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

Kiseido Releases 1st 3 Volumes of “Graded Go Problems” Series

Monday November 16, 2009

Kiseido has just published the first three books of a seven-volume series, reports publisher Richard Bozulich. Graded Go Problems for Dan Players “is a translation of a 14-volume series put out by the Nihon Ki-in, compressed into seven volumes,” Bozulich tells the E-Journal. Targeted at aspiring dan players, the series is designed to provide low-kyu and low-dan players with the essential grounding in the basics of life-and-death, tesuji, and joseki needed to develop deeper and more accurate reading and the knowledge they need to compete as dan players. In “300 Life-and-Death Problems,” “300 Tesuji Problems,” and “300 Joseki Problems,” the level of the problems starts at around 5-kyu and works up to 3-dan, with the majority in the 1- to 3-dan bracket. The series will continue with volumes four to six, containing life-and-death, tesuji, and joseki problems for 3-dan players and stronger. Volumes seven will cover the opening (fuseki) and the middle game. Expected publication date for Volumes Four to Six is Spring 2010 and Summer 2010 for Volume Seven.

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GoGoD Hits 60K-Game Mark

Monday November 16, 2009

GoGoD’s database of professional tournaments now exceeds 60,000 games, reports T Mark Hall. “This is the most accurate, consistent and exact database in existence in the West, backed by John Fairbairn’s Names Dictionary and his Tournament Database,” Hall tells the E-Journal. “While we always add all the games from the current tournament scene, we have been busy in the last six months adding games from the 1950s and 1980s, including previously unknown games by Go Seigen and other games by famous players, not in their collected games,” says Hall. “We pride ourselves on providing games no-one else can easily get, but of course, as always, we are bang up to date.” The Winter 2009 edition is due out on December 7 and the celebrate the 60,000-game milestone, GoGoD is being offered at a discounted rate of $30 for a single copy and $40 for a copy plus an update in a year’s time. Contact Hall at tmark@gogod.demon.co.uk to order or for details.

Go School Updates

Monday November 2, 2009

Go teacher Joey Hung 7d is shuttering his Fremont, CA-area school “for a while” he tells the E-Journal, to focus on business opportunities. Meanwhile, Gabriel Benmergui 6d and Ali Jabarin 6d have just started up the online Atsumi Go School, which offers lessons, study groups and free game commentaries of games played between students. Benmergui is a top Argentinian player who has studied in Lee SangHun’s school, at Kim Sung-Rae 4p’s KBC school in Korea and represented Argentina at the World Amateur Go (WAGC) Championships and the World College Go Championship, where he defeated both Korean amateurs. Jabarin, Israeli champion for the last three years, placed 13th in the WAGC and represented Israel in the 2008 World Mind Sports Games, and is the current European Youth Champion.

US, Euro Player Databases Linked

Monday November 2, 2009

The new AGA Player Database and the European Go Database have now been cross-referenced with links for those players who have competed in events in both Europe and the United States. The new links are shown in the cards of players who are in both databases: a box appears with a link to the same player’s card in the “foreign” database. Currently, more than 300 players appear in both databases; examples include Ian Davis, Horst Sudhoff and Thomas Derz.

Go Designs

Monday December 22, 2008

Italian graphic designer Stefano Giurin has designed some new eye-catching go-themed t-shirts, sweatshirts and bags. A self-described “go addict,” Giurin, a 12-kyu, started playing a year ago. “I’m trying to make go more cool for everyone, not only for players,” Giurin tells the E-Journal.

Go Designs

Monday December 22, 2008

Italian graphic designer Stefano Giurin has designed some new eye-catching go-themed t-shirts, sweatshirts and bags. A self-described “go addict,” Giurin, a 12-kyu, started playing a year ago. “I’m trying to make go more cool for everyone, not only for players,” Giurin tells the E-Journal.

