American Go E-Journal » Go News

AGA BOARD TO REVIEW 10-GAME RULE

Monday September 13, 2010

In its monthly meeting Sunday, the American Go Association’s Board of Directors had a preliminary discussion of Feng Yun 9P’s objections (AGA’S 10-Game Rule Assailed By Feng Yun 9P 9/6) to the 10-game rule for international eligibility, according to board member and chair-elect Andy Okun. The board agreed to continue the discussion at a special meeting set for this Wednesday, September 15.  “We set the special meeting because we want to have enough time to go in depth into the issues raised by Feng Yun, as well as to the extensive debate her comments sparked on the AGA chapter e-mail list, which we have all been reading,” Okun said. “A number of people want to hear from us on this question and the time we had in the regular meeting wouldn’t have allowed us to do it justice.” Board members have also been following the thread on the topic on Life in 19×19.

Categories: U.S./North America
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JUSTIN TENG WINS UMD TOURNEY

Monday September 6, 2010

Justin Teng 3d (r) won the 2010 University of Maryland Back to School Go Tournament on Saturday, September 4 in College Park, MD. Twelve players participated in the 3-round tournament. Teng’s only loss was a four-stone handicap game against 8 year-old Yunhuang Zhao (l). Wayne Zhang 20 kyu and Kevin Chin 4 kyu were both undefeated, with three points each. Steve Mount was the Tournament Director. photo by Steve Mount

Categories: U.S./North America
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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP August 31 – September 6: Myeongin Semis; Yamashita Keigo Advances; Lee Sedol Defeats Lee Changho; Iyama Yuta takes Meijin Lead; Tuo Jiaxi Upsets Kong Jie; Kim Jiseok Advances; Jiang Weijie vs. Gu Li in Mingren

Monday September 6, 2010

Myeongin Semifinals in Place. Lee Changho 9P defeated An Kukhyun 2P by 1.5 points in the 38th Myeongin League A playoff match. He now advances to a three-round semifinal match against Park Yeonghun 9P. In League B, Won Sungjin 9P defeated Kim Kiyoung 5P by resignation in their playoff match. Sungjin also advances to a three-round semifinal match against Kang Dongyun 9P. The winners of each semifinal best-of-three series will face one another for the Myeongin title. Yamashita Keigo Advances to NEC Cup Semifinals. Yamashita Keigo 9P defeated Yuki Satoshi 9P by a convincing 11.5 points in the second round of the 30th NEC Cup to advance to a semifinal matchup with O Meien 9P.  The remaining second-round match will be played on September 6 between the current NEC Cup title holder Kono Rin 9P and challenger So Yokoku 8P. The winner of that game will advance to the semifinals to play Cho U 9P. Lee Sedol Defeats Lee Changho in First Round of Price Information Cup. Lee Sedol 9P (l in photo) takes a 1-0 lead in the Price Information Cup by beating Lee Changho 9P (r) by resignation.  The second round in the best-of-three series will be held September 15. Iyama Yuta takes 1-0 lead in Meijin. Defending Meijin title holder Iyama Yuta 9P defeated Takao Shinji 9P by 6.5 points in the first round of the 35th Meijin title match. Takao held the title in 2006, after defeating Cho U 4-2. The second round will be played on September 16-17. Tuo Jiaxi Upsets Kong Jie in Qiwang Second Round. In the 6th Qiwang, Tuo Jiaxi 3P defeated current title holder Kong Jie 9P by resignation. In other second-round matches: Li Zhe 6P defeated Piao Wenyao 5P; Wu Guangya 6P defeated Tan Xiao 5P; Peng Liyao 5P defeated Nie Weiping 9P; Gu Lingyi 5P defeated Chang Hao 9P; Xie He 7P defeated Shi Yue 5P; Zhang Li 5P defeated Ding Wei 9P; Qui Jun 8P defeated Chen Yaoye 9P. Kim Jiseok Advances to Caltex Semifinals. In the third round of the 15th GS Caltex Cup challenger tournament, Kim Jiseok 7P defeated Choi Cheolhan 9P by resignation to advance to the semifinals.  That round will have Kim against Won Sungjin 9P on September 29th and Park Yeonghun 9P against Lee Younggu 8P on September 15th. Jiang Weijie vs. Gu Li in Mingren. Jiang Weijie 5P defeated Li Zhe 6P by resignation in the third and final match to decide the challenger for the 23rd Mingren title. Jiang will face Gu Li 9P for the title.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

Categories: World
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NEW STUDY FINDS PLAYING GO MAKES BRAINS GROW

