American Go E-Journal » Europe

Brits “Members-Only” Website Move Sparks Debate

Sunday July 21, 2013

A plan to move previously public material into a “members only” section of the British Go Association’s (BGA) website has sparked controversy. BGA president Jon Diamond recently announced that the the Association’s policies, minutes, and ratings would be moved to the new Members-Only section of the site, which would also include material not previously available on the site, including online versions of recent editions of the quarterly British Go Journal (BGJ) and annual accounts. The announcement of the plan to increase the value of BGA membership was made in an article in the BGJ’s latest issue, sparking a heated discussion on Gotalk, with the ratings move clearly the most hotly-debated. One poster characterized making the ratings list accessible only to members as “counter-productive,” another appealed for the Organisers’ Handbook to remain public, while another pointed out that much of the data about British players is already readily available on the European Go Database. Others, however, thought the move didn’t go far enough, suggesting that full tournament results should be available only to members. The “explosion of correspondence” prompted BGA Treasurer Toby Manning to appeal to participants in the debate to send him a brief summary of their views so that he can prepare a condensed report for the BGA Council’s consideration. Diamond tells the E-Journal that he expects to have a final determination this week about what will be moved to the Members-Only section. While American Go Association currently has no similar plans, AGA President Andy Okun says that the question of how to maximize membership value has been discussed previously, noting that, for example, game commentaries are distributed only in the E-Journal’s Member’s Edition.
- Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal

Categories: Europe,Go News
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Learning from the Stones: Go for Project Managers

Tuesday July 16, 2013

What’s a go lover to do when faced with the choice of a dissertation topic? For Grant Kerr, a doctoral candidate at the SKEMA Business School’s Lille campus, the choice was obvious. Kerr, an experienced manager of  IT and process improvement projects, had become disillusioned. “Traditional project management  . . . is limited by its rationalist, determinist, normative, first-order control paradigm,” he writes.  “It does not sufficiently consider context, strategy, irrational decision-making, nor does it deal with effects of goal and methods uncertainty such as high rates of change and reciprocal interactions between activities.”  As a longtime go player, Kerr realized that go may serve as a useful analogy to examine these issues. He notes that “the game of go has been used as a source analogue for many disciplines, e.g. military; politics (Boorman 1969; Kissinger 2011), business (Anderson 2004; Miura 1995), and mathematics (Conway 1976),” and proceeds to examine 83 identifiable principles of play.  In the end finds that seven of these principles may lead to more productive problem analysis, especially when there is strong opposition to a project. “[Go] adds a new perspective to current thinking on uncertainty. It suggests that project managers learn to deal with enduring conflict.” Kerr’s thesis is available in The Bob High Memorial Library.
- Roy Laird

2014 European Youth Go Championship Venue Set

Tuesday July 16, 2013

The 19th European Youth Go Championship (EYGC) will take place at a holiday camp, a peculiarly British institution, in the seaside resort of Bognor Regis on the south coast of England from March 28-31, 2014, The British Go Association has announced. This is a Class-A MacMahon tournament in six rounds for three age categories: U12, U16 and U20. The 2014 British Go Congress 2014, which includes the British Open, will be held on that Saturday and Sunday, March 29-30. Click here for this year’s EYGC results.
- Tony Collman

 

Categories: Europe,Go News
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Lukas Krämer 5d Takes German Championship

Monday July 15, 2013

Lukas KrämerThe 2013 German Championship wrapped up in Darmstadt on July 7. The first round to determine the final eight contenders was played mid-June in Kassel. On July 4, round-one winners Lucas Krämer, Bernd Radmacher 4d, Marlon Welter 4d, and Matthias Terwey 5d joined last year’s final four Franz-Joseph Dickhut 6d, Johannes Obenaus 5d, Jun Tarumi 5d, and Benjamin Teuber 6d at “game mecca” Gastspielhaus. Although Franz-Joseph was the oldest and most experienced player at age 44 with 11 previous German Championship titles, 20-year-old Kramer (left) defeated him in the first match. Radmacher also secured his first win against 2006 German youth champion Obenaus. The remaining games were played at the Bertolt-Brecht School. In the end, Kramer triumphed with six wins while Radmacher placed second with five and Obenaus third with four and a draw. For full results, pictures, and more information (in German), click here.
– Annalia Linnan, based on a report by the International Go Federation, photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

EuroGoTV Updates: Serbia, UK, Russia

Saturday July 13, 2013

Alexandre VarushovSerbia: Lazar Manojlovic 5d defeated Dragan Dubakovic 3d at the 46th City Championship Finals in Kragujevac on July 7. Misa Alimpic 3d placed third. UK: At the Milton Keynes in Open University, Bruno Poltronieri 2d bested Toby Manning 2d while Michael Cockburn 1k came in third. Russia: The Under 20 Russian Championship finished July 2 in Saint Petersburg with Alexandr Vashurov 6d (left) in first, Stepan Popov 3d in second, and Grigorij Fionin 4d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news

Maths Arcade: Games and Puzzles Promote Logical Thinking

Friday July 12, 2013

Go has special advantages as a freestanding activity, but it also has a place among classic games and puzzles. We found it listed recently among the activities British universities are using to “support struggling learners, stretch confident learners, and encourage staff-student interaction in a social and mathematical context,” according to the recently published Maths Arcade: Stretching and Supporting Logical Thinking. The original Maths Arcade was set up by Noel-Ann Bradshaw at the University of Greenwich in September 2010, not to start another “chess club” but to increase interaction between students and to get them talking about the games and the strategies involved rather than just playing competitively. Math students are often shy; at Maths Arcade they could form friendships in a safe environment. The report cites a study indicating that students with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) including Asperger syndrome could also benefit from an activity based on shared interest and enthusiasm for games, puzzles and problem solving.

