Fourteen pairs of go players gathered at the Seattle Go Center Saturday night, December 7, for a gala dress-up event that included two rounds of Pair Go and three kinds of cake provided by the stylish Bakery Nouveau of Capitol Hill. Among the strong players, the winning team was “EASTWEST” – Momoko Tsutsui and Jon Friedman. TD Bill Chiles reported that the middle group was led by Deborah Niedermeyer and Brian Allen. The aptly named “DRESS TO KILL”, Marilyn and Rainer Romatka, ruled the last group. Participants enjoyed door prizes from Pandanet Internet Go, while the winners received fans with calligraphy from the Go Center. At the end of the holiday evening, organizer Bill Thompson revealed his secret plan to make this an annual event, and there was no objection. Photo by Joe Schneider, report by Brian Allen
American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America
Thursday December 12, 2013
Wednesday December 11, 2013
Ted Terpstra of the San Diego Go Club topped a field of 8 at the December 7-8 go section of the 2013 Las Vegas MindSports event. Sponsored by MindSports International, the event included other “brain” games such as chess, Scrabble, Magic: The Gathering and various miniature war-games. Runners-up in the 4-round go competition were locals Michael Wanek (LV Go Club) in second place and Jun-Suk Kim (LV Go Club) placed third; the three medal winners split a nearly $200 prize pot. During breaks, players were allowed to watch the other games at MindSports, watch sports in the Sports Book, or gamble at the gaming tables. “The event coincided with the National Finals Rodeo,” reports local organizer Chris Tettamanti, “and in the Venetian Hotel venue, there were plenty of places to buy authentic Western wear and cowboy gear. photo courtesy Chris Tettamanti
Tuesday December 10, 2013
After three successive years of declining participation, the Syracuse Go Club’s Fall Self-Paired Tournament broke its all-time attendance record on November 23, with the 27 players more than doubling the attendance from the previous year. Players ranging in strength from 5d to 28k played 55 AGA-rated games. Bob Sollish 1d of Syracuse had the best individual record, with four wins and no losses against three other dan players and a 1k player. Every participant was able to select a prize to take home at the end of the day, including several discounted books provided by Slate and Shell.
- report/photo by Richard Moseson
photo: Xinde Ji 5d (left) plays an unrated high-handicap game with first-time participant Yan-Yeung Luk 13k, while Luk’s daughter and a friend, also players in the tournament, look on.
Monday December 9, 2013
“I taught go to 371 classroom teachers in 12 states last year,” Georgette Yakman (right) told the E-Journal over lunch recently on New York’s Upper West Side before heading home to Vermont. She had attended a math education conference to promote ST∑@M, the framework for integrated instruction she began to develop in 2006 (YOUTH GO: Improving School Scores 11/19/2007 EJ). ST∑@M has become a full time occupation, with certified educators and programs throughout the US and as far away as South Korea, where ST∑@M is now a part of the standard national curriculum for K-12 public schools. “When I help a school begin to apply the ST∑@M framework, I start with a two-day workshop,” she said. “I spend about two or three hours of that time teaching them go. It’s a perfect medium that pulls together science, technology and engineering concepts in a mathematical context – you need math skills to figure out who won – while also presenting challenges in the realm of the arts. The game itself has a kind of aesthetic; players need language arts to learn by studying and analyzing games; and go players can further enrich their connection to the game through the fine arts, understanding its context in history social studies and ethics and so on.” ST∑@M is a further evolution of the STEM framework, which encourages educators to blend lessons from the fields of science, technology, engineering and math into integrated lessons in project-based learning applications. Yakman contends they didn’t go far enough. “Without the language arts, how will students communicate with each other to build projects? Without the liberal and fine arts, how will they appreciate and express the context and meaning of what they’re doing? What good is an architect who builds ugly or non-user friendly buildings, or a scientist that can’t explain what he’s doing? I use go for interdisciplinary learning, because it offers a fluid blend of technical and human-related (left and right-brained) skills, and is a natural way of progressing all types of intellectual development.” photo: Yakman delivering acceptance speech for NCTC’s STEM Teacher of the Year 2009
- Roy Laird
Sunday December 8, 2013
Allen Louderback 1k (right), won the upper division and Tai-An Cha 5k (left), won the lower division at the Davis/Sacramento Go Clu Winter Quarterly Tournament on December 7 at the Arden-Dimick library in Sacramento. The Club Champions were announced for the club members who won the most games during the year, with Jeff Horn, 1d, winning the upper division and Jeff Murphy, 4k, winning the lower division. – report/photos by Willard Haynes
Sunday December 8, 2013
Nearly two dozen players braved wintry weather to attend the Evanston Go Club’s quarterly tournament on Saturday, December 7. “Nobody guessed the meaning of the tournament’s name, ‘Caught Ya Nappin’” reports organizer Mark Rubenstein. The answer is that on December 7, 1991, The Recording Industry Association of America sued the peer-to-peer file-sharing service Napster, alleging copyright infringement, in A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc. In an effort to increase tournament attendance, the entry fee for the next tournament in March 2014 will be free for anyone who has not attended an Evanston tournament in 2013. “We’ve averaged 34 players per tournament over the last 21 years”, said Rubenstein, president of the Evanston Go Club. “This is our way of encouraging people who have been absent for a while to come back. See you in March!”
