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

NEW IN PRINT 2010 (PART 1): Classic Games

Saturday August 28, 2010

by Roy Laird
Strolling through the vendor area at this year’s U.S. Go Congress, I realized that it’s time for some updates on what’s happening recently in the small but active world of go publishing. Watch for posts over the next few weeks and feel free to email me with suggestions of 2010 go books I should mention.

The first thing I noticed was that it’s been a busy year for GoGoD co-author John Fairbairn, who has embarked on an ambitious project with his publisher, Slate and Shell: a series of books on the ten-game matches Go Seigen played when he was at the top of the go world. Drawing on multiple original sources, each book provides extensive historical material, and integrates game commentary from a variety of sources.   Kamakura, covering Go’s first matchup during WW II with Kitani Minoru, came out last spring. It was followed by Final Summit, describing the last jubango, against Takagawa Shukaku in 1955-56. Then came 9-Dan Showdown, focusing on two ten-game matches and two shorter encounters with with Fuijisawa Kuranosuke (later Fujisawa Hosai), one of the great players of the 1940′s and 1950′s. In a change of pace, Fairbairn also translated The Go Consultants, in which Kitani and Seigen team up against Segoe Kensaku and Suzuki Tamjiro for a “consultation game.” Inspired by a similar practice among Western chess masters, in a “consultation game” the two-player teams discuss the game while it is in progress.  Stay tuned — more exciting titles are on the way!
Next week: A Beginner’s Bonanza
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IGOLOCAL, GROWING RAPIDLY, YET TO HIT CRITICAL MASS

Thursday August 26, 2010

Barely a month after launching, IgoLocal already has more than a thousand users. IgoLocal enables players to find and contact each other, and there are now 1131 users in 62 countries, with 449 of those in North America and 570 in Europe. The network is growing at 35 new members each day, reports founder Chuck Thomas, “and that number is trending upwards.” Users “are still figuring out how to use the system to the best benefit of their communities,” says Thomas. “1,100 users may sound like a lot of go players, but it’s actually an absurdly tiny number when spread throughout the entire planet.” Thomas says he can “easily envision a quarter million users on this system,” and says that “At the current rate, it may be another two months before we begin to reach critical mass.  This is fine – the users who are already on the system are able to go about their business, and one day they’ll receive a PM or even a game challenge from a previously-unknown rival, who is well matched to their rank.” Thomas points out that “Igolocal keeps working for you even if you forget about it for a while,” and admits that “Even I have only the faintest idea what the end result will be. This has never been done before.” Two hundred of the IgoLocal users are dan-level or stronger and two professionals are also registered, Jennie Shen 2p in Santa Barbara, and An Young-gil 8p in Sydney, Australia. The site supports six languages, English, French, German, Dutch, Russian and Japanese, and volunteers are now working on Italian, Polish and Chinese translations.

SPOTS OPEN IN KIM-IN CUP INT’L SENIOR BADUK TOURNEY

Monday August 23, 2010

Applications are now being accepted for the 4th Kim-in Cup International Senior Baduk Competition. The tournament is being held November 5-8 in GangJin City, Korea and is open to male go players 50 and older and female players 30 and older. It’s sponsored by the Korea Baduk Association and the Korea Amateur Baduk Association; KBA provides hotel, meals and domestic transportation for all players, who must cover their own travel costs to Korea. email iris@baduk.or.kr for details and to register.

KISEIDO OFFERS VOLUMES OF PROBLEMS

Monday August 23, 2010

There’s theory and there’s practice. In go, practice means studying problems. Kiseido is five volumes into an ambitious seven-volume series of problem books for dan-level players originally published in Japanese by the Japan Go Association. Now available: Graded Go Problems for Dan Players; 300 Life-and-Death Problems, 5-kyu to 3-dan; 300 Tesuji Problems, 5-kyu to 3-dan; 300 Joseki Problems, 1-dan to 3-dan; 256 Opening and Middle Game Problems, 1-dan to 7-dan. These problems are designed to develop your intuition and to provide exercises for developing your ability to analyze positions deeply and accurately. “These are not problems that you can skim through in a couple of days,” Kiseido warns. “Each problem requires serious thought to obtain the maximum benefit.” Click here for details and to order.

SHOTWELL’S UPDATES ON GO HISTORY & STATS

Monday August 23, 2010

Peter Shotwell, author of Go! More Than a Game, has published two articles based on subjects in the upcoming update of his book to the AGA’s Bob High library. The first [PDF] is a look at his re-dating and re-interpretation of early Confucian thoughts on go, and the second article [PDF] covers some research done on the statistical properties of go games by Dr. John Tromp.  Traditionally, the Confucian ideas about go have been thought to be quite negative, but Shotwell took account of the fact they were actually written in a small area in northeastern China over a period of only about 50 years in the late 3rd to early 2nd centuries B.C.E, (instead of the usually-thought “hundreds of years”). When the full contexts were looked at, he found that the writers were clearly using go only to aid their comments on their evolving attitudes about filial piety, and that the only aspect of the game they disapproved of was fanatical play to the detriment of moral duties.  The last Confucian go writing appeared c. 260 B.C.E. and it was only 120 years later, after the Warring States period had ended and peace was restored, that writings with high praise for go (indicating a great increase in skill) appeared and the earliest game board was found. The second article, which includes an interview of Dr. Tromp, notes his incredible figures for the longest possible go game (longer than the universe might last), compares the vast numbers of possible positions for chess and go (like comparing the nucleus of an atom to the size of the universe), and the total number of possible games (for example, there are 386+ billion for 2×2 boards).  Shotwell gave a presentation at the recent U.S. Go Congress looking at both of these topics and some others that will appear in the update to his book.
- Jake Edge

