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“Learn Go Week” rolling in 21 countries with 60+ events; still time to join in!

Tuesday September 16, 2014

Learn Go Week started last weekend, with go players all around the world — 60 events in 21 countries  – running teaching events in their local 2014.09.16_Raleigh-go-weekcommunities. The first-ever event runs through this coming weekend, so if you want to get 2014.09.16_Learn-Go-Week-Canberra-300x401involved, you can still run a beginners’ night at your local go club this week; click here to let Go Game Guru know about it. This weekend, on September 21, 1004 go players in Korea will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous games of Go in one place, the headline event at Seoul’s Street Without Cars festival. Last Saturday, the San Diego Go Club sponsored a go demonstration and teaching event at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park in San Diego. “Dozens of people touring the garden stopped by the koi pond site to play a game or learn the basics of go,” reports club president Ted Terpstra. And in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Triangle Go Club of hosted Yuan Zhou to come from Maryland for a public outreach event (right) on September 13 in the community room of the Earth Fare grocery store. Zhou gave a lecture on the history and cultural aspects of go in China, and also played a simultaneous exhibition match against eight local players. “Triangle Go Club members and Zhou also chatted with onlookers about the game, played friendly demonstration games outdoors, and distributed Way To Go’ booklets,” reports local organizer Paul Celmer. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report on Learn Go Week activities thus far, including lots of cool photos of events in places like Canberra, Australia (left).

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Learn Go Week Launches Saturday: 17 Countries Participating, Plus 1,004 Koreans Attempt Guinness World Record

Wednesday September 10, 2014

With just days to go, there are now over 50 Learn Go Week events planned in 17 countries, including an attempt by 1,004 people in South Korea2014.09.09_Go-in-Japan-300x199 to break the Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous games of go in one place, on September 21. “It’s not too late to join in if you’re still thinking about it,” says organizer David Ormerud of Go Game Guru. The event officially launches this Saturday: click here to see what’s already planned and here to register your event. Go Game Guru has also prepared a handy event checklist and sample media release to promote local events. “Take plenty of photos and let’s achieve something special together!” Ormerud urges.

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Categories: Youth
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SF Organizers Get a Jump on “Learn Go Week”

Sunday August 31, 2014

The Bay Area Go Players Association and the San Francisco Go Club got a jump on Learn Go Week at the August 22-24 Japan Expo, 2014.08.31_SF-Japan-Expowhich attracted thousands of fans of Japanese culture to San Mateo, California. The BAGPA and SFGC were on hand to teach the constant stream of attendees who wanted to learn to play go.

report/photo by Steve Burrall; photo: (front to back on the right): Matthew Burrall, BAGPA president Jay Chan and SF Go Club VP Eric Branlun, all teaching beginners.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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AGF Offers Chapters Go Supplies for Learn Go Week

Tuesday August 26, 2014

AGA chapters planning to participate in the upcoming Learn Go Week (September 13-20) can not only take advantage of special deals2014.08.25_wonder-go on go supplies and equipment available to them from the American Go Foundation, but the first 20 clubs to apply will receive up to a $100 subsidy from the AGA towards AGF purchases or other expenses of Learn Go Week events. Email president@usgo.org for questions about the subsidy. Chapters can order up to 90 free copies of The Way To Go, for example, as well as up to 20 copies of The AGA Starter CD. Chapters can also order exclusive supplies at nominal cost from certain sections of the AGF Store, including Teaching EquipmentPromotional MaterialsPrizes, and Go World. “From beginners kits,  to demonstration boards and a whole lot more, we’ve got what you need to make Learn Go Week a success in your community” promises AGF President Terry Benson.
photo: Wonder Go, a set designed especially for younger learners that features hollow stones that you can fill with prizes like candy, stickers, and small toys.
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“Learn Go Week” Organizers Release “5 easy steps for running a successful Go demo”

Thursday August 21, 2014

So you want to run a go demonstration for Learn Go Week (“Learn Go Week” Planned to Launch September 13 7/19 EJ), but aren’t2014.08.21_kuro-with-rustic-sign-300x350 sure what to do? You’re not alone. Since proposing Learn Go Week in July, the folks at Go Game Guru say they’ve received more questions about this than anything else. “The good news is that it’s not that hard, and we’ll work with you to make it as easy as possible,” says GGG’s David Ormerud. They have customizable posters,brochuresprintable go sets and much more ready for you to use. Some 15 events are planned so far in half a dozen countries. Read more here.

