American Go E-Journal » Go News

Seminar on Strategy Games at Cambridge Not Child’s Play

Wednesday October 19, 2016

 

IMG_20161002_113336An international seminar on strategy games was held at Cambridge University, England, on October 1st and 2nd. Organized by ChessPlus, and co-sponsored by Google’s Deepmind, the event drew about 40 teachers from 15 countries, who shared their expertise on teaching go, chess and other games in schools. The first day began with a compelling presentation from Dr. Barry Hymer, Professor of Psychology in Education at the University of Cumbria, in Lancaster. Hymer provided a brief introduction to mindset theory, and what it does and doesn’t say about achievement as it relates to strategy games. He contrasted two different mindsets: fixed vs. growth. Those with the former believe intelligence is a fixed trait that can’t be changed, while those with the latter believe intelligence is cultivated through learning. Dr. Hymer’s chart (below, at right) shows how these mindsets play out. All of us exhibit some of both types of mindsets at times, and in different areas.

Hymer also expounded on some mindset myths, which included the belief that natural ability and talent don’t exist, or that they don’t matter, and that hard work guarantees ultimate success. Instead, multiple factors come into play to create success, including what Hymer calls metacognitive strategies (how we think about thinking). Hymer noted Gary Kasparov, from the chess world, felt the same way: “It’s not enough to work hard and study late into the night. You must also become intimately aware of the methods you use to reach your decisions.” In a later presentation, Hymer discussed some educational studies with a few surprising results, including that praising students does not lead to any greater level of excellence or even motivation. Negative feedback also does not help.Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 3.31.47 PM Instead, Hymer advocates engaged, attentive, and non-judgmental feedback, which he said helps create self-motivated students who then cultivate the love of learning for themselves. These types of students outperform all other categories by as much as 30%, said Hymer. An example of this from the go community would be the kinds of questions one asks in a teaching game: “What were you hoping to achieve when you went here? How do you think your opponent might respond? Were there other places you thought of playing, and why?” Getting a student to think about how they reached their decisions is key to creating autonomous learners in Hymer’s approach.

Hymer’s presentation was followed by an equally engaging one from Jorge Nuno Silva, of the University of Lisbon (Portugal). Professor Silva gave a lecture on the intellectual history of games in education. Drawing on games from across the centuries (most now completely forgotten) Silva illustrated how and why games are important to learning. Along the way he fascinated the audience with stories of strange and interesting games, including Rythmomachia: ”Invented as a pedagogical game, to help the teaching of Arithmetic, in the 11th century. Even the setup of the pieces on the board was an important experience. It was popular everywhere where Boethius’ Arithmetic was taught. It vanished, naturally, in the 17th century, as mathematics developed in a different way. Chess then took over.”jorge

The seminar continued with presentations from teachers and specialists from all over the world. Daniela Trinks of Myongji University in Korea spoke on the didactics of go, and Stefan Löffler spoke on the didactics of chess. Mads Jacobsen, from Denmark, spoke about the extraordinary success of chess programs in his country, where 30% of all schools have chess as a scheduled activity. Toby Manning of the British Go Association, and Paul Barchilon of the American Go Foundation both spoke on efforts to introduce go to more schools in their respective countries. “The beautiful rooms of Cambridge University provided a wonderful environment for these two days of learning, teaching, discussing, inspiration and forming cooperations,” said Daniela Trinks. “The success of this seminar proves once more that chess and go teachers shouldn’t see each other as rivals but as colleagues who have a lot in common. By sharing our experiences we can learn from each other, improve teaching praxis and develop more successful educational programs at schools in the future.”

The main organizers were John Foley, Stefan Löffler, Rita Atkins and John Upham from Chessplus. The seminar was sponsored by DeepMind, and supported by the British Go Association, the European Go Federation, the European Go Cultural Centre, the American Go Foundation and the UK Backgammon Federation. An online documentation of the seminar, including videos, photos and presentation files is planned. Interested readers can see the program, and associated slideshows, for all segments highlighted in blue on this page. -Story and photos by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Top: Seminar participants take a break on the lawn at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge;  Lower right: Slide from Dr. Barry Hymer’s presentation; Lower left: Professor Jorge Nuno Silva shows the board for Rythmomachia.

