American Go E-Journal » Go Quiz

Go Quiz: Three Firsts; Who’s Second?

Sunday June 29, 2014

Last week’s Quiz was inspired by EJ reader Vernon Leighton who thought he spotted an error in a May 13 Wired article on go. “It said that Michael Redmond (far right) was the first American go professional and that James Kerwin (near right) was the second. I believe that Kerwin was the first.” As the vast majority of respondents knew, Kerwin was indeed the first American pro, but the real answer is a bit more nuanced. The Wired article correctly said that “The charismatic Redmond, an American… remains the only Westerner to ever reach 9-dan, the game’s highest rank” and that  “James Kerwin…(became) the second-ever Western professional Go player” which is what created the confusion. Manfred Wimmer 2P (left) of Austria was the first Westerner to achieve professional status in 1978 at the Kansai Kiin; Kerwin 1P, from the United States, became a professional later that year at the Nihon Ki-in, the first westerner to do so there. Redmond was the first Western professional to achieve the rank of 9P, in 2000. Michael Goerss of Scottsdale, AZ is this week’s winner, chosen at random from those answering correctly.

This Week’s Quiz: Most of the registrants for the upcoming US Go Congress are from the United States; which country has the second-highest number of registrants? Click here to submit your answer. 

 

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Go Quiz: Who Was First?

Tuesday June 17, 2014

“I spotted what I think is an error in the Wired article (Wired Magazine on “The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win” 5/13 EJ),” writes Vernon Leighton. “It said that Michael Redmond was the first American go professional and that James Kerwin was the second. I believe that Kerwin was the first.” Which is correct? Click here to submit your answer.

 

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Go Quiz Reminder: Name That Problem

Thursday May 29, 2014

The go problem on this year’s US Go Congress logo is from a collection of classic Chinese problems and like most such problems it has a name. Is it: The Warrior EscapesAn Ambush of Five Stones; or A Pearl Emerging from the SeaClick here to submit your answer. And, for a chance to win $50 off your Congress registration, email your solution to the problem to registrar@gocongress.org before midnight on Saturday, May 31. In any case, if you’re definitely planning on coming to the US Go Congress in New York City this August you’ll want to register by the May 31 deadline to save $50 off your registration fee.

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Go Quiz: Name that Problem

Tuesday May 27, 2014

The vast majority of you (84%, or 38 out of 45) correctly chose Edward Lasker as the source of the quote “The rules of go are so elegant, organic and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe they almost certainly play go.” Lasker, a leading German-American chess and go player, was instrumental in developing go in the U.S., and together with Karl Davis Robinson and Lee Hartman founded the American Go Association. “It’s not go-related, but Arthur C. Clarke had a fine comment (quoted from memory here),” writes Fred Baldwin. “Either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Each possibility is equally terrifying.” On a cheerier note, Ramon Mercado writes that “I truly enjoyed reading that bit about the Chumley’s speakeasy in NY. I’ll make sure to have a pint at it next time I’m in NY, if it’s allowed to be opened.” And speaking of Chumley’s, AGA Archivist David Doshay sent along these terrific shots of play at the club, shot for Life magazine in 1940.
This Week’s Quiz: The go problem on this year’s US Go Congress logo is from a collection of classic Chinese problems and like most such problems it has a name. Is it: The Warrior Escapes; An Ambush of Five Stones; or A Pearl Emerging from the Sea? Click here to submit your answer. And, for a chance to win $50 off your Congress registration, email your solution to the problem to registrar@gocongress.org before this Sunday, June 1.
- photos (top right & left) courtesy Life magazine

Go Quiz Reminder: The UK Weighs In With A Hint…

Thursday May 22, 2014

This Week’s Quiz: Who said this? “The rules of go are so elegant, organic and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe they almost certainly play go.” Was it Albert Einstein, John Nash or Edward Lasker? Click here to submit your answer. “I had read and been amused by this quote some time ago, then referenced it just a couple of weeks ago, in correspondence with my frequent go adversary, John Collins, who in retirement is doing an M.Sc. in Astrophysics,” writes Tony Collman, the EJ’s UK correspondent. “Annoyingly, although it was beautifully apposite in the context, I couldn’t at the time remember the exact words or who said them, but mere days later I was enquiring about a set of go quotes which had embellished bottles of Monkey Jump Ale, given by the sponsor as prizes for the Skye Tournament  back in March. As luck would have it, the full quote was amongst them, together with the author’s name.”