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Categories: World
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“Learn Go Week” Planned to Launch September 13

Saturday July 19, 2014

People play go all over the world every day, but Saturday, September 13 will be different. That’s the day Go Game Guru is inviting local go organizers to participate in the launch of the first-ever Learn Go Week. “Every Go player knows that stones work better when they work together,” says GGG’s David Ormerud. “Right now we’re all doing our own things, within our own communities. We’re spread out thinly, all over the world. But if we work together, we can all be part of something bigger.” And while September 13 is the focus of the event, local organizers can also plan an event during the following week. Go Game Guru will support local efforts with adaptable go brochures, posters, checklists and information for running an event, including logistical support, inexpensive go sets, and printable go boards for organizers. While not an official IGF activity, IGF board members expressed support for the idea at last Saturday’s IGF meeting. “I think it’s a tremendously exciting idea and could be a great publicity opportunity for local chapters and clubs across the United States,” said American Go Association president Andy Okun at the World Amateur Go Championship in Korea. World Day events for a wide range of causes and activities have enjoyed various levels of popularity in recent years, generating public and media interest. “The AGA urges participation in Learn Go Week and will support our chapters in their efforts, as well as publicizing participation.”

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Categories: World
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Go Classified: Demo board; Gobans & stones for sale; go teachers wanted

Wednesday September 19, 2018

Demo board wanted: “I’ve been scouring the Internet for one of those old, large, magnetic go boards that can be stood up on an easel,” writes Dirk Knemeyer. “I have learned that they are no longer easily available because the teaching methods in go have largely moved on from these large easels to computers and projectors. It seems likely that there are unused, unwanted magnetic go boards in closets or attics of go clubs around the U.S.” and Knemeyer is interesting in buying one. Reach him at dirk.knemeyer@gmail.com

Gobans & stones for sale: large lot of gobans, standard/undersize/custom boards, agate and Yunzi stones, portable complete sets, all for $300.  Local pickup in West Virginia only, no shipping, near I-81 less than two hours west of the Baltimore and Washington DC beltways.  Email gerratt5@aol.com or call 304-820-3167 and leave message anytime for photos.  Cash, Paypal, or credit/debit card OK.

Go teachers wanted: An Oakton VA family is currently looking for a teacher for a 5-year old beginner; contact Mr. Zhang at zhiyuanz@gmail.com; a Fairfax County, Virginia non-profit weekend Chinese-language school is looking for a go teacher for a class with 6-12 students; contact Ms. Liu at 6yichunzi@gmail.com

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Categories: Go Classified,Main Page
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ICYMI: Ethan Wang wins first official AGA state championship in PA; Tianfu Cup Prelim crosstab posted; Summer of Outreach in Seattle; Janice Kim in NM; Kissinger on AI and go:

Sunday September 16, 2018

Sometimes folks send in reports late, sometimes those reports just get lost in the EJ in-box, but eventually we do catch up…

Ethan Wang wins first official AGA state championship in PA: The Penn Go Society had the2018.09.16 PA state championship distinction of holding the first tournament under the new AGA State Championship system. Held April 28-29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, more than 40 players attended the event at the Wharton Center for Student Life. In the Dan division, Chase Fu came in first and Ethan Wang and Yu Liang tied for second. In the Kyu division, Alexander Qi took first and Jino Choung and Evan Springer tied for second. $1000 in cash prizes were distributed.  “The Penn Go Society looks forward to next years state championship and looks forward to seeing other states join this system,” said Benjamin Sauerhaft Coplon.

