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

GO SPOTTING: David Mitchell’s Novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Sunday July 3, 2011

If you need another reason to read David Mitchell’s spellbinding new novel The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, the game of go plays a key and major role in the story. Indeed, one entire section of the book is entitled “The Master of Go” and not only does go strategy drive part of the novel’s structure, but the game itself — in fact, a specific game, the board and pieces — play a dramatic role at the climax of the riveting novel. Thousand Autumns is more than just a terrific read, though. Mitchell has “meticulously reconstructed the lost world of Edo-era Japan, and in doing so he’s created his most conventional but most emotionally engaging novel yet,” wrote Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times. Set in atmospheric coastal Japan, this epic story centers on an earnest young Dutch clerk, Jacob de Zoet, who arrives in the summer of 1799 to make his fortune and return to Holland to wed his fiancée. But Jacob’s plans are shaken when he meets the daughter of a Samurai. Thousand Autumns is now out in paperback, as well as available as an e-book.

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2011 U.S. Go Congress Discounts Begin to Kick In

Monday June 27, 2011

With registration for the 2011 U.S. Go Congress — July 30 – August 7 in Santa Barbara, CA — on a record-breaking pace, every playing attendee who registered by 11:59pm PDT on June 1 “will receive our first discount of $15 off registration!” reports Congress Director Lisa Scott. “Register by 11:59pm PDT on July 5 to be eligible for our second discount of $15 off every playing attendee!” Scott adds, noting that all current registrants will also receive this second discount as well.  Email Scott at lisa.scott@gocongress.org with any questions.

Michael ‘Zhaonian’ Chen Sweeps NAIM Online Qualifier II

Monday June 27, 2011

Princeton undergraduate Michael Chen 7d swept the field as sixteen strong players competed June 25-26 on KGS in the second online North America Ing Masters (NAIM) qualifier for the opportunity to be in the top 16 in this year’s NAIM, which will be held in at the U.S. Go Congress in August. Kevin Huang 7d, Calvin Sun 7d and KuoRuey Han 6d finished 3-1. A playoff between 3-win players Vincent Zhuang and Kevin Chao was set for Monday, June 27. Tremendous efforts by Tournament Director Tengxiao Yang and Changlong Wu helped players show friendship and high class as they accommodated an AGA player who had to temporarily travel to China.
- National Tournament Coordinator Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang

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Capital One Offers New AGA Visa Card

Monday June 27, 2011

Wouldn’t it be cool if every time you used your credit card you also helped to promote go, support tournaments, chapter services and the U.S. Mind Games team? Now you can do just that with the new AGA Visa credit card from Capital One.

The first time you use the card, the American Go Association will get $50 from Capital One. The AGA also gets small donations on every subsequent purchase: 2% on gas and grocery purchases, 1% on all other purchases and up to 10% on purchases made at select merchants.

”This is an easy and important way to support your national go organization,” said AGA President Allan Abramson. “With every swipe of the card – designed by our very own Mike Samuel – the AGA gets a donation-and you get to spread the word about the game of go.”

In addition to raising much-needed funds for the AGA’s face-to-face and online tournaments, Abramson noted that special events like the upcoming 2010 Mind Games will cost “as much as $30,000 to send a team. Using the AGA card just once will help get us there!”

Click here  for details on the new AGA credit card. (Credit approval required. Terms and conditions apply. Offered by Capital
One, N.A. (c) 2010 Capital One)

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GO IN THE NEWS: U.S. Strategists Learning from Go, says Wall Street Journal

Sunday June 26, 2011

“Forget chess,” said the Wall Street Journal on June 11. “To understand geopolitics in Taiwan or the Indian Ocean, U.S. strategists are learning from Go.” David Lai (r), a professor at the Army War College, has been telling senior military officials in the U.S. and overseas in recent months that go “holds the key to understanding how the Chinese really think—and U.S. officials had better learn to play if they want to win the real competition,” wrote reporter Keith Johnson in “What Kind of Game Is China Playing?” Lai authored a 2004 paper called “Learning From the Stones,” that described China’s long-term and indirect approach to acquiring influence and “zeroed in on concrete geopolitical challenges such as Taiwan, which he described, in terms of Go, as a single isolated stone next to a huge mass of opposing pieces.” The paper caught the attention of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who the WSJ says “quickly became a convert to his way of thinking.” Kissinger refers to go throughout his new book, “On China,” (“Flawed” Use of Go in Kissinger’s New Book? 6/5 EJ). One of Lai’s first fans was Air Force Gen. Steve Lorenz, formerly the head of Air University, where Lai then taught, reports the WSJ. “Gen. Lorenz heard one of his lectures in late 2005 and summoned him for a full briefing about the insights that Go could offer.” In recent months, Lai has briefed officers at Pacific Command, the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command, the Center for Army Analysis and the Australian Defence College. “One officer at the U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command, where Mr. Lai gave a presentation at a commander’s conference in March to about three dozen officers, said ‘the game analogy really sparked fascination’ and was useful for Air Force officers who might have to consider China a potential adversary one day. He conceded, though, that the briefing’s heavy academic content left ‘plenty of heads hurting.’ ‘You’ve got to think like the other guy thinks,’ said the officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.” Other say that comparing national strategic thought to popular sports and games is an over-simplification. “Go is a very useful device for analyzing Chinese strategy, but let’s not overdo it,” James Holmes, an expert on Chinese strategy and professor at the Naval War College said. The 6/11 article also features a video of the WSJ’s Christina Tsuei getting a lesson on the game from 35-year go veteran – and Brooklyn Go Club organizer — Jean-Claude Chetrit (left).

