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

NY GO CENTER FACES UNCERTAIN FUTURE

Monday November 22, 2010

The New York Go Center will close its doors this Sunday after fifteen years of operation on East 52 St. in Manhattan, according a message sent to their mailing list last Friday. The Center began operations in 1995, in a building donated by Kaoru Iwamoto 9P with the mission of promoting go in New York. In a letter informing the Center of the intent to close, the Nihon Kiin declared their “desire to continue to promote go in the New York area even after the sale of the Center.” Representatives of the Nihon Kiin will fly to New York next week to begin plans for this occur. For the immediate future, the Center intends to operate as a “Go Center without walls,” getting to know other groups of players in the New York area, so that the Center can become a common ground for all the playing communities in the world’s most diverse city when the Center regains a permanent home, hopefully some time next year. This Sunday November 28, the Center will open at 1p, and there will be a “closing/holiday party” in the evening. Dinner will be available for a small donation.  Please RSVP to manager@nygocenter.org if you plan to attend, so the chef knows how much to cook.

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ZHAO JU TOPS TACOMA TOURNEY

Monday November 22, 2010

After a two-year hiatus, the Tacoma (WA) Go Club hosted a four round, Thanksgiving/Veterans’ Day tournament at the Seattle Go Center on November 21, attended by 13 participants. Zhao Ju, 5d, took first place in the dan/high kyu players division. Daniel Top, 2k took 2nd place, and Peter Mooyman, 4k took third place. Ken Masutomo, 11k took first place in the lower kyu division. Job Betcher, 8k took second place, and his brother, Jordan Betcher, 8k took third place.
- Gordon Castanza

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SYRACUSE FALL RATINGS TOURNEY

Monday November 22, 2010

The Syracuse Go Club hosted its Fall Ratings Tournament at the Betts Branch Library on Saturday, November 20. Seventeen players participated in this event, and although some were more successful than others over the goban, all players departed at the end of the day with new go books presented as door prizes, thanks to Slate and Shell.
- report/photo by Richard Moseson; photo: Ben Gonnella (foreground left) plays Jared Beck and Nick Jerge plays Jim Howard

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HUAXIA CHINESE SCHOOL HOSTS MINDSPORTS EVENT

Sunday November 21, 2010

The Huaxia Chinese School in West Windsor-Plainsboro, New Jersey is organizing its first mindsports games competition on December 5. The competition — open only to students, parents and teachers at Huaxia – already has about 200 players registered for half a dozen events, including chess, go, xiangqi (Chinese Chess), checkers, bridge and gobang. Feng Yun 9P is coordinating the event and Kevin Huang 7d is one of the favorites, reports organizer Rulin Sun. The largest school of its kind in the United States, Huaxia consists of 19 branches, serving over 7,000 students in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut areas.

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WHY DID MY RATING CHANGE?

Saturday November 20, 2010

How can your rating change even if you haven’t played any games? When an earlier tournament is submitted after more recent tournaments have been rated, we go back and recalculate all tournaments starting with the newly submitted one, explains Ratings Coordinator Jonathan Bresler. This may cause some ratings to move in non-intuitive ways. If there’s a path of played games from you to at least one player from the earlier tournament, your rating will change as a result of the newly submitted tournament. This ensures that the ratings system is not held up by delayed tournament reports. You can check your current rating here where you can also check the list of rated tournaments. You can also review your own tournament history or that of other players — in the American Go Association Go Database.

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YOUR MOVE/READERS WRITE: How to Fix A Board?

Saturday November 20, 2010

How to Fix A Board? The Boise Go Club recently acquired a lovely but badly damaged 3″ floor board. Refinishing all six sides and the feet is necessary. We have access to tools and skills to remove the surface with abrasives or planes. Which might be better? Once we strip and smooth this great block of wood, we must apply a grid and I’d rather not do it with a black Sharpie; should I try to find someone with a CNC plotter? Anyone used laser etching? Perhaps readers of the E-Journal can help us with some advice or point us toward some resources. David Bogie dbogie@idahopower.com

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WON SUK SUH 5D WINS MOON CHA MEMORIAL

Saturday November 20, 2010

Won Suk Suh 5d topped a field of 19 at the 2010 Moon Cha Memorial Go/Weiqi/Baduk Tournament November 13 in Rockville, MD. The tournament is named after Moon Cha, a DC area go player who passed away in September 2003. A theoretical physicist with the Naval Surface Weapons Center in White Oak MD, Moon Cha had a major influence on the local, national, and international go communities, mentoring generations of area go players. Winner’s Report: First Section (Open): 1st: Won Suk Suh 5d; 2nd: James Park 5 d; 3rd: Juan Pablo Quizon 5d; 4th: Keith Arnold 4d; 5th: Zhenying Gu 5d. Second Section (Handicap): 1st: Todd Blatt 1k; 2nd: Joseph Contarino 2d; 3rd: Samuel Zimmerman 5k. The tournament is a fundraiser supporting the Rockville Sister City Corporation and promoting public awareness of go.
- Justin Teng (l) plays Juan Pablo Quizon; photo by John Goon

