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GO IN THE NEWS: U.S. Strategists Learning from Go, says Wall Street Journal

Sunday June 26, 2011

“Forget chess,” said the Wall Street Journal on June 11. “To understand geopolitics in Taiwan or the Indian Ocean, U.S. strategists are learning from Go.” David Lai (r), a professor at the Army War College, has been telling senior military officials in the U.S. and overseas in recent months that go “holds the key to understanding how the Chinese really think—and U.S. officials had better learn to play if they want to win the real competition,” wrote reporter Keith Johnson in “What Kind of Game Is China Playing?” Lai authored a 2004 paper called “Learning From the Stones,” that described China’s long-term and indirect approach to acquiring influence and “zeroed in on concrete geopolitical challenges such as Taiwan, which he described, in terms of Go, as a single isolated stone next to a huge mass of opposing pieces.” The paper caught the attention of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who the WSJ says “quickly became a convert to his way of thinking.” Kissinger refers to go throughout his new book, “On China,” (“Flawed” Use of Go in Kissinger’s New Book? 6/5 EJ). One of Lai’s first fans was Air Force Gen. Steve Lorenz, formerly the head of Air University, where Lai then taught, reports the WSJ. “Gen. Lorenz heard one of his lectures in late 2005 and summoned him for a full briefing about the insights that Go could offer.” In recent months, Lai has briefed officers at Pacific Command, the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command, the Center for Army Analysis and the Australian Defence College. “One officer at the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command, where Mr. Lai gave a presentation at a commander’s conference in March to about three dozen officers, said ‘the game analogy really sparked fascination’ and was useful for Air Force officers who might have to consider China a potential adversary one day. He conceded, though, that the briefing’s heavy academic content left ‘plenty of heads hurting.’ ‘You’ve got to think like the other guy thinks,’ said the officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.” Other say that comparing national strategic thought to popular sports and games is an over-simplification. “Go is a very useful device for analyzing Chinese strategy, but let’s not overdo it,” James Holmes, an expert on Chinese strategy and professor at the Naval War College said. The 6/11 article also features a video of the WSJ’s Christina Tsuei getting a lesson on the game from 35-year go veteran – and Brooklyn Go Club organizer — Jean-Claude Chetrit (left).

Categories: U.S./North America
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GO IN THE NEWS: Tampa Go Club

Saturday June 25, 2011

The Tampa Go Club was included in a May 20 St. Petersburg Times write-up on area gaming clubs:
The board game Go has been around for more than 2,000 years and enjoys widespread popularity in East Asia. But around here, there’s just one game in town. John Russell, a 28-year-old librarian, formed the Tampa Go Club nearly two years ago. The weekly meeting attract upwards of 15 people who play on three board sizes, the largest being the most difficult. Often compared to Chess and Backgammon, Go has simple rules but a high degree of strategy. Two players alternate turns by placing black or white stones on the board to amass the larger territory. The club has a core group of regulars but often gets drop-ins from USF who may have seen the game played in A Beautiful Mind, Pi and other movies. Tampa Go Club meets from 3 to 6 p.m. Sundays at the International Boba House and Internet Cafe, 2764 University Square Drive, Tampa. Click here or email goclubtampa@gmail.com.
- photo courtesy St. Petersburg Times

Categories: U.S./North America
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GO SPOTTING: Yojiro Takita’s New Film

Saturday June 25, 2011

Yojiro Takita’s next film has an interesting historical connection to the game of go. Takita (r) – who won an Oscar in 2009 for Okuribito (Departures) – is adapting the novel ‘Tenchi Meisastsu,’ about a 17th century astronomer and mathematician. The film is an adaptation of To Ubukata’s novel of the same name, based on the life of Shibukawa, who later took on the name of his father, champion go player Yasui Santetsu, first head of the Yasui house. The novel has won literary awards in Japan on its way to selling 380,000 copies. It was published by Kadokawa, which is collaborating with Shochiku on the movie. Tenchi Meisastsu — which roughly translates as “insights into the universe” — is being shot at Shochiku’s Kyoto studio until the middle of August, and is slated for an autumn 2012 release.
- based on Gavin J. Blair’s story in The Hollywood Reporter, with thanks to Ramon Mercado for spotting the reference.

Categories: Go Art,Go Spotting,World
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Mexico City to Host 13th Iberoamerican Go Tourney in October

Saturday June 25, 2011

The 13th Iberoamerican Go Tournament will be held in Mexico City October 8-10. “The Ibero Tournament is the biggest event in the Latin America go scene, and we would be really happy to have visitors from the USA,”  Mexican Go Association President Vladimiro González tells the E-Journal.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Feng Yun 9P Offers Summer Go Workshop

Monday June 20, 2011

Registration is now open for Feng Yun 9P’s August 22-26 Summer Go Workshop in New Jersey. “This is a good opportunity for players of all ages to study go with a 9 dan pro in a relaxed atmosphere with a lot of personal attention,” reports Paul Matthews. Workshop registration is limited; click here for more details.

