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Go Quiz: How Many Western Professionals?

Sunday April 20, 2014

You Know, Like Grover Cleveland*: The fun of last week’s quiz is that there are more Honinbo heads than people. Quiz vet Reinhold Burger explains: “Thanks for this; I learned something. I knew that Shuei had stepped aside for Shuho, resuming the leadership after Shuho’s death. But I had not realized that Shugen had done the same for Shuei. So you have the symmetrical-looking sequence: Shugen, Shuei, Shuho, Shuei, Shugen. Interesting :)” Peter Schumer also cautioned that, while as heir Shusaku is often referred to as Honinbo, he died before he took over the house. So the seven of you who chose 19 different heads, as opposed to the total of 21 were correct. As for the anonymous person who chose 57, that was, of course, the number of “known Communists in the US State Department” according to a classic film. Congrats to Peter Schumer of Middlebury, VT, our randomly selected winner from among those submitting the correct answer.

This Week’s Quiz: The AGA will be qualifying one more new professional this year. This weekend one player will qualify for the AGA Pro Qualifier (to be held later this year) at the first Washington Open Baduk Championship (click here to register) and another next month at the 41st Maryland Open (click here to register). Pictured is your quizmaster congratulating Andy Liu for winning a spot in the first qualifier in 2012, which he went on to win. So our question this week is how many “Western” pros will our new pro be joining? To qualify, in addition to the AGA’s three pros, they must be (or have been) a pro born outside of the traditional Asian go nations, and certified as a pro by a national organization. Is the answer 12, 13, 14 or 15 Western professionals? Click here to submit your answer, and put your list of pros in the comments (in case we missed someone) and feel free to include your response to my bonus quiz “57 communists” movie reference.
photo by Gurujeet Khalsa

* Cleveland served as 22nd and 24th President of the United States, the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897).

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Go Quiz: How Many Heads of Honinbo?

Sunday April 13, 2014

Camel Redux: First of all, your quizmaster would like to thank E-Journal readers for welcoming us back. Our recent poll column on the best Western cultural reference to go was incredibly popular, as evidenced by the many follow up emails, some of which have already been published in recent EJs. My fondness for the print ad inspired the following response, which needs to be preserved for posterity. “The Camel ad was splashy to us back in the late 70′s when it came out (it appeared in Playboy!),” writes Peter St. John, “but what I remember was Gene (Eugene) Zaustinsky, a professor of mathematics at Stony Brook, telling me that he had composed the position. The story was that someone had called the NY Go club and Gene just happened to be handy, maybe the strongest person in the room at the time of the call. He said it was from a game a friend of his had played.”
Last Week’s Quiz: Our question last week about who was the first player to come back from an 0-3 deficit and win a title inspired other responses from old friends. Two of you made what I call the “smart” guess, choosing early big title veteran Sakata Eio as logically the first to comeback from 0-3. Four of you made the “educated” guess of Cho Chikun, who certainly achieved the feat, indeed, he did it more than once. But 8 of 15 joined the legendary return of Grant Kerr — the man who is never wrong — with the correct answer of Rin Kaiho (right), and I will let the detail man Mr. Kerr explain why. “1973 in the Old Meijin, over Ishida Yoshio. Prior to this comeback, Rin had lost 9 title games in a row to Ishida. In 1983 Cho Chikun came back after losing 3 to win the Kisei. And Rin came back again after losing 3 to Cho Chikun later in 1983 (Honinbo). Cho Chikun did it again the next year to win the Meijin, and again in 1992 for the Honinbo.” Kudos to AGA tournament sponsor and veteran Young Kwon for finding the answer the old school way “From my distant memory.” Speaking of repeats, Brian Kirby searched the internet (as usual) and discovered that this question is a repeat from an earlier Go Quiz. While your quizmaster strives to avoid such mistakes, sometimes it happens. Think of it as a classic worth revisiting from time to time. Finally, welcome back to Trevor Morris, who also chose Cho, relying on his probability defying consistent reliance on chance. Congrats to Andy Tu of Saratoga, CA, this week’s winner, chosen at random from among those answering correctly.
This Week’s Quiz: Early Kido editor Hayashi Yutaka was famously quoted “when the mountains of the Honinbo House stretching from the distance crumble and fall into the sea, one lone peak will remain soaring proudly into the sky: Shuei.” This week we ask: From Sansa to Shusai, how many different people were head of the Honinbo school?” Was it 19, 20, 21 or 57? Click here to submit your responses and comments.

