiu 5d (at right) placed first in the Junior (under 12).  The finals are double-elimination, and the first two rounds were held Jan. 20.  The finals for the Senior Division will continue over the next few weeks, while Jr. Division kids will square off in person in March, at the BAGPA ratings tourney in Menlo Park CA.  For full qualifier results, go here.   The senior finalists were Calvin Sun 7d, Albert Yen 6d,  Andrew Lu 6d, and Andrew Huang 6d; The Junior Division had only five players, and used double elimination from the start.  Jeremy Chiu 5d, and Aaron Ye 5d are the last two still standing. Winners Report: 1st place Sr. 1-4 dan: Jerry Shen 4d; 1st place Sr. 1-5 kyu: Larry Qu 1k; 1st place Jr, 1-5k: Eric Liu 5k; 1st place Sr. 6-10 kyu: Royce Chen 10k; 1st place Jr. 6-10 kyu: Tianyi Tina Li 10k; 1st place Sr. 11-15 kyu band: Henry Hathaway; 1st place Jr. 11-15 kyu band: Frederick Bao 13k; 1st place Sr. 16-30 kyu band: Sarah Amano 18k; 1st place Jr. 16-30 kyu band: Alex Kuang 23k.  The tournament was run by Paul Barchilon and Hugh Zhang. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

In Shocker, Lee Sedol Announces Retirement; May Move to U.S.

Wednesday February 13, 2013

Lee Sedol 9P, the longtime #1-ranked player in Korea, has shocked the go world by announcing in a recent interview that he would “…definitely retire and move overseas within three years.”

Lee, 29 years old, is still at the top level of competition, and will probably be able to compete at that level for another four or five years. But the decorated pro says he wants to end his professional playing career at its height, rather than facing a possible decline.

“I’m going to quit while I’m still at the top,” said Lee in his recent interview, “I can still compete for a few more years, but what can I do after that? Competing and being at the top is an important part of who I am, as a fighter and a player.”

Lee has ambitious plans for his retirement as well, however, planning to teach and promote go abroad.

“I want to make go as popular as chess,” he explained.

For American players, at least, this may be good news – since Lee reportedly views the United States as the best place to expand the game.

The U.S. holds another appeal for Lee as well – his wife and young daughter have just moved to Canada for his daughter’s education.

Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; please click for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams

Categories: World
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