American Go E-Journal » Tools: books, software & hardware

Slate & Shell to cease distribution of print books; will continue to release e-books

Monday July 3, 2017

Longtime go publisher Slate & Shell has announced that it is ceasing distribution of print books. 2017.07.03_S&S-logo“Our books will continue to be available in either print, through Amazon, or as e-books, through SmartGo,” said publishers Bill Cobb and Laurie Crammond. “There will continue to be new SmartGo e-books, and we will also do on-demand print books that can be ordered from Amazon—including a number of currently out of print books,” Cobb tells the E-Journal. “The next (new e-book) will be Yuan Zhou’s analysis of the AlphaGo-Ke Jie match.” The effective date for ending distribution is August 1. Until then, all of Slate & Shell’s books are marked down at least 50%, “most more, some much more,” added Cobb and Crammond. Orders must be received by August 1. “Please note that if you order several books, it would be wise to request priority shipping as the books have a greater chance of arriving in good condition,” S&S said in their announcement.

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Lego go set idea seeks support

Saturday July 1, 2017

While several different Lego chess sets have been created and marketed in recent years, David Fazekas thinks the Danish plastic brick company 2017.06.30_lego-go-setis missing a big opportunity. “After Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in 1997 Lego had made several official Lego chess sets,” says Fazekas, promotion executive for the PaGoda Go Association in Hungary. “Now that Deep Mind’s AlphaGo has defeated both Lee Sedol and Ke Jie it’s time for Lego to acknowledge go players with a Lego Go set!” Fazekas has developed a Lego go set prototype and submitted it on the Lego Ideas site, where he needs to gather 10,000 supporters to advance to the next step in the approval process. Thus far he has 754 supporters. “A go Lego set would reach kids in every country,” says Fazekas, “please take a moment to click to show your support for this project.” The word “lego” is derived from the Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”.

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Unique go-themed shirts and hoodies available

Monday June 26, 2017

Shirt designer and “passionate” go player Joel Gabelman has a unique line of go-themed tee-shirts and hoodies available. One in particular — 2017.06.25_Go-Shirt-Facebook“Eat. Sleep. Play Go. Repeat.” — might be a must-have for anyone planning on attending the upcoming US Go Congress. Gabelman is offering 15% off for customers using the discount code TESUJI.

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Slate & Shell offers 50% discount to AGA chapters and go clubs

Sunday June 25, 2017

Slate & Shell is offering a special opportunity for US go clubs and AGA chapters to get books for prizes and libraries: 50% off on all Slate & Shell 2017.06.25_slate-shell-logobooks. Minimum order is ten books. Send an email to customerservice@slateandshell.com for instructions.

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Houston hosts Janice Kim workshop

Monday May 8, 2017

The Houston Go Club is hosting a pro teaching workshop with Janice Kim June 3-4 in Houston Texas. The weekend event 2017.05.08_janice-kimwill go from 9:00 to 5:00 both days, with lunch included. Ms. Kim (professional 3 Dan) will lead the workshop. The event will be held at the Houston City Club, One City Club Drive, Houston, Texas 77046. This event is offered with the financial help of the AGA, for just $20 per participant. There is limited seating, so you must pre-register. Preregistration can be done on the Houston Go club Facebook page under Events. Fees will be collected thru Eventbrite. Contact Paul Howard of the Houston Go club for more details. paulrhowardtx@gmail.com

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Four out-of-print titles from Slate and Shell now on Amazon

Tuesday March 14, 2017

Four out-of-print titles from Slate and Shell are now available through Amazon.2017.03.14_alphago-yuan-zhou
200 Endgame Problems by Shirai Haruhiko. Long out of print, this popular collection of problems covers common situations from simple endgame tesuji to complex issues that require careful reading and counting.