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Go Quiz: Who Pulled Off the “Miraculous Upset”?

Friday April 4, 2014

Last week’s quiz: Before turning to the poll results, here’s my personal all-time favorite go reference. This Camel ad from the late 1970s should have worked.  It was certainly popular, often featured on the back covers of numerous magazines. While not the best board, the bowls are nice, the board position reasonable, the decor splendid and our hero dutifully takes black against the master – top marks.  And for coolness it hits the all-time high. I mean, he has a piercing gaze, cool mustache, is at home in a world few men ever see and women bring him drinks.  Unfortunately, it only got more folks addicted to smoking, and not go.

I found all of your responses interesting, from the mysterious “Love and Go” by Wando Wende (on which I could not find any information) to the intriguing – and new to me — French cartoon “Code: Lyoko”, which certainly looks interesting and features the characters playing the game and discussing it, reports Alison Fotness.  Brian Kirby offers “PopCo”, a novel that features go prominently. Others chose brief references in “Tron: Legacy” and “Da Vinci’s Demons” while I was surprised no one chose “Star Trek” appearances or the cool background ambiance appearance in “24″.  It was great to hear from old friend David Erbach, editor of the early journal “Computer Go,” who suggested Henry Kissinger for featuring go in one of his books.  Ramon Mercado came up with the interesting choice of “ATARI”  the computer game company.  Full marks go to Drew Chuppe for selecting the film “Heaven Knows Mr. Allison”.  This World War II drama features Robert Mitchum as a soldier stranded on a Japanese-occupied island.  While breaking in to a store-room for food, he tensely hides while two soldiers play a couple of games.  A popular film, an accurate depiction as well as a wonderful use of the game as part of a suspenseful part of the plot makes this perhaps the greatest western film reference, but at the time, as an obscure game played by the “enemy”, it failed to gain go much popularity here.  Finally, Michael Goerss intrigued me with his spotting of go in Martin Sheen’s hotel room in “Apocalypse Now” but I must confess, I do not see it.

Tenuki-ing to those chosen by more than one of you, the films “A Beautiful Mind” and “Pi” garnered two votes each.  I must say I was expecting “A Beautiful Mind” to be the winner.  The Best Picture Oscar winner certainly wins the popular honors, and many folks got interested in go as a result, but the go scenes are less than convincing and minor.  Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi” does a better job and go is more central to the plot, thanks no doubt in part to credited guidance by “Go Advisors” including former AGA President Barbara Calhoun, Michael Solomon and the late Don Wiener (misspelled in the credits as “Dan”).  Sadly, this first effort by the director of many critically acclaimed films was not widely seen.  Your quizmaster will have to go along with the choice of 6 of you: “Shibumi” by Trevanian. The thriller features go-related section headings and a marvelous, lengthy section about the main character’s training and playing of the game.  And if a film version ever makes it to the screen the novel’s number one position could be solidified (or destroyed).  Many, many players were intrigued by the game as presented in the book, and learned to play as a result. So, until Steven Spielberg makes “The Tesuji Kid” about an unpopular but cute middle schooler who comes across a small asian garden while hiding from some bullies, meeting three old men playing go who teach him lessons from the game, which become lessons in life, foiling the bully, impressing his/her teachers and getting the boy/girl – Trevanian is number one.   Congrats to Steve Miller of Ramsey, MN, this week’s winner, randomly chosen from those who suggested Shibumi.

This Week’s Quiz: Hearty congratulations to Gu Li for taking game three of the jubango; could this be the start of a comeback? In the Japanese top titles, the matches are best of seven.  Who was the first player to come back from an 0-3 deficit and win a title in what was termed a “miraculous upset”?  Was it Sakata Eio, Rin Kaiho, Kato Masao or Cho Chikun?  Click here to submit your responses and comments.

