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

YEARBOOK GOES ALL-ELECTRONIC

Monday October 11, 2010

Beginning with the 2010 edition, the American Go Yearbook will be published as a full-color PDF with clickable links, rather than the hard-copy edition as previously. The American Go Association Board of Directors recently approved the change as a cost-saving move. “The AGA’s budget  has been under severe strain because of the twin financial impacts of declining membership and the loss of the longtime and generous Ing support for go in the U.S.” said AGA President Allan Abramson. “Without the significant budget savings realized by eliminating the Yearbook printing and postage costs – which constitute the majority of the $14,000 in annual Yearbook expenses, we would be faced with drastic – and unacceptable — cuts in support for key events at the annual Congress as well as a range of go activities across the country,”said Abramson. “Yearbook and E-Journal Editor Chris Garlock has impressively demonstrated the advantages of new electronic publishing platforms, providing greater flexibility, active links, and faster publishing times,” as demonstrated with last week’s full-color PDF Special Report on this year’s U.S. Go Congress as well as the similar WAGC Special Report earlier this year. Garlock noted that the Yearbook printing/postage savings with enable the AGA to continue financing quality Yearbook and EJ content for members, including new features like top professional Michael Redmond’s game commentaries. The E-Journal also launched an RSS feed and daily short edition of the E-Journal several months ago that’s been gaining in popularity with readers who want to stay on top of breaking go news from around the world. “At the same time, the AGA is looking into a ‘print-on-demand’ option for those members who prefer a hard copy of the Yearbook,” Abramson said.

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THE TRAVELING GO BOARD: Central Park, New York City

Sunday October 10, 2010

New York’s Central Park, the most-visited city park in the U.S., seems to have everything — meadows, ball fields, tennis courts, three theaters, two lakes, a reservoir, a skating rink, a carousel, a zoo, even a castle. Frederick Law Olmsted called his creation “a democratic development of the highest significance” because it had something for everyone. As a longtime New Yorker, after decades of exploring the park, I thought I had seen everything. But recently I happened upon The Chess and Checkers House, a gaming pavilion donated in 1952 by Bernard Baruch. It stands atop a rock outcropping known as the Kinderberg, near the southeast corner of the park. Walk north from 59th street or south from 72nd street along the eastern park drive and you will see signs. With indoor and outdoor seating and views of the rink, the carousel and the dairy, it’s an ideal place to while away a pleasant afternoon. I was disappointed to learn that only one go set was available, a small, poorly-made item that they kept in the store room. When I found that manager Catherine King is eager to promote any game, I returned with two full-sized sets, leftovers from early shipments of Ing equipment. King immediately set up a prominent display in the main playing area, along with a handout I provided, directing interested players to The New York Go Center and various online go resources, as well as several copies of The Way To Go.  The Chess and Checkers House is open Wed-Sun from 10a to 5p. Anyone can use the equipment inside, or take it outside by leaving a $20 deposit or form of ID. No permit is required. At this point, to be sure of a game, it’s BYOO (Bring Your Own Opponent), but it’s the perfect place to take a break while exploring, or to meet a friend for a lunchtime game.
- Roy Laird

JOHN LEE’S GO PLAYER SURVEY

Monday October 4, 2010

Former U.S. Champion John Lee is looking for participants in a survey of go players. “I am currently conducting a study about the relationship of go with other mind sports,” Lee tells the E-Journal. Lee was an active US go player “until changes in life took me away from the scene. I learned go in Chicago when I was 12 and became the US Champion when I was 16. I represented the US in many international tournaments including the World Amateurs, World Pairs tournaments, the Fujitsu cup and was invited to the European Ing Cup as the US Ing Cup Champion.” Lee’s survey takes about 2~3 minutes to complete, “and I’m hoping to collect completed surveys from 1,000 go players,” so he urges go players to also pass it out to their go-playing friends. “Thank you very much and I hope to see you all again back in the go scene sometime soon.”

