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Go Quiz: How Many Western Professionals?

Sunday April 20, 2014

You Know, Like Grover Cleveland*: The fun of last week’s quiz is that there are more Honinbo heads than people. Quiz vet Reinhold Burger explains: “Thanks for this; I learned something. I knew that Shuei had stepped aside for Shuho, resuming the leadership after Shuho’s death. But I had not realized that Shugen had done the same for Shuei. So you have the symmetrical-looking sequence: Shugen, Shuei, Shuho, Shuei, Shugen. Interesting :)” Peter Schumer also cautioned that, while as heir Shusaku is often referred to as Honinbo, he died before he took over the house. So the seven of you who chose 19 different heads, as opposed to the total of 21 were correct. As for the anonymous person who chose 57, that was, of course, the number of “known Communists in the US State Department” according to a classic film. Congrats to Peter Schumer of Middlebury, VT, our randomly selected winner from among those submitting the correct answer.

This Week’s Quiz: The AGA will be qualifying one more new professional this year. This weekend one player will qualify for the AGA Pro Qualifier (to be held later this year) at the first Washington Open Baduk Championship (click here to register) and another next month at the 41st Maryland Open (click here to register). Pictured is your quizmaster congratulating Andy Liu for winning a spot in the first qualifier in 2012, which he went on to win. So our question this week is how many “Western” pros will our new pro be joining? To qualify, in addition to the AGA’s three pros, they must be (or have been) a pro born outside of the traditional Asian go nations, and certified as a pro by a national organization. Is the answer 12, 13, 14 or 15 Western professionals? Click here to submit your answer, and put your list of pros in the comments (in case we missed someone) and feel free to include your response to my bonus quiz “57 communists” movie reference.
photo by Gurujeet Khalsa

* Cleveland served as 22nd and 24th President of the United States, the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897).

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Go Quiz: A Fujisawa by Any Other Name

Sunday February 23, 2014

“Go Seigen is my favorite player!” comments Albert Yen on last week’s quiz, which asked who was the only player to defeat Go in a jubango match. Longtime quiz players may recall that your quizmaster considers him the greatest player of all time (though the same group may recall I have a different favorite player). A wonderful 43 of you responded. Six chose the razor-sharp Sakata Eio, perhaps confusing his breaking up the dominance of Takagawa Kaku, whose Honinbo dominance may have confused two of you and a solitary, unidentified responder chose a time-traveling TARDIS possessing Shusaku. An impressive 32 correctly chose Fujisawa Kuranosuke, although several shared Richard Jankowski’s concern that “I hope this person is the same as Fujisawa Hosai.” Putting aside existential questions about whether we really are the same person during different times of our lives, Fujisawa did not adopt the name “Hosai” until much later. However you want to refer to him, Fujisawa beat Go Seigen 6-4 in 1942 (right), although, as many pointed out, he took black in each of the no komi games, and he later lost two jubango to Go, also at handicap. Interestingly, Reinhold Burger suggested that this question would be difficult without special resources, while Roland Crowl felt it was “too easy to find online” While the number of correct responses give the nod to Mr. Crowl, I thought I would take a moment to comment on how we structure quiz question choices. Ideally, we first hope to be interesting and topical. After that, your quizmaster personally believes clever, difficult questions will always be appreciated by those interested in this clever and difficult game. However, even if folks easily get online and find an answer, then your interest has been sparked and hopefully you’ll have learned something. Congratulations to David Rohde of Carpentersville, IL this week’s winner, chosen at random from those answering correctly. photo courtesy Go’s Everywhere website.

THIS WEEK’S QUIZ:
Let’s learn something about China’s Gu Li (left). While Gu benefitted from instruction by several teachers, one teacher nurtured him since he was a youngster. Is it Yang Yi 6P, Yang Yilun 7P, Song Xuelin 9P or Zhang Wendong 9P? Hint: He has attended the U.S. Go Congress several times. Click here to make your guess by close of business on Thursday.
- Keith Arnold, HKA & AGA Quizmaster

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Go Quiz: Who Beat Go Seigen in a Jubango?