Share

The Power Report: Iyama fights back in Meijin; Ichiriki wins Ryusei; Kisei updates; Fujisawa takes lead in Women’s Honinbo; Women’s Meijin League; Onishi wins King of the New Stars

Tuesday October 18, 2016

by John Power, Japan Correspondent for the E-Journal2016.10.18_41meijin4 Iyama

Iyama fights back in Meijin title match
        Iyama Yuta faced a very important game in Game 4 of the 41st Meijin title match: his first kadoban (literally, a “corner game,” that is, a game that could lose a series). For the first time ever in his career, Iyama (right) had suffered successive losses at the beginning of a title match. Another loss would cost him not only the Meijin title but also put an end to his septuple crown after a little over half a year.
        The fourth game was played on October 4 and 5 at the Takarazuka Hotel, Takarazuka City, Hyogo Prefecture. Taking black, Iyama executed a large-scale sacrifice maneuver that enabled him to take the lead in the middle game.  When White
 resigned after 181 moves, Black was over ten points ahead on the board.
        The fifth game was played at the Atami Sekitei inn in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture on October 12 and 13. Taking white, Iyama won a closely-fought game by 3.5 points. With this win, Iyama seems to be coming out of his recent slump.
 However, he faces another kadoban in the sixth game, scheduled for October 26 and 27. Before then, Iyama’s Oza and Tengen defences will start, so he is going to be very busy.

Ichiriki wins Ryusei:  The Ryusei is a fast-go TV title run by an irregular system but culminating in a standard 16-player knock-out. The final of the 25th tournament was played between Iyama Yuta and Ichiriki Ryo 7P and telecast on September 26. During the opening and early middle game, Iyama (B) built a lead, but Ichiriki played a  do-or-die move that triggered an upset. Iyama resigned after White 200. This was Ichiriki’s first win in a non-age-restricted tournament. He was 19 years one month old when the game was played (his birthday is June 10), so he became the youngest player ever to win this title. The previous record of 20 years two months was set by Iyama. This will give Ichiriki some momentum for his Tengen challenge to Iyama. First prize is 6 million yen.

Kisei updates
        First, here are two results in the S League of the 41st Kisei tournament I neglected to include in my previous report. On September 15, Yamashita Keigo 9P (B) beat Ichiriki Ryo 7P and Kono Rin 9P (B) beat Yoda Norimoto 9P by resig. As a result, Ichiriki lost his share of the lead. On 4-1, Kono regained the sole lead. 
        The final game in the S League was played on September 29. Takao Shinji 9P (B) beat Murakawa Daisuke 8P by resig. This was Takao’s first win to four losses, so it didn’t do anything for him except save some face, but it knocked Murakawa out of the running for first. Kono won the league outright, so he goes straight into the final “best-of-three” to decide the challenger. If Murakawa had won the above game, he would have won the league, as his higher ranking (#2) would have beaten Kono (#5). There was a three-way “tie” among Yamashita Keigo, Murakawa, and Ichiriki Ryo on 3-2, but league rankings meant that they came, respectively, second, third, and fourth. Yamashita’s second place secures him a seat in the knock-out tournament, so a fourth successive Kisei challenge by him is possible; he will need to win three games in a row.
        Takao and Yoda Norimoto lose their places in the S League. On October 3, the first game in the knock-out section was played. The B League winner Yuki Satoshi 9P (W) beat the C League winner Shida Tatsuya 7P by 1.5 points. The game was played on Yuki’s home ground, the Kansai Ki-in. The next game will be between Yuki and the winner of the A League, Cho U.

