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

AGA Election Update

Wednesday May 29, 2013

Incumbent Paul Celmer has been nominated to retain his seat as eastern region representative. No nominations for western or central region candidates have been received yet.  Nominations close June 15 and should be sent to elections@usgo.org. Qualifications and procedures are here http://www.usgo.org/aga-board-elections.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Triple Ko in Tiger’s Mouth Tourney

Monday May 27, 2013

An interesting triple ko came up in the most recent Tiger’s Mouth prize tourney.  The tourneys are run every month, and are open to youth in the US and Canada. Handicapped, and with prizes in double-digit kyu, single-digit kyu, and dan sections, the tourneys provide challenging games for players of all levels, with prizes courtesy of the AGF.  The triple ko came up in a six stone game between Narnian 12k, and Gocookrice 18k, and can be seen in the attached game record. The ruleset was Japanese, which technically means the game should be no result. The players asked the TD to make a ruling, he decided it was a seki, and gave the win to white on territory.  How would the triple ko have been resolved in other rule sets?  The E-J asked Yilun Yang 7p to weigh in with Chinese rules: “If both players keep taking the ko in this situation, it seems the game should be no-result. Black has to keep capturing,  otherwise black loses. Unless one side gives up the ko battle, no one can win, and neither player can give up the ko in this game.”

AGA rules resolve the issue by making full board repetition illegal, which turns this situation into what is called “Super Ko“. AGA Rules Coordinator Terry Benson says: “The main point of AGA rules is that the players have to figure and play it out – not the ref – and we have no null games. A triple ko is going to prohibit the 6th move. So who starts matters. Thus finding a ko threat on move 6 which the opponent answers, would reset the triple ko with the other player to start. I think Ing rules would be the same. This is a fighting ko.” See move 257 to illustrate the options.

E-J Games Editor Myron Souris has a succinct analysis for this situation: “according to AGA rules Black wins the triple ko, no matter who plays first.  If Black takes 1st, then 6 moves later White would be forbidden from repeating the position from just before Black’s 1st move.  So White dies.  And White taking the triple ko 1st is useless, because Black is alive in double ko. With the AGA rules, Terry and the rules committee devised a truly beautiful ruleset:  simple, rigorous, and sensible. Numerous people have unfairly criticized the AGA ruleset for being to difficult to apply to these multiple ko situations, e.g., ‘Knowing when a previous board position repeats is too difficult.’  Terry’s analysis exposes that misconception for this game.  A few years ago, I found about a dozen pro games (the latest is the infamous 2012 Gu Li vs. Lee Sedol game) ending in triple and quadruple ko, all of which even I could apply the AGA rules to resolve who would have won without too much work. Yes, some contrived multiple ko situations can be extremely difficult to analyze for who wins; however, those situations don’t seem to appear in real games, and in any event, the AGA allows the players to play out the situation themselves.” To sign up for the next Tiger’s Mouth Tourney, on June 15th, click here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor 

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Summer Go Camp

Friday May 24, 2013

The AGA Summer Go Camp will be held  at YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles in Rockwood, Pennsylvania, from July 20 to July 27. “Go Camp was a wonderful experience,” writes Sathya Anand 1k, who attended last year, ” I feel my understanding of the subtle complexities of go has been heightened considerably. I loved that everyone in my immediate vicinity had the same passion for learning that I had. I learned a boatload of joseki, as well as the ability to pinpoint where I needed to improve.”

 “I loved the fact that everyone there was a go player just like myself,” writes Shawn Ray 4d, “I had fun doing activities with everyone while also studying go. I feel like I improved a good bit because the teachers broke me of my bad habits, and I think that really helped me focus my moves, and to play on a higher level.”

“If you’re a go player between the ages of 8 and 18, and would like an opportunity to study with a professional teacher for a week, the AGA Go Camp is for you,” says Camp Director Amanda Miller. Yilun Yang 7P will be the teacher this year. He has trained many notable players, including Rui Naiwei 9P and Chang Hao 9P. Anyone who played in the US Youth Go Championships can get a $400 AGF scholarship to the camp.  If you didn’t play, but need financial help to attend, you can apply for a needs based scholarship here.  Please visit the camp website for registration information, or email the camp at agagocampeast@gmail.com. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Amanda Miller: Campers at last year’s event, in Black Mountain, NC.

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KBA Donates Free Beginner’s Book to AGA

Thursday May 23, 2013

With the publication of Falling in Love with Baduk: Play a Game in One Week, The Korea Baduk Association has taken yet another important step to support Western go.  Written in both Korean and English by Dahye Lee and Jihee Baek, two young Korean pros, this is a book aimed at beginners, and especially Westerners. “People with different skin colors and different languages can understand one another when seated across the Baduk board,” they write.  “It thrills us to imagine a view of Easterners and Westerners playing the game together.” This is a valuable book for serious newcomers of any age. Basic principles are broken down into seven simple lessons, presumably one per day, with dozens of problems illustrating each day’s lesson. Ms. Lee will attend this year’s US Go Congress and will participate in the AGA’s first teacher training program. The book is ideal for classroom situations too, and can be used as a manual for non-players who find themselves running go programs at libraries or schools.   The book is available as a free download from the AGF website here, it is 86 mb, so expect it to take a little time.