Monday September 6, 2010

Serious study of go causes actual physical changes in the brain. That’s the stunning finding of a Korean group of neuroscientists who studied the difference between “long-term trained players” and“inexperienced controls.”  In their paper, which appears in the August 2010 issue of Neuroimage, Lee et al. report that they found “larger regions of white matter . . . that are related to attentional control, working memory, executive regulation, and problem-solving.” Their findings also suggest that “experts tend to develop a task-specific template for the game, as compared to controls . . . [and] were less likely than were controls to use structures related to load-dependent memory capacity.” In other words, experts don’t think harder, look at more variations or read farther than the rest of us; they use “spatial processes” – pattern recognition – to see better moves than the rest of us immediately. The researchers used a special type of fMRI –voxel-based diffusion-tensor imaging — to compile their data. This is a fairly well-established method: last year British researchers used the same process to show that “motor learning” – in this case, juggling – produced similar changes. The findings that strong players use something like “intuition” to see better moves tends to confirm previous research such as Chase and Simon’s classic 1973 study, where it was discovered that master chess players see more meaningful “chunks” when briefly glancing at a position than “woodpushers.” “Chunk theory” is now a widely accepted way of understanding how trained brains work. Reitman’s 1976 paper furthered our understanding of expert processes by studying an “expert” go player (Jim Kerwin, who went on to become the first Western pro) and then-beginner Bruce Wilcox (later the author of NEMESIS, the first computer go program) and confirming the basic tenets of “chunk theory.” Other research has examined whether go playing brains may have different — and hopefully more desirable — general qualities than non-playing brains.  The Deoksoo Study is one of several suggesting that serious go students may acquire more sophisticated cognitive abilities in other areas. In 2003, Chen et al. showed that go players use many different areas of the brain; similar chess studies have shown more localized activation. Lee et al.’s study takes our understanding one giant step further – high-level cognitive training has a physical impact on the brain, just as hitting the gym does for the body. This finding has enormous implications for the eternal “nature-nurture” debate. The current conventional wisdom is, “We are what we’re born with,” not “We are shaped by our experiences.” The brain’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions and perform the other work that makes us human is seen largely as biological, inborn, brain-based. “Big pharm” ads tell us over and over that the way to fix our depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, ED, etc. is to tweak our brain chemistry with a pill.  Teachers and parents often label struggling students, then begin the quest for the perfect pill that will fix the ADHD, bipolar disorder or whatever. But what if the pills don’t work? If it’s an inborn biological problem, what’s the solution? Fortunately, we now know that certain kinds of experience can actually improve the physical brain.  As the authors say, “long-term Baduk training appears to cause structural brain changes associated with . . . higher-order cognitive capacities, such as learning, abstract reasoning, and self-control, which can facilitate education and cognitive therapies.” Other questions now arise. Are some activities more growth-promoting than others? Probably. Does the brain change more in players who begin at a younger age? Does the increased white matter in go players’ brains just help them to play well, or is the increased “throughput” capacity useful in other areas as well?  One would think so, but there’s no evidence – yet.  To learn more, check out “Go and Cognition” by Peter Shotwell, in the Bob High Memorial Library.
– by Roy Laird; additional reporting by Hajin Lee 3P

Categories: World
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AGA’S 10-GAME RULE ASSAILED BY FENG YUN 9P

Monday September 6, 2010

The American Go Association’s 10 rated games requirement is again under fire, this time from Feng Yun 9P. In a lengthy posting to AGA chapters on Friday, Feng Yun – whose go school in New Jersey has trained many of the new generation of top players — said that the rule, which requires that potential participants in international events have played at least ten rated games in the preceding year, excluded her from play in the Bingsheng Cup World Women’s Weiqi Championship, a new international women’s tournament to be held in China. While extending congratulations to Canadian Cathy Li, who won the qualifier, Feng Yun said that “the AGA decision not to allow the top US women to compete is shameful.” There was no official AGA response by press-time Monday night; look for a follow-up report on the AGA website later this week and in next week’s E-Journal.

Categories: U.S./North America
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GUOCHEN XIE WINS BOSTON OPEN

Monday August 30, 2010

Guochen Xie (front left) won the Boston Go Open on Sunday, August 29, topping a field of 26. “It’s a really competitive tournament and no player won all four games,” reports organizer Ke Lu.  Three players were 3-1 in the open division, with Guochen Xie winning on SOS, Yunzhe Zhang runner-up and Jie Liang in third.  The top four in Division A: 1st: Eric Osman; 2nd: Rebecca Torrey; 3rd: Eva Casey; 4th: Danny Yoo.  Top three in Division B were: 1st: Bowen He; 2nd: Deguang He; 3rd: Marjorie E. Hey. Click here for more photos. photos courtesy Ke Lu.