Winners: Albert Yen 6d (left in photo), Ezra Teitelbaum 2k and Crystal Lin 14k.
photo: Albert Yen plays Lixin Cheng; photo courtesy Mark Rubenstein
Friday December 6, 2013
The AGA and the Las Vegas Go Club are hosting a two-day, four-round AGA-rated go tournament as part of MSI’s second Las Vegas Mind Sports Festival this weekend. “Two days of non-stop game-play involving Go, Chess, Scrabble, Magic: The Gathering and a cornucopia of other games will quench the thirst of fans and players looking for a festival tournament quite like no other,” says the Las Vegas Go Club. “The blend of mind sports coupled with an unbeatable stay-and-play hotel package make it an experience not to miss.” Arrive by 9:30 a.m. Saturday, rounds at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. $100 top prize, others based on attendance. Best hat worn by a go player wins a box of Bendicks Bittermints. More info: Chris Tettamanti, 702-604-4000 or email@example.com.
Wednesday December 4, 2013
According to informed sources, plans are under way to hold the 2014 U.S. Go Congress at the Hotel Pennsylvania in midtown Manhattan from August 9-16. “It’s a terrific location with easy access all that New York City has to offer,” the highly-placed source said. The Pennsylvania has previously hosted the East Coast Oza qualifiers. More details on the 2014 US Go Congress are expected to be announced soon.
Monday December 2, 2013
Well-known Chinese pro Mingjiu Jiang 7P will do a weekend workshop at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR on Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27. “This is part of the Portland Go Club’s continuing effort to bring a variety of pro players to Portland to teach players of all strengths,” reports local organizer Peter Freedman. Those interested in participating must let Freedman know asap and pay to insure a spot. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 503-242-4203 or send $100* to the Portland Go Club, c/o Peter Freedman, 1710 SW Harbor Way, Unit 303, Portland, OR. *There are reduced rates for students and children: college students pursuing a degree: $50; Children and youth up to age 18: $25. photo by Brian Allen
Monday December 2, 2013
The following is a response to a discussion about increasing attendance at go clubs, which was initiated by Aulden Murch recently on the AGA-Chapters email list. It has been reprinted here with permission.
by Eric Jankowski
After running the Ann Arbor club for a decade, I moved to Colorado and have been largely invisible as an organizer for the last year. Having been both very and negligibly involved in running clubs, my feeling is that two ingredients are needed for sustainable growth: 1) a tireless advocate for the club who 2) understands the importance of creating an inclusive environment. I suspect we’ve all known someone with this rare combination at some point — the Susan Weirs, Paul Barchilons, Greg Leflers, and Guo Juans, to name just a few. Those of us who try to build clubs may have even been that person occasionally, and can appreciate it is not a trivial effort to maintain.
The great thing about the first ingredient is that it doesn’t depend on rank. Anyone that has been bitten by the beauty of the game can be that tireless advocate. The catch here is that it takes time and energy to be tireless: it can take a big bite out of time for other important life priorities such as work and family. The tireless advocate here is that person who is always at the club, dragging in all of their friends, putting on workshops at libraries and festivals. Someone with infectious enthusiasm. One great example back in Ann Arbor was Albert Guo’s mom; she didn’t ever play, but saw how much her son loved the game and would show up to cook egg rolls at our tournaments. You just can’t beat that for enthusiasm. When you show other people how much you want to be somewhere, they want to be there too.
The second ingredient is a little trickier; it requires leadership from strong players who are willing to teach and maintain a welcoming environment. When the top guns only play each other it creates a feeling of inapproachability. Back in Ann Arbor, we had a great mix of kids, college students, permanent residents, and even a few famed homeless folk, and I think it’s because we went to great lengths to emphasize an inclusive environment. We had an implicit rule: Ignoring or bullying younger players, weaker players, or anyone really, cannot be tolerated. In the most constructive and positive way possible, you need to set the tone: “This is a place for having fun, making friends, and a place to learn about this game; if you’re not helping that, you’re not welcome here.” It’s not enough to parrot that quote; you have to get to know the members of your club and set an example. Every so often, remind your strong players that they became strong because someone had helped them previously, by creating a place where they felt empowered to learn. Set an example by teaching new players. Emphasize that your rank has nothing to do with your value as a human. To grow, your club needs an inclusive culture, but this requires constant attention, and it can fade if you lose that strong player leadership. Sometimes as a strong player, you just want to play a game and try out that new trick you saw. Running a club and improving as a player are different things, but this can be easy to forget when there’s a board in front of you. Resisting that temptation is important if the aim is to grow your club.
So, my advice is: If you wish to grow your club, be tireless in your efforts to make a welcoming place to play. And as folks involved in the AGA, I suppose that we have a responsibility to show that these efforts are appreciated and worthwhile.
Jankowski (top right) is a Research Associate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder . photo at bottom left: at the 2010 University of Michigan/Ann Arbor United Way tournament.