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Go Quiz: A Trip Down New York’s Go Memory Lane & A Famous Quote

Tuesday May 20, 2014

Last week’s quiz asked about which bit of New York Go history is referenced by one of these shows: “Hong Kong Phooey”, “Underdog”, “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The answer is “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales”: Chumley was the name of Tennessee Tuxedo’s walrus sidekick. (click here for this week’s quiz)

The New York go history connection is Lee Chumley, a Greenwich Village resident who had been a soldier, artist, writer and covered wagon driver, and who played a pivotal role in New York go history when he founded his speakeasy in 1922. Chumley’s, frequented by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, E.E. Cummings, John Steinbeck and Dylan Thomas, became a bohemian incubator of the AGA, which held its early meetings on Monday evenings at the bar.

A report in the January 13th 1934 issue of The New Yorker describes the go scene at Chumley’s, including some of its early practitioners, including Edward Lasker, Karl Davis Robinson and Fritz Kastilan, and observing with The New Yorker’s usual wit that “The Public Library has two books on Go. One hasn’t been taken out since 1916 and the other has never been taken out. Mr. Robinson, of the Chumley group, is writing another one now, but he doesn’t quite know why.” Chumley’s and the AGA Monday night club can be seen in this 1942 photo in Life magazine; Edward Lasker, on the left at the third board from the bottom, was one of the earliest proponents of go in the U.S.

By 1951, meetings had moved to the Marshall Chess Club, but Chumley’s would be a must stop for the attendees of the U.S. Congress this August except that it’s been closed since 2007 for repairs. It was slated to reopen this year, but according to a report in The New York Times last February, local residents are attempting to block the reopening, claiming, ironically, that there are too many bars in the neighborhood to open a “new” one. By the way, Chumley’s is also the originator of the term “86” used in the restaurant business to indicate that something — or someone — should be thrown out. Chumley used it as a means to alert his patrons that a police raid was coming — based on tips usually provided by the police themselves — and customers should exit through the door on 86 Bedford.

Although no one chose the correct answer, the fault doubtless lies with poor wording and editing at our end, and we hope you have enjoyed this trip down New York’s go memory lane. Please send us any memories you have of the place and we will try to preserve this piece of go history.

This Week’s Quiz: Who said this? “The rules of go are so elegant, organic and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe they almost certainly play go.” Was it Albert Einstein, John Nash or Edward Lasker? Click here to submit your answer.

We look forward to seeing all of you at the 41st Maryland Open this weekend in Baltimore. While not as old as Chumley’s, the Gilbert W. Rosenthal Memorial Baltimore Go Club is one of the AGA’s oldest chapters, and has sponsored the Maryland Open go tournament for many years. See you this weekend!
- the editors; photos courtesy Life and the New York Times (Librado Romero)

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Go Quiz Clarification

Tuesday May 13, 2014

The answer to this week’s quiz is not in the title of the four cartoons listed in this week’s quiz; actually, the title of our piece of New York Go history, is referenced in one of these shows: “Hong Kong Phooey”, “Underdog”, “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. Still a tough one, but I hope this helps. Click here to submit your answer.
- Keith Arnold, HKA 

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Go Quiz: New York’s Go History Mystery

Monday May 12, 2014

LICENSE TO FILL the US Open Field.  Respondents were evenly split between Tacoma ’05, Lancaster ’07, and Washington ’09 but Lancaster is the correct response with 379 players in the US Open field, second was Washington with 364.  Lisa Scott explained her reasons for her correct answer: “I had expected Portland, since Portland had the largest number of registered people in total, but Lancaster was a close second.” While overall attendance has been somewhat lower, the percentage of non-players has gone up of late, explaining the “ancient” leader.  Last year’s Congress had an open field of 285.  So, the gauntlet is thrown down for New York to make us proud.   Congrats to this week’s winner, Steven Burrall of Elk Grove, CA, chosen at random from among those answering correctly.