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Go Quiz: Best Western Go Cultural Reference

Wednesday April 2, 2014

For this week’s quiz, in celebration of go’s prominent role on MTV’s Teen Wolf, as covered in several recent E-Journal reports, let’s hear from you on what you think is the best Western cultural reference to go. Please limit answers to English language and it must be something featuring or mentioning go, but not directly about go or go instruction. And it needs to be original – so the obvious choice of Hikaru No Go does NOT qualify. I will judge the best response on such objective criteria as coolness, popularity, appropriateness and correctness of the reference. This can be books, TV, movies, advertising or news events.

Deadline: 5P Thursday. Nominations so far include Shibumi by Trevanian, Tron: Legacy, Darren Aronofsky’s movie “Pi,” and “A Beautiful Mind” with Russell Crowe. I look forward to hearing from all of you!

Click here to submit your nomination.

- Keith Arnold HKA, quizmaster 

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Go Quiz: Best Western Go Reference?

Sunday March 30, 2014

THE LITTLE RED BOOK: For many, this volume of the Elementary Go Series (available from Kiseido and SmartGoBooks) was the book they were waiting for – the book that taught the West how to fight. Rarely a day goes by without someone responding to a query on KGS with the simple directive “Read Attack and Defense”. When your quizmaster did a poll on the best English-language go books, Akira Ishida and James Davies’ effort received many praises. 13 out of 17 of you read the position correctly. As for those who consult his joseki dictionary regularly, you are better players than your quizmaster, for you open your go books and do not simply look at the covers, but a look at the cover of “The Dictionary of Basic Joseki” will show that it was authored by Ishida Yoshio (and translated by John Power). For your information, the two “fors” in sentence one, four and five of this week’s column are for Roland Crowl, who pointed out my egregious grammatical error in last week’s question and missed by my editor. Congratulations to Reinhold Burger of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, this week’s winner, selected at random from those answering correctly.

THIS WEEK’S QUIZ: Speaking of polls, this week, in celebration of go’s prominent role on MTV’s Teen Wolf, as covered in the E-Journal, let’s hear from you on what you think is the best Western cultural reference to go. We will limit the answers to English language and it must be something featuring or mentioning go, but not directly about go or go instruction. And it needs to be original – so the obvious choice of Hikaru No Go does NOT qualify. I will judge the best response on such objective criteria as coolness, popularity, appropriateness and correctness of the reference. This can be books, TV, movies, advertising or news events. Click here to submit your nomination; I look forward to hearing from all of you.
- Keith Arnold, HKA, EJ Quizmaster.

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Go Quiz: Ishida’s Legacy in the West

Saturday March 22, 2014

We have not seen him for a while, but there was a time when Chuck Robbins of Lancaster PA was everywhere, running tournaments, Congresses, workshops and holding offices in the AGA and AGF. His 1126 rated games are the clear leader in the AGA Database, so Chuck (left) is the correct answer to last week’s quiz question. With 1072, Steve Barberi, also from Pennsylvania but now retired in Florida, is a close second. Legendary Congress Self Paired game player Martin Lebl (962) of Arizona is third and Jeff Horn (854) of California is fifth. 6 of 13 of you had the right answer, 3 choosing Lebl, 2 Horn, 1 Barberi and one sniffing out a trick question and claiming it was a 4 way tie. By the way, in 4th place with 945 is your quizmaster. We may never know who the real leader is since the records are incomplete (the AGA database goes back to 1991), but since the 1990s were the heyday of AGA tournaments thus far, we can be confident that one of these 5 is the current all-time leader. While my personal records show 319 games played before 1991, enough to pass Robbins and Lebl, Barberi was a very active player before 1991, so he may still have a lead over me. Congrats to Robert Tirak of The Dalles, Oregon, our randomly chosen winner from among those answering correctly.

