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

SmartGo Books Released for iPad & iPhone

Monday April 11, 2011

Calling it the “dawn of a new era,” SmartGo has just released SmartGo Books for the iPad and iPhone. The new format enables users to read go books on an iPad, replay moves directly within diagrams, and zoom diagrams to see the context. “With comments and long figures broken into logical sequences, this is the way go books were meant to be read,” says SmartGo author Anders Kierulf. SmartGo Books’ launch includes eight books by four publishers, with more in the works. The SmartGo Books app contains a free chapter for each book, which can also be read on your iPhone or iPod touch. The following books are available now: Go: A Complete Introduction to the Game by Cho Chikun 9 dan ($3.99); Double Digit Kyu Games by Neil Moffatt ($4.99); Basic Techniques of Go by Haruyama 9 dan and Nagahara 6 dan ($8.99); Understanding Pro Games by Yuan Zhou ($4.99); Go Seigen’s Ten-Game Matches by John Fairbairn ($4.99); Catching Scent of Victory by O Rissei 9 dan ($9.99); The Way of Creating a Thick and Strong Game by Naoki Hane 9 dan ($8.99) and Breakthrough Attacking Power Yamashita-Style by Keigo Yamashita 9 dan ($8.99). “SmartGo Books offers the full content of the print edition, with a better reading experience, at a reduced price,” Kierulf adds.


MEMBER’S EDITION: Yuan Zhou 7d on a 5-kyu Game

Monday March 21, 2011

This week’s Member’s Edition content is being provided to all E-Journal readers as a sample of the great game commentaries and other special content provided each week to Member’s Edition subscribers. Please consider subscribing to the Member’s Edition today and ensure that you’re getting the latest and best content and supporting the world’s most widely-read English-language go publication. Click here for details and to subscribe today!

Yuan Zhou Workshop Game


Anonymous 5 kyus
March 2011
Gaithersburg, MD
Anonymous 5 kyu players
Commentary by Yuan Zhou 7D
SGF file created by Bill Cobb and Chris Garlock
Published in the March 21, 2011 edition of the American Go E-Journal

Both players trade strategic and tactical errors in this game, which is thoroughly analyzed by regular E-Journal contributor Yuan Zhou 7d, one of the strongest players in the US. Yuan Zhou has won many titles; his most recent achievement was placing fifth in the Korea Prime Minister Cup–the highest finish ever for  the USA representative. Zhou is also a popular teacher, lecturer, and author. He lives in Germantown, MD.

GoGrinder Released for Android

Monday March 21, 2011

GoGrinder has just been released for Android, reports Tim Kington. “Practicing your reading is one of the best ways to get stronger,” Kington says, “Now you can have thousands of go problems in your pocket and fit a little practice in whenever you have a few minutes to kill.” GoGrinder uses problems in SGF format, and lets you easily add your own problem sets.

TYGEM Launches English Go Server

Monday March 14, 2011

The Korean go server TYGEM’s English version has been launched. It’s still in its beta stage, “so events and contests are still not that common,” reports Anthony Daniel Adria, who notes that “there will be many updates and eventually more events and contests down the line.” You can check it out – and download the client – on TYGEM’s English website.

“So You Want to Play Go?” Available as E-Book

Monday February 21, 2011

The 3-volume “So You Want to Play Go?” series is available for Kindle, the Ipad, and the Barnes and Noble Nook, reports author Jonathan Hop. The series provides a general primer on the game, from 9×9 play to the opening, overconcentration, attacking and more. “Gives you a lot to think about in terms of larger strategy,” says Alex Dinerchtein 3P.

Shodan Imports Offers “Economy-Priced” Go Equipment

Monday February 14, 2011

Calling it “reliable go equipment that won’t break the bank,” Shodan Imports has introduced a new economy-priced line of go equipment. “Selected for their attractiveness, practicality and value,” items available include a roll-up go board ($9.99), magnetic travel set ($19.99), Jujube bowls and Yunzi stones ($34.99) and a $52 club set that includes a bamboo board, Jujube bowls and Yunzi stones. The new line supplements Shodan Imports “premium line of high-end Japanese go equipment.”

TYGEM Launches iPad App

Monday February 14, 2011

The Korean Go server TYGEM has just launched their English language go app for the iPad. Search for tygem on iTunes. In addition to free services on TYGEM, sources tell the E-Journal that TYGEM plans to offer go servers on an English website by March.