Tianfu Cup Prelim crosstab posted: The crosstab for the 2018 Tianfu Cup Preliminary is now up, and includes the game records. Thanks to TD Jeff Shaevel, Steve Colburn, Dennis Wheeler and Todd Heidenreich for their work getting this done.

Summer of Outreach in Seattle: July was busy for the Seattle Go Center outreach crew, with events on three weekends.  July 1, players from Seattle Go Center and South Sound Go Club staffed a table at the Seattle Storm women’s professional basketball game during the Storm’s “Japan Night” event, and introduced the game to approximately 50 young sports enthusiasts. The following weekend, July 7 and 8, we were at the two-day “Japan Fair” in Bellevue, WA, where Dave Snow’s collection of Hikaru no Go hangings attracted attention from young adults who were in middle school when HnG was new.

2018.09.16-Bart-Jacob-05-01Bart plays go in Cape Town: “While on holiday in Cape Town, South Africa, I was able to stop by the Cape Town Go Club and play a few games,” writes Bart Jacob. “I am on the right side of picture, along with Christian, Sam, Chris and Michael from Cape Town.”

Janice Kim in NM: On September 1, Janice Kim 3p, offered game reviews for players in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In commenting on game records brought in by local area players, she introduced her overall thoughts about how to play and how to study. She said that she finds players in the US are strong in the opening game but tend to be relatively weak at life and death. She stressed the importance of being able to visualize a sequence in your head. As an exercise, she put up a common joseki on a board, then took it off and asked one of the players to put it up using only black stones. Here’s an example (right). She said that in playing a game she looks for an “I win” move. To find such a move, you must have a good assessment of the overall game status, i.e., you must count. If you judge that you are ahead, the next step is to ask yourself, “How can I possibly lose this game?” and then to take the necessary steps to lock it up. If you judge that you’re behind, “agitate.” You must take risks. “If you lose, it doesn’t matter whether you lose by a half point or twenty.”
- Bob Gilman, Albuquerque Go Club

Kissinger on AI and go: “AlphaGo defeated the world Go champions by making strategically unprecedented moves—moves that humans had not conceived and have not yet successfully learned to overcome,” wrote HENRY A. KISSINGER in “How the Enlightenment Ends” in the June Atlantic. “Are these moves beyond the capacity of the human brain?” Before AI began to play Go, “the game had varied, layered purposes,” Kissinger continues. “A player sought not only to win, but also to learn new strategies potentially applicable to other of life’s dimensions. For its part, by contrast, AI knows only one purpose: to win. It “learns” not conceptually but mathematically, by marginal adjustments to its algorithms. So in learning to win Go by playing it differently than humans do, AI has changed both the game’s nature and its impact. Does this single-minded insistence on prevailing characterize all AI?” And, reflecting on AlphaGo Zero’s mastery of the game on its own, Kissinger wonders “What will be the impact on human cognition generally? What is the role of ethics in this process?”

 

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2018 U.S. Go Congress volunteer acknowledgements

Tuesday July 31, 2018

By Nate Eagle and Diego Pierrottet2018.07.31-eagle=khalsa-okun-diego

Being co-directors of the 34th annual U.S. Go Congress is the biggest, hardest thing we’ve ever done, and the generosity of attendees in encouraging us has been tremendously meaningful. But the thing we feel, more than anything, is immense gratitude toward the huge team of volunteers, from our core team to all the people who showed up out of nowhere, ready to work, who made the event possible.

Anchoring our core team were Gary Smith, the registrar who made it all possible, Gurujeet Khalsa, whose creation of the first-ever official Go Congress app was such a huge success, Todd Heidenreich, the treasurer who also served as a font of institutional knowledge throughout the week, and I-Han Lui, who managed the pro schedule and was vital with many details of Congress operations.

We are also particularly proud of the National Go Center regulars who played big roles this year: Nathan Epstein, who, working with Xiaocheng (Stephen) Hu on broadcast, took the tech operations of the Congress and the E-Journal team (managed as usual by Chris Garlock; look for his Congress EJ team acknowledgements tomorrow) to new heights, Joel Cahalan, who provided vital Ruby on Rails experience to craft the first-ever SMS pairing notification system, which will now be passed to future Congresses, and Eli Ferster, the assistant registrar who could handle anything.