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GO IN THE NEWS: Tampa Go Club

Saturday June 25, 2011

The Tampa Go Club was included in a May 20 St. Petersburg Times write-up on area gaming clubs:
The board game Go has been around for more than 2,000 years and enjoys widespread popularity in East Asia. But around here, there’s just one game in town. John Russell, a 28-year-old librarian, formed the Tampa Go Club nearly two years ago. The weekly meeting attract upwards of 15 people who play on three board sizes, the largest being the most difficult. Often compared to Chess and Backgammon, Go has simple rules but a high degree of strategy. Two players alternate turns by placing black or white stones on the board to amass the larger territory. The club has a core group of regulars but often gets drop-ins from USF who may have seen the game played in A Beautiful Mind, Pi and other movies. Tampa Go Club meets from 3 to 6 p.m. Sundays at the International Boba House and Internet Cafe, 2764 University Square Drive, Tampa. Click here or email goclubtampa@gmail.com.
- photo courtesy St. Petersburg Times

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Mexico City to Host 13th Iberoamerican Go Tourney in October

Saturday June 25, 2011

The 13th Iberoamerican Go Tournament will be held in Mexico City October 8-10. “The Ibero Tournament is the biggest event in the Latin America go scene, and we would be really happy to have visitors from the USA,”  Mexican Go Association President Vladimiro González tells the E-Journal.

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Feng Yun 9P Offers Summer Go Workshop

Monday June 20, 2011

Registration is now open for Feng Yun 9P’s August 22-26 Summer Go Workshop in New Jersey. “This is a good opportunity for players of all ages to study go with a 9 dan pro in a relaxed atmosphere with a lot of personal attention,” reports Paul Matthews. Workshop registration is limited; click here for more details.

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Zhou/Chou Top DC/VA NAIM Qualie

Monday June 20, 2011

Last weekend’s DC-area North American Ing Masters (NAIM) qualifier spanned two states and as many days. The battle between six strong players commenced Friday night, June 18 as more than a dozen players gathered at the Greater Washington Go Club in Bethesda to watch Yuan Zhou 7d, Daniel Chou 6d, Zhengying Gu 5d, Juan Pablo Quizon 5d, Keith Arnold 4d and Justin Teng 4d play. Tournament Director Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang did the pairings with a set of fans signed by professionals, which the players were allowed to keep. The Board 1 game between Zhou and Teng was broadcast live on KGS by E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock; see below for the game record. Three rounds were scheduled across the river on Saturday in the Northern Virginia (NOVA) Go Club, and the “1+3” schedule was favored by many players, who felt it was more physically manageable, allowing for a higher quality of games. Yuan Zhou 7d and Daniel Chou 6d both finished 3-1, with Keith Arnold 4d and Justin Teng 4d tied in 3rd place. Photos by Yang Jiao

[link]

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IN MEMORIAM: Tim Huang

Monday June 20, 2011

Tim Huang, longtime member of the Vermont Go Club and a tireless promoter of the game of go passed away June 14 after a long battle with leukemia and its after-effects. Tim attended several U.S. Go Congresses and included many of his students – he was a Associate Professor of Computer Science at Middlebury College — in AI studies of the game. His contributions to AI research helped lead to many of the critical developments in computer science and artificial intelligence, according to Middlebury President Ron Liebowitz. Huang is survived by his wife, Chae Sim Huang, and daughter, Lydia; his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Charles and Karen Huang; two sisters, Judy Huang and Jennifer (Huang) Stiller; and eight nieces and nephews. A memorial service was held on June 18 at Mead Memorial Chapel. “Here in Vermont we are mourning of our colleague and friend,” reports Pete Schumer.

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