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

Nakayama Noriyuki 6P Dies

Friday February 19, 2010

Nakayama Noriyuki 6P died on February 16. The prolific author, reporter and go writer was well-known to American go players who met him during his many trips to the United States over the last three decades. “Nakayama’s deep and abiding love for the game of go and his irrepressible sense of humor endeared him to everyone who was fortunate enough to cross his path over the years,” said American Go Association President Allan Abramson. “He’ll be missed by his many friends around the world.” Said Ji Li 7D, one of the top American amateur players, “Nakayama made significant impacts and contributions to the American go community.” One of Nakayama’s most popular books in the West, The Treasure Chest Enigma, was re-issued in 2005; he ghost wrote books for many top professionals and authored several for himself. Well known as one of the professionals who most toured the West to spread and teach go, Nakayama – born September 3, 1932 — loved to play amateurs and – a twinkle in his eye – would respond to their questionable moves by saying, with a quizzically cocked head, “Ah! New Joseki, neh?!”, or “Oohh! Strong move! But maybe… this (playing his move…) better!!!” Although Nakayama never won a title, “He was funny and approachable,” said longtime fan Keith Arnold 5d. “There was an unmistakable quiet dignity that did not ask for, yet clearly demanded respect. Respect for a dedication to the game, to teaching, and to spreading its joys, winning players with a smile.”
- Chris Garlock, includes reporting on Sensei’s Library; photo by Phil Straus; click here for his album of Nakayama photos

 

NAKAYAMA’S LAST LECTURE: Longtime Congress favorite Noriyuki Nakayama 6P announced at the 2006 US Go Congress that it would be the last year he’d be attending the U.S Go Congress. His wife had been ill recently and it was a great hardship for him to be away for the month it took to attend both the U.S. and European Congresses. At a standing-room only lecture at the Congress, the irrepressible Nakayama said that “I’m afraid the answer might be ‘jigo’ if my wife asks me which is more important, my American go friends or her.” Much-loved for his cherubic delight in teaching go to players of all strengths, Nakayama said “The best thing about go is that you make many friends.” At the lecture, he set up two life and death problems and invited members of the audience to come up and try to solve them, gleefully refuting the wrong moves until somebody solved the problem correctly. For the game section of the lecture, he showed part of the game he won to get promoted to 2P.
- Chris Garlock; Photo by Jian Zhang

 

LETTER FROM JAPAN: Goodbye, The Congress I Love

By Noriyuki Nakayama 6P

I participated in the US Go Congress this year (2006) as I have for last 21 years. The US Go Congress, which started in 1985, could just as well be described as “the US Open Go Festival.” Participants include players from European countries, Japan and many other countries who love this “Festival” as well as go enthusiasts and go maniacs from every corner of the United States. For many participants, these events are a vacation involving spouses and other members of the family. Many wives and children learn go and participate in events like Pair Go, the 9×9 tournament and Kid’s Go.

I have been engaged in activities to introduce and popularize the game of go in the USA before the US Go Congress was organized, but unfortunately, this year’s visit will be the last one due to my wife’s health problems. I know that I will miss the Go Congress and my friends there very much since I started this journey when I was 49 and it has lasted a full quarter-century since then.

On August 19, 2006, my last lecture started after all the Congress events were finished. It had become a kind of Congress custom for me to present a lecture as the final event but this year’s — literally “the last lecture” – attracted most of the approximately 250 people at the Congress. In the standing ovation which lasted long after I finished, overwhelmed by the emotion, I could not find the words to say Goodbye Go Congress, Goodbye America, Goodbye my dear American go friends!
- A longer version of this letter appeared in the October 9, 2006 edition of the Nihon Ki-in’s weekly Go magazine. Translated by Frank Fukuda and edited by Chris Garlock. This letter also appears in the 2006 American Go Yearbook.

As it turned out, Nakayama was able to attend one last U.S. Go Congress, in 2007…

 

PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING: Nakayama on How To Improve

“There are three steps to get better,” Noriyuki Nakayama 6P said at a lecture at the 2007 U.S. Go Congress. “Step 1: buy a book. Step 2: read it! Step 3: practice!” As entertaining as always, Nakyama kept the attentive crowd laughing appreciatively as he mixed game analysis of Takemiya’s games with fascinating and amusing anecdotes from the go world. “Replay professional games,” Nakyama advised. “Eventually you will start playing better moves because your fingers will know where to play. Not your mind, your fingers.”

“Ah, The Clam Shells Are Heavy”

Excerpted from The Treasure Chest Enigma; A Go Miscellany, by Nakayama Noriyuki

A little before six in the evening, Kajiwara, who had been glaring at the board hard enough to bore a hole in it, suddenly raised his head and glanced at the scenery outside in the gathering dusk. Not surprisingly, he bore signs of considerable fatigue.