Sunday February 16, 2014

Thank you for all of your pleased remarks about the return of the quiz.  Unfortunately, your faith in my book collection was misplaced, as the number of unique books is “only” around 750.  Although this was enough to prompt Joel Benyowitz to suggest that my wife Erica “should have a yard sale,” it was not enough for our quizzers, who consistently guessed high, only 4 of 29 getting the correct answer.  Books in Japanese, Chinese and Korean far outnumber the English books (although I do have two of virtually all of the English volumes).  I did not count magazines; with complete sets of Go Review, Go World, the American Go Journal and the British Go Journal, a bunch of Kido magazines and duplicate English books the number would easily double.  Barry Pasicznyk’s query about “How many of these go books did Keith Arnold actually read?” is fair but I must plead the Fifth. Here’s a shot of some of the collection. You will be no doubt be relieved that this week’s question will NOT be Kelsey Dyer’s suggestion: “What is Keith Arnold’s favorite sandwich? (Schlotzsky’s Original – RIP Greg).  Josh Thorsen of Seattle is our winner this week, chosen at random from those answering correctly.

THIS WEEK’S QUIZ: In honor of the current talk of the go world, the Lee Se Dol vs. Gu Li jubango, you can expect a series of questions regarding the players and jubangos.  We will start with a question regarding the greatest “jubangoer” ever, Go Seigen.  Who was the only player to defeat him in a jubango match?  Was it Fujisawa Kuranosuke, Sakata Eio, Takagawa Kaku or Shusaku?  Click here to make your guess by close of business on Thursday and again, feel free to add your own comments!
- Keith Arnold, HKA & AGA Quizmaster

 

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Takemiya on Takemiya

Wednesday August 14, 2013

Takemiya Masaki 9p visited the Seattle Go Center Tuesday night to play simuls. “While we were waiting for the simuls to start,” reports Andrew Jackson, “Takemiya got distracted by the screensaver on the center’s computers, which replay famous old games at a pace of a few seconds a move.  I watched him watch a Shusaku game, then a Shuko game, and then the next game that popped up was one of his own, against Rin Kaiho. He gave only a small “huh” of recognition, and no other commentary, but watched it all the way to the end without the slightest awareness of anything else in the room.”
- photo by Andrew Jackson
Categories: U.S./North America
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The Traveling Board: Innoshima, Birthplace of Honinbo Shusaku

Friday August 2, 2013

by Jan Engelhardt

Western go players sightseeing in Japan won’t want to miss Innoshima in the Hiroshima prefecture. That’s the birthplace of Honinbo Shusaku, the most famous go player ever. Shusaku was born as Kuwahara Torajiro on June 6, 1829 in Innoshima. At the age of 10 he moved to Edo (now called Tokyo) to join the legendary Honinbo go house. Even after he became a professional go player, Shusaku returned to Innoshima for long stays. The people of Innoshima are very proud on Honinbo Shusaku and value his heritage, calling themselves a “Go playing city” where as much as ten percent of the 20,000 inhabitants play go and twice a year Innoshima hosts a a “Shusaku Honinbo Go Festival” for professional and amateur go players.

The “Honinbo Shusaku Igo Memorial Hall” is a fascinating museum honoring Shusaku’s life and accomplishments, showcasing many artifacts of his life, including the old goban on which his mother taught him go. In the museum’s back yard there is a reconstruction of the actual living house of the family. The museum’s memorial hall is also used for go events, including professional ones. There are always go boards available for guests and it’s amazing to see all the letters, game records and go material related to Shusaku’s fascinating life. Next to the hall one can find a shinto shrine constructed by a later Honinbo in Shusaku’s honor.

