American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America

GO SPOTTING: The Origin of Atari

Monday June 13, 2011

Many go players know that video game pioneer Atari was named after the go term, but how many know that this was actually the second choice for the company’s name? “Sente” was the first choice by Nolan Bushnell (r) and his partner Ted Dabney, according to By Any Other Name: The Origin of Atari on the CHEGheads Blog by Shannon Symonds, Acquisitions Cataloger for the International Center for the History of Electronic Games. “Both in print and on camera, Bushnell cited the strategy game Go as his favorite game of all time,” Symonds notes. After their original choice, Syzygy, turned out to already be trademarked, “Bushnell provided the state with three new names from which to choose: Sente, Atari, and Hanne. All three reference moves in Go.” Symonds also reports that “In 1984, Atari created a subsidiary company called Tengen, which translates to “the origin of heaven” and is the very center point on a Go board.”
- thanks to Jeremiah Parry-Hill for spotting this

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AGA Board Nominations Deadline June 15

Sunday June 12, 2011

Just days remain before AGA board nominations close this Wednesday, June 15. Gordon Castanza and Daniel Smith are running unopposed in the western and central regions respectively while Paul Celmer and Edward (Zhiyuan) Zhang compete in the eastern region. If you are a full member of the AGA you may nominate, or self-nominate, a candidate in your region by writing or email at elections@usgo.org.  Details of the qualifications for office and election schedule are online.  Chapter representatives  must check there for special instructions due to mailing list problems.
- Arnold Eudell

Categories: U.S./North America
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Danny Ko Scores Second Coffee Cup

Monday June 6, 2011

It was a quiet, almost decaffeinated day in Santa Monica, with a turn-out of 30 players for the 5th Annual Santa Monica Coffee Cup on June 4.  “That’ll teach me to schedule it just before finals,” noted organizer Andy Okun.  First place went to Danny Ko 7d, who took home his second hand-painted victory mug and a pound of organic Peruvian coffee after winning a tough final-round game with second place finisher Calvin Sun 7d.  Third and fourth place in the top Espresso Division went to Yixian Zhou 6d and Andrew Lu 6d. Next year’s theme color is expected to be purple, Okun reports.
Other division winners were as follows.  Mocha Division: 1. Yunxuan Li 2d 2. Andrew Okun 1d 3. Jon Brown 2d.  4. Jack Cai 1k.  Java Division: 1. Andy Hong 5k 2. Jeff McLellan 4k 3. Ed Lee 3k 4. Andy Cheng 5k. Cappuccino Division: 1. Suttiat Boonchuen 8k 2. Joe Walters 8k 3. David Baran 8k 4. Cyris Sargon 8k.  Latte Division: 1. Susanna Pfeffer 13k 2. Tsutomu Sakanaka  12k 3. Zongli Huang 11k 4. Larry Gross 14k.
- photos by Andy Okun

Categories: U.S./North America
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Zhuang Sweeps NAIM Online Qualifier I

Monday June 6, 2011

Ten strong players battled on KGS last weekend in the North American Ing Masters (NAIM) 2011 Online Qualifier #1, with Guozhong Zhuang sweeping the June 4-5 four-round tournament and securing his place in the NAIM this August at the Go Congress in Santa Babara, CA. Zhuang’s son Vincent finished 3-1, losing only to his father. Daniel Chou also finished 3-1. Click here for details. Another NAIM online qualifier on KGS is scheduled for June 25-26; deadline for registering for Qualifier 2 is June 10. Email agatd2@gmail.com to register.

For strong players there are two remaining in-person NAIM qualifiers, hosted by AGA chapter clubs:
DC-Baltimore, June 17-18, hosted by GWGC, NOVA and CAPA (this event also offers free play of rated games for AGA players of all levels)
Greater Chicago area, July 9, hosted by Evanston Go Club and Korean Go Center (cash prize available).
– Tengxiao Yang 6d and Changlong Wu 7d

Categories: U.S./North America
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16 Pros Confirmed for U.S. Go Congress

Monday June 6, 2011

Sixteen professionals have been confirmed for this year’s U.S. Go Congress, set for July 30 – August 7 in Santa Barbara, CA. The line-up includes popular American-born professional Michael Redmond 9P (l), Feng Yun 9P, Seo Neong-Wook 9P, Wang Qun 8P, Kong Xiangming 8P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Yilun Yang 7p, Ryo Maeda 6P, Guo Juan 5P, Janice Kim 3P, Lee Ha-Jin 3P, Jennie Shen 2P, Cathy Li 1P, Huiren Yang 1P,  Xuefen Lin 1P, and Li Ting 1P as resident pros at the weeklong Congress.  “It’s great to be able to bring such a great group of professionals to the Congress,” says Congress Director Lisa Scott. “We’re committed to providing Congress attendees with as many opportunities as possible to attend lectures by pros and to participate in simuls with the professionals.” There are 376 people registered for the Congress, including 159 kyu-level players and 155 dan-level players.

Ke Huang 7d Wins 2011 Maryland Open

Monday June 6, 2011

Ke Huang 7d won this year’s Maryland Open, held May 28-29 in Baltimore, MD. E-Journal contributor Yuan Zhou 7d took second place. Sam Zimmerman 5k directed, and took second place in his division.  The NOVA Go Club won the Greg Lefler Award. photo: Keiju Takehara (l) plays Justin Teng; photo by Allan Abramson; click here for his photo album from the event.