2016.10.18_35jhon3-02 RinaFujisawa takes lead in Women’s Honinbo
        The second game of the 35th Women’s Honinbo title match was played at the Izanro Iwasaki, a traditional Japanese inn in Miasa Hot Spring, Tottori Prefecture on September 26. Fujisawa Rina (B, left) won by resig. after 191 moves. Unlike the first game, in which Xie killed a large group, this game featured small-scale fighting. Fujisawa made a good strategic decision in the middle game when she sacrificed five stones. Rina: “I thought that if I saved the stones the neighbouring white positions would get too strong.”
        The remaining games of the match are held at the Nihon Ki-in headquarters in Tokyo. The third game was played on October 3. In the middle-game fighting, Xie took a bit of a lead, but Fujisawa played tenaciously and was able to overta
ke her. Black resigned after White 222.
        Last year Fujisawa Rina lost this title to Xie Yimin when she lost three games in a row after winning the first two. This time she started off with a loss, but recovered to take the next two. Can she now improve on last year’s performance?2016.10.18_35jhon3-03 Rina (L)

Women’s Meijin League
        Fujisawa Rina has maintained her unbeaten record in the 29th Women’s Meijin League by winning her fourth-round game. Her closest rivals are Okuda Aya 3P on 2-1 and Suzuki Ayumi 7P on 1-1.
(September 29) Ishii Akane 2P (B) beat Kato Keiko 6P by resig.
(October 13) Fujisawa Rina 3P (B) beat Ishii Akane 2P by resig.; Kato Keiko 6P (B) beat 2016.10.18_King New Stars Onishi rightSakakibara Fumiko 6P by 7.5 points.

Onishi wins King of the New Stars
        The second game in the 41st King of the New Stars title match was played at the Nihon Ki-in in Tokyo on September 30. Taking black, Onishi Ryuhei 2P (right) beat Taniguchi Toru 2P by resig. after 227 moves. As in the first game, Onishi staged an upset late in the endgame. At 16 years six months of age, he becomes the youngest player to win this title. He is just in the second year of his career and was making his first appearance in the King of the New Stars.

Share
Categories: Japan,John Power Report
Share

Cotsen Pre-registration Deadline Tuesday; Game Recorders Wanted

Tuesday October 18, 2016

Pre-registration for this year’s Cotsen Open — this weekend, October 22nd-23rd in Los Angeles — closes at 11:59p Tuesday, 2016.10.18_cotsen-P1000211October 18th (not Thursday, 10/20 as previously posted). Players who pre-register get a discounted $20 entry fee, free food truck lunch on both days and a full refund of the entry fee if they play in all five games; click here to register. Day-of registration will also be available for $25. The Cotsen Open features thousands of dollars in prizes, an extremely competitive Open Division, free masseuses (right) to massage players during their games, and a demonstration game between Yilun Yang 7p and Guiyong Liao 9P on Sunday. 

The E-Journal will provide live KGS commentary on top board games as well as posting video reports on the AGA’s YouTube channel. If you’re interested in being a game recorder — a great way to get stronger — please email journal@usgo.org
photo: 2015 Cotsen Open; photo by Chris Garlock

Share

Matthew Cheng 4d Tops Bay Area Fall Tourney

Saturday October 15, 2016

Matthew Cheng 4d topped a field of 27 players at the Bay Area Go Player’s Fall tournament, held in Berkeley Oct. 8.  In the2016.10.15_Bay-Area-tourney 7k+ division second place was Colin Grant 10k and first place was Jeremy Wang 16k.  In the 1k-6k division second place was Yunyen Lee 2k and first place was Roger Schrag 4k.  In the 1d-3d division second place was Hezheng Yin 1d and first place was Jay Chan 1d.  In the 4d-7d division second place was Daniel Liu 6d and first place was Matthew Cheng 4d.
- report/photo by Steve Burrall; photo: On the top board Naoyuki Kai 7d (right) faces off against Daniel Liu 6d (left).

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Myungwan Kim to Run Teacher Training in LA This Weekend

Thursday October 13, 2016

Myungwan Kim 9p is running a teacher training workshop in Los Angeles this weekend, aiming to enable attendees to teach beginners especially in group settings like high school go clubs and after-school programs.  The course will go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a lunch break, either Saturday and Sunday, or Sunday and Monday at the attendees’ choice, at the Joong-ang Newspaper company in Koreatown LA, 2nd floor conference room.  Topics includes teaching with concepts, images and stories, liberty races and cross cuts.  Successful attendees rated 7k or stronger will receive an AGA Teacher Certificate; this is the first time the teaching program has been offered outside the US Go Congress. Tuition is $100 for adults, $75 for under 17, but tuition is waived for students who pledge to open a club in their high school. Contact Kim at bigtory@gmail.com or 213-210-1577 if you want to attend or find out more.