The game recorder’s voice rang out. “Time is up. Kajiwara Sensei, please seal the next move.”

Kajiwara gave a deep nod of assent, then shifted his gaze back to the board. Some five minutes passed by. Suddenly he called out in a flurried tone, “What? The next move’s the sealed move.” His eyes were riveted on the board.

With his whole being concentrated on the go board, Kajiwara had only half taken in the game recorder’s words when he first spoke.

“Yes. The next move – is – the sealed move.” The game recorder replied slowly and carefully, enunciating each syllable clearly.

Kajiwara finally seemed to have grasped that the next move was the sealed move. He let out a long sigh. “Oh? The sealed move?” After a little while he sighed again. “I’m tired out,” he muttered. Preoccupied though he was with his own game, Tainaka happened to overhear these words. Glancing over at the neighboring board, he commented sarcastically: “Why? You’ve only played four stones.”

Kajiwara’s reply to this was a masterpiece. Glaring at the board with a look of complete exhaustion on his face, he muttered: “The clam shells are heavy today.”

The essays in Treasure Chest were translated from a collection titled Jitsuroku Igo Kodan. Gokyo Monogatari (Tales of a man crazy about go), reports Bob McGuigan

Photo: Nakayama and Yoshiaki Nagahara 6P watch a casual game at the 2007 Congress; photo by Roy Laird

 

IN MEMORY OF NAKAYAMA SENSEI: A number of Nakayama appreciations, tributes and memories has been posted on GoDiscussions.com http://www.godiscussions.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11152 , including a record of a game between Nakayama and Kojima Takaho, which made the Kido yearbook’s section on noteworthy games, posted by John Fairbairn.

 

Published by the American Go Association
Managing Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Bill Cobb
Website Editor: Gurujeet Khalsa
Games Editor: Myron Souris
Professionals: Yilun Yang 7P; Alexandr Dinerchtein 3P; Fan Hui 2P
Contributors: Paul Barchilon (Youth Editor); Lawrence Ku (U.S. West Coast Reporter); Brian Allen (U.S. West Coast Photographer); Keith Arnold (Go Quiz); Peter Dijkema (Dutch/European Correspondent); Marilena Bara (Romania/European Correspondent); Ian Davis (Ireland Correspondent); Jens Henker (Korea Correspondent); Nicholas Roussos (Cyprus Correspondent); Horatio Davis (Australia/New Zealand Correspondent).
Columnists: James Kerwin 1P; Kazunari Furuyama; Rob van Zeijst; Roy Laird; Peter Shotwell
Translations: Bob McGuigan (Japan)
Formatting: Adam Wright

Text material published in the AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL may be reproduced by any recipient: please credit the AGEJ as the source. PLEASE NOTE that commented game record files MAY NOT BE published, re-distributed, or made available on the web without the explicit written permission of the Editor of the E-Journal. Please direct inquiries to journal@usgo.org

Articles appearing in the E-Journal represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the American Go Association.

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Big Tourney Weekend Coming Up

Monday February 15, 2010

Well over 100 players are expected at the New Jersey Open this weekend in Princeton, NJ. The 51st annual tournament is one of six events this weekend across the country, including the triple-threat Southern Cal Championship, US Youth Qualifier and NAMT/FUJITSU Qualifier in Alhambra, CA, the Chinese Spring Festival tournament in Columbus, OH and the John Groesch Memorial tourney in College Park, MD. “Princeton’s own Zhaonian (Michael) Chen ’11, who missed last year’s 50th anniversary NJO due to a schedule conflict, will play this year,” says NJO TD Rick Mott. “He has won in the past and it should be a great group of strong players contending for the title.” Also, Mott reports, “Feng Yun 9P has cancelled her classes for this weekend in order to allow her students to attend, so the expected total over both days is around 120 players.” Look for top boards to be broadcast live on KGS by the E-Journal. Look for top boards to be broadcast live on KGS by the E-Journal. Photo: young players review game at 2009 NJO; photo by John Pinkerton