Not far away is Shusaku’s grave. It is said that one becomes two stones stronger by touching the gravestone, and it’s traditional for visitors to light an incense stick there in the great player’s memory.
- Engelhardt, who was in Japan recently to attend the Osaka Go Camp, is the E-Journal’s German Correspondent. photos by Jan Engelhardt

Categories: Traveling Go Board
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The Traveling Board: Osaka Go Camp

Sunday July 28, 2013

By Peter Schumer

Beautifully organized, the recent Osaka Go Camp drew about 35 “campers” from nearly a dozen countries.  Most of the instruction was in English, but there was a good bit of Japanese, French, and German mixed in amongst us and it made for quite an international and festive feeling.

Though ages ranged from mid-teens to early 70′s and our ranks ran the gamut from 20 kyu up to 7 dan, everyone got along really well and seemed genuinely friendly and supportive of one another. Every day there was a scheduled match followed by professional game reviews, several lectures, and simuls with pros.

One of the highlights was a visit and simultaneous games with Yuki Satoshi, currently Judan.  We also played lots of friendship matches with various local go clubs and go students of all ages. The most fun for me was a series of games with students at the Kansai Kiin who ranged in age from 7 to 12 but who were all at least 2 dan in strength.  It was the one group that had a winning record against us.

There were also many go-related sightseeing trips to Kyoto, Nara, Innoshima, Hiroshima, and the beautiful island of Miyajima. In Innoshima, we visited the Shusaku Museum and memorial site, where we learned that there are over 2000 local go players in a town of just 20,000, and it seemed that a good percentage of them showed up to test our go prowess. Two go boards at the Shusaku museum (left) were especially interesting: the one on the right is Go Seigen’s retirement board and stones, celebrating 70 years of an outstanding professional career in Japan, while the older board on the left belonged to Shusaku and was given to him by his patron Lord Asano (watch for Jan Engelhardt’s report on the Innoshima visit in an upcoming EJ).

After camp ended, I had a few extra days for travel.  One day I spent visiting the Shinto grand shrines in Ise, and my last full travel day was to Uji, a lovely small town just south of Kyoto. It is best known for growing arguably the best green tea in Japan and for several beautiful Buddhist temples, especially the Byodo-In which contains the famous Phoenix Hall.  Currently it is being restored and so was covered up, but fortunately I’d seen it on a previous visit.  This short-lived disappointment propelled me to walk farther along the Uji River until I came to the Tale of Genji Museum.  The last ten chapters of this classic of Japanese literature take place in Uji and so the museum largely focuses on them, but there are a couple of important scenes where go plays a significant role and luckily one of the life-sized displays (top right) was of such a scene (photo).
- A longtime local go organizer, Schumer founded the Vermont Go Club

Categories: Traveling Go Board
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Maeda Osaka Go Camp Details Released

Friday February 8, 2013

New details have just been released on the Kansai-Kiin’s 3-week intensive go camp with Maeda Ryo 6P in Osaka this summer (Maeda Organizing 2013 Go Camp in Osaka 8/6/2012 EJ). It will be held at the Osaka University of Commerce from June 30 – July 20. Attendees will receive intensive training from Kansai-Kiin professionals, play against top amateur players and former inseis while they make friends and go sightseeing around historical cities like Kyoto, Nara, and Himeji. There are also some optional tours to Hiroshima and/or the Shusaku Memorial Museum in Innoshima. Register before February 28 and get a 5,000-yen discount. “Maeda is hoping — and excited — to show the best part of Japan and have great time with attendees!” reports Akane Negishi.
- photo: Maeda at the 2012 US Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock

Jan Simara Surprise Winner at Euro Championship; The Red Dress Tesuji; U.S. Women’s Tournament Crosstab