THIS WEEK’S QUIZ: This week’s question was inspired by John Power’s E-Journal “Power Report” from 3/21. Most of your quizmaster’s knowledge of the contemporary Asian go world is thanks to the wonderful Mr. Power (at left in photo), whose Go News in Go World, his news updates on the Nihon Kiin website and now his Power Reports in the E-Journal provide incredibly interesting and complete info on the Japanese Go world, as well as info on China and Korea. Your quizmaster hangs on his every word, in print and in person, having shared meals with him at Congresses and in Tokyo. However, in letting us know about the retirement of Ishida Akira 9 dan, Power surprisingly failed to mention one of the player’s greatest claims to fame. Once again, no multiple choice, but this should be easy (and I promise it’s not a trick question): For what will we Western go players remember and thank Ishida Akira for? Click here to submit your answer.
- Keith Arnold, HKA, EJ Quizmaster. photo: Power (left) with Go Game Guru’s Jingning Xue and David-Ormerod in November 2013 at the 24th International Amateur Pair Go tournament in Tokyo.

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Go Quiz: Most Rated Games

Sunday March 16, 2014

Last Week’s Quiz: Only one of you picked 1973 as the year of earliest New Jersey Open attendance in the field two weeks ago. Jeff Rohlfs (right) was working at Bell Labs when he attended the event held at his work location. The longtime player now lives in suburban Maryland. Brian Kirby, who is quickly becoming the new Phil Waldron of the quiz, missed the answer but correctly placed your quizmaster as making his first appearance in 1986, and did come up with Jeff as the possible winner. Another of Brian’s possibles, Ted Terpstra, good-naturedly complained that our blurb about the event attracting players from “all over the East Coast” failed to mention his visit from San Diego (though actually Ted was mentioned in the EJ’s first-day report, New Jersey Open Attracts Record Crowd for First Day of Play 3/1 EJ). Event organizer Paul Mathews also attended Opens when it was held at Bell Labs, but not as early as Jeff.  Congrats to our sole correct answerer, quiz vet Reinhold Burger (although his nominee was Hal Small)

This Week’s Quiz: Last week’s question was fun but obscure, so this week, with Spring Training in the air, try this softball grand-daddy of US go queries: Who is the current AGA record-holder for most rated games (records going back to 1991)? Is it Martin Lebl, Chuck Robbins, Steve Barberi or Jeff Horn?  Click here to submit your answer.

- Keith Arnold, HKA

 

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Go Quiz: Earliest NJO Appearance

Saturday March 8, 2014

Lee Sedol did not need this kiss for luck from his daughter before the first game of his historic jubango with Gu Li, but perhaps it carried over to the second, where he was fortunate to come from behind.  Five out of six of you who ventured into the scary world of no multiple choice did not need luck either, correctly identifying the other pro in last week’s photo (left). “Easy.” comments Brian Kirby,” That’s Cho Hanseung (Hansung) 9P. He’s the current Kuksu, recently beating out Lee Sedol to defend his title. Mr. Cho doesn’t get as much press as Mr. Sedol, but he actually became pro the same year (1995).” Congratulations to Dong Wei of Austin, Texas, our winner this week, selected at random from those answering correctly.

THIS WEEK’S QUIZ: Congratulations to Paul Mathews and Rick Mott for their wildly successful 55th New Jersey Open, attracting a record 125 players March 1-2 in Princeton (including 22 new members and 34 renewals). The oldest continuous tournament in the US (second oldest is the Maryland Open: the 41st is coming up on May 24-25; see you there!), the NJO gathered go players from all over the East Coast.  An informal but 99 44/100% accurate poll of this year’s attendees taken by your quizmaster confirmed the answer to this week’s question: of all those playing in this year’s New Jersey Open, one player held the record for the earliest NJ Open appearance. Did he play in his first NJO in 1973, 1975, 1977 or 1986?  Click here to submit your answer; bonus points if you name the player correctly.

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Go Quiz: Gu Li In Need of a Refresher?