Xbox’s Path of Go The New Hikaru No Go?

Monday January 10, 2011

Judging by the flood of fan mail we received over the holiday break, The Path of Go — the new Xbox LIVE game – is quite the gaming hit, at least in the go community. “I just played The Path of Go with my 8 year old grand daughter and we could not get her to stop,” writes longtime go player and organizer Ernest Brown. “The three year old wanted to try also. This should be a great thing for promoting go.  In fact I believe we will get a bump in people wanting go lessons similar to the Hikaru No Go phenomena.  I think this beginning could attract more attention from the computer gaming community as well.  I hope it gets Bill Gates more engaged with go!”

Thanks to everyone who sent in reviews (Path of Go Available on Xbox 12/23/2010); “It’s a fun game,” wrote Joshua Ward. “It has a story mode that I was able to play through fairly quickly. The story mode is good for beginners as it plays entirely on a 9×9 board and teaches them the basics of the game. There is a multiplayer function to the game as well. You can go onto Xbox Live and play against other people on a 9×9, 13×13, and 19×19 board.” Here’s an edited excerpt of Christian Haught’s review: The game’s plot is interesting. You begin by being summoned to the residence of a wise old go master, who teaches you the basics of go. He then informs you of a twin you didn’t know of, who possesses go prowess like you, but who could never learn how to lose with grace. Leaving to pursue the Path of Go, he left his – and now your – master, who allows you to leave to look for your twin. This is an interesting setup for the game, as it hints to leading to a suspenseful final game between you and your twin, who has an odd habit of leaving games unfinished, which the masters you meet along the way ask you to finish. The control system for the game is relatively simple to understand, graphics were really well done and the three dimensional effects are impressive, adding a sense of depth and realism to the game. The insertion of your xbox live avatar into the game is also carried out quite well, as they make it seem as though your avatar belongs in the game, not just coded in. The settings in which the game takes place are also beautifully put together, and look like places you could find in nature. The computer that you play against is also decently strong, sometimes even forcing players who are more then just beginners into a corner. I wonder how that will work with players who are new to the game, but I imagine that this will force newer players to improve at a more rapid rank. Even if you have never played a game of go in your life, the game starts out with an excellent tutorial that introduces many of the beginning basics. These are, of course, added onto as the game proceeds, but these few beginner tips will allow you to get the basic understanding of the game and begin your journey into becoming a skilled go player. I imagine that most players will be at least 18k in rank, if not higher, by the end of this game.
- click here for the original version of this review


Thursday December 16, 2010

Continuing its 40-plus year practice publishing some of the best go books in English, Kiseido recently brought three new titles to market. The latest installment in the Mastering The Basics series is Attacking and Defending Moyos, in which authors Richard Bozulich and Rob van Ziejst  lay out the fundamental principles of building territorial framework, and attacking the opponent’s framework, then illustrate using examples from professional games, ending with 151 problems.   300 Life and Death Problems may sound familiar, but we’re not referring Volume One of the Graded Go Problems for Dan Players series. The problems in Volume One start at about 5K, and the level of difficulty increases to about 3D.  This is Volume Four of the same series, with problems beginning at 4D and taking the reader all the way through to 7D. Coming soon: two more top-level problem books, 300 Tesuji Problems and 300 Joseki Problems, Volumes Five and Six to complete the seven-volume series. Kiseido founder and publisher Richard Bozulich produced the first advanced instructional books in English in the 1960′s. With this series he has completed a continuous course of study from beginner to 7D, starting with The Elementary Go Series (seven volumes) and Graded Go Problems for Beginners (four volumes) and continuing with Mastering The Basics (seven volumes) and Get Strong At Go (ten volumes.). Altogether, his carefully crafted course of study occupies nearly two feet of shelf space and offers an accessible path to the top for anyone willing to work their way through these thirty plus volumes. And lastly, Kiseido has also published the book that go art lovers have been waiting for — Japanese Prints and the World of Go, a collection of 75 go-themed ukiyo-e.  Extensive commentary provides an understanding of how each piece fit into its time and place.
- Roy Laird

Latest Issue Of GoGoD Released

Monday December 13, 2010

The Winter 2010 issue of the GoGoD Database and Encyclopaedia has just been released and sent to subscribers. “This issue contains over 65,000 games in the database, including previously unknown games of Go Seigen, Kitani Minoru, Hashimoto Utaro and many others,” reports T Mark Hall.