Feng Yun-Jie Li Win Pair Go Qualifier As Pair Go Celebrates 20 Years

Monday February 15, 2010

The Pair Go team of Feng Yun-Jie Li will represent North America at the World Pair Go Association’s 2010 World Cup, after defeating Jin Yu-Jing Yang in last week’s North American Qualifier. The Cup is scheduled for March 20-23 in Hangzhou, China. In related news, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the International Amateur Pair Go Championship, the Japanese Pair Go Association has just published ten essays about Pair Go. Manja and Micha Martz won first place with their thorough, entertaining and well-illustrated essay on the history of Pair Go in Europe and longtime U.S. go organizer – and IGS rep –Thomas Hsiang contributed A Few Memories of Pair Go, noting that “Pair Go has not only been accepted but flourished beyond anyone’s imagination. Aside from frequent regional tournaments held worldwide, Pair Go was featured as the only mixed-gender mind-sport in the First World Mind Sport Games in 2008 and will be a medal event in the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games.” Hsiang also points out that “the US go scene that was once almost exclusively male-dominated now sees a much greater participation by female players, especially among the young….Pair Go has brought together many couples in US and Europe, and not a single couple has been broken up by it!” Click here http://www.pairgo.or.jp/event/pairgo20th/index-e.htm to read the Pair Go essays.

Kirschner Hopes to Stage “Honinbo” at Go Congress

Monday February 15, 2010

Plans are afoot once again to stage the world premiere of “The Honinbo” http://www.usgo.org/resources/downloads/Honinbo.pdf go musical at the 2010 U.S. Go Congress. The full-scale parody of “The Mikado” was penned by former AGA president Bob High, and features a cast of go playing characters singing go-themed songs. “We have obtained cooperation from the UCCS Drama department to get facilities and some student assistance,” reports Chris Kirschner, who’s had a longtime dream of producing the musical. “Our job is to get a cast together and prepare to make good use of them.  Plans are just starting, so we are looking for volunteers to launch this production.  Mainly, we need people willing to get up on stage and play the parts.  There are 10 named roles, and several choruses.  Some musical ability is desirable, but don’t hesitate for lack of a voice of gold.  And we will want some production people back-stage as well.” Contact Kirschner at operations@usgo.org for details.

U.S. GO NEWS: Feng Yun/Jie Li Win North American Pair Go 1st Round; USYGC Season Opens; Kirby Sweeps N. California Tourney; SmartGo In S. Korea And Coming Soon To Ipad.

Monday February 8, 2010

FENG YUN/JIE LI WIN N.A. PAIR GO 1ST ROUND: Feng Yun and Jie Li defeated Wan Chen and Curtis Tang Sunday night in the first round of the North American World Pair Go Qualifier, played on IGS. “One pair withdrew at the last moment, and one member of another pair did not show up, so two games were not played,” reports Allan Abramson. Feng Yun and Jie Li will have a bye for the second round, and play the final game on Thursday night. Jing Yang and Jin Yu will play White vs Yuan Zhou and Yinli Wang on Tuesday night – also on IGS, in Round Two.

USYGC SEASON OPENS:  The 2010 United States Youth Go Championship is kicking into gear, with qualifiers now scheduled across the country.  First up is the Orange County Go Club, in Los Angeles, on Feb. 21-22.  New Qualifier locations have been added as well, with Boston, New Jersey, Colorado, and San Francisco all hosting events.  There will also be an online qualifier, hosted by the AGHS <http://aghs.cc>.  This year, the AGA is also adding National Single Digit Kyu (SDK) and Double Digit Kyu (DDK) championships to the event.  The winners will receive trophies, and prizes will be awarded in the following brackets: 1-4 kyu, 5-9 kyu, 10-15 kyu, 16-20 kyu, 21-25 kyu, 26 and up kyu.  In the dan brackets, the strongest kids in the country will be competing for the right to represent the US at the World Youth Go Championships this summer.  Low dan youth will have a chance at prizes and trophies too, with prizes for 1-5 dan as well.  The event is sponsored by the AGA and the AGF, and Guo Juan has donated audio go lessons <http://internetgoschool.com/> as bonus prizes for youth in all categories.  For more information, visit the tournament webpage <http://www.usgo.org/tournaments/USYGC/2010/>
-Paul Barchilon; photo: young players study at the 2009 U.S. Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock

KIRBY SWEEPS NORCAL TOURNEY: Brian Kirby topped February’s monthly ratings tournament in Northern California, February 6 in Menlo Park, CA. There were 25 players, ranging from 25 kyu to 7 dan, and two played in their first tournament ever. The next monthly ratings tournament will be March 6 in Palo Alto, CA. Winners report: Four game winner: Brian Kirby 2k 4-0. Three game winners: Lucas Baker 2d 3-1, Samuel Gross 1d 3-0, Roger Schrag 7k 3-0, Larry Qu 15k 3-1.
- Roger Schrag

SMARTGO IN SOUTH KOREA AND COMING SOON TO IPAD: SmartGo Pro for the iPhone/iPod touch is now available in South Korea under the name “Smartgo Pro Baduk,” http://itunes.apple.com/kr/app/smartgo-pro-baduk/id353159718?mt=8 reports SmartGo author Anders Kierulf. “It comes with over 15,000 professional games and 2,000 problems.” Search for Baduk in the iTunes App Store. Kierulf also tells the EJ that “I’m working on a version of SmartGo optimized for Apple’s upcoming iPad.”

