Go features prominently in a couple of new films, one a drama, the other a documentary. In Tokyo Newcomer, Chinese go genius Yoshiryu (Qin Hao) comes to Japan to hone his skills in the game, but finds he’s too busy earning a living to study go at all. One day, he meets an old woman hawking vegetables, who turns out to be a descendant of a prestigious go family. The latest film by Jiang Qinmin – who also directed The Last Sunflower and Sky Lovers – Tokyo Newcomer is “a touching drama about true communication, transcending national borders and generation gaps, through go.” In Weiqi Wonders: Conversations About the Game of Go in China, anthropologist Marc L. Moskowitz (at right, below) interviews people in China in settings ranging from children’s schools to China’s elite Beijing University to a park where retired working class men gather to play, from child educators to those reminiscing about their own youth during the Cultural Revolution. What emerges is a fascinating cultural study as people discuss children’s education, retirement, China forty years ago and today. “As Chinese politics have changed over the last two millennia, so too has the imagery of the game,” Moskowitz notes, “from a tool to seek religious enlightenment to military metaphors, one of the noble four arts, one of the condemned “four olds”, nationalism, transnationalism, historical elitism, and futuristic hyper rationality.” The film is “witness to people’s lives, ranging from university students to working class senior citizens, professional players, people who gave up professional careers to become students, and a range of others who all share a love for this extraordinary game.” Please let us know if you hear about screenings of either of these films, so we can let EJ readers know.
American Go E-Journal » Tools: books, software & hardware
Monday May 7, 2012
Thursday May 3, 2012
“Invincible: The Games of Shusaku,” John Power’s classic and widely-acclaimed masterpiece on one of the greatest go players who ever lived is now available in SmartGo Books. Originally published by Kiseido, the SmartGo Books edition of Invincible “includes the complete text, games, and diagrams of the print edition, painstakingly converted to digital format,” SmartGo’s Anders Kierulf tells the E-Journal. “And it takes full advantage of the digital medium – be prepared to experience this classic in a whole new way.” Features of the new edition include the ability to replay moves in figures and diagrams, play out your own variations, fewer moves per figure, with the appropriate text for each figure, and inline diagrams for move sequences embedded in the text. Best of all, the new edition’s portable accessibility on iPad or iPhone means Invincible — at an introductory price of $19.99 – can now always be with you. SmartGo Books is a free app for the iPad and iPhone available on the App Store. Check out free chapters of over 30 go books and purchase those you like using in-app purchase.
Sunday April 1, 2012
The latest release of GoClubsOnline offers an integrated tournament pairings module for all participating clubs, reports Robert Cordingley. “Now club volunteers and organizers can manage their tournaments from start to finish,” says Cordingley, “from online registration, through check-in and pairings to completing post tournament activities, like book-keeping and emailing results to the AGA or generating the ‘EGD Wallist’ for EGF rated tournaments.” Included in this latest release is a QuickStart mode that presents some of the most frequently needed tasks for tournament management, pairings, event management and club membership management. And for non-English speaking organizers, the developers have integrated Google Translate, which Cordingley calls “a not-perfect but potentially very useful machine language approach to making the site accessible in over 50 languages.”
Monday March 19, 2012
Guo Juan’s Internet Go School is currently accepting enrollment for group classes for the 2012 second term, which begins April 28/29. “The group class participants will also receive a 20% discount on our Audio Lectures membership,” says Guo Juan. The school’s teaching faculty includes Guo Juan 5P, Jennie Shen 2P and Young Sun 8P and Mingjiu Jiang 7P.
Saturday March 10, 2012
SmartGo Books has released Yilun Yang’s “Fundamental Principles of Go” (published by Slate & Shell), bringing the total number of e-books to 28. “Be prepared,” warns veteran player Joel Sanet, “Your approach to the game of go is about to be transformed.” Adds SmartGo’s Anders Kierulf, “The basic principles illustrated in the book cover virtually every situation and enable a player to find the best play with a minimum of reading.” SmartGo Kifu has been updated to be a universal app, working on both iPad and iPhone, and is up to 35,000 pro games, including 1,700 played in 2011. “New features make it easy to find a particular move in a game, and to correct a wrongly entered move,” says Kierulf. Click here for details on the latest SmartGo updates.
Thursday March 1, 2012
Jonathan Chetwynd’s Peepo.com is a fascinating tool designed to visualize the complex relationships of real world objects. Using go as the delivery vehicle, Peepo uses each element to represent data relationships; e.g. shadows are stones in Atari, etc. Now ready for user testing on 9×9 and full-size boards, Peepo provides maps, hints, comments and score as you play against the pachi engine. “It works best with Firefox browser (version 9 or later) and has many features under development,” Chetwynd says.
Monday February 13, 2012
More than two dozen – 27, to be exact – go books are now available in SmartGo Books 1.4. “In addition to including the full text and diagrams of the print versions, you can replay the moves directly in the diagrams,” reports author Anders Kierulf. A new feature includes inline diagrams, enabling many seemingly cryptic move sequences mentioned in the text to be tapped to display as a diagram (see image).
Some of the new books offered include “The Games of Fujisawa Shuko” by John Power (Kiseido), which features all 40 games played by Shuko in the Kisei title games, with their Go World commentary. “Tesuji and Anti-Suji of Go” by Sakata Eio (Yutopian): This out-of-print classic explores 61 tesuji models. “Learn to Play Go” by Janice Kim (Good Move Press): The complete five volumes of this series are now available. “Single Digit Kyu Game Commentaries” (volumes 1 and 2) by Yuan Zhou (Slate & Shell): A great look at common kyu-level mistakes in tactics and strategy.
The SmartGo Books app (for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch) is a free download, and a sample chapter of each book is free. The full books are available through in-app purchase at a significant discount to the print versions. Click here for more information.
Monday February 6, 2012
Jonathan Hop’s “So You Want to Play Go?” is now out. Targeted at single digit dan players, the new publication – the fourth in Hop’s series — contains sections on joseki, positional judgment, and professional games, “and simulates my time studying at a professional dojo in Korea.” The book has been reviewed by Alexandre Dinerchtein and contains information about his insei league on KGS. Available on the Kindle and on Hop’s Sunday Go Lessons website. Click here for a free sample.
Sunday January 22, 2012
The Nihon Ki-in has launched a tsume-go (life-and-death) app for iPhone and iPad users called Nihon Kiin Tsumego Master. “There are 400 tsumego problems for levels from beginners to dan players,” the Nihon Ki-in’s Tomotaka Urasoe tells the E-Journal. “More than 100 problems are original, specially-made for the Tsumego Master app by young professionals who are noted tsumego creators.” Urasoe, who’s in charge of the overseas department at the Nihon Ki-in, notes that one of Japans top players, Yamashita Keigo 9P, current Meijin and Honinbo, “strongly recommends Tsumego Master to all amateur players and we want to introduce the app to American go players as well because these are really good problems that will help them to get stronger.” Urasoe adds that “We will continue to add more problems to the app.”
NOTE: as with all go tools, from apps and software to books and equipment, we’re interested in your opinions; email email@example.com with your comments/reviews on this and other go tools.
Monday December 19, 2011