AlphaGo vs Lee Sedol: The Match that Changed the World of Go
 by Yuan Zhou. In a detailed commentary of the five game match between Lee Sedol and AlphaGo, Zhou explains why Lee should not have won the fourth game but should have won the fifth while also discussing the strengths and possible weaknesses of AlphaGo.
The Young Chinese Go Masters, Volume One by Yuan Zhou. Zhou analyzes four games involving eight of the young Chinese pros who are dominating the world of go.
Single Digit Kyu Game Commentaries by Yuan Zhou. Zhou thoroughly investigates a variety of mistakes that are common among weaker players, and illustrates how to deal with many common situations correctly.
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Your Move/Readers Write: Go Clock Recommendations

Friday March 10, 2017

Leap PQ9903: “The MGA battled about this for about a year before finally settling on the Leap PQ9903,” writes Neil 2017.03.10_Leap PQ9903Ritter in response to the February 25 Your Move/Readers Write: Looking for go clocks posting, noting the clocks were more affordable through Alibaba compared to Amazon. It’s “perhaps important to note explicitly that this clock doesn’t do Canadian Byoyomi particularly well,” Neil adds. A thread summarizing the Massachusetts Go Association’s discussion on the topic can be found here.
 
DGT3000: “I believe the best game clock for the money is the DGT3000,” 2017.03.10_DGT3000suggests Dave Baran. “I am aware of three clocks that currently available that have both Japanese and Canadian byo-yomi:  the DGT3000, the Cronos, and the Duel Timer.” Dave notes that the Excalibur is an affordable option that might be available on EBay, but has been discontinued from production. Dave adds that, “the byo-yomi time control on the Zmartfun II chess clock is inadequate.”
 
Amazon.com: “You can get just about anything from Amazon.com,” points out Ralph Meyer, suggesting searching for “Chess Clocks”.
- Edited by Brian Kirby
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Guo Juan 5P’s New Website/System Developments

Sunday March 5, 2017

Many go players around the world already know that Guo Juan 5P has an online go school, featuring recorded lectures and problems presented in a Spaced Repetition System for remembering correct play. 2015.12.22_guo-juan-logo But you may not know about the new developments. “My website/system has made big improvements in the last half year,” Guo Juan explains. “Now you can use tablets and phones to do the exercises, which makes possible for people to use the system anywhere, instead of sitting before the computer.” She adds that “One of our website users (has) posted a thorough overview/review.”

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LifeIn19x19.com back online

Sunday February 26, 2017

One of the largest English-language go communities, LifeIn19x19.com, is back online. The site suffered a downtime of about 2017.02.25_19x19-site_logo12 days beginning on February 6th, reports Adrian Petrescu. It was brought back online last Saturday (details here). “I worry we lost a lot of people who gave up on retrying to access the site after over a week,” says Petrescu. “Pretty much every feature that existed before the downtime has been restored,” he adds.

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Go Review: Fairbairn’s “Meijin of Meijins: The Life and Times of Honinbo Shuei”

Monday February 20, 2017

Reviewed by Roy Schmidt2017.02.20_meijin-of-meijins

Go translator and historian John Fairbairn draws upon his phenomenal knowledge of go history and his collection of classic works to craft “Meijin of Meijins: The Life and Times of Honinbo Shuei,” an entertaining and educational book covering the life of one of the strongest members of the Honinbo “family,” Honinbo Shuei. Shuei has long been the most admired and emulated player amongst go professionals in Japan. He gave Honinbo Shusai black in every game they played, and won a solid majority of them. It is a marvel that he became so strong, because during his lifetime, the go world in Japan was thrown into turmoil with the abolishment of government support by the new Meiji apparatus. How the Honinbos and other go families coped with their reversal of fortunes makes for a good read.

With a grand total of just three diagrams in the book, this is not the book for those interested in reviewing Shuei’s games. But if you want a taste of the inside workings of the go community during the late 1800s up to 1908, this is an absolute jewel. There are some organizational problems with the narrative, with some repetition of events – perhaps because the book is pulled from a larger e-book (which does contain commented games) with “light editing.” But overall, the writing is excellent and for fans of go history, I highly recommend this book. It’s published using Amazon’s instant-printing process, which offers quality comparable to mainstream paperback go books with an amazingly low price ($9.99).

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