According to this report, students can play a wide variety of strategy games and puzzles with each other and staff in weekly drop-in sessions. Sessions often take place in the Student Union to attract a wider range of students. Staff also offers math tutorial support. Simply playing games and puzzles creates a logic-based social environment; strategies and modifications to the rules might also be analyzed. Students could explicitly analyze these games to work out whether the person who moves first is more likely to win, examine how to force a winning position, see what happens when the rules are modified slightly, and even design their own strategy games.

Students particularly liked the opportunity to spend time and play these games with staff outside the classroom environment. Some even brought their own puzzles and games along as the Café offered the unique opportunity to play with other like-minded people. Individuals and groups often spent the entire session attempting to understand best gaming strategies and puzzle solutions. As a result, discussions focused on problem-solving strategies, developing proofs and algorithms, and learning and thinking styles arose spontaneously. One student noted that “by choosing games that no one had seen before, it meant that everyone was learning the games and developing their strategy at the same time which resulted in lecturers and students learning from each other and neither having a distinct advantage.” A teacher “thoroughly enjoyed playing against the students where they had as much chance of winning as I did. It allowed for us to interact in a more relaxed but equally intellectual way.”
- Roy Laird

 

Categories: Europe
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Oscar Selby “Top Boy” at UK Challenge; Roella Smith “Top Girl”

Thursday July 11, 2013

Oscar Selby was the overall winner at the UK Go Challenge 2013 finals, played Saturday July 6. Selby (right), a  10-kyu from Epsom recently featured in the “Ultimate Child Genius” Competition (UK Youth Champ Oscar Selby In “Ultimate Child Genius” Competition, 6/22 EJ) also won the U10 Boys’ category. Roella Smith 13k of Cambridge was Top Girl, also coming first in the U14 Girls’. David Robson and Melchior Chiu were second and third respectively overall.

The UK Go Challenge is a 13×13 nationwide event mounted by the British Go Association (BGA) since 2004 and modeled on the similar UK Chess Challenge, with the aim of encouraging youngsters to take up the game.  Heats were run in schools through the year culminating in this weekend’s finals, in which children not taking part in the heats could also participate. They were held at Milton Church of England Primary School in Milton, near Cambridge, and were organized by BGA VP Tony Atkins. Click here for full results.

Though Selby was given a good chance of winning the (British) Channel 4 TV Child Genius competition, he lost out in the final to 11-year-old wordmeister and world Scrabble champion Shrinidhi Prakash. Click here for the episode, with playback (total playing time about 45mins with commercials; may not play everywhere), including footage (at about 5:30) of Selby at this year’s British Youth Go Championship.
- Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by Tony Atkins; courtesy of British Go Association website  

Categories: Europe,Go News,Youth
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Poltronieri Wins UK Milton Keynes Tournament

Monday July 8, 2013

Bruno Poltronieri 2d from Warwick University won the 25th Milton Keynes Tournament, beating Toby Manning  2d in the  final round. Graham Blackmore  13k and Brent Cutts  8k also won all three of their games. Click here for full tournament report.

The tourney was played on Saturday July 6, at  the Sports Pavilion in the Open University‘s grounds. Milton Keynes is a planned city, built in the second half of the last century. Its location in Buckinghamshire was chosen for its equal proximity to the ancient university cities of Oxford and Cambridge and is itself the realspace centre of the (mainly virtual) Open University. It encompasses the town of Bletchley and hence Bletchley Park, site of the famous wartime code-breaking activities of Alan Turing and others. The roughly rectilinear gridwork road system is used as the basis for the board in the “Milton Keynes Board Tournament“, which is featured as a side event at the Milton Keynes tournament (graphic from tournament flyer at right; flyer and problem by Tim Hunt 2d, who also won the event. Solution to be published in the next edition of the British Go Journal).
- Tony Collman, British correspondent  for the E-Journal

Categories: Europe,Go News
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Shikshin Narrowly Prevails Over Surin in Russian Cup Final

Sunday July 7, 2013

Dmitry Surin 6D came very close in his attempt to wrest the Russian Cup from favorite Ilya Shikshin on the final day of the 2013 Russian Go Congress on July 7. Surin, who unexpectedly won his game against Alexander Dinerchtein 3P in the semi-finals had defeated Shikshin in a recent tournament, so the match promised to be spectacular from the very start. As previously reported (Surin Bests Dinerchtein to Win Berth in Russian Cup Final 7/6/2013 EJ), Surin is an accomplished joseki expert and inventor, so it was no surprise when he started one of the myriad complicated variations of the taisha joseki. Both players stuck to their natural active fighting style, so the later part of the championship game delivered very intense collisions, an exciting clash lasting until the very end, with Shikshin eking out a narrow 1.5 point win.
- Daria Koshkina, Russian corespondent for the E-Journal; photo by Mikail Krylov

Categories: Europe
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EuroGoTV Updates: Poland, Romania, Netherlands

Sunday July 7, 2013

Cristian Pop Romanian National ChampionshipPoland: The 36 International Warsaw Go Tournament finished June 30 in Warszawa with Koichiro Habu 4d in first, Leszek Soldan 5d in second, and Stanislaw Frejlak 4d in third. Romania: After six long days, Cristian Pop 7d (left) was declared the winner of the Romanian National Championship in Mangalia on June 30. Cornel Burzo 6d placed second while Lucian Corlan 5d came in third. Netherlands: Zeno van Ditzhuijzen 5d triumphed at the Toernooi van Utrecht on June 23. Behind him was Robert Rehm 5d in second and Alexander Eerbeek 5d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news