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

“Something For Everyone” at First Spring Go Expo

Wednesday March 27, 2013

“The Spring Go Expo has something for everyone,” said organizer Michael Fodera as he announced the opening of the 2013 Spring Go Expo at Harvard University’s Student Organization Center at Hillel last weekend.

And so it did. Spread out across four connected areas in a student lounge, the Expo featured exciting performances, thoughtful presentations from a scholarly perspective and an exclusive 15-minute segment of the upcoming documentary film The Surrounding Game. The event was organized by The American Collegiate Go Association  (ACGA) and the  Harvard University Go Club and sponsored by the Ing Chang-ki Weiqi Association.

And for those who wanted it, there was plenty “real go,”  with a self-paired tournament, plenty of space for casual play and simultaneous play with top players ranging from Ing Cup winner Chang Hao 9P to America’s newly minted pros Andy Liu 1P and Gangsheng Shi 1PNarumi Osawa 4P, a Japanese pro currently touring the US, and US-based Chinese 1P Stephanie Yin also made generous use of their time, joining the others in simultaneous play and instruction.   Mid-level players also had the opportunity to play Chinese National University Champion John Xiao and American 7-dan Ben Lockhart. The first round of simuls began at 9a on Saturday.

“Many go events focus on tournament play, but we also wanted to include teaching, and exposure to other aspects of Asian life,” Fodera continued. “Go is considered one of the ‘Four Accomplishments’ in China, so let’s learn more about the others,” he said, yielding the stage to Shin Yi-yang, an accomplished player of the qin. Meanwhile, calligraphers from The Chinese Culture Connection demonstrated their art,  and drummers from The Rhode Island Kung Fu Club chased a  large dragon throughout the space as attendees enjoyed a free lunch. While self-paired and casual games continued, filmmakers Cole Pruitt and Will Lockhart presented a 15-minute of their exciting documentary scheduled for release later this year. After a lecture by Prof. Elywn Berlekamp on “Coupon Go,” Liu played an exhibition game against Hao, losing by only 3.5 points.

On Sunday, while younger players competed in a Youth Tournament, more than 50 participants played and recorded games that were then analyzed in small groups by the professionals. Peter Schumer reprised his college go course talk from this year’s International Go Symposium. (click here to view Schumer’s Symposium talk), and Thomas Wolf described his work studying “The Mathematics of Seki.” Pruitt, Lockhart, Fodera and all the ACGA organizers can take pride in a job in a job well done and extended grateful thanks to the Shanghai Ing Foundation, especially its director, Lu Wen Zhen, and the Secretary General, Ni Yaoliang, who traveled from Shanghai to attend the event.
- report/photos by Roy Laird; collage by Chris Garlock

 

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Go Doc Team Having Busy Spring

Wednesday March 27, 2013

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for The Surrounding Game documentary team. They launched an online “collaborative game,” premiered an extended preview of the film at last weekend’s well-attended Spring Go Expo in Boston and kicked off a campaign to raise $30,000 to finish their film. Director Will Lockhart is especially excited about the collaborative game, saying that “You can go to the game and vote for your move, and at the end of the day the votes are tallied and one move is played per day!  I think it should lead to a very interesting game.” An interesting thing to consider, says Lockhart, is “what level of play is reached when each move is decided by democratic vote?” The fundraiser aims to raise the caliber and potential impact of the The Surrounding Game “by hiring a professional editor and paying for legitimate distribution,” Lockhart explains. With less than a month to go, they’ve raised almost $6,000 thus far; click here to see who’s contributed.

 

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Special Election Announced for Central Region Board Seat

Tuesday March 26, 2013

A special election is being held to fill the Central Region board seat vacated recently by Bob Barber (Barber & Smith Moving On, Central Region Seeks New Board Members 2/8/2013 EJ). The election is being conducted on a compressed time frame, with nominations closing April 15 and ballots due back by May 1. The winner, who will serve out the remaining year of Barber’s term, will be announced on May 2. Lisa Scott has volunteered to serve the last few months of departing board member Daniel Smith, who was also from the Central Region. The regular elections and call for nominations for the 2013-2015 board seats will be announced on May 4. Details on qualifications and nominations are available on the AGA Election page; questions can be sent to elections@usgo.org.

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Narumi Osawa 4P to Visit DC April 2

Monday March 25, 2013

Japanese 4-dan professional Narumi Osawa (right) will give a free talk and simul in Washington, DC on April 2. The event, which will run from 7-9:30p, is co-hosted by the Japanese Embassy the Greater Washington Go Club and will be held at the Japan Information and Cultural Center in downtown Washington, at 1150 18th St. NW. Born in Saitama Prefecture, Japan on May 22nd, 1976. Ms. Osawa became professional 1-dan in 1998, was promoted to 2-dan in 1999, 3-dan in 2003, and 4-dan in 2009. She won the Women’s Kakusei title in 1999 and 2003, and the Women’s JAL titlein 2005. She participated in the 16th Asian Tournament as a member of the Japanese National Team. The free event will have two parts: a short talk designed for beginners, then a simultaneous exhibition followed by a short analysis of highlights from these games.

