“This is the strangest place I’d ever think to find go equipment,” reports Andrew Jackson. “Bed Bath & Beyond is selling wooden go bowls. No stones, no boards, just bowls! They’re available in their online catalog. Crazy!”
American Go E-Journal » Tools: books, software & hardware
Monday October 17, 2016
Sunday October 16, 2016
SmartGo Books has added several new titles to its collection. Volume 2 of Thomas Redecker’s “Tsume-Go Strategy — Learn to Recognize Vital Points in Go” joins the previously-released Volume 1 to offer over 700 problems based on 47 corner patterns (vol. 1) and 44 side patterns (vol. 2). The problems are analyzed in great detail, providing hints to guide you to the vital shape points. SmartGo Books has also released Redecker’s new book “Workbook: One-Move Life and Death Problems — Basic Tsume-Go Strategy Made Easy,” with over 700 problems ordered by shape. While it’s designed especially for beginners, requiring you to only think a single move ahead, the repetition helps you recognize shapes instantly. For many years, Redecker was the editor of the problem section of the German Go-Journal. He is also the author of several books on Igo Hatsuyōron 120, the most difficult go problem ever. Click here to find more about his books.
Shuko’s Dictionary of Basic Tesuji is one of the most famous Japanese go books, and Slate & Shell has now brought that series to the Go Books app (in English). “Dictionary of Basic Tesuji — Volume 1: Tesuji for Attacking” is the first in the four-volume series; later volumes will cover tesuji for defense, as well as tesuji for the opening, capturing races, and the endgame. The 188 tesuji problems in the first book are analyzed in detail, with over 900 inline diagrams making it easy to visualize all the variations.
The Go Books app (for iPad, iPhone, and Mac) now provides access to 115 high-quality Go books: popular books by major publishers, out-of-print classics, and books available only in Go Books.
Thursday October 13, 2016
Go4Go.net has released an Android-based app that allows users to access the Go4Go database via their smartphones and tablets and the E-Journal is looking for Android users to test and review the app. Email us at email@example.com if interested (testers get free access). The app’s main features include access to the entire Go4Go database, ability to search the database by date, player, tournament, and follow the latest and popular games. Users can also replay games manually or using the auto-play function.
Monday October 10, 2016
“Tachi-mori” is the art of drawing lines on high-end go boards using a traditional Japanese sword upon which lacquer has been thinly and evenly applied. Gurujeet Khalsa sent along this video showing the technique. The video is from Kurokigoishiten, which has a fascinating series of videos on making go equipment, including go stones and bowls.
Saturday August 27, 2016
SmartGo’s Anders Kierulf recently published a nice post-Go Congress blog post. In it you’ll find out why Kierulf will be bringing a a 9.7″ iPad to the next Congress instead of his 12.9″ iPad Pro, gives shout-outs to Brady Daniels for making a good case about why you should come to the next Go Congress and Kevin Hwang’s Go Talk about “What did you like most about the Go Congress?” both of which he says “clearly show that people are a main feature of the annual Go Congress.” Kierulf also reports that he just launched a new app for Othello, “a game that go is often confused with.” SmartOthello is written in Swift, Apple’s new programming language, “and is the first step in a redesign of my go apps,” Kierulf tells the E-Journal. “Most of the E-Journal readers are probably not interested in Othello/Reversi, but many might be interested to see the direction of the SmartGo apps.”
photo: Kierulf at the 2016 US Go Congress with Yasuko Imamura, a go instructor and SmartGo user from Kyoto
Friday August 26, 2016
Registration is now open for the American Yunguseng Dojang’s 16th season of on-line classes, taught by former Korean insei and top-ranked player on the European rating list Inseong Hwang. The program contains five games of league play and analysis of all games, three lectures with interesting topics such as opening theory, local techniques, and evaluation, and a weekly highlights video.
The past three seasons had seven leagues with 42 players, but with 43 members already registered, the upcoming season is expected to open the biggest number of leagues ever. The best player each month get’s a month’s free tuition; click here for current standings.