Friday February 28, 2014

While our teacher question was pending, Gu Li dropped the second game of the jubango.  All but the most diehard Lee fans should start rooting for Gu Li, since we want as many of the ten games as possible played.  Eight of 20 of you correctly named Yang Yi 6P as Gu Li’s key teacher.  He is Director of Chongqing Qiyuan and has trained many talented go players since 1979, receiving numerous national and regional awards for his contributions to go.  In 1995, he recommended Gu Li’s induction into the Chinese National Youth Team. Two years later, Yang reserved a spot for Gu Li (age 14 at the time) on the Chongqing Go Team despite objections from many people.  He first came to the North Carolina Go Congress in 2006, following up with visits to Northern Virginia (2009) and Tacoma (2013).  Reader Ke Lu points out that Yang Yi’s rank may not be earned in official pro tournaments, but there is little question that he is honored as 6P in China.  Another eight of you chose  another Yang, our own Yang Yilun 7P, who has been teaching here in the US and attending Congresses since Seattle 1986.  In addition to your quizmaster, known as his “MDS” (“most disapointing student”), he has taught many great players, perhaps most notably Chang Hao 9P.  Four of you recalled that former WAGC champ and 9-dan professional Zhang Wendong attended the first Tacoma Congress.  We are not aware of any of his famous students, but he certainly schooled Congress Director Steve Stringfellow in badminton.  No one chose our final teacher (perhaps because of a lack of Congress attendance), Song Xuelin 9P, Associate Director of Chengdu Qiyuan (Sichuan, China). He placed among the top six several times in Chinese national go tournaments, and his tournament successes earned him the nickname “King of the Southwest”.   Song is well-known for his ability to spot top go talents. In 1992, he trained 2007 LG Cup Champion Chou Chun-Hsun (Zhou Junxun). In 2008, Song recruited 2012 BC Card Cup Runner-Up Dang Yifei (age 14 at the time) into the Sichuan Go Team.  Congrats to this week’s winner Ke Lu of Newton, MA, this week’s winner, selected at random from those answering correctly.

THIS WEEK’S QUIZ: 2-0 jubango leader Lee Sedol is pictured at left in this old photo; who is that pro player with him? Click here to submit your response and please give us your full name; we hope to start honoring our best quizzers next week and we like to keep good records.
- Keith Arnold, HKA, MDS

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Go Quiz: A Fujisawa by Any Other Name

Sunday February 23, 2014

“Go Seigen is my favorite player!” comments Albert Yen on last week’s quiz, which asked who was the only player to defeat Go in a jubango match. Longtime quiz players may recall that your quizmaster considers him the greatest player of all time (though the same group may recall I have a different favorite player). A wonderful 43 of you responded. Six chose the razor-sharp Sakata Eio, perhaps confusing his breaking up the dominance of Takagawa Kaku, whose Honinbo dominance may have confused two of you and a solitary, unidentified responder chose a time-traveling TARDIS possessing Shusaku. An impressive 32 correctly chose Fujisawa Kuranosuke, although several shared Richard Jankowski’s concern that “I hope this person is the same as Fujisawa Hosai.” Putting aside existential questions about whether we really are the same person during different times of our lives, Fujisawa did not adopt the name “Hosai” until much later. However you want to refer to him, Fujisawa beat Go Seigen 6-4 in 1942 (right), although, as many pointed out, he took black in each of the no komi games, and he later lost two jubango to Go, also at handicap. Interestingly, Reinhold Burger suggested that this question would be difficult without special resources, while Roland Crowl felt it was “too easy to find online” While the number of correct responses give the nod to Mr. Crowl, I thought I would take a moment to comment on how we structure quiz question choices. Ideally, we first hope to be interesting and topical. After that, your quizmaster personally believes clever, difficult questions will always be appreciated by those interested in this clever and difficult game. However, even if folks easily get online and find an answer, then your interest has been sparked and hopefully you’ll have learned something. Congratulations to David Rohde of Carpentersville, IL this week’s winner, chosen at random from those answering correctly. photo courtesy Go’s Everywhere website.

THIS WEEK’S QUIZ:
Let’s learn something about China’s Gu Li (left). While Gu benefitted from instruction by several teachers, one teacher nurtured him since he was a youngster. Is it Yang Yi 6P, Yang Yilun 7P, Song Xuelin 9P or Zhang Wendong 9P? Hint: He has attended the U.S. Go Congress several times. Click here to make your guess by close of business on Thursday.
- Keith Arnold, HKA & AGA Quizmaster

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