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Your Move/Readers Write: How to Submit A Classified? Redmond Remembers the Game of Life; The Origin of Surreal Numbers?

Tuesday April 22, 2014

How to Submit A Classified? “Is there someone out there who can tell me how to list an item in the E-Journal’s Go Classified section?” wonders Marc Palmer. “I’ve searched the site and it’s certainly not obvious.”
Certainly; just send your classified(s) to us at journal@usgo.org; no charge for the listing(s)!

Redmond Remembers the Game of Life: “I enjoyed the Game of Life article,” (Go Spotting: Conway’s Game of Life 4/14 EJ) writes Michael Redmond 9P. “It reminded me that my father once showed it to me. We used white stones for the newborns, and then changed them to black stones after taking away the dead stones, after which we could start a new turn. Some shapes are static, and some move around, so it is interesting to have them scattered about as they interact. One tends to run out of space on a go board, so I guess it works better on a computer.”

The Origin of Surreal Numbers? “Another interesting fact about Conway, according to his biographer in a forthcoming book,” writes British Go Association president Jon Diamond, “is that he invented the concept of ‘Surreal Numbers’ when he was watching a game of go at Cambridge University between Tony Goddard and myself in 1967 or thereabouts…”

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Categories: Go Classified
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Go Spotting: Conway’s Game of Life

Monday April 14, 2014

Cambridge mathematician John Conway apparently conceived Game of Life — his ‘cellular automaton’ — on a go board, according to this video sent in by Peter Kron. The game, which became widely known when it was mentioned in an article published by Scientific American in 1970. It consists of a collection of cells which, based on a few mathematical rules, can live, die or multiply. Depending on the initial conditions, the cells form various patterns throughout the course of the game. For an introduction, you can watch the video fragment from Stephen Hawkings The Meaning of Life.
- Greg Smith; includes reporting on bitstorm.org 

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Categories: Go Spotting
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Fairbairn’s “Life, Games and Commentaries of Honinbo Shuei” One of 3 New Books from SmartGo Books

Thursday May 2, 2013

SmartGo Books has been quietly adding more books over the last months, publisher Anders Kierulf reports. John Fairbairn’s “The Life, Games and Commentaries of Honinbo Shuei” is one of three more books added recently, bringing the total to 61.

“Honinbo Shuei” contains a full biography, detailed commentaries on 79 of his games, and 11 commentaries written by Shuei. “It combines six books that were available for the Kindle (combined price $54) into one $20 masterpiece while vastly improving readability and interactivity,” says Kierulf. “One reason Shuei is so famous is because of his pure but elusive style; he is still esteemed as the best model for even modern professionals to follow.”

“Schwarz am Zug: Das Go-Übungsbuch” by Gunnar Dickfeld is SmartGo Books’ first book in German, containing 131 go problems for beginners. “As with our other multi-lingual books (“Patterns of the Sanrensei” in Japanese and “How NOT to Play Go” in Spanish),” notes Kierulf, “English is always an option.” Click here for more information on books by Brett und Stein Verlag.

“The Workshop Lectures, vol. 5” by Yilun Yang 7P looks at choosing areas in the opening, handling unusual opening moves, and protecting positions. “As always, Mr. Yang emphasizes the importance of understanding general principles rather than memorizing particular patterns,” says Kierulf.

SmartGo Books is a free app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, with books available through in-app purchase.

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Spring Crop of Go Books: 300 Tesuji Problems, Modern Master Games, Punishing and Correcting Joseki Mistakes, Five Hundred and One Tesuji Problems, Joseki Dictionary Vol. 3 & Life of Honinbo Shuei

Wednesday May 23, 2012

Spring has brought an early crop of go books, some brand new and others re-issued in new formats. Here are  six that have just been released, two each on joseki and tesuji, a historical look at tournament go in Japan and a bio of “Meijin of Meijins” Honinbo Shuei.

Don’t let the “4-dan to 7-dan” subtitle of Kiseido’ s 300 Tesuji Problems scare you off. Though the problems in this book, Volume 5 of the Graded Go Problems for Dan Players series, are quite challenging, “even if you are unable to solve them, contemplating the problems, then studying the solutions will broaden your tactical horizons by revealing new possibilities in fighting techniques,” says go publisher Richard Bozulich. Also new from Kiseido is Modern Master Games, Volume One, The Dawn of Tournament Go by Rob van Zeijst and Richard Bozulich with historical notes by John Power. A survey of Japanese go from the founding of the Honinbo tournament in the 1940s to the Meijin and Judan tournaments in the 1960s, Modern Master Games contains eleven exciting games with detailed commentaries that chronicle the Japanese go scene during the Second World War, including the “Atomic Bomb Game” between Iwamoto and Hashimoto, and the rise of Sakata and Takagawa’s dominance of the Honinbo title in the post-war era. Kiseido notes that many of their books “are now available on the iPad and iPhone through Smart Go.” Available books  can be purchased by downloading the free SmartGo Books app from the App Store, then use in-app purchase. New titles are being added regularly.