AGA Board Waives U.S. Youth Go Championship Requirement

Monday February 1, 2010

The AGA Board acted Sunday to waive the 10-game minimum requirement for the annual U.S. Youth Go Championship, converting last year’s one-time exemption into a permanent exemption for this tournament, which leads to the selection of the U.S. representative to the World Youth tournament. Board Chairman Roy Schmidt noted that “This responds to concerns of youth advocates that the AGA should be encouraging maximum participation in this tournament, with reduced requirements.”

Matthews To Retire As AGA Ratings Coordinator

Monday February 1, 2010

“Our ratings coordinator, Paul Matthews, has informed me of his decision to retire from this position to spend more time pursuing other go related interests,” reports AGA President Allan Abramson. “Paul has been one of our AGA heroes,” Abramson told the E-Journal, “having developed the rating system algorithms 20 years ago, and having maintained ratings with regular updates for all this time.” Adding that “I personally hold him in the highest regard, and respect the care he devoted to the quality of ratings.” Abramson also had a request for AGA members, asking them to “Please join me in extending our thanks to Paul for 20 years of extraordinary service.” Abramson also noted that “We are now in the process of integrating new open source rating system programming with our other data systems and web site. This transition may take several months to complete, but in the interim we expect to do a ratings update as soon as possible. I ask for your understanding and patience.”

Categories: U.S./North America
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U.S. GO NEWS: Hu Wins Chi Tourney; Jujo Tourney Report; World Pair Go Deadline Weds; NAMT Qualifier Host Sites Sought

Monday January 25, 2010

HU WINS CHI TOURNEY: Thomas Hu 6d won the January 23 “The White and the Black” tournament in Chicago, IL. “A smallish tournament, but some great games,” reports TD Bob Barber. “A new player was Young Rhee 7d, who will be teaching at the brand new Go Center in nearby Arlington Heights. If we move the tourney, we may double attendance. Heady times in Chicago.” 26 players participated. Results: 1st Place Dan: HU, Thomas, 6d, 4-0; 1st Place High Kyu: RUBENSTEIN, Mark, 4k, 4-0; 1st Place Low Kyu: ZHANG, Chris, 33k, 4-0.

JUJO TOURNEY REPORT: Mingjiu Jiang 7P won the Jujo Jiang Ing Goe Tournament held January 9-10 in San Francisco, CA. Winner’s Report: 1st place: Mingjiu Jiang 7P (5-0); 2nd: Calvin Sun 7d (4-1); 3rd: Lu Wang 7d (3-2); 4th: Song Li 6d (3-2).
- reported by Chris Burg

WORLD PAIR GO DEADLINE WEDS: This Wednesday, January 27 is the deadline for registering for the World Pair Go qualifiers. “This is a high level competition, with airfare, room and board for one pair from North America at the end of March,” reports American Go Association President Allan Abramson. The qualifiers will include Canadian pairs. Abramson’s recent Members Memo included details; contact him at President@usgo.org

NAMT QUALIFIER HOST SITES SOUGHT: Beginning this year, the qualification tournament to select the 2011 Fujitsu Cup candidate will be the North American Masters tournament. The NAMT final is held at the annual U.S. Go Congress (LINK), which will be held in Colorado Spring, CO July 31-August 8. “We are now looking for clubs and people to host the NAMT qualifier tournaments around the country,” says AGA Tournament Coordinator Boris Bernadsky. Two sites are being sought in the west, two in the east and two in the central states; there will be two online tournaments as well. Anyone interested in hosting an NAMT qualifier can email Bernadsky at badukboris@gmail.com

Categories: U.S./North America
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U.S. GO NEWS: Peng Wins MGA Winter Tourney; Jujo Games Broadcast Live; AGHS School Teams Tourney; U.S. Congress Site Launched; Seattle Go Center Now Tax-Deductible; AGF Drive Nets Funds For Go Projects

Monday January 11, 2010

PENG WINS MGA WINTER TOURNEY: Haijing Peng 2D won the January 10 Massachusetts Go Association’s Winter Tournament in Somerville. 26 players ranging from 2 dan to 20 kyu participated. Winner’s report: 1st: Haijing Peng 2D; 2nd: Doug Franz 12k; 3rd: Eric Reid 4k. (reported by TD Eva Casey)

JUJO GAMES BROADCAST LIVE: The EJ team partnered with KGS to broadcast from last weekend’s Jujo Jiang Tournament in San Francisco, CA. “The top games of the Jujo tourney attracted hundreds of observers from all over the world,” reports KGS Senior Administrator Akane Negishi. “The last round got over 480 observers at one point, overall it was a great turn out! The EJ’s Chris Burg did a wonderful job as a recorder, keeping the audience excited and curious, and everything went very smoothly. Here at KGS we were very happy to see that many people enjoyed and appreciated the broadcasts.” See attached for the game record of the tournament’s top-board final round: look for more game records to be posted online soon.