The text in Falling in Love with Baduk appears side by side in Korean and English, following a style developed by Korean publisher Oromedia. Perhaps Oromedia had an uncredited role in developing this book. Oromedia’s Speed Baduk series (9 volumes) has been all-English, but their other books feature side-by-side presentation of the same material in English and Korean. Examples include Korean Style of Baduk, the Think Like a Pro series ( 2 volumes), the 100 Tips for Amateur Players series (3 volumes ), Inspiration of Pro and Creative Life and Death (2 volumes), all available from Yutopian. Here, as in the other bilingual books, it’s fun to see what the authors have to say in both languages on the same page, especially for language learners. The English text uses Korean terminology for concepts lacking an English equivalent, rather than the terms of Japanese origin that Western players learned from the first generation of English go books. For instance, the position known as “atari” is called “dansoo.” The emergence of Korean-based synonyms may further bewilder newcomers who are already struggling to grasp the vast, abstract nature of the game itself. But in the end, it all adds to the ineffable richness of the game. The worldwide community of players has been unable to agree on a single set of rules. There is not even agreement on what the game should be called; we are unlikely to produce a universal lexicon any time soon. Confused readers can always consult Prof. Chi-hyung Nam’s Contemporary Go Terms, if they have one handy, but the question remains – if you want to tell your opponent that their stone is about to be captured, what should you say? -Roy Laird

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Six Days Left to Register for YKNOT3

Thursday May 23, 2013

The deadline to register for this year’s Young Kwon National Online Tournament has been extended until midnight on Wednesday, May 29. This means there are still six days to register for the tournament! Sponsored by Young Kwon of Pearl River, NY, the tournament offers nearly $3,000 in total prizes! More than 60 players have already registered. Click here to register and here for details on schedule and rules. Join the wide range of strengths already represented and make this tournament better and even more exciting! The five-round tournament will take place June 1, 2, and 8 on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room. For those who aren’t going to play in the tournament, be sure to check it out and watch a few games – a tournament with nearly 20 players 5D and stronger promises excitement!

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Studying in Stile

Wednesday May 22, 2013

With just 73 miles left to go in his 200-mile Coast to Coast walk across northern England, E-J Managing Editor Chris Garlock took a tsume-go study break Wednesday on a fence stile outside Richmond (using SmartGo for iPhone).

“Everyone along the way has been so friendly, hospitable and generous,” Garlock says, “just like those who have contributed to the American Go Foundation” in support of the walk (the fundraising drive is almost up to $1,500).  “We’re into Yorkshire now,” Garlock adds, “and the going is a bit easier, with soothing strolls through pastures and woodlands in place of Cumbria’s mountains and bogs.” - photo by Lisa Garlock

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Go Congress Site Posts 60 Local Attractions

Tuesday May 21, 2013

Go Congress co-director, Gordon Castanza, has compiled a list of 60 diverse activities that are “sure to fascinate those who want to see the attractions of the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia area,” says Castanza. “From aquariums to arboretums to beaches, parks and zoos, the Pacific Northwest has something for even the most fastidious visitor.  Find the trolls of Fremont, the wonders of the Chihuly glass sculptures, the gastronomical delights of 5 species of oysters from the bays of Puget Sound, and the dizzying vistas of the Space Needle. So get a group together and eat your box lunch while reveling in the panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains to the west or one of the many volcanoes (Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Baker) of the Cascade Range to the east. You will find the ‘Non-Players’ Activities’ list on the Congress web page here. The activities are self-propelled and self- guided.” Day off tours for players are also posted on the site, and players can of course engage in the the non-player activities as well.  Local residents will be available to help people make plans.  Photo by Gordon Castanza: “The architecture, and the layout  of the Seattle Chinese Garden is the same as in Seattle’s Sister City, Chongqing, China. These rocks not only come from, but also imitate the mountains around  Chongqing, which is in Sichuan Province.

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New IGS Client, AGA City League

Tuesday May 21, 2013

There is a new IGS client available, GoPanda 2, which is being distributed as a standalone application. Version 2.1.0 was released May 15th. “Aside from a ton of bugfixes and new features, we also moved away from java as the supporting technology” report the developers. “The new client handles like a native app, and doesn’t rely on any specific browser being installed anymore. It’s still missing some features, but we will be adding new things constantly.”

The Pandanet/AGA City League plays Round 7 for the A & B Leagues and Round 5 for the C & D Leagues. Observers can watch live on IGS starting at 1pm EST/10am PST on Sunday March 26th. For more info on the league, click here.  Pandanet encourages players and observers to try the new client  during their games on Sunday.

 

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Deadline May 31 for China Collegiate Trip

Monday May 20, 2013

Two years ago, the Shanghai Ing Chang-Ki Wei-Chi Education Foundation hosted a group of 11 American college students to participate in a week long go summer camp in China.  This year, they are hosting a new event in Shanghai, July 7-13, and inviting college students from America to compete in an international tournament.  Students from 50 different colleges will be invited, and  attendees will also have a chance to explore Shanghai and Hangzhou, while  learning a bit more about a culture that is on the opposite side of the world.  Organizer Michael Fodera reports that  “housing, food, travel within China, and Ing sponsored tourist trips are all free.  All ranks are welcome, even beginners as week as 20kyu.  The tournament is not just limited to college students; college or university faculty members are also eligible. Though they will have to compete in the open section, which will be full of  top amateur players.”  To register for the event, visit the American Collegiate Go Association website. Photo by Will Lockhart: American students vs Fudan and Jiaotong University students, from the 2011 trip to China.
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KGS Meijin Qualifier May 25

Monday May 20, 2013

Registration is still open for this weekend’s KGS 2013 Meijin tournament qualifier. The April qualifier featured “many exciting games and drew more than 300 observers,” reports KGS admin Akane Negishi. “One of last year’s contenders, Grande, won the April qualifier again.”  The single-elimination qualifier will be held May 25-26 on an Asian/European daytime schedule (Round 1 starts at 5a EDT/2a PDT).  In this fifth qualifier, the winner will become a contender for the finals which will start in November. The runner-up may also become a contender if there are 6 or more rounds in the Qualifier. The final KGS Meijin winner will receive a minimum cash prize of $500 and a special Meijin icon. Click here for details and to register.

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