ALL ABOUT GO SPONSORS GO ART CONTEST

Thursday August 19, 2010

The All About Go website is sponsoring a contest to build its collection of go-related art, photography, digital images, stories, and poetry. The new site “is intended to provide a high-quality service to all go enthusiasts, to introduce the game to beginners in the most effective way possible, and to promote the knowledge, culture and beauty of go worldwide” and includes a gallery showcasing go photos and literature.  The winner in each category will receive a free teaching game from Csaba Mero, European 6-dan and ex-insei. Hajin Lee 3P will help judge the contest. There’s no entry fee and no limit on how many pieces you can enter. All submissions should be sent to gallery@allaboutgo.com on or before Monday, September 13. More details and full contest rules are available here. Photo by César Riquelme

GROSS AND YE TOP NORCAL MONTHLY

Thursday August 19, 2010

Samuel Gross 1d and April Ye 3k each won four games to lead the pack at the Bay Area Go monthly ratings tournament on August 14 in Palo Alto, CA. The playing field consisted of 35 players ranging from 5 dan to 30 kyu. Everyone got to play an average of three rated games, although some managed to fit in as many as five. For many, the monthly tournaments offer an opportunity to come out and play face to face go with players of similar strength. “Face to face go can be so much more social, fun, and rewarding than playing online,” observes tournament organizer Roger Schrag. Next month’s ratings tournament is scheduled for September 11, again in Palo Alto. Click here for more photos.
Photo by Lisa Schrag

Categories: U.S./North America
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TANG NAMED REDMOND MEIJIN

Monday August 16, 2010

Curtis Tang 7d,  was named Honorary Redmond Meijin at the final awards banquet at the US Go Congress, Aug. 7th.  Tang, now 17 years old, has a long history of success in the Redmond.  He took the Junior Division championship in 2001, 03, and 04, and then again in 2006 in the Senior Division.  This year marks his fifth win in the Cup, and also the last year he is eligible to play in it.  The only other person ever to win five times is Eric Lui, 7d, who won his fifth time in 2001, and was also named Redmond Meijin.  The title is honorary, and for life, so both young men are now Honorary Meijin.  None Redmond herself presented the Cup to Tang.  His winning matches in the finals are available online. Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Curtis Tang.

WOLF WINS REDMOND CUP

Monday August 16, 2010

Oliver Wolf 2d, age 11, won the Junior Division of the Redmond Cup at the recently concluded US Go Congress.  His opponent, Henry Zhang 1d, also 11, took second place.  Wolf won the first round match, held Aug. 2, but Zhang rallied to come from behind in round 2, winning by 3.5 points.  The decisive match was held on Aug. 5, with Wolf winning the game, and the title of Redmond Champion.  Both boys received a special honor when None Redmond, founder of the Redmond Cup, and tireless youth go advocate for decades, presented the trophies in person at the final awards banquet at the Go Congress.   The boys also won $350 for first place, and $250 for second, as well as a free trip to the Go Congress to compete. All three matches were broadcast live on KGS, and the sgf files are available online.  Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Ling Shan; from left to right: Oliver Wolf , None Redmond, Henry Zhang.

RECORD E-JOURNAL TEAM COVERS 2010 GO CONGRESS

Monday August 9, 2010

Earlier this week, Keith Arnold jokingly asked me if the E-Journal Congress Team was as big as the 32-player Ing field yet. Actually, it’s larger, as it turns out (see below for the complete list; not all are pictured). Forty terrific volunteers contributed to 56 hours of broadcasts, 55 game records, 11 game commentaries and 38 reports published in the E-Journal and on the website. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work with such a great group of people, from the main broadcasting team — the Todds, Steve, Akane, Matt, Sol, Chris B and Richard — to the game recorders, professionals, reporters and photographers, all of whom played a key role in bringing this year’s Go Congress to the world and I thank them on behalf of go players everywhere. Thanks also to Karen Jordan and the Congress team for bringing us all together for such a great event, especially the tournament directors – especially Chris Kirschner, Ken Koester and Sam Zimmerman — who worked so closely with us this week and to the AGA Board of Directors and President Allan Abramson for all their support of the E-Journal’s work. Finally – but always first in my heart – thanks to my wife, Lisa, who has so generously shared me with the go community for the last 25 years. See you next year in Santa Barbara!
- Chris Garlock, Managing Editor; photo by Roy Laird
2010 E-JOURNAL/WEBSITE/KGS REPORTING/BROADCASTING TEAM: TEAM COORDINATORS: Steve Colburn, Todd Heidenreich; KGS TEAM: Akane Negishi, Matt Heymering; VIDEO STREAMING/ING FINAL TRANSCRIBING: Todd Blatt; YOUTH EDITOR: Paul Barchilon; REPORTERS: Jake Edge, Lee Huynh, Laura Kolb; PHOTOGRAPHERS: Roy Laird, Gen Zhang, Edward Zhang, David Weiss; PROFESSIONALS: Yasumasa Hane 9P, Seong-Yong Kim 9P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Ryo Maeda 6P, Cheng Xiaoliu 6P, Jennie Shen 2P, Shigeko Hane 1P, Xuefen Lin 1P, Cathy Li 1P; TRANSLATORS: Yoshi Sawada, Shoji Honsono & Jonathan Kim; US OPEN/ING GAME RECORDERS: Solomon Smilack, Chris Burg & Richard Dolen; ING GAME RECORDERS: Gordon Castanza, David Weimer, Myron Souris, Ryan Bernstein, Jim Hlavka, Michael Huang, Mike LePore & Daniel Smith; REDMOND CUP GAME RECORDERS: Justin Teng, Ashish Varma & Hugh Zhang; Pro Pair Go: Josh Larson.