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AGA chapters reaping rewards of building membership

Monday September 17, 2018

AGA chapters have been accumulating “tons of points” since the launch of the Chapter Reward Points program, reports Steve Colburn. The program operates similarly to an airlines or credit card rewards program; chapters are awarded points when AGA members affiliated with that chapter do things that earn points – sign up as full members of the AGA, play rated games, etc  – which can then be used by chapters to get reimbursed for activities related to the promotion of American go. “For example, if you have 35,000 points, that covers your chapter membership for the year,” Colburn says. Click here for program details, including that the formula for calculating point awards gives a bonus award to small and medium chapters to encourage their growth.  “I hope that your local chapter can benefit from this program,” Colburn added.

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Your Move/Readers Write: Where to score a scoresheet; Connecting to other go players

Monday September 17, 2018

Where to score a scoresheet: In response to Glen Hart’s query about “Where to score a scoresheet?”, Jim Hurley sent 2018.09.16_Go Game Record copythis link where he’s posted some printable game recording files.

How many Nakayama? “I’m wondering how can I find out how many books Nakayama Noriyuki  wrote in Japanese,” wrote  Kent Olsen recently. Richard Hunter sent along this Japanese Wikipedia link, which includes books and essays Nakayama authored, as well as those he edited or ghost-wrote for others, like Kajiwara and Takemiya.

Connecting to other go players:
David in Poughkeepsie recently posted that he’s looking for other nearby go players. “I find one current AGA member in Poughkeepsie and two others lapsed within the last five years,” says AGA Chapters Coordinator Bob Gilman. “If David is willing to share his email address, I would be happy to write to email these individuals, tell them of his interest in playing, and provide his email address to them should they wish to get in touch with him. I am happy to provide such a service to other go players interested in making contact with other players in their area.” Reach Gilman at bobgilman.aga@gmail.com

 

 

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Go Spotting: 101 Two-Letter Words

Monday September 17, 2018

“During a recent Scrabble game, someone showed me this book,” writes Ted Terpstra.2018.09.16 2-letter words book2018.09.16 2-letter words book cover

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Upcoming Go Events: Cary, New York, Palo Alto, Sacramento, and More

Monday September 17, 2018

September 22: Cary, North Carolina
North Carolina State Championship
Paul celmer pcelmer@earthlink.net 919-610-0927

September 22: New York, NY
NYC Go Club — Go Ratings Tournament
Jeffery Reiss toparis00@aol.com 212-475-4977
Philip Nielsen pneilsen@outlook.com

September 29: Palo Alto, CA
South Bay Go Tournament
Michael Kokosenski kokosenski.michael@gmail.com 951-961-1248
Adam Bender abender@gmail.com

September 29: Sacramento, CA
Davis/Sacramento Fall Quarterly
Willard Haynes willard@emeritus.csus.edu 916-929-6112

September 29-30: Toronto, Canada
Toronto Fall Cup 2018
Johnny Lau johnny@torontogoclub.org 416-392-6874

Sepember 30: San Diego, CA
San Diego Go Club Back to School Tournament
Ted Terpstra ted.terpstra@gmail.com 619-384-3454

Get the latest go events information.

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NC championship set for Sept 22

Sunday September 16, 2018

The North Carolina State Go Champion will be determined in a day-long tournament on September 22 at Umstead State Park in north Raleigh. Competitors from across the state will vie for the title, with prizes and trophies awarded in multiple divisions. The State Go Champion wins a cash prize along with a trophy. All AGA members are eligible to play. However, to be awarded the title of “North Carolina State Champion” you must be an amateur go player who resides in North Carolina at least 50% of the year. Students are eligible.

PREREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED for first round pairing and an early start. To participate in the first round you must register before 8:00 PM Friday, September 21st. This is an AGA rated tournament; you must be an AGA member to play. Register here.

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ICYMI: Ethan Wang wins first official AGA state championship in PA; Tianfu Cup Prelim crosstab posted; Summer of Outreach in Seattle; Janice Kim in NM; Kissinger on AI and go:

Sunday September 16, 2018

Sometimes folks send in reports late, sometimes those reports just get lost in the EJ in-box, but eventually we do catch up…

Ethan Wang wins first official AGA state championship in PA: The Penn Go Society had the2018.09.16 PA state championship distinction of holding the first tournament under the new AGA State Championship system. Held April 28-29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, more than 40 players attended the event at the Wharton Center for Student Life. In the Dan division, Chase Fu came in first and Ethan Wang and Yu Liang tied for second. In the Kyu division, Alexander Qi took first and Jino Choung and Evan Springer tied for second. $1000 in cash prizes were distributed.  “The Penn Go Society looks forward to next years state championship and looks forward to seeing other states join this system,” said Benjamin Sauerhaft Coplon.