Categories: U.S./North America
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WORLD GO NEWS ROUND-UP August 24-30: Han Zenki and Tsuruyama Atsushi Advance; Mukai Chiaki to Challenge; Olleh KT down to Eight

Monday August 30, 2010

Han Zenki and Tsuruyama Atsushi advance in Daiwa Cup: Surprising second round results from the Daiwa Cup have two of Japan’s top professionals being defeated by less well-known 7 dans.  The first was Han Zenki 7P who defeated current Daiwa Cup title holder Kono Rin 9P by resignation. The second was Tsuruyama Atsushi 7P who defeated O Rissei 9P by resignation.  Han became a pro 1996 at age 19, while Tsuruyama turned pro in 1999 at the age of 18. Mukai Chiaki to challenge Xie Yimin for Female Honinbo: In the final challenger-decision match for the 29th Female Honinbo, Mukai Chiaki 4P defeated Umezawa Yukari 5P by resignation, giving her the nod to challenge Xie Yimin 5P for the title. Mukai Chiaki is 23 years old, became a professional in 2004, and was promoted to 4 dan just this year. She is a student of Honda Sachiko. Her two sisters, Mukai Kozue 1P and Mukai Kaori 2P, are professionals in the Nihon Ki-in as well. The first round of the title match will be played on October 6th. Olleh KT down to eight as Yun Junsang 8P defeats Kim Jiseok 7P: In their sixth round game, Yun won by resignation over Kim in the inaugural edition of the Olleh KT Cup, which is a Korean professional tournament sponsored by the telecommunications company Olleh KT. This is their first sponsored tournament with total prize money of 700 million won.
- JustPlayGo; edited by Jake Edge

Categories: World
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EUROPEAN GO NEWS ROUND-UP: Romanian Masters, Leksand Open, Reporters Wanted

Monday August 30, 2010

TARANU WINS ROMANIAN MASTERS: Catalin Taranu 5p won the 2010 Romanian Masters, held August 25-29 in Iasi, capital of the Romanian province Moldavie. Artem Kachanovskyj won the first edition of the Iasi Cup, held August 27-29 in the same place.
SHIKSHIN NARROWLY WINS LEKSAND OPEN: Ilya Shikshin won the August 10-12 Leksand Open in Sweden, just a point ahead of Kyoungnang Kang.
EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENTS WANTED! The E-Journal is seeking correspondents to report on European go news; if interested, email journal@usgo.org
- based on reports on EuroGoTV

Categories: Europe
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YOUR MOVE, Readers Write: Dude, Where Are My Classified Ads?

Monday August 30, 2010

DUDE, WHERE ARE MY CLASSIFIED ADS? “Ever since you changed the format of the E-Journal from weekly to daily, I’ve been unable to find the classifieds,” writes Craig Brown. “I’ve even gone back to the weekly newsletter thinking this would help, but I don’t see the classifieds there either.  Have you discontinued this part of the newsletter, or am I maybe just not finding it?” The classified ads run in both the daily and weekly editions of the EJ and the complete list can always be found on our news page in the Go Classified section (click on the Go Classified tab at right). Ads appear in the next daily edition after initial posting and then in the next weekly edition (but not in subsequent weekly editions).

MYUNG-WAN KIM 9P MAKES THREE-PEAT DONATION TO AGF

Saturday August 28, 2010

During the August 7 closing banquet at this year’s Go Congress in Colorado Springs, Myung-Wan Kim 9P (r) again donated $500 of his US Open prize winnings to the American Go Foundation (AGF). “The American go community is very fortunate to have Myung-Wan Kim living and teaching here,” said Paul Barchilon, AGF Vice President and Youth Coordinator for the American Go Association (AGA). “And his support of our youth activities is a testament to his commitment to the future of go in this country.” This is the third consecutive year Kim has donated to the AGF, which promotes scholastic and youth go programs in the U.S. “I always want to do something for the go community in the U.S.,” Kim said in 2008 when he made his first contribution at the Go Congress in Portland OR. This year he has a new plan. “I think building the professional system is the most important thing the U.S. go community needs to do. I will work with Hankuk-kiwon (Korea Baduk/Go Association) to make that happen.”
- by Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang; photos by Gen Zhang