American Go E-Journal » Go News

U.S. Go Congress Registration Passes 100 Mark

Saturday May 4, 2013

Over 100 early birds have registered for the 2013 U.S. Go Congress, which runs August 3-11 in Tacoma, Washington. Registration cost rises $50 after May 31; payment must be made in full to receive the early-bird discount (which is why only 48 show on the “Who’s Coming” page, though some registrants simply may not yet selected room and board plans).

“This Congress has new exciting plans,” says Congress Co-Director Chris Kirschner. “The AGA will issue official rank certificates, a teacher’s workshop will inaugurate an AGA teacher certification program, and The Pentathlon is a new competitive opportunity for the truly dedicated.” Combined scores from the U.S. Open, Self-Paired, 9×9, 13×13 and the Lightning tournaments will determine the Pentathlon winners. photo: Mt. Rainier, nearby the Congress site

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Alexander Dinerchtein 3P’s Perspectives on Shikshin, Studying and the Need for More Europe-U.S. Play

Saturday May 4, 2013

Alexander DinerchteinThough he is a 7-time European Go Champion, the first Russian player to achieve professional rank and currently considered one of Europe’s finest players, Alexandre Dinerchtein 3p (“breakfast” on KGS) keeps his accomplishments in perspective.

Referring to his record against Ilya Shikshin 7d (“roln111″ on KGS), he told the E-Journal in a recent interview that “The official score is 24-8, but we cannot say that I am stronger.” Dinerchtein says he won early games against Shikshin because the distance in strength between them was much greater. For example, in their first match in 2001, Dinerchtein, the European Champion, played Shikshin as a 3-dan amateur. Their score in recent games has been more evenly matched, however, and Dinerchtein says he thinks Shikshin has more talent. “My score is not bad with him only because I know his go style well, his weak and strong points.” Citing strategy as a key Shikshin weakness, Dinerchtein said he forces Shikshin to solve more strategy-oriented problems. Shikshin “plays the same fuseki in every game for exactly the same reason,” says Dinerchtein, “he likes to avoid fuseki and joseki questions and start middlegame fights early.” These middlegame conflicts are Shikshin’s greatest strength and Dinerchtein’s biggest weakness. “I cannot fight as well as Ilya can and I hate any risk on the go board,” Dinerchtein told the E-Journal. Like his favorite professional Kobayashi Koichi 9P, Dinerchtein would rather games be as peaceful and risk-free as possible.

In terms of game study, Dinerchtein said that when he started playing go 25  years ago, “it was hard to find even a single go book, [a] single pro game record.” But now with many go books, game databases, and internet lessons (including his Insei League KGS go school), “it’s easy to find good partners online, so you can improve a lot without even visiting Asian go schools.” Dinerchtein emphasized the importance of studying professional games by using chess as an example. “Every chess grandmaster who wants to win tournaments spends a lot of time preparing new variations using go game databases,” he said, “I am sure soon we will see the same situation in go.”

Insei League KGSThough go resources have expanded, the thing Dinerchtein would like to see most in the future is more “serious” interaction between top European and U.S. players. Except for his game with Michael Redmond 9P in 2001, he has never played any top U.S. players in an official event. As for recent U.S.-European events, he said, “I saw the matches between Lee Sedol and U.S. pros (and European pro Taranu), but I don’t think that they were interesting enough” because they were “novelty” fast games. He’d like to see the European Go Federation (EGF) and American Go Association (AGA) sponsor tournaments with big titles and prize purses, like those organized by the Chinese Weiqi Association, Korean Baduk Association and the Nihon Ki-in in Japan. Find out more about Dinerchtein on his homepage, KGS, OGS, DGS, or sign up for the GOAMA newsletter.
- Annalia Linnan

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More on Judge Dee; Huading Correction

Saturday May 4, 2013

For more on Judge Dee (Your Move/Readers Write: Detective Dee Returns  4/29 EJ), check out Peter Shotwell’s 2010 monography on Judge Dee and Go Steganography.

In our April 29 Power Report, we mis-spelled the name of the Huading Tea Industries Cup World Women’s Team Tournament; we apologize for the error.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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North American College Players Invited to July Tournament in China, But Must Act Quickly

Thursday May 2, 2013

The Shanghai Ing Foundation has opened its first International Collegiate GO Tournament to US and Canadian college students, according to Michael Fodera of the American Collegiate Go Association. Students who attend the July 7-13 event will play go with players from all over China and the world, travel around Shanghai and Hangzhou and play teaching games with stars Gu Li 9P and Chang Hao 9P. While players must cover their own travel costs to China, their food, accommodation, travel within China, tour costs and sponsored events will be paid for by the Shanghai Ing Foundation. “I was one of the players that attended the [Ing-sponsored] 2011 go summer camp,” Fodera tells the E-Journal, “ and I can honestly say that this is a chance of a lifetime. The Ing Foundation really does not spare any expense when it comes to these events.” The opportunity is open to players who have attended college or will attend college —  undergraduate or graduate — in the 2013 calendar year, and who do not hold a professional certification from a recognized go association.

Act fast, however. The deadline for registration is May 15, and, while there is currently no cap on the number of North American students who can attend, the event includes students from the rest of the world as well and if room runs out, requests will be handled on a first-come first-served basis, Fodera says. Click here for details of the trip, as well as links to the registration form and schedule. Questions may be addressed to Fodera at mdf116@brandeis.edu or to the Shanghai Ing Foundation’s Min Xiao at min_xiao@harvard.edu.
- Andy Okun

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Categories: Youth
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Teacher of the Year Deadline Extended

Thursday May 2, 2013

Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s  Teacher of the Year award have been extended until May 30th. The award is presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress and recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner  will receive an all expenses paid trip to the 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 (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible.  If you would like to apply for this award, e-mail mail@agfgo.org.  Nominations are due by May 30th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities,  how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: 2011 winner Fritz Balwit teaching his son Theo. 