SmartGo Books has been updated with two new books, and the added feature of being able to play arbitrary moves in diagrams, which is especially valuable for problem books. The new books are Punishing and Correcting Joseki Mistakes by Mingjiu Jiang 7 dan and Adam Miller, a popular Slate & Shell book that has been out of print, and Five Hundred and One Tesuji Problems by Richard Bozulich, featuring a large variety of tesuji problems. SmartGo Books for the iPad and iPhone has always allowed users to replay moves in diagrams. “In version 1.5, you can also play your own moves directly in the diagram,” says author Anders Kierulf. “This is especially helpful for problem diagrams, where SmartGo Books will provide feedback on whether your move is right or wrong.” For problem books like 501 Opening Problems or the newly added Five Hundred and One Tesuji Problems, Kierulf says, “this is a game changer.”

Volume 3 of Robert Jasiek’s Joseki Dictionary completes the German 5-dan author’s joseki series. Jasiek’s intent is to make learning joseki easier with a method of evaluation that enables players to “distinguish equal from one-sided results correctly” and emphasizes understanding strategy and judgment. His dictionary explains the strategic choices in each joseki, evaluating the territory and influence of each sequence, identifying types of josekis, from “finished thick settling” to “lean and attack.” Using databases of professional games, Volume 3 includes modern josekis and 130 mostly professional game examples. Click here for a sample and Jasiek’s overview.

GoGoD is releasing a new e-book for the Kindle, The Life of Honinbo Shuei, Volume 1 of a trilogy, The Life, Games and Commentaries of Honinbo Shuei, by John Fairbairn. A famous go player in Japan at the end of the 19th century, Shuei was known as the “Meijin of Meijins” and is still revered by many modern professionals. Overcoming a life full of hardship and controversy, Shuei rose to dominate the go world in his forties, a classic example of “great talents mature late.” This first volume covers Shuei’s biography, with forthcoming volumes to provide detailed commentaries on about eighty of his games and commentaries by Shuei himself on games by other players. Volume 1 covers Shuei’s own life in detail, and sets it firmly in the context of the go scene and the social and political scene at the time, especially the long-running spat between the Honinbos and the Hoensha. Included are juicy tidbits like the tragic end of Honinbo Shuwa, Shuetsu’s breakdown, the fate of the Driftwood Board, the sordid truth about Shusaku’s Castle Games and why Shuei disappeared from the go scene for years at a time.

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U.S. GO NEWS: Seattle Hosts Pro Workshop For Kyu Players; Myungwan Kim 9p Workshop Set For Berkeley; Orlando Hosts Guo Juan 5p Workshop; Teacher Of The Year Nominations Open; New Go Club In Chi; Turn-Based Go App Released; Smart Games Adds Igowin Life App

Monday February 22, 2010

SEATTLE HOSTS PRO WORKSHOP FOR KYU PLAYERS: Kyu players in the Northwest will want to be in Seattle this weekend. The Seattle Go Center is hosting Jennie Chen 2P for a workshop for kyu players with a focus on their issues. The workshop will be divided into two groups, so that Ms. Shen can provide instruction that’s relevant to the strength of the player. The workshop is recommended for anyone who plays full-board games and is able to record his or her games. Dan level players are welcome to attend, but the discussion will not be centered on their questions. The workshop is scheduled for this weekend, February 27-28 at the Go Center. Rates are $55 for voting members of the Seattle Go Center, and for youth; $80 for all others. Email Brian Allen for more information at  brian@seattlegocenter.org

MYUNGWAN KIM 9P WORKSHOP SET FOR BERKELEY: The Bay Area Go Players Association will host a workshop with Myungwan Kim 9P  March 20-21 in Berkeley, CA. “Because of some generous donations the entry fee is just $50 for students under 23 and $90 for those 23 and over,” says Roger Schrag. The first pro sent to the U.S. by the Korean Baduk Association, Kim came to the Los Angeles area in June, 2008. He won the US Go Congress Open in 2008 and 2009. Today Kim – who was promoted to 9 dan about three months ago — runs a Go Academy in the Los Angeles’ Korean Go Club, teaching roughly three times per week. Click here  http://www.bayareago.org/workshop3.html for details and to register.