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U.S. to Send Team to Sport Accord Mind Games in December

Monday June 20, 2011

The American Go Association has been invited to send a team to the Sport Accord Mind Games in December in Beijing. “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to participate in such a prestigious event, and look forward to it with great anticipation,” said AGA President Allan Abramson. Six teams will play in the December 8-17 tournament in Beijing: China, Japan, Kore, Chinese Taipei (representing Asia-Pacific), the U.S. (representing the Americas) and the European Union (representing Europe). Each team will have five members, with at least one female, and there are two medals: team and pair go. The U.S. team selection process will consist of inviting 16 AGA players with 6.0+ rating, including at least two female players, and four CGA players. A 5-round qualifier tournament will be held July 10-12, July 13-16, July 17-20, July 21-23, and July 24-26. Email tournaments@usgo.org for complete SAMG qualifier details and requirements or to register; include your commitment to play in the full qualifier and to travel to Beijing in December. Registration deadline is 8p EST on July 4. Prizes include $10,000-80,000 (USD) for teams and $2,000-12,000 (USD) for pair go. Each team is guaranteed at least the minimum amount. For all players, airfare, hotel, meals, and local transportation are sponsored by Sport Accord. Click here to stay tuned for more details.

Zhou/Chou Top DC/VA NAIM Qualie

Monday June 20, 2011

Last weekend’s DC-area North American Ing Masters (NAIM) qualifier spanned two states and as many days. The battle between six strong players commenced Friday night, June 18 as more than a dozen players gathered at the Greater Washington Go Club in Bethesda to watch Yuan Zhou 7d, Daniel Chou 6d, Zhengying Gu 5d, Juan Pablo Quizon 5d, Keith Arnold 4d and Justin Teng 4d play. Tournament Director Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang did the pairings with a set of fans signed by professionals, which the players were allowed to keep. The Board 1 game between Zhou and Teng was broadcast live on KGS by E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock; see below for the game record. Three rounds were scheduled across the river on Saturday in the Northern Virginia (NOVA) Go Club, and the “1+3” schedule was favored by many players, who felt it was more physically manageable, allowing for a higher quality of games. Yuan Zhou 7d and Daniel Chou 6d both finished 3-1, with Keith Arnold 4d and Justin Teng 4d tied in 3rd place. Photos by Yang Jiao

[link]

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IN MEMORIAM: Tim Huang

Monday June 20, 2011

Tim Huang, longtime member of the Vermont Go Club and a tireless promoter of the game of go passed away June 14 after a long battle with leukemia and its after-effects. Tim attended several U.S. Go Congresses and included many of his students – he was a Associate Professor of Computer Science at Middlebury College — in AI studies of the game. His contributions to AI research helped lead to many of the critical developments in computer science and artificial intelligence, according to Middlebury President Ron Liebowitz. Huang is survived by his wife, Chae Sim Huang, and daughter, Lydia; his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Charles and Karen Huang; two sisters, Judy Huang and Jennifer (Huang) Stiller; and eight nieces and nephews. A memorial service was held on June 18 at Mead Memorial Chapel. “Here in Vermont we are mourning of our colleague and friend,” reports Pete Schumer.

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Go Camp Discounts Offered

Monday June 20, 2011

The AGA East Coast Go Camp is still on, but time is running out for kids to register. With the AGF needs-based scholarships, kids can attend camp for as little as $500. Every summer since 1998, kids from 8 to 18 from all over the US and abroad, have met for a week to study and have fun at the AGA Go Camp. Play and instruction are supplemented by many typical camp activities. Experienced camp organizers are in charge, so the children who attend camp are safe and well cared for. Everything is organized to the last detail, beginning from the pickup at the airport to the last moment when staff take kids to the home-bound flight.  This year’s camp will be held at the Madison Suites Hotel in Somerset, New Jersey, July 23-30. Mingjiu Jiang 7p and Yuan Zhou 7d will be the primary teachers.   “The camp is an exciting chance to play go face to face, instead of just online,” says camp director John Mangual. For more information, visit the camp page here, or e-mail Mangual at agagocampeast@usgo.org -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

LG Cup Yields More Surprises

Saturday June 18, 2011

The 16th LG Cup has continued to defy the predictions of go fans, creating a very interesting tournament going into the quarter finals. As we mentioned last week, Lee Sedol 9P, Gu Li 9P and Kong Jie 9P were all knocked out in the first round of the main tournament. Round two took place on June 15, 2011. Piao Wenyao 9P – the defending LG Cup champion – was eliminated by rising Korean star Kim Jiseok 7P. Some readers may remember Kim Jiseok’s explosive play against Gu Li in the BC Card Cup. Many are expecting Kim, who turned 22 last week, to break through on the international stage any day now. Qiu Jun 8P and Xie He 7P also defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P and Park Younghun 9P respectively.

Meanwhile the anticipated game between Iyama Yuta 9P and Lee Changho 9P concluded with Lee’s convincing win in 102 moves. The eight players who made it to the quarter finals are: Qiu Jun 8P, Jiang Weijie 5P and Xie He 7P of China. Kim Jiseok 7P, Won Seongjin 9P, Lee Changho 9P and Heo Youngho 9P of Korea. And Chen Shiyuan 9P of Taiwan. Of these eight, Lee is the only one with a solid track record in international tournaments, but he faces competition from a number of young and talented players to win this one.

Just to maintain the suspense, we’ll have to wait until November 2011 for the next two rounds to be played. The final will be in February 2012.

- Jingning; based on her original report on the 16th LG Cup at Go Game Guru. Photo: Lee Changho at the 16th LG Cup.

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