Computer Defeats Pro At 7 Stones

Monday December 15, 2008

The Crazy Stone go program apparently defeated Kaori Aoba 4P with a 7-stone handicap at last weekend’s Computer Go UEC Cup in Tokyo. “This would make Crazy Stone 4 or 5 dan, by Japanese standards,” wrote Darren Cook on a computer-go discussion group, “Maybe 2-3 dan European?” The UEC results were: 1st: Crazy Stone; 2nd: Fudogo; 3rd: Many Faces; 4th: Katsunari; Mogo apparently had time trouble and pulled out. Click here for the unofficial .sgf of the computer-pro game.

GoClubsOnline Offers Help For Local Organizers

Monday December 15, 2008

Harried volunteer go club organizers worldwide will be delighted to hear that online software is now available to help run a club and local tournaments. “GoClubsOnline makes it easy for players to register for your tournaments online,” says Robert Cordingley, “as well as to export player lists to popular pairings programs, track club memberships, monitor club libraries, keep results of club games, submit rated club games to the AGA and take care of book-keeping.” The site is free for subscribers and club members and club organizers can open a Club Account for as little as $95 per year. Other features include email facilities to communicate with tournament attendees and club members, profit and loss reports for each tournament or the club as a whole, membership analysis and tournament registration trends. The system is an upgrade from HGC-Online, developed for Cordingley’s Houston Go Club, which has been in use since February “and has saved us tons of time,” he says. GoClubsOnline also includes a growing list of productivity tools including printing winners certificates and club membership cards. “The most important benefit though is that it saves club organizers and volunteers tons of time so that they can play more go!” For more information visit the GoClubsOnline website or email admin@goclubs.org

Yes On Blackberry Go

Monday December 15, 2008

There are at least two Blackberry go apps, according to readers responding to last week’s query (Your Move: Readers Write: Blackberry Go 12/8 EJ) mgo and Gome. There are two versions of mgo, including mgo_x, which features sgf export, notes Hannes, who’s involved in mgo development. “The mgo team is currently working on a heavily revised and enhanced version of the software, so all user feedback is highly appreciated,” Hannes adds. “You can also download a trial version of Gome to check compatibility with your mobile phone,” says Gome author Guillaume.

Go Review: Monkey Jump Workshop

Monday December 1, 2008

by Phil Waldron
The first encounter with a monkey jump is an intimidating and frustrating experience. In an instant, once promising territories vanish and three-eyed groups become corpses. Most players learn to deal with the monkey jump by trial and error, but all too often they obtain only passing familiarity. For those looking for true mastery of the technique, a big jump comes with Richard Hunter’s “Monkey Jump Workshop.” Sensibly enough, Monkey Jump Workshop begins with the monkey jump at its simplest: a basic reduction against a solid territory. The standard counter-moves are analyzed before considering how things change when the surrounding position is altered. Even subtle differences can be important, and this chapter illustrates this point admirably. All of the important considerations are presented with elegant examples without getting bogged down by details. Coverage continues with the monkey jump in the context of life-and-death situations and ends with a presentation of several professional games in which the monkey jump appears. Distributed throughout is an impressive collection of monkey-jump problems, both of the yose and life-and-death variety. If all this seems like a lot of material to cover in a single book, it is, and the coverage is somewhat uneven. I was particularly impressed by the treatment of the monkey jump as an endgame move, while the chapter on the monkey jump in professional play is presented as a series of uncommented game diagrams that feels like filler material. Part of the difficulty seems due to the origins of the book; the chapters began as a series of stand-alone articles in the British Go Journal, and as a consequence are generally well-organized individually but do not flow together and mesh poorly with the supplementary material added later. This also limits the book’s value as a reference text, which is unfortunate given both the quantity and quality of material contained. Although it needs a good editing job, the Monkey Jump Workshop is a worthwhile addition to the go collection of a kyu-level player. The book is by far the most comprehensive treatment of the topic available in English and contains all the information necessary to become a master of the technique. Monkey Jump Workshop is available from Slate and Shell Publishing.