ORLANDO HOSTS GUO JUAN 5P WORKSHOP: The Orlando go club is hosting a workshop with Guo Juan 5P March 27-28 in Orlando, Florida. Click here http://goworkshopflorida.blogspot.com/ for details, or email Joshua Lee at Masterman535@gmail.com

TEACHER OF THE YEAR NOMINATIONS OPEN:  Nominations are open for the  AGF Teacher of the Year, an excellence award that comes with an all-expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress. To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching Go to children for at least two hours a week for two years, and have helped kids enter any available tournaments. In recent years, winners have far exceeded these requirements, some running several programs at once.  Click here <http://agfgo.org/teacher.html> for more information. To nominate someone for this award, including yourself, please write to agf@usgo.org. The deadline is March 31.
- Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

NEW GO CLUB IN CHI: There’s a new place to play go in the Chicago area, reports local organizer Bob Barber.  The Go Center in Arlington Heights is open seven days a week, with daily and monthly fees to choose from.  “Owner Yong Yu says there are 21 boards, with room to expand, especially in nice weather,” says Barber. “Plenty of free parking, several nearby restaurants, and Young Rhee, AGA 7 dan, is often on hand for lessons.” The club is located at 350 E. Golf Road; 847-640-6474

TURN-BASED GO APP RELEASED: The new Boardz is a different way to play go online on the iPhone and iPod touch. “Games played on Boardz are turn-based, meaning you can play your moves whenever you wish,” says Boardz author Christopher Maughan, “you don’t need to stay online until the game is finished.” Boardz also features authentic ‘shell’ stone and wooden board graphics, as well as smooth animations. Full territory statistics are shown at the end of the game, and you can play with friends or random opponents on 9×9, 13×13 or 19×19 boards. Search the app store for ‘Boardz’, or you click here http://www.snarlsoftware.com/boardz for more information. Boardz is $2.99, and in addition to go, can play shogi, XiangQi  and chess.

SMART GAMES ADDS IGOWIN LIFE APP: One of the fastest ways to get stronger at go is to practice life and death problems. David Fotland’s new Igowin Life gives you problems at your level, whether you are a 25-kyu beginner or a dan-level expert.  The app plays against you as you solve each problem.  It quickly learns your strength and gives you problems that challenge you to improve your skills. Igowin Life is available now in the iTunes application store for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.  This app ports the “Solve Go Problems” feature from The Many Faces of Go.  Over 2000 problems are included, graded by difficulty from 25 Kyu beginner problems to difficult Dan level problems.  Problems are shown in various orientations or with colors reversed, giving over 32,000 combinations.  A magnifying glass lets you precisely choose your spot to play.  Search the app store for Igowin to find all of the Igowin applications. Several more will be released in the next few months.

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AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 11: A calmer game, with hidden reading

Friday October 13, 2017

“This game is a lot calmer than Game 10,” says Michael Redmond 9p in his game commentary on AlphaGo-AlphaGo Game 11. “There’s a lot of 2017.10.13_ag-ag-thumb-11fighting that doesn’t actually come into the game, but I’ll be showing a lot of variations about things that could have happened, so there’s a lot of, you might say, hidden reading. And then there’s a ko at the end, for the life of a group. ”

Click here for Redmond’s video commentary, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock.

The Game 11 video is produced by Michael Wanek and Andrew Jackson. The sgf file was created by Redmond, with editing and transcription by Garlock and Myron Souris.

[link]

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Go Spotting: Misaeng (An Incomplete Life)

