American Go E-Journal » Go News

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

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Categories: Europe,Go News
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Iyama Retains Honinbo Title With 4.5-Point Win in Game 7

Saturday July 20, 2013

In the end, Iyama Yuta 9P’s hold on the Honinbo title came down to 4.5 points. That was Iyama’s margin of victory over Takao Shinji 9P in the final game of the 68th Honinbo title, which concluded on July 18 at 7:42p after 262 moves in Hadano, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. This is the third time in three years that the Honinbo has gone the full 7-game distance, including last year when Iyama took the title from Yamashita Keigo 9P. Iyama and Takao began their grueling duel in mid-May with Iyama winning the first game. Takao quickly made up the loss by controlling the next two games. However, Iyama (right) was not intimidated and fought back in games four and five, giving himself a chance to capture the match in game six, but Takao quickly extinguished those hopes in just 194 moves to set up yet another dramatic final game for the match. In the decisive seventh game (left), Iyama, taking black, used almost half of his eight-hour time allowance during the first day alone. When Takao sealed the move (W74) at 5:07p on July 17, he had four hours and forty-eight minutes remaining while his opponent only had four hours and five minutes. At 9a the next morning, the tricky sealed move was revealed and

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“[changed] the flow of the game,” according to live game commentator Rin Kanketsu 7P. Yet up until move 70, either player could have taken the title. It was white’s tenuki at move 82 that was the crucial misstep that allowed black to secure thickness and give Iyama the advantage. White attempted to complicate the game at move 92 but Iyama stayed unfazed through the endgame and claimed victory with only two minutes left on his clock. In a post-game interview, Iyama said he felt fortunate to have held on to the title after such a challenging series. Takao felt lucky he made it to the end but was disappointed in his own performance. Since his most recent Honinbo title in 2007, Takao has tried to “reclaim the crown” three times to no avail. Iyama, on the other hand, holds five of the seven major Japanese titles (Kisei, Honinbo, Tengen, Oza, and Gosei) and also won the 25th Asian TV Cup at the end of June, proving his international prowess.
- Annalia Linnan, based on a more detailed report — including more photos and game records — on Go Game Guru; photos courtesy Go Game Guru

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Go at the Japanese Friendship Garden Day Camp

Friday July 19, 2013

The Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego’s summer day camp is including go lessons, for the second year in a row. Using equipment provided by the American Go Foundation, San Diego Go Club president Ted Terpstra reports that he’s “teaching beginners the basics of go, and having them playing games on small boards within 20 minutes.” Fifteen day campers are learning about go through Hikaru no Go episodes on Hulu, as well as with books. “The enthusiastic go players have sets available during free time for playing after learning the essentials,” Terpstra adds. Each week is a different age grouping with children in grades from kindergarten through 6th, the program is running for five weeks. -photo by Ted Terpstra: third and fourth graders learn go.
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Congress Pair Go Tourney Adds Special Festivities

Thursday July 18, 2013

At this year’s US Go Congress, the Pair Go Tournament will include special festivities including an opening ceremony, and slide show, as well as a Best Dressed Competition. Pair Go players will also receive lapel pins featuring the new US Pair Go logo (at right, designed by graphic designer Wende Mate to show the “solidifying identity” of Pair Go in the US) “and other goodies,” reports AGA Pair Go Coordinator Rachel Small. In conjunction with the World Pair Go Association, ‘Pair Go Promotion Partner (PGPP) Passports’ will be launched in the US for the first time at the Congress. “The passport is a symbol of enthusiasm for promoting Pair Go, and will be stamped at each Pair Go event you attend to track your adventures in competitive Pair Go, starting with this Congress’s North American Pair Go Championship and Youth-Adult Pair Go Tournament,” says Small. To receive your passport at the Congress, apply for PGPP membership at the Congress website . After the Congress, a short video will be released highlighting the congress Pair Go events and celebrating the culture of Pair Go in the US. ‘Like’ AGA Pair Go on Facebook  to see coverage of the Congress events, including tournament results and photos from the Best Dressed Competition. To contribute photos to be included in the slide show, email pairgo@usgo.org. Financial incentives will be provided for an organizer/director for the Pair Go pro teaching workshop at this year’s Congress, a game-recorder for the top table Pair Go game, a volunteer to record video of Congress Pair Go events, and a video-editor to piece together the footage into a short promotional piece. Those interested should contact Small at pairgo@usgo.org.
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Kan Yao 5D Wins Skip Ascheim Memorial