Tianfu Cup Prelim crosstab posted: The crosstab for the 2018 Tianfu Cup Preliminary is now up, and includes the game records. Thanks to TD Jeff Shaevel, Steve Colburn, Dennis Wheeler and Todd Heidenreich for their work getting this done.

Summer of Outreach in Seattle: July was busy for the Seattle Go Center outreach crew, with events on three weekends.  July 1, players from Seattle Go Center and South Sound Go Club staffed a table at the Seattle Storm women’s professional basketball game during the Storm’s “Japan Night” event, and introduced the game to approximately 50 young sports enthusiasts. The following weekend, July 7 and 8, we were at the two-day “Japan Fair” in Bellevue, WA, where Dave Snow’s collection of Hikaru no Go hangings attracted attention from young adults who were in middle school when HnG was new.

2018.09.16-Bart-Jacob-05-01Bart plays go in Cape Town: “While on holiday in Cape Town, South Africa, I was able to stop by the Cape Town Go Club and play a few games,” writes Bart Jacob. “I am on the right side of picture, along with Christian, Sam, Chris and Michael from Cape Town.”

Janice Kim in NM: On September 1, Janice Kim 3p, offered game reviews for players in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In commenting on game records brought in by local area players, she introduced her overall thoughts about how to play and how to study. She said that she finds players in the US are strong in the opening game but tend to be relatively weak at life and death. She stressed the importance of being able to visualize a sequence in your head. As an exercise, she put up a common joseki on a board, then took it off and asked one of the players to put it up using only black stones. Here’s an example (right). She said that in playing a game she looks for an “I win” move. To find such a move, you must have a good assessment of the overall game status, i.e., you must count. If you judge that you are ahead, the next step is to ask yourself, “How can I possibly lose this game?” and then to take the necessary steps to lock it up. If you judge that you’re behind, “agitate.” You must take risks. “If you lose, it doesn’t matter whether you lose by a half point or twenty.”
- Bob Gilman, Albuquerque Go Club

Kissinger on AI and go: “AlphaGo defeated the world Go champions by making strategically unprecedented moves—moves that humans had not conceived and have not yet successfully learned to overcome,” wrote HENRY A. KISSINGER in “How the Enlightenment Ends” in the June Atlantic. “Are these moves beyond the capacity of the human brain?” Before AI began to play Go, “the game had varied, layered purposes,” Kissinger continues. “A player sought not only to win, but also to learn new strategies potentially applicable to other of life’s dimensions. For its part, by contrast, AI knows only one purpose: to win. It “learns” not conceptually but mathematically, by marginal adjustments to its algorithms. So in learning to win Go by playing it differently than humans do, AI has changed both the game’s nature and its impact. Does this single-minded insistence on prevailing characterize all AI?” And, reflecting on AlphaGo Zero’s mastery of the game on its own, Kissinger wonders “What will be the impact on human cognition generally? What is the role of ethics in this process?”

 

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Your Move/Readers Write: More thoughts on Go vs. go

Sunday September 16, 2018

Avoiding grammatical confusion: “While the style sheet (Your Move/Readers Write: Go or go? 8/20 EJ) may be consistent and logical,” writes former EJ editor Terry Benson, “the reason I continue to capitalize Go and have (most of the time) for nearly 50 years is to distinguish it from the verb and grammatical confusion. Chess, checkers, and backgammon don’t have that problem… or the many puns on the name of our game.”

Makes sense but maybe not sensible: “That public domain games like chess, poker, and backgammon are not capitalized, and therefore Go should not be capitalized either, makes sense,” writes Janice Kim. “Identifying Go as public domain, however, seems less important than identifying it as a game. It may be a specific, overarching concern when the word ‘go’ is in the top 20% of words used in English, has dozens of definitions as different parts of speech, and is used to signify the game only by a small portion of the people who play that game. In the meantime, a look at Merriam Webster online indicates that Go the game is often capitalized, and Wikipedia capitalizes it. These aren’t the definitive guides to proper grammar, but it’s indicative of how widespread and accepted it is to capitalize the word ‘Go’ when referring to the game. Luckily in this case the ease of specifying what one is referring to, is not come by an uncomfortable practice such as using male pronouns arbitrarily or exclusively. It’s nice that we have a word, Go, that can be used universally to signify the game. It makes sense that the E-Journal chooses not to capitalize it, but we can assume that there is little ambiguity for average readers of the E-Journal. Meanwhile, people will probably be capitalizing it in other places, not until Go reaches household popularity with consistent agreed-on grammar usage, but as long as there is a word ‘go’ that means something else.”