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Gilman to Complete Barber’s Term as AGA Central Region Director

Thursday May 2, 2013

In the uncontested race to complete Bob Barber’s term as AGA Director for the Central Region, “Bob Gilman wins with 100% of the vote,” reports Arnold Eudell. Gilman (left), who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is affiliated with the Santa Fe Go Club. A long time AGA member, Gilman has contributed articles to the E-Journal, edited several pages in the recent update of the AGA web site and organized a trip this past February by a group of US players who traveled to Cuba for friendship games at the Academia Cubana de Go in Havana. “I am interested in encouraging greater active involvement by AGA members in forming and executing AGA development plans,” Gilman says. Reach him at BobGilman.AGA@gmail.com

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Categories: U.S./North America
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EuroGoTV Updates: Oslo Open 2013, Japan Counsil Cup, & Romanian Youth Championship – U 16 Final

Thursday May 2, 2013

Oystein Vestgaarden 2d bested Paal Sannes 4d and Kim Johansson 1d came in third at the Oslo Open on April 21. In the League A Japan Counsil Cup in Sankt-Peterburg April 13 and 14, Alexander Dinerchtein 7d defeated Ilya Shikshin 7d while Alexander Vashurov 5d placed third. Silvestru State 1d won the Romanian Youth Championship – U 16 final in Bucuresti on April 14 with Denis Dobranis 3k in second and Darius Dobranis 1k in third. For complete result tables and all the latest European go news, visit EuroGoTV.com.
-Annalia Linnan

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More Go — and Pie — in the Big Apple

Wednesday May 1, 2013

“Go is alive and well here in Manhattan!” reports Big Apple organizer Peter Armenia. “We of course have our very regular Gotham Go Group every Tuesday evening at 7 at the Hungarian Pastry Shop. And it looks like there will be Go every Wednesday night at 6 pm at PIE By the Pound (124 4th Ave btw 12th and 13th). Now all we need is a Go Congress in New York City!”

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Shi Yue Wins Go9dan.com’s First Professional World Go League

Tuesday April 30, 2013

Chinese pro Shi Yue has won first prize in go9dan.com’s first professional World Go League. “I was really happy that I managed to top all these very strong players,” Shi said. The 3-month long World Go League featured ten of the top players in the world competing for $100,000 in prizes, five players each from South Korea and China. From Korea, Lee Changho, Lee Sedol, Park Younghoon, Kim Jisuk and Park Junghwan participated, and from China Shi Yue, Chen Yaoye, Fan Tingyu, Xie He and Kong Jie. Go TV relayed Lee Sedol’s professional commentary on selected games. Shi Yue won with a 7-2 record and Park Junghwan and Chen Yaoye were runners up with 6-3. Ironically go9dan.com co-founder Lee Sedol finished last with a 2-7 record. Click here for complete game results.
“Unique to the World Go League, the top 10 superpowers went head to head without any preliminaries,” go9dan.com’s Michael Simon tells the E-Journal. Forty five games among the world’s strongest go players were recorded; for game records click here and look for games marked (P) for professional. All of the games were played online, “which created some very interesting issues,” Simon says. “We saw players run out of time and even place stones on unintended intersections on the board.” When Lee Sedol was doing game commentaries on BadukTV, he talked about his “mouse misses” and specifically about players who are experienced online vs. those who are not experienced.
Asked his secret to success, Shi said that “the secret is to maintain sound health and an active mind…In go, confidence is very important. Nowadays luck seems to matter a lot, too.” On his thoughts on the future of go in China, Korea, and Japan, Shi notes that “Recently, Japan is falling behind in world go championships, and the competition is strongest between China and Korea. Personally, I want to see Japan recover quickly and compete on the world’s top stage. And I also wish to see top players from Europe and other countries compete at the highest level.”
Go9dan.com is a global online go site co-founded by Lee Sedol and former US Champion John J. Lee. It is directly involved in the establishment and planning of projects to foster go. Unexpected network problems and defects in the application took longer to cure than expected so its beta period was extended. Simon says that go9dan.com anticipates launching its full-fledged service very soon.
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Categories: World
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Online “OWL: Resurrection” Tournament to Launch NAMT Qualifiers

Tuesday April 30, 2013

The sequel to last year’s Oscar Wilde Liberation (OWL) Tournament, “OWL: Resurrection”, will be this year’s first online NAMT qualifier, reports Karoline Burrall, who will direct, with Jasmine Yan. The 4-round tournament will take place the weekend of May 18-19, “the 19th being the 116th anniversary of the great author and playwright Oscar Wilde’s liberation from Reading Gaol Prison in 1897,” Burrall tells the E-Journal. “Participants will have the opportunity to earn points towards the North American Masters Tournament at this year’s Go Congress in August,” Burrall adds. Designed for 16 players, all games will be played on KGS in the AGA Tournament Room. Click here for tournament schedule and rules and here to register by Thursday May 16. Players must be 4D+ and eligible to compete in NAMT (citizen or permanent resident, continuous AGA membership since January 2012, and resident in the US for 6 of the last 12 months). Burrall notes that “should this tournament fall on the same weekend again next year, it will be titled ‘OWL: Apocalypse’”.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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