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

“So You Want to Play Go?” Released

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.



Nihon Ki-in Releases Tsume-go App

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 with your comments/reviews on this and other go tools.


X-Mas Discounts at Go Shop

Monday December 19, 2011

The Go Shop is offering Christmas discounts on selected go-themed tumblers. The shop also offers tote bags with a go theme and – just in – a go keychain.


Jasiek Publishes “Capturing Races”

Monday December 19, 2011

Capturing races are complicated. Really complicated. Just to cite one example, there’s the five basic types of semeai  with 93 possible cases and over 200 principles governing how to determine status and outcome.  Robert Jasiek’s new book, Capturing Races  1 attempts to organize and address some of the basic issues involved in just 272 pages, though more volumes are planned.  “Capturing Races” can be used as either a textbook for study or as a reference dictionary, Jasiek says. The book introduces terms and basic theory before applying it as well as including problems and answers so the reader can check on whether the theory’s been applied correctly. The book serves also as a dictionary, classifying capturing races into two basic groups. Click here to see sample pages and to order.


GoGoD Game Database Passes 70,000

Monday November 28, 2011

Go Games on Disk – aka GoGoD – has passed another milestone, with more than 70,000 games now in the sgf database of professional games. “Many of these are modern Japanese, Chinese and Korean games which are not published on the internet, but we have also been delving back into Korean history, to find early games by Cho Hun-hyeon, Seo Pong-su, Kim In, Cho Nam-ch’eol as well as a rare sunjang baduk game from the 1970’s to add to our existing collection of such games played under ancient Korean rules,  and previously unknown games from a visit Takagawa Shukaku made to Korea,” reports GoGod’s T Mark Hall. “These obviously do not appear in the collected games of Takagawa. One effect of the growth is that we now have to use two CDs, one for the database and one for the encyclopaedia, but at no extra cost to our customers.” The latest GoGoD Encyclopaedia has been updated with more details of tournaments and events, as well as updated software for accessing the database faster. Email tmark@ for details.


Go Shop Offers Tumblers & Totes

Monday November 14, 2011

If go problems are your cup of tea, a new shop may have just the thing for you. The Go Shop carries a neat line of go “tumblers” or insulated beverage containers. The Fuseki Series includes the Chinese Opening, Kobayashi, Mini Chinese Opening and San  Ren Sei, and there’s also a Corner Problems tumbler and a Go Board tumbler. All are offered in English, Chinese or Korean. To carry your tumblers, and other go materials, the Go Shop also carries a go-themed tote bag. “For us, every small move counts,” says the Go Shop.


Go Game Guru Launches Online Go Shop

Monday November 7, 2011

Go Game Guru — an Australia-based go website featuring go news, commentaries and more — has just opened an online go shop. “We want to make it easier and more affordable for everyone to buy go books,” GGG founder David Ormerod says. The GGG Go Shop catalogue currently includes two dozen popular Kiseido titles “and we have a go book competition to celebrate the opening of the shop,” Ormerod — a frequent contributor to the E-Journal — says. “If things go well we have plans for equipment, merchandise and on-demand video,” Ormerod adds. “We’ll also expand the number of locations we can ship from to continue reducing postage costs for everyone.” GGG first trialed the go bookshop idea back in June and Ormerod says “Our goals haven’t changed since then. Basically everything we’re doing is aimed at either introducing go to new players or helping existing players get stronger.” Ormerod adds that “Go Game Guru is still something of an experiment. Younggil and I started it based on the idea that you could build a self sustaining business around promoting go globally. We don’t ask for donations for this project, because then we’d be competing with go associations. If people want to donate money or time towards promoting go, I’d really encourage them to get involved with their local go association.” Ormerod says that GGG is an attempt to “build a business that provides useful services to the community and uses profits to promote go in online and traditional media – working with existing promoters like go associations.” Ormerod freely admitts that “Nobody really knows whether this theory will work — and there are very mixed opinions among people I know – (but) what we’re really trying to do is test the theory and find out (if it works).”


Mini Goban Located

Sunday November 6, 2011

The mini 9×9 goban (Cute Board? 10/31 EJ) has been tracked down. It’s available from Schaak en Go Winkel in Amsterdam, Scandinavia’s Mohsart (both offer 13×13 versions as well) and Jeu de in France. On the other hand, reader Dwight Anderson says the miniature goban “Would be easy to make. Just get someone to cut and plane a 2 x 10 board, draw the lines on with a permanent marker and finish with some varathane. You can buy the little legs at a local building supply.”





Jonathan Hop to Launch Go Video Site; Seeks Contributors

Sunday October 30