Thursday July 18, 2013

Kan Yao 5d took first place in the annual Skip Ascheim Memorial Tournament on Sunday July 14th in Somerville Massachusetts, topping a field of 22. “The Massachusetts Go Association greatly appreciates the cordial relationship we have with the Boylston Chess Club in whose space we hold our tournaments,” says Tournament Director Eva Casey. Su Co Chon Duc (aka Marjorie Hey) helped run things for part of the day when Casey had to leave to deal with a family emergency. Results: 1st: Kan Yao 5D (4-0); 2nd: Tiantian Yuan 3D (3-1); 3rd (tie): Jason McGibbon 3k and Giancarlo Feula 7k (both 3-1).
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Categories: U.S./North America
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Rex Weyler on Life Lessons Learned from Go

Wednesday July 17, 2013

It was the problems that hooked Rex Weyler. The Greenpeace founder had just learned go from writer Rick Fields (“Chop Wood, Carry Water”) “and Rick gave me a beginner’s book — Ishigure’s In The Beginning, I think — and I took it home that night in 1981 and the life and death problems were so fascinating that the game absolutely hooked me. Weyler, a reknowned environmental activist and journalist, has been playing go ever since. When he co-founded the Hollyhock learning center on Cortes Island in British Columbia the following year, Weyler made sure that a go workshop was included, initially led by Canadian go player Roy Langston, and then for many years by American James Kerwin 1P. After a hiatus, the Hollyhock go workshop returned this year, this time with Janice Kim 3P, and of course Weyler, who has moved back to Cortes Island, was there. “Go fits in with the way I see the world,” Weyler told the E-Journal in an interview earlier this week in his home overlooking a spectacular view of Lake Hague. “I trained in math but became a writer, and go is a wonderful combination of logic and aesthetics. And the better you can balance the two, the better you can play.” After more than three decades of playing, Weyler says “I’m still learning lessons from go that apply to life. Be aggressive but show retraint; it’s okay to be optimistic but that’s not a strategy. You’ve got to get outside and see the bigger picture,” Weyler says, speaking as both a go player and ecologist. “Go, if you play well, teaches you different ways of thinking.”
- report/photo by Chris Garlock; photo: Weyler (l) playing with former AGA President Phil Straus at Hollyhock. Learn more about Weyler’s work on his website.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Richard Bozulich Reportedly Throws Hat Into New York Comptroller Race

Wednesday July 17, 2013

Longtime go writer Richard Bozulich, rumored to have died two years ago (Richard Bozulich Not Dead After All 11/9/2011 EJ), is alive and well and apparently running for New York City Comptroller, a race that has drawn international attention since former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer entered it a week ago. According to a post on the Liberty Lion blog, Bozulich was nominated by the Personal Freedom Party to be its candidate for Comptroller on July 3 after the party was notified that Kristin Davis, its original nominee, was ineligible. “If elected,” Bozulich pledged, “I will quickly and anonymously donate my salary to charities that are close to my heart, such as those promoting the game of go and encouraging students to study mathematics.” American Go Foundation President Terry Benson said that “We look forward to having a friend of go at City Hall.”

 

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Categories: U.S./North America
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AGA Board Approves 2014 Budget, Plans 2013 Pro Certification Tournament

Wednesday July 17, 2013

The American Go Association (AGA) Board of Directors approved the AGA budget for fiscal 2014  at its meeting on July 7; the budget includes funds for a pro certification tournament to be completed by the end of 2013.  The AGA will continue to look for new sponsors to replace Tygem, but will run this year’s tournament from reserves and from money earmarked for the AGA’s new professional system. In other actions, the Board approved the creation of a pilot program for AGA ratings of online games, which would parallel the ratings system now in place for in-person games. President Andy Okun will be pursuing implementation plans along with completion of plans to issue formal Rank Certificates to players who have demonstrated achievement at a particular rank level.  The first such certificates will be awarded to top finishers in most brackets at the 2013 US Go Congress. Additionally, Bob Gilman and Royce Chen have been authorized to investigate the feasibility of bringing a Cuban player — or players — to the 2014 US Go Congress.  The Board will assess options for fundraising and implementing such an effort after the committee reports back.

 

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DC & LA to Face Off in Top Pandanet-AGA City League Finals

Tuesday July 16, 2013

It’s East Coast versus West Coast as Greater Washington is set to battle Los Angeles in the first-ever 2013 Pandanet-AGA City League finals. The two are the top finishers in the A League and will face off in the finals at the upcoming US Go Congress. Vancouver finished third, Seattle was fourth, in fifth place was Boston and New York finished in sixth. Click here for details. The rest of the leagues are expected to be completed by the end of the month.

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Pandanet Marathon Cho Chikun Cup Registration Closes Friday

Tuesday July 16, 2013

Registration for the 13th Pandanet Marathon tournament, the Cho Chikun Cup, is open until this Friday, July 19. Players have 42 days and 19.5 hours — 42.195 is a marathon’s length in kilometers –to play as many games as they can. Those finishing with 300 points or more will get their names displayed on the Pandanet web page and will be eligible for a certificate signed by Cho Chikun. Click here for details and registration procedures.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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