Winner’s Report:
Open Section: 1st: Ke Huang 7d; 2nd: Yuan Zhou 7d; 3rd: Rui Zie 7d
Section A:
1st Gikuyu Nderitu 1d; 2nd Justin Teng 4d; 3rd Daniel Short
Section B:
1st Weiyu Yang 1k; 2nd Stephen Tung 1k
Section C:
1st Kelsey Dyer 2k: Kyu Champion; 2nd Mark Scibinico 4k
Section D
: 1st James Pickett 5k; 2nd Sam Zimmerman 5k
Section E:
1st Robert Meyer 7k; 2nd Jaimie Birger 9k; 3rd Blair Chisolm  7k
Section F: 1st Nathaniel Eagle 10k; 2nd Walter Zhao 11k; 3rd Michael Allis 10k
Greg Lefler Award
: NOVA Go Club

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go World Offer Deadline Extended!

Monday June 6, 2011

Wouldn’t it be great if, just as your final overtime period was about to expire, you suddenly got another 5 minutes to play? That’s exactly what’s happened with our special Go World offer. Join or renew your AGA membership by June 8 (extended from May 31) and we’ll send you up to 1,700 pages of great stuff! Go World magazine, Kiseido’s quarterly go publication, is the ultimate source of go knowledge in English. Each 64-page issue is packed with extensive review of at least ten major title match games by top professionals as well as problems, instructional articles and series, and coverage of historical, cultural and other aspects of the game. Even if you’re already a member, now’s the time to add more years, and the more you add, the better it gets! Here’s how it breaks down: 1 year ($30) — your choice of any 3 issues (192 pages); 2 years ($50) — your choice of any 7 issues (448 pages); 3 years ($75) — your choice of any 12 issues (768 pages); 4 years ($100) — your choice of any 18 issues (1152 pages); 5 years — ($125) — all 27 issues! (1728 pages). Click here for details and to take advantage of this offer; after June 8, time is up!

NOTE: If you joined the AGA during the recent membership drive, you must download and submit the order form with your selected issues in order to receive your Go World premium (unless you joined for five years, in which case we’re sending all 27 available issues.) Some of our new and renewing members are losing out on the copies of Go World they’re entitled to, because they didn’t tell us which issues they want. Click here if you need to select your issues. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

Dixon Elementary Going Strong in New Mexico

Monday June 6, 2011

After nine weeks practicing and studying go, students at Dixon Elementary School in Dixon, NM finished up the 2011 Spring Semester with a knock-out tournament. Everyone who participated received a copy of The Way to Go and the top three players — Liam (1st), Brooklyn (2nd) and Emmett (3rd) — received a copy of Peter Shotwell’s Go! More Than a Game. Shotwell’s book was chosen as an excellent tool for building skills as well as providing concise discussions on go history and culture. The awards were presented at the school’s Awards Day, May 29th, attended by students, teachers and parents.

“We are much indebted to the school librarian, Ms. Maggie Durham for championing go in the school’s art program,” said Santa Fe Go Club member Robert Cordingley, who ran the class. Cordingley also extended thanks to the school staff for their support, particularly Head Teacher Ms. Kiva Duckworth-Moulton and the AGF for their help with equipment and materials. – photo by Robert Cordingley

Openings on AGA Web Team Available

Sunday June 5, 2011

If you’d like to help make the best English-language go website in the world even better, the AGA webmaster team now has a few openings available. The workload is shared so no-one gets overloaded and we’re looking for folks with good skills and fresh ideas on how to improve the AGA’s website. If interested, please email journal@usgo.org

“Flawed” Use of Go in Kissinger’s New Book?

Sunday June 5, 2011

Henry Kissinger ‘s understanding of go strategy informs his latest book, On China. However, according to a recent review in The Economist, Kissinger’s book “is marred by three related flaws. The first is Mr Kissinger’s insight that Chinese strategists think like players of wei qi or Go, which means that, in the long term, they wish to avoid encirclement. Westerners are chess-players, tacticians aiming to get rid of their opponents’ pieces ‘in a series of head-on clashes’, he writes. ‘Chess produces single-mindedness; wei qi generates strategic flexibility.’” The review, entitled No go points out that “This conceit has been used by other authors. It appears every few pages here like a nervous tic. Even before Mr Kissinger joins the game, the metaphor is pulled into service to analyse, among other things, Chinese policy in the Korean war, the Taiwan Strait crises of the 1950s (where, of course, “both sides were playing by wei qi rules”), the 1962 war with India (“wei qi in the Himalayas”). Later he describes events in Indochina as ‘a quadripartite game of wei qi,’ just at the time when genocide was under way in Cambodia.” Finally, The Economist reviewers say, “the picture of Chinese foreign policy, as formulated by cool, calculating, master strategists playing wei qi, makes it appear more coherent, consistent and effective than it has been. China’s involvement in the Korean war, for example, led, in Mr Kissinger’s phrase, to ‘two years of war and 20 years of isolation,’ hardly a goal for China—or a wei qi triumph.” In a related story, Leonard Lopate recently interviewed Kissinger on NPR’s WYNC and they briefly discussed the game of go; click here to hear the interview; they talk about go  from approximately 13:50 to about 16:20. Click here for our January 24, 2011 report on Kissinger on Go and Chinese Strategic Thinking.
- thanks to Robert A. McCallister, past president of the AGA and former publisher of The American Go Journal, and to Richard Simon, for spotting these reports

“Flawed” Use of Go in Kissinger’s New Book?