This Week’s Quiz: This week’s quiz focuses on the proud history of the beginnings of go in New York City, but your only clue is that the particular history I have in mind is referenced in what old television cartoon show? Is it “Hong Kong Phooey”, “Underdog”, “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”? Your quizmaster remains convinced that the players of this fascinating game are up for the most obscure challenge and while I really hope someone impresses me with the correct answer, please feel free to make up something creative for me to share. Click here to submit your answer.
- Keith Arnold, HKA

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Go Quiz: Biggest U.S. Open?

Saturday May 3, 2014

Meet Me In St Louis? No, there are no current plans for a Congress in St. Louis, just your film buff quizmaster’s way of introducing the unanimous answer to this week’s quiz. Everyone got the link between four Congress cities and another event. “World’s Fair, at a guess,” replied tournament directing expert Ken Koester, adding, with his usual eye for detail, that “technically the Chicago Congress was in a suburb, not city limits proper.” Speaking of details, Peter St. John provides “World’s Fair (or Expo) Seattle 1909 and 1962, NY 1964 and 1862, San Francisco 1915 and 1939, Chicago 1893 and 1933.” Congrats to this week’s winner, Esteban Ley of McKinney, TX, chosen at random from among those answering correctly.

Correction: I was afraid that there might be an Asian pro who had been born in Asia and sure enough the great John Fairbairn wrote in to say that “The answer to the quiz about pros born in the west was wrong. Kim Chun-u was born in Sydney, and (Francis) Meyer is only the second from North Carolina: An Tai-hun was a Tar Heel before him. My prize of a crate of bourbon may be donated to the next US Congress.” Thanks John for the great addition, and though we don’t do prizes for the quiz, I happen to know that 2014 Congress Director Mathew Hershberger is almost as big of a bourbon fan as your quizmaster, and the good news is that New York City is NOT a dry campus!

This Week’s Quiz: With the 2014 U.S. Go Congress coming up this summer in New York City, which Congress had the biggest US Open field, in number of unique players? Was it Tacoma 2005, Lancaster 2007, Washington 2009 or Santa Barbara 2011? Click here to submit your responses and favorite bourbons and here to check out — and sign up for — the 2014 US Go Congress.
- Keith Arnold, HKA, Quizmaster; photo: the main playing area of the 2013 US Go Congress by Phil Straus 

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Go Quiz: Historic Hosts

Sunday April 27, 2014

Quizmaster Learns Something: Half of you came up with 15, the correct answer, although Steve Burrall insists there are 16, but only listed 13 in his comments. Here’s Grant Kerr’s list, in a rare moment of only almost correctness, in order of their proness.
1: Manfred Wimmer 1978 (Austria/Japan, left)
2: James Kerwin 1978 (USA/Japan, right)
3: Michael Redmond 1981 (USA/Japan)
4: Janice Kim 1987 (USA/Korea)
5: Catalin Taranu 1997 (Romania/Japan)
6: Hans Pietsch 1997 (Germany/Japan)
7: Svetlana Shikshina 2002 (Russia/Korea)
8: Alexandre Dinerstein 2002 (Russia/Korea)
9: Diana Koszegi 2008 (Hungary/Korea)
10: Joanne Missingham 2008 (Australia/Taiwan)
11: Mariya Zakharchenko 2012 (Ukraine/Korea)
12: Andy Liu 2012 (USA)
13: Gangsheng Shi 2012 (USA)
14: Calvin Sun 2013 (USA)
15: Francis Meyer 2014 (USA/Korea, left)
Your quizmaster did not know that Francis Meyer (left) of North Carolina had made pro in February, but sorry Grant, it is with the Kansai Kiin, not Korea. Congrats to this week’s winner, Robert Tirak of The Dalles, OR, chosen at random from among those answering correctly.

This Week’s Quiz: It’s time to make your plans to go to the 2014 U.S. Go Congress, the nation’s biggest go event of the year in its biggest location ever, New York City! Your challenge this week is historical: New York City joins San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle as the fourth US city to hold a Go Congress and what other noteworthy historic event? Click here to submit your best guess; as usual, points will be given for creative answers.
- Keith Arnold, HKA, Quizmaster
Wimmer photo courtesy Helmut Wilschek’s Go Stories blog; Kerwin photo courtesy Nihon Ki-in; Meyer photo from 2010 US Go Congress by Chris Garlock 

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