Sunday June 4, 2017

by Daniel Acheson2017.06.03_Misaeng
“Misaeng,” which means “an incomplete life,” is a 2014 South Korean television drama about 26-year old Jang Geu-rae and his struggles adapting to corporate life after failing to qualify as a professional go player.
Starting with the show’s title, which refers to the life and death status of a group of stones, “Misaeng” is suffused with go imagery and references. Flashbacks to Geu-rae’s go career pepper the storyline, and there are many scenes where the game is used to make analogous connections to his internship. In one episode, for example, Geu-rae adapts his go study system to completely reorganize his section’s shared files, which are a hopeless mess. While this may not sound like much, this early assignment, and the drama that surrounds it, becomes a pivotal moment in the story’s development.
Geu-rae’s corporate environment also mimics life on the goban: Among the interns and staff there is fierce competition for survival and promotion. Like the middle game, opening moves – education, internships, career choices – have determined certain relationships, and the characters must find opportunities to advance within (or in spite of) the constraints imposed by their past actions. In this respect Geu-rae is at a distinct disadvantage.
Due to the hermetic years spent studying go, Geu-rae possesses none of the educational or social advantages of his peers. He is armed onlyÀ±ÅÂÈ£ ÀÛ°¡ ÀÎÅͺä. ÀÌ»ó¼· ±âÀÚ. babtong@heraldcorp.com 2013.03.07 with a high-school equivalency exam certificate and an aptitude for undertaking difficult, thankless work. Nothing about his start with One International is auspicious. Geu-rae’s manager, Oh Sang-shik, regards this new intern as an unqualified burden and openly voices hopes that Geu-rae will fail. Among peers Geu-rae is known as a “bomb,” meaning someone who will explode under the pressures of the internship and thus fail. Yet Geu-rae surprises everyone with his fortitude.
In a similar way, I think “Misaeng” will also pleasantly surprise its viewers. Although the show starts slowly, each episode builds momentum and invests viewers more and more in the characters and their storylines. The data confirms this: Average ratings for “Misaeng” jumped fivefold from its premier in October 2014 to its conclusion in December of that year.
One reason for this popularity, I think, is that it is relatable. In 2012, when “Misaeng” started as a webtoon, its creator, Yoon Tae-ho, began with “countless interviews with real-life people who work for corporations.” “Explain it to me as if you were explaining it to a middle school student,” he would say to his interviewees. “If you really want to know about something, you have to have the courage to look like an idiot, the courage to say you don’t know anything about what they know.” As a result Geu-rae’s world, and with that of his contemporaries, feels real and lived in precisely because it is the world inhabited by so many in their personal and professional lives.
The struggle for complete life is as present on the goban as it is in the office or home, even if it is less evident. It’s also something that each player must face on their own despite being in the company of others. This is the essence of “Misaeng.”
“Misaeng” is available on Hulu Plus. Quotes from The Korea Herald and Korea Joongang Daily
photo (bottom left): Webtoon writer Yoon Tae-ho poses in his office prior to an interview with The Korea Herald on March 7. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Edited by Howard Wong
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Categories: Go Art,Korea
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Go Review: Fairbairn’s “Meijin of Meijins: The Life and Times of Honinbo Shuei”

Monday February 20, 2017

Reviewed by Roy Schmidt2017.02.20_meijin-of-meijins

Go translator and historian John Fairbairn draws upon his phenomenal knowledge of go history and his collection of classic works to craft “Meijin of Meijins: The Life and Times of Honinbo Shuei,” an entertaining and educational book covering the life of one of the strongest members of the Honinbo “family,” Honinbo Shuei. Shuei has long been the most admired and emulated player amongst go professionals in Japan. He gave Honinbo Shusai black in every game they played, and won a solid majority of them. It is a marvel that he became so strong, because during his lifetime, the go world in Japan was thrown into turmoil with the abolishment of government support by the new Meiji apparatus. How the Honinbos and other go families coped with their reversal of fortunes makes for a good read.

With a grand total of just three diagrams in the book, this is not the book for those interested in reviewing Shuei’s games. But if you want a taste of the inside workings of the go community during the late 1800s up to 1908, this is an absolute jewel. There are some organizational problems with the narrative, with some repetition of events – perhaps because the book is pulled from a larger e-book (which does contain commented games) with “light editing.” But overall, the writing is excellent and for fans of go history, I highly recommend this book. It’s published using Amazon’s instant-printing process, which offers quality comparable to mainstream paperback go books with an amazingly low price ($9.99).

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Go Books App Adds “The Basics of Life and Death”

Tuesday December 20, 2016

The Go Books app just added “The Basics of Life and Death” by Rob van Zeijst and Richard Bozulich. Part of their new “Road 2016.12.19_basics-life-deathMap to Shodan” series, this book first provides a systematic introduction to life and death, with 50 problems, then goes through 177 problems based on positions that often arise in real games. “As such, it is an invaluable reference work that deserves a place in every go players’ library,” says Anders Kierulf. The Go Books app offers 115 interactive go books that you can read on iPad, iPhone or Macintosh.

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“Play Games. Heal Kids.”

Wednesday December 7, 2016

Every Friday night at around 7pm EST, Skatmaker invites some friends from the local go community to his apartment to 2016.12.06_Extra Life  Play Games. Heal Kids.stream on a real board to Twitch.tv. The recurring cast on stream includes Skatmaker (40k), Devin Fraze (1D), and Thomas Cummings (~15k).

As of November, Skatmaker has been a participant in a charity event known as Extra-Life, which aims to bring together people and their love of games in order to raise money to help children facing life-threatening illnesses. “With the proceeds benefiting Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, these kids can get the medical care and attention they need at little to no cost to their families,” says Skatmaker.

Skatmaker and company have raised nearly $300 so far. The charity streams will continue throughout December, until Extra-Life 2016 ends.

Skatmaker’s Twitch channel Skatmaker’s Extra-Life page

photo from the Extra Life “Play Games. Heal Kids.” video

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Categories: U.S./North America
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