AGHS SCHOOL TEAMS TOURNEY: Registration is now open for the American Go Honor Society (AGHS) School Team Tournament. Modeled on the team tournaments featured in Hikaru no Go, the popular event is now in its 9th year; over 200 youth, from 70 different schools, entered last year. All games will be played on the KGS Go Server, and the deadline to enter is Feb. 2. The AGA and the AGF are providing $3,000 in gift certificates distributed among every team that completes the tournament, with extra prizes for the winners in several different brackets. Teams can be formed by any school with at least three go players, and by home-schooled kids who want to play together. Youth go clubs in alternative schools or part time schools are also allowed, as are teams from youth at public library clubs. The competition begins on the first weekend of March and continues for 8 weeks afterwards. Rounds lasts for two weeks, during which time each player on a team must complete one game against their assigned opponent. For more information, and to register, go to the AGHS website.

U.S. CONGRESS SITE LAUNCHED: The website for the 2010 U.S. Go Congress has been launched, reports AGA webmaster Steve Colburn. This year’s U.S. Go Congress runs July 31 – August 8, 2010 in Colorado Springs, CO at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

SEATTLE GO CENTER NOW TAX-DEDUCTIBLE: After a three-year effort by the Seattle Go Center board and staff, the Seattle Go Center can now receive tax deductible contributions. “Just before the holidays, the Center received notification that IRS had approved a status change to a 501(c)(3) public charity,” reports Go Center organizer Deborah Niedermeyer. “At a celebratory year-end fundraiser, the Go Center raised $2800 in donations. An additional $2100 will come from matching grants by donors’ employers.” photo: Deborah Niedermeyer with Board member John Hudson. report/photo by Brian Allen.

AGF DRIVE NETS FUNDS FOR GO PROJECTS: The American Go Foundation’s annual fundraising campaign is in high gear. “Seventy three donors have answered the call,” says AGF President Terry Benson. “We’re especially grateful to the sixteen current and former AGA members who gave for the first time during such challenging economic times.” The funds are needed to support an increased level of activity: the AGF sent more than 120 free Classroom Starter Sets to new youth programs in schools, libraries, after-school programs, 30% more than last year. Business is also picking up in The AGF Teacher Store, which opened last year with a $20,000 inventory; traffic has been so brisk that another shipment is on the way. More new programs mean greater use of matching funds, equipment grants and other resources, so the AGF is counting on more donations before the drive is over. “We’re trying to fill the gap caused by the loss of funding from the Ing Foundation. We need support to keep building the American community and maybe even find the next Michael Redmond,” Benson said. “The web makes it easy to help.”

Categories: U.S./North America
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WORLD GO NEWS: Korean Teen Park Junghwan Wins Third Title Match; Iyama Yuta Takes Clear Lead In Honinbo League

Monday January 11, 2010

KOREAN TEEN PARK JUNGHWAN WINS THIRD TITLE MATCH: Park Junghwan 5P (l) won’t be twenty until 2013, but he is already becoming a major player. Last year he won two Korean titles, the Siptan (Judan) Cup and the Chunwon (Tengen), and he has just successfully defended the Sibdang against challenger Lee Changho 9P with a score of 2-1. Lee won the first game of the match, but Park took the other two on January 9th and 10th. In the unusual structure of the Siptan, as last year’s winner, Park was seeded into the third round, so he had to win two games just to get into the title match.

IYAMA YUTA TAKES CLEAR LEAD IN HONINBO LEAGUE: In the eight-player round robin league to decide the next challenger for the Honinbo title in Japan, Meijin Iyama Yuta 9P has a 4-0 record with three games to go. Everyone else has at least one defeat. The closest competitor at this point is Yamashita Keigo 9P with a 3-1 record. He and Iyama have not yet met in the league. Yamashita currently holds both the Kisei and the Tengen titles. Iyama is Meijin and also won the Ryusei last year.
- Bill Cobb, from Go News, GoGameWorld, Sensei’s Library