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

Instant Go Set Now Available

Saturday July 2, 2011

For anyone wanting to play go, but without a goban handy, the Instant Go Set could fill in that gap. David Ormerod has announced the free PDF of a go board and stones that can be printed and then cut out for a quick game.   Ormerod says: “When people learn go, it’s important for them to start playing quickly, so they remember what they’ve learned. Of course, you can play go online or against your computer, but not everyone wants to do that. Some people just want to play go with their friends and family. We created the Instant Go Set to give away with our free go course with this in mind. Now we want to make it available to everyone. Anyone who wants to learn go, teach go or just wants a free go set is welcome to download it.”


MyGoFriend Program Ties Top Pro

Sunday June 26, 2011

The MyGoFriend program scored a 2-2 result against Kim Young Sam 8P in a June 16 9×9 exhibition match played during the recent Kido Cup in Hamburg, Germany and broadcast live on KGS. MyGoFriend – a Gold Medal winner at the 15th Computer Olympiad that employs state of the art Monte Carlo algorithms  — won the first two games and Kim Young Sam 8P the last two. While MyGoFriend officially lost the final game on time, due to connection issues, the position was evaluated as unclear or better for MyGoFriend. Click here for the complete report, videos, photos and game records.


BruGo Releases iPad Joseki App

Saturday June 18, 2011

The author of the BruGo online joseki dictionary has just released an iPad Joseki application, BruGo Joseki.  “The Brugo Joseki iPad version is fast and reliable and contains more sequences than you could ever dream of,” says author Bram Vandenbon.
NOTE: we’re always interested in your thoughts on how go tools work — or don’t; email us at


New in Print: Jasiek’s “Joseki Volume 2: Strategy”

Sunday June 12, 2011

German 5-dan Robert Jasiek has released the second volume of his series on joseki, which focuses on joseki strategy. Jasiek describes the goals for the book in his review: “The book serves the two purposes of teaching joseki strategy in particular and strategy in general. While the majority of examples shows josekis or other corner situations and only some examples illustrate the middle game, almost all principles, concepts and methods are equally applicable during opening and middle game.” The first volume of the three-volume series (with Volume 3 still to be completed) came out in 2009 and looks at the fundamentals of joseki.  Both volumes are 250+ pages with an average of four diagrams per page. Jasiek is well-known in international go circles for his work on go theory and his research into go rules.


SmartGo Books Releases Two New Books for iPad/iPhone

Monday June 6, 2011

SmartGo Books has just released two new iPad/iPhone books, including one by Michael Redmond 9P specifically designed to take advantage of the power of the iPad.  In Patterns of the Sanrensei, Redmond reviews six basic plans for the sanrensei opening, and illustrates the strategy and tactics of these patterns in twenty of his own games.  Written for SmartGo Books and only available for the iPad and iPhone, Patterns of the Sanrensei enables readers for the first time to easily replay the moves in the book’s diagrams, peeling the moves back to see how a given diagram developed, as well as the ability to adjust fonts and layout.  “Whether you play the Sanrensei or need to defend against it, this is the book to read before your next tournament,” says SmartGo Books publisher Anders Kierulf. Click here to check out a PDF sample. Also just released is Yuan Zhou 7d’s How Not to Play Go, published by Slate & Shell. The slim 63-page book “will have a revolutionary impact on any kyu player who reads it,” and “clarifies common kyu level misunderstandings that hold kyu players back from reaching dan level.”  SmartGo Books currently offers ten go books for the iPad and iPhone, with more in the works; they’re all available on the App Store.


Readers Write: Kindle Go Update

Saturday May 14, 2011

“Any plans for a game of go version for Kindle?” wondered Dave Gagne here back in March (Kindle Go? 3/28 EJ). We’ve subsequently had two Kindle go sightings: Cristian sent us a link to Adrian Petrescu’s blog; Petrescu’s most recent post on May 5 says that “KindleGoban (r) and KindleChess will both be released this summer.” And  Mike Yankee reports that “all three volumes of Cho’s Encyclopedia Of Life And Death (as well as other tsumego collections) are downloadable as .pdf files here; these can be viewed directly on the Kindle although the diagrams are small.”
Keep us posted on these and other go news developments at


Go Game Guru Interviews SmartGo Author Anders Kierulf

Monday May 9, 2011

Anders Kierulf is fairly well-known in the go community as the author of SmartGo, but he also invented the widely-used sgf format, was the U.S. Othello champion in 1992 and is also an avid joggler. Go Game Guru recently published an extensive interview with Kierulf, who last month  launched SmartGo Books for iPad and iPhone.


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.