This season kicks off September 5; register now and get free access to the recorded lesson videos until the season begins.
photo: Yunguseng members meet each other in this year US Congress in Boston and show off their member fans.
New from Kiseido: “300 Joseki Problems”; “Close Encounters with the Middle Game” & Discounted Slate & Shell Stones
Monday July 25, 2016
“300 Joseki Problems”: The final installment of “Graded Go Problems for Dan Players,” Kiseido’s popular seven-volume dan players’ series, is now available. Aimed primarily at 3-dan to 7-dan players, “300 Joseki Problems” – a continuation of Volume 3 of the series — is divided into two sections, each featuring 150 problems. The first section analyzes local joseki problems, allowing the reader to expand their understanding of local patterns. The second section takes the reader on to the next level, presenting whole-board joseki problems from real professional games, where the global situation must be taken into account.
At times, the correct move is not a standard joseki move, but an innovative move, requiring the reader to “think outside the box.” Consequently, readers will not only gain joseki knowledge, but will gain a real understanding of what joseki means, and how it can be applied to unique positions that might arise in real games. Note that even though the problems in this book are rated as high as 7-dan, Kiseido says the book is actually suitable for players 1-dan and above; even if the correct answer is hard to find, simply studying the answers to get exposure to new ideas and joseki innovations is enough to improve your game.
“Close Encounters with the Middle Game”: The game of go is often decided in the middle game. Players strong at the opening can gain an early advantage. Players with precise endgame skills can gain points to finish the game. But excelling at the middle game is the surest way to victory. And what better way to improve middle game expertise than to learn from the best? Michiel Eijkhout’s “Close Encounters with the Middle Game” presents 32 crucial middle-game positions that arose in top professional games. Each position is analyzed in detail, explaining how the players were thinking during the middle game, highlighting the techniques needed to gain an advantage during middle-game fighting. If you’ve ever been confused by professional moves, wondering about alternatives – what moves were good, bad, or difficult to judge – you’ll want to check out this “entertaining journey through the realm of professional go.”
Slate and Shell Stones: Kiseido reports that slate and shell stones are becoming more and more difficult to come by due to a tremendous increase in demand and go players willing to pay premium prices. Fortunately, Kiseido has managed to obtain a small supply of “Jitsuyo grade” stones, and is offering them at a discounted price. Click here for details and to order.
- Brian Kirby
Tuesday July 19, 2016
Robert Jasiek, go teacher, author, and strong German amateur player, has released a new book on life and death, or tsumego problems. Titled “First Life and Death,” the book promises to “teach life and death from scratch,” starting with building two eyes and creating dead shapes (nakade). Continuing with techniques for attack and defense of one’s eyespace, 274 problems guide the reader through the theory of life and death, including liberty shortage, capturing races, strategy, and tactical reading. With an approach designed for those first venturing into the concept of life and death, Jasiek says beginners can expect to reach the life and death skill of intermediate players. The book can be purchased here.
- Noah Doss
Sunday June 12, 2016
Slate & Shell has just re-issued Yilun Yang’s “Whole Board Thinking in Joseki Volume 2.” Long out of print, this is a continuation of Mr. Yang’s exploration of joseki, written in collaboration with former AGA president Phil Straus. “The title of this book is a bit misleading,” notes Slate & Shell. “It does not aim to teach you josekis. It aims to teach you how to decide which joseki to use in a particular situation (assuming you know the relevant josekis). So what it is really about is judging how to play in the early opening. To narrow down this enormous topic and provide a very thorough treatment of it, Yang focuses on situations in which a few opening moves have been made, including in all four corners, and your opponent has approached your 3-4 stone in one corner. The issue is how should you respond: by settling the corner, trying to get out (in the proper direction), or attacking from the outside. It depends on the rest of the board, of course, and this book shows you how to determine the correct response in terms of the whole board situation. This is very useful knowledge even if your understanding of how to achieve the correct goal in that situation is somewhat limited. At least you will know what you should try to do instead of just guessing the proper continuation.” 181 pages, $26
Sunday June 12, 2016