Sunday August 26, 2012

Jan Simara Surprise Winner at Euro Championship: Jan Simara 6D was the surprise winner of this year’s European Championship title when he won the deciding game against Ilya Shikshin (click here for the game) at the recent European Go Congress. Simara lives in Zlin in the Czech Republic and just finished university, where he majored in teaching IT. He learned go in chess camp when he was 14 – he’d been playing chess since the age of six — and about two years later quit chess and started to play go. “I studied seriously only once about six years ago for an year when I was about 1-dan,” Simara said, “Mostly reading the Shusaku book Invincible. otherwise I sometimes replay top pro games and do tsumego when I’m in a train going to a tournament.” In an interview with EuroGoTV, Simara’s advice for new players was “Play mainly for joy, never be stressed about results.” Click here for pairings and game records. Final standings for the 2012 European Championship: 1st: Jan Simara; 2nd: Ilya Shikshin; 3rd: Pavol Lisy; 4th: Thomas Debarre; 5th: Ondrej Silt; 6th: Antti Tormanen; 7th: Mateusz Surma; 8th: Gheorghe Cornel Burzo.
- Alain Cano, special European correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by Olivier Dulac

The Red Dress Tesuji: A very stylish and hip 60-second video promoting the upcoming European Women’s Go Championship has been released. The Women’s Go Championship and a side tournament are being organized as part of the 2012 European Go Cup Brno, which is being held September 7-9 in Brno, South Moravia in the Czech Republic.

U.S. Women’s Tournament Crosstab: Tournament Director Lisa Scott has just sent in the crosstab for the recent Women’s Tournament at the U.S. Open, which was won by Kelsey Dyer 1D.

Maeda Organizing 2013 Go Camp in Osaka

Monday August 6, 2012

Maeda Ryo 6P, the popular Japanese professional who’s a regular attendee at the annual U.S.Go Congress, is organizing a 3-week intensive go camp in Osaka next year. “I guarantee a 3-stone improvement for kyu players,” Maeda (at left) smilingly told the E-Journal Monday, “and one stone for dan players.”  Classes will run five days a week, with two days off for sight-seeing to places like the Shusaku Memorial Museum in Innoshima as well as Kyoto, Nara and Himeji. Campers will play league games in the morning, with teaching games with pros – 4-5 will be available daily — in the afternoon, along with lectures, quizzes and simuls, and in the evening there will be casual games with local amateur players. Li Ting 1P — another popular Congress pro — is also helping organize the camp, along with Hayashi Kouzou 6P, with the support of the Kansai Ki-in. Email Osaka.go.2013@gmail.com for more info or to reserve your space.
photo: Maeda giving a lecture Monday at the U.S. Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock 

Summer 2012 GoGoD Release Includes 2,000 Cho Chikun Games

Friday July 20, 2012

The Summer 2012 GoGoD (Games of Go on Disk) update is now available and on its way to subscribers, with a total of 72,644 games in the Database, reports T Mark Hall. “This is a landmark issue,” says Hall. “We now have exactly 2,000 games featuring Cho Chikun. He beat Cho Hun-hyeon as the first to that mark by a whisker. And since we are in Golden Oldies mood, let us recall and salute Jan van Rongen, who collaborated with us on Chikun’s collection in its early days.” Other new material includes “a new Kitani game we found on the day we went to press, but apart from that there has been a long catalogue of new finds of old masters’ games. The most significant perhaps are the three new games by Shusaku which we wrote about in New In Go. Of course the Krypton Kiddies who only wish to drive their 4×4 josekis are not forgotten. You will find well over 1,200 new games for 2012 alone.” Fun stuff includes some new 13×13 blindfolded-pro games, as well as pro games at 9×9, 13×13, 15×15, 17×17 and 21×21. Hall says that GoGod is changing the way the database is sold. “Basically, we are dropping the subscription system at the end of this year, although purchasers who have already subscribed will get their copies as normal,” Hall says. “From now on, all sales will be at the plain vanilla price of $30. This gives us the freedom to update at different times in the year, when we reach notable targets, for instance.”