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COMPUTER GAME OLYMPICS HELD IN JAPAN

Monday October 4, 2010

The International Conference on Computers and Games (ICGA) Computer Game Olympics, which included a computer go championship, were just held in Kanazawa, Japan. There were 9×9, 13×13, and 19×19 tournaments, with professional commentary and an exhibition match against a pro on Saturday, the last day of the conference. Many Faces of Go won the 13×13 tournament; stay tuned for results of the 9×9 and 19×19.

NEW GO GAME VIEWER DEVELOPED

Monday October 4, 2010

Neil Moffatt reports that he’s developed an “HTML5 canvas based go game viewer and rudimentary editor.” Says Moffat, Secretary of the Cardiff Go Club in Wales, UK, “It embraces ideas such as access to key moments in games via a list of clickable position descriptions, and a list of alternative move sequences by description.” The site includes games for beginners, josekis, “guess the next move” and game commentaries. In most games, a list of key game positions is presented. Click on ‘Black has now created a large moyo’, for example, and you will be taken you to that exact board position. Moffatt adds that “The site as it stands is in essence a kind of go blog, but it may develop beyond this” and notes that it does not work with Internet Explorer. “It may or may not be palatable to a large audience,” he says, “The user testing to date seem to be relatively happy with it.” Click here to check it out and let Moffatt know what you think at moffatt.neil@gmail.com

WU, KUANG & YANG TOP N.C. TRIANGLE TOURNEY

Monday October 4, 2010

Perennial champion Changlong Wu 7d was joined on the Triangle Memorial Tournament’s winner’s podium by Jeff Kuang 5d and Jimmy Yang 4d as co-winners of the Triangle’s Open section. The tenth annual edition of the Triangle Memorial Tournament was held in Umstead State Park in Cary, North Carolina September 25.  A total of 32 players from North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Maryland spent a summery day playing in the park until sunset, with a picnic lunch provided by the Triangle Go Group.  Following tradition, all the entry fees were returned to the players as prizes, which were augmented by a generous donation of books and certificates for Chinese language and cultural lessons from the Confucius Institute at North Carolina State University. Winner’s Report: Section A (1-2D) was topped by Joseph Contarino and Craig Garrett, both 3-1. The only perfect score of the day was recorded by Andrew Zalesak in Section B (3-6k), followed by Alex Panaccione at 3-1.  Steven Mabe at 3-1 won Section C, and perseverance awards went to Danielle Ward and Alvin Chen in Section D.
- report/photo by Charles Alden, Tournament Director

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MOON CHA MEMORIAL TOURNEY PLANNED

Sunday October 3, 2010

The Moon Cha Memorial Tournament will be held on behalf of the Rockville Sister City Corporation on Saturday, November 13, at the Rockville United Church in Rockville, Maryland (355 Linthicum Street, Rockville, MD). Details/flyers are still being finalized, but organizers report that “the basic plan is will be to conduct an AGA sanctioned tournament — pre-registration required — as well as an informal walk-in workshop for new players and the general public.” To optimize support for these two activities, the planned internet match between Rockville and Jiaxing China will be postponed until next Spring.

The Moon Cha Memorial Go Tournament is being organized by Yuan Zhou and Todd Heidenreich and is held to honor the memory of longtime DC-area go player Moon Cha, who helped establish the Greater Washington Go Club in the 1950′s and who inspired generations of future go/weiqi/baduk players. Moon lived and raised his family in Silver Spring MD, just north of the Beltway and New Hampshire Avenue. He worked as a research physicist at the Naval Surface Weapons Center in White Oak MD. “As a go player,
he reached the level of 6 Dan,” says Yuan Zhou, ” and, if that wasn’t enough, he attained chess expert status (>2000 points) in his spare time. He is fondly remembered and there will be more details to share later about his national and international influence.”