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

San Diego Go Club Fall Soiree a “Huge Success”

Thursday October 13, 2016

The San Diego Go Club’s Fall Soiree at the club president’s home, overlooking Mission Bay on October 9 was a “huge2016.10.12_san-diego success,” reports Ted Terpstra, who hosted the event. Over 35 players of all strengths from beginner to 6-dan enjoyed an afternoon of competition and camaraderie. The quarterly event drew college students from UCSD, USI, UCLA as well a bevy of grammar school players from as far away as Pasadena. New players were recruited from the local Korean and Chinese communities. As usual, pizza and drinks were given to the competitors at the end of the day as part of the AGA Rewards program. The star of the day, who beat back all comers, was a new student from UC -Irvine, a Chinese 6-dan, JZ Sheng. After seven hours of intense playing, the crowd slowly diminished as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.
Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

“Don’t Have A Cow!” Tournament Results

Wednesday October 12, 2016

The Evanston Go club hosted its third quarterly tournament on Saturday, October 8. Attendance was good at 30 players. 2016.10.12_don't-have-a-cow“We’re so glad we were able to use the Immanuel Lutheran Church again”, said club president and TD Mark Rubenstein. “It’s a great space, with lots of tables and plenty of light. And if you step outside the playing room, you can faintly hear the organist practicing. We will continue to have four tournaments a year; the next one will be in January. If you’re not on our email list, hop on over to our website and click the link to sign up!”

Winners were:
Albert Yen 7d, Daniel Dowell 2d, Richard Solberg 2k, Adrien Wolkowiak 7k, and Daniel Lambert 12k. Kudos to Adrien Wolkowiak and Daniel Lambert for winning 5 of 5 games each. Special thanks to Yellow Mountain Imports for supplying prizes.
The name of this tournament was “Don’t Have A Cow!” because it was on this day in 1871 that the Chicago Fire started. Legend has it that the fire was started by a cow kicking over a lantern in Mrs. O’Leary’s barn.
Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Myungwan Kim 9P’s Commentary on Samsung Cup Quarters: Lee Sedol 9p vs Tang Weixing 9p

Monday October 10, 2016

In a reprise of the Ing Cup Finals, Lee Sedol 9p took on Tang Weixing 9p in the quarterfinals of the Samsung Cup last week. 2016.10.10_Samsung Cup Quarters-AGA-YouTubeCheck out Myungwan Kim 9p’s commentary on the AGA’s YouTube Channel.

Share
Categories: Game Commentaries,Korea
Share

4-Way Tie at MGA Fall Tourney

Monday October 10, 2016

Ming Li 5D, Dan Schmidt 3K, Graham Higgins 5K and Mark Nahabedian 12K, each with with three wins and one loss, tied 2016.10.09-Dan_Schmidt_vs_Shawn_Ligocki_Ed_Gillis_Graham_Higgins_Fred_Wardwell_Wanda_Mecalf_Mark_Nahabedian_for first place at the Massachusetts Go Association’s Fall Tournament on October 9, topping a field of 18. James Peters directed the Tournament.
- Eva Casey, Tournament Coordinator of the Massachusetts Go Association.
photo: Dan Schmidt vs Shawn Ligocki; Ed Gillis, Graham Higgins, Fred Wardwell, Wanda Mecalf and Mark Nahabedian; photo by Eva Casey
Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Chiang Tops Sunflower Happy Cup

Monday October 10, 2016

IMG_099612th-grader Anthony Chiang 6d topped the Ninth Sunflower Happy Cup Youth Go Tournament, with all three wins, on Sep 26 in Cupertino, California. “Forty-three kids from 5 to 17 gathered together on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and played three to five rounds of 13×13 and 19×19 games,” reports Yanping Zhao, who co-organized the event with Wenguang Wang.  Players earned prize tickets after each round, and then used them to exchange various fancy prizes. “It was our way to ensure a really fun experience for every kid,” reports Zhao.  Each participant was also rewarded with a trophy and at the event’s conclusion, all the kids and their parents enjoyed a refreshing ice cream party.  - Report by Wenguang Wang; photo by Yu Hsiu Chiou: A young contestant studies the board earnestly.
Share