Logical but lacks clarity: “In the ‘go’ vs. ‘Go’ debate logic is on the side of the E-Journal’s position in favor of the lower-case spelling,” writes Fred Baldwin. “The name of our favorite board game is a common noun like ‘chess’ and ‘poker,’ not like ‘Risk’ or ‘Monopoly.’ Unfortunately, ‘go’ as a noun is easily confused with one of the most commonly used verbs in English. We should avoid any typographical convention that makes a sentence, a headline or a poster unnecessarily difficult for a reader to understand without having to make extra effort. So I favor ‘Go’ on the grounds that writers and editors should not hesitate to break rules for the sake of clarity. Apparently, the New Yorker, a magazine known for its attention to clear writing, agrees. As a distinguished U.S. jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., once wrote: ‘A page of history is worth a volume of logic.’ Or, as a not especially distinguished U.S. Senator once said: ‘Sometimes a man has to rise above principle.’”

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Go Spotting: PBS’ Space Time

Sunday September 16, 2018

Space Time: “Recently the very succesful PBS series ‘Space Time’ did two episodes on entropy, where they used the game of 2018.09.16_space-timego to explain how entropy works,” writes Guillermo Molano. You can find the first episode here.
Thanks also to Daniel Gentry, David Kent and Peter St. John for spotting this.

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Cotsen Open website back up; pre-register for full benefits

Saturday September 15, 2018

The website for the 2018 Cotsen Open is back up. The tournament is on October 13th-14th; pre-registration will close on2018.08.01-cotsen-open Tuesday, October 9th, at 11:59pm. Day-of registration will also be available for $25. Pre-registration comes with benefits, including $20 entry fee and free food truck lunch on both days. As always, everyone who pre-registers and plays in all 5 of their matches has their full entry fee refunded. Also on tap: the Kogi food truck both Saturday and Sunday and Yilun Yang will do his pro game on Sunday.

 

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In Memoriam: Dr. Chun-Shan Shen

Thursday September 13, 2018

By Thomas Hsiang2018.09.13_Shen CS

Dr. Chun-Shan Shen, a multi-time US go champion, passed away on September 12 at the age of 86.  Dr. Shen was born in 1932; received his B.S. degree in physics from the National Taiwan University in 1955 and Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Maryland in 1961.  He worked briefly at Princeton University, then NASA, before taking a teaching position at Purdue University.  In 1973 Dr. Shen returned to Taiwan and joined the faculty of Tsinghua University.  In 1988 he became a Minister Without Portfolio in the Taiwanese government.  In 1989 he returned to Tsinghua as the Dean of Science and became Tsinghua’s President in 1994 until his retirement in 1997.

Dr. Shen was well-known for his deep and broad knowledge in many topics.  He famously delivered many lectures bringing astrophysics and space science to the general audience, both in US and in Taiwan.  He was a prolific writer, authoring hundreds of articles on educational policies, politics, and literature, with many deep insights, some of which changed history.  For example, he is credited with suggesting the use of “one country, two systems” policy that eventually peacefully resolved the China-Taiwan and China-Hong Kong quandaries.  Another famous example was how he eased the bloodshed during the 1980 “Formosa Incident”.  That year, a group of Taiwanese took to the street to seek political freedom.  When the protest turned violent, many people were arrested.  Then-president Chiang Ching-Kuo had wanted to severely punish the protestors, including executing a couple of the leaders.  Dr. Shen took upon himself to dissuade Chiang, defending the protestors as patriotic and intelligent young people.  Chiang yielded, bringing a potentially violent episode to a peaceful closure.

Dr. Shen published a number of books, including the three famous autobiographies “Three Chapters of a Floating Life”, “Another Chapter”, and “An ‘After’ Chapter”.  In them he first described the three important parts of his life: science, go and Bridge, and literature; followed by a discussion of his view on the politics in Taiwan; ending with an honest, almost cutting, look into his relationships with the women in his life and a discussion on life and legacy.

During Shen’s earlier life in US, he was among the top go players.  AGA old-timers will remember his many battles with Takao Matsuda in the 1960’s for the “US Honinbo” title, predating the current “US Open Championship”.  His last visit to an AGA event was in 1997, when he came to the Lancaster Congress and won every game he played.  None of them counted because he did not register in the US Open.  Still, he cheerfully crowned himself the “Off-Stage Champion”!

In addition to go, Dr. Shen was a top-notch Bridge player.  He joined the Taiwanese team that won second place in the 1969 and 1970 Bermuda Cup, the only world championship at that time, finishing only to the legendary Italian Blue team.

Most of all, to many who have interacted with him, Chun-Shan was a fun, humorous, honest, and devoted friend.  He was never pretentious, never aloof; his great intellect was never overbearing.  He will be greatly missed.

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