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SMITH SNAGS TOP PRIZE IN CHI FISH AMNESTY TOURNEY

Monday September 27, 2010

Dan Smith 1d (l, in green shirt) took first place in the September 25 Fish Amnesty Tournament in Chicago, IL. Smith topped a field of 26 players. “We were honored to have the entire Central Region Board of Directors at this tournament, Laura Kolb and Lisa Scott,” reports TD Bob Barber. “Lisa has moved to Chicago to study, and plans on a good long stay.  Joining her from the University of Chicago was Shanthanu Bhardwaj, who bicycled the 30 miles to the tournament.  And went on to win half his games.  Perhaps the two of them will be the core of a vibrant go scene on the South Side, something we’ve always lacked.” Thanks to the generosity of Chris Green, Barber adds, “each participant was given a copy of ‘Perceiving the Direction of Play’ from Hinoki Press.  Chris plans to repeat this performance, with different titles, for upcoming tournaments. So, in effect the entrance fee will approach zero.” Barber also noted that “Lisa Scott will also co-direct the 2011 U.S. Go Congress in sunny Santa Barbara, CA.  If half of what she told us is true about the site, it will be fabulous.” Finally, Barber extended thanks to Steffen Kurz, “and indirectly to Mark Rubenstein, for sponsoring the pizza and beer party.” Winner’s Report: 1st Place Dan:  SMITH, Daniel, 1d (undefeated); 1st Place Hi Kyu:  NORMAN, Matthew, 5k; 2nd Place Hi Kyu:  KOLB, Laura, 2k; 1st Place Low Kyu:  WU, Eric, 16k.
photo by Mark Rubenstein

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SHEN AND SU WIN 2010 AGF COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP

Monday September 27, 2010

Cherry Shen 6d, and David Su 1d, have been chosen for the 2010 AGF College Scholarship.  The $1,000 awards are presented each year to outstanding youth who have been active go organizers or teachers.  “Although I enjoy the competitiveness of go,” said Shen, “there are other aspects of the game that I enjoy just as much: volunteering, teaching kids, and meeting a diverse group of people bridged by one game.”  Su, an active high school organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area, told the Journal “I started playing Go in 7th grade and then joined my school’s go club in freshmen year, but I did not foresee that I would be leading the club 2 years later.”

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CARSON TU & KEVIN HUANG TIE FOR TOPS IN HOBOKEN

Sunday September 26, 2010

The top section of the September 19 Hoboken Open turned into a struggle for the $400 first prize among perennial stars Kevin Huang and Carson Tu, youngsters Lionel Zhang and Andrew Huang, and newcomer Xiruo Liu. In the third round (r), Zhang outfought Kevin Huang in a tense mid-board capturing race setting up a climactic final round. Kevin Huang beat Carson Tu to tie for first with three wins, while Andrew Huang spoiled Zhang’s chance to get a third win. 47 players participated, with all 3-game and 4-game winners receiving a cash prize plus a book. The tournament was played on the campus of Stevens Institute in Hoboken NJ, against a stunning backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. Organized by Larry Russ, directed by Steve Bretherick. Special thanks to Slate and Shell for sponsoring book prizes and to Paul Matthews for Accelrat technical support.

Winners: Top section: 1st (tie) – Carson Tu 7d, Kevin Huang 8d; 3rd (tie) – Lionel Zhang 6d, Andrew Huang 6d, Xiruo Liu 6d; 4-game winners: Marc Palmer 1d; 3-game winners: David Byrne 1d, Justin Ching 1k, Afa Zhou 2k, Masaaki Hamaguchi 2k, Eric Wu 2k, Barbara Huang 8k, Jessica Huang 22k, Joanne Huang 19k, Sean, Huang 27k, Diana Huang 25k, Leo Huang 26k.
photo: top boards play Round 3: L-R, Andrew Huang, Lionel Zhang, Carson Tu and Kevin Huang; photo courtesy Larry Russ. Click here for more photos.

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