Daniel Zhao helped in dozens of vital ways throughout the week. Doug Wilkinson (left) poured sweat and, on at least one occasion, blood into the incredibly difficult task of managing the Congress’s substantial equipment needs. It was also Daniel and Doug’s first Congress!

2018.07.31 WilkinsonAndrew Hall performed amazingly in his first year directing the U.S. Open, and his assistant TD, Dan Ritter, was up early every single morning or the last to leave at nights, making sure that players had ready clocks and orderly tables to waiting for them. Josh Lee directed a tremendously exciting U.S. Masters tournament in his first outing. Big thanks to tournament directors Steve Colburn, Keith Arnold, Peter Schumer, Andy Olsen, Lisa Scott, Jim Hlavka, Neil Ritter, Justin Teng, Terry Benson and Todd Heidenreich. And a particular thanks to Greg Kulevich, director of the Seniors Tournament, who worked hard this week, giving up most of his own Congress experience to make one of the biggest tournaments of the Congress a success. Thanks to our excellent translators, Jonathan Hop and Satoru Inoue. Huge thanks to Devin Fraze, who ran the wonderful youth room, and Paul Barchilon, to whom Devin passed the baton at the end.

Thanks to James Pinkerton, Qucheng Gong, and to Facebook, for bringing OpenGo to the American Go community this year: over 66 players got the chance to personally play and learn from the strongest open-source Go AI in the world, and over 10,000 people got to tune in and watch Andy Liu and Ryan Li play Pair Go with OpenGo as a teammate. (It was a particular honor for Nate to get to be one of the hands of OpenGo as Andy’s partner.) And thanks to the volunteers who made the simuls possible by serving as the eyes and hands of OpenGo, which was not an easy job: it required multiple hours of back-straining, brain-draining effort. You did great.

Thanks to the people who showed up early on Friday to help us get everything set up and to help on registration morning, 2018.07.31_josh-lee teachesamong them Chris Kirschner, Marianne Palhamous, Lee Schumacher, John Grenier, Ted Terpstra, Mark Nahabedian, Wayne Nelson, Keith Arnold, Patrick Bannister, Kristal Soo, and so many more. Particular thanks to Neil and Dan Ritter, who assembled the two giant monitors that became the center of the Congress experience, and then disassembled them again so they can travel to next year’s Congress in Madison.

Thanks to Lisa Scott for managing the AGA meetings and for working to bring us the first year with an official Code of Conduct, a hugely valuable tool for making the Congress a welcoming place for everyone.

Thanks to the front-desk staff at William and Mary—all students—who handled the largest group they’d ever had come through with kindness, patience, and helpfulness.

We will have inevitably missed people—please know that no matter what it was, your contribution toward making Congress happen was essential and appreciated. Thank you, and we hope to see everyone next year in Madison!

photos: top right: Nate Eagle (left) and Diego Pierrottet (right) with the National Go Center’s Gurujeet Khalsa (second from left) and AGA president Andy Okun (second from right), photo by Phil Straus; bottom left: Doug Wilkinson, Equipment Manager and first-time Congress attendee, photo by Nate Eagle; bottom right: Masters TD Josh Lee teaching go.

 

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Boot-camp for absolute beginners at Go Congress

Wednesday July 18, 2018

If you’re spouse, friend, or parent of a go player attending the U.S. Go Congress this year, the annual gathering is offering 2018.07.18_AndyLiusomething new: a way for beginning go players to rapidly get up to speed. Led by Andy Liu 1P (left), building on techniques he has evolved in teaching beginners2018.07.18_congress-app, the boot-camp strives to get brand new players near the single-digit kyu level by the week.

Perhaps you’ve wanted to learn and participate but felt intimidated; this is a friendly environment just for you. The camp meets every afternoon (except Wednesday) between lunch and dinner. Come for the entire experience or drop in for a day or two.

There’s still time to register for Congress. You can find more details about this event and all the great things happening at Congress too by downloading the free mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

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