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LIU WINS N.A. BC CARD CUP QUALIFIER

Monday November 15, 2010

Andy Liu 7D (r) defeated Curtis Tang, Eric Lui and Hugh Zhang in the November 13-14 North American BC Card Cup qualifier. Liu will be the U.S. representative at the third BC Card Cup, which will be held in Korea in January 2011. The qualifier was held on KGS and nearly 400 watched the final match online. Click here for complete results. Sponsored by Korea’s leading credit card company, the BC Card Cup features a strong field, including Korean insei. Liu was the 2006 US Open champion and 2009 NAIM champion and has clearly been maintaining his go strength while studying at New York University. “Mid-January is a good time,” Liu told the E-Journal, confident in his upcoming performance in Korea.
CREDITS: Online associate TD’s: Yixian Zhou 7d, Binquan Wang 5d, Wei Sun 5d, Yue Zhang 7d. KGS Go Server. N.A. BC Card Cup TD: Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang. photo by John Pinkerton

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YE AND QU SWEEP NORCAL MONTHLY

Monday November 15, 2010

Twenty nine players got in a nice day of face-to-face go at the November monthly ratings tournament this past Saturday in Palo Alto, CA. The highest-ranked player was a 10-year-old 5-dan visiting from China. Aaron Ye 3d led the dan division with four wins and no losses, and Larry Qu 5k led the kyu division, also with four wins and no losses. Justin Shieh 4d, Kersam Liu 2d, Jay Chan 3k, Kfir Dolev 3k, Sile Chen 4k, Roger Schrag 5k, Eric Tran 7k, and Ciaran Fitzgerald 19k picked up three wins apiece. “We signed up seven new AGA members and got three expired members to renew their AGA membership,” reports tournament organizer Roger Schrag. Next month’s Bay Area Go tournament will take place December 11 in Menlo Park, CA. Photo by Lisa Schrag

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GO PLAYING TEEN WINS SIEMEN’S PRIZE

Monday November 15, 2010

A striking advance in mathematical game theory earned top honors for the team of James Pinkerton 1d (l), and Rafael Setra (r) in the recent Region Five Finals of the 2010-11 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, a premier science research competition for high school students. Pinkerton, an avid go player, and Setra are seniors at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland.  Their win in the team category has scored them a $6,000 scholarship for their mathematics project, The Duplicator-Spoiler Game for an Ordinal Number of Turns.  Their math research might be analogized to mirror go–the players, a spoiler and a duplicator alternate turns, choosing elements from two sets until the duplicator is unable to mirror the spoiler’s move.

In the math, the number of turns for the spoiler to win tells you about the complexity of statements in mathematical logic needed to differentiate the sets.  Traditionally the games have a finite number of turns and their research extended the games to arbitrary lengths over various infinite structures. “This team has made a striking extension of a game-theoretic interpretation of descriptive logic that dates back to the 1960s. Using it, they can distinguish between mathematical structures not separable by simple queries,” said competition judge Haynes Miller, Professor of Mathematics at MIT. “Their work has potential applications to resource allocation in designing search algorithms. What impressed me about these students was their clarity of thought. It’s a very confusing subject to work in and they found their way through it to a new frontier.”

Pinkerton is president of the Chess Club and a member of the National Honors Society and French Honors Society. Fluent in French, he single sculls on the Potomac and plays chess and go competitively. Pinkerton teaches chess as a volunteer in several programs in his county and in inner-city Washington, DC. He also teaches mathematics to underclassmen. He credits his father (E-J staff photographer John Pinkerton) who taught him “fun mathematics, not the dreary algebra of secondary school,” with nurturing his love for the subject.  Pinkerton would like to study mathematics in college and to become a university professor. Setra was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and moved to the US when he was eight years old. He speaks Portuguese and Spanish and is part of Operation Fly, National Honors Society and the Martial Arts Club. A volunteer at Viers Mill Elementary School, Setra plays Starcraft 2, non-competitive football and has just learned how to play go from Pinkerton. He would like to study mathematics, engineering and computer science and to become a college professor.

“Each year, the Siemens Foundation invites America’s high school students to make their mark in the world of science,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, President of the Siemens Foundation. “We commend these students on rising to the challenge and pushing the envelope of scientific thought.” The students presented their research to a panel of judges from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), host of the Region Five Finals, on November 6th.  Pinkerton and Setra will also be invited to compete at the National Finals in Washington, DC, December 3–6, 2010, where the winners of six regional competitions will vie for the $100,000 Grand Prize and national acclaim for extraordinary scientific achievement at the high school level.
-EJ Youth Editor Paul Barchilon, photo: James Pinkerton (l) and Rafael Setra (r), courtesy of the Siemens Foundation