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Free Go Lessons in NorCal a Hit

Sunday March 24, 2013

On March 17th a group of Bay Area Go Players Association volunteers gathered and gave free go lessons to beginners in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood (across the bay from San Francisco). More than 35 people of various ages and diverse backgrounds learned to play go at this fourth annual event. Each took home the informative Way to Go booklet and a 9×9 starter go set. Herb Doughty, a veteran go teacher in the local community, recalled his high point of the day: “I spent some time this afternoon teaching four members of one family, spanning three generations.” Event organizer and Bay Area Go board member Jay Chan reports, “It was a lot of fun. We’re planning to do it again later this year – next time in San Francisco’s Japantown neighborhood.” An AGA ratings tournament was held concurrently with the free lessons, and Argentinian Gabriel Benmergui 6d dominated the dan section with four wins and no losses.
- Roger Schrag 

 

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Former AGA & NY Go Center President Paul Anderson Dies

Saturday March 23, 2013

Paul Anderson, former President of the American Go Association and the New York Go Center, has died. Anderson worked at IBM in New York and Japan for many years, and arranged the IBM-sponsored matches in the late 1980s. He was President of the American Go Association for two years in the late 1960s, leading an AGA delegation to Japan, and President of the New York Go Center from 2005 to 2009. “Paul was a department head in IBM Japan (my memory is that he was head of the printer division for Asia),” writes go journalist John Power, “and he persuaded IBM to sponsor a fast-play tournament — one hour per player plus 30 seconds per move — with limited international participation (two Chinese and two Koreans in a first round of 64). It lasted for three terms from 1988 to 1990.” Power also notes that “Yi Ch’ang-ho made his international debut in the first tournament, but won only one game. An American and a European also played in the qualifying tournament.”

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Game Commentary: Chang Hao 9P – Andy Liu 1P

Saturday March 23, 2013

The exhibition match between Chang Hao 9P and Andy Liu 1P was broadcast live on KGS on March 23. Stephanie Yin 1P and Gansheng Shi 1P provided live commentary; Yi Tong recorded the game and Todd Blatt transcribed the

[link]

commentary.  The match was part of the ACGA Spring Go Expo, a two-day event held jointly at Harvard University and MIT, sponsored by the American Ing Foundation. The Expo also includes simultaneous matches against professional players, a preview of “The Surrounding Game,” the first feature-length documentary on go, presentations by experts in game theory, and Chinese culture, public teaching and demonstrations, a youth go tournament, and cultural performances.

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AGA Launches Facebook, Google+ Sites

Friday March 22, 2013

The American Go Association recently launched its official Facebook page. “Like” this page and follow it for information about go and the AGA. There’s also now a Google+ community for the AGA; join the community and follow the latest news there as well. “We will investigate additional uses of both of these social networks and associated tools,” says Bart Jacob, who’s helping coordinate social media for the AGA. Options include using Hang Outs in the Google+ community for live discussions around topics of interest to AGA members and the go community in general. “Post your ideas, suggestions and feedback on both of these sites,” Jacob urges.

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Ing Qualifier Finals This Weekend

Thursday March 21, 2013

The Ing Foundation is holding its final round for the World Youth Goe Qualifier this weekend, in Menlo Park California.  Andrew Lu 6d and Albert Yen 6d will compete in the Senior Division; Jeremy Chiu 5d and Austen Liao 3d will compete in the Junior Division.  Ing coordinator John Kwei also announced that the “Special Representation” position is still open, and interested parties may contact the Ing Foundation.  Download the attached file to apply. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

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Thrilling Play in Pandanet-AGA City League

Tuesday March 19, 2013

Play continued last weekend in the Pandanet-AGA City League A and B Leagues, as the top players in the country competed in some thrilling games. All three of the A League Board 2 matches last weekend featured exciting ko fights: Eric Lui (Greater Washington) defeated Daniel Ko (LA), Jie Liang (Boston) beat Edward Kim (Seattle 1), and Zhaonian Chen (NYC) defeated Bill Lin (Vancouver). As it stands, Los Angeles defeated Greater Washington 2-1, Boston downed Seattle 1 2-1, and Vancouver BC vs New York City stands at 1-1. Los Angeles is currently leading the league with 6 points followed by Greater Washington and Boston with 4 points each. Play continues with all Leagues on March 31st starting at 1PM EST, when you can watch live on IGS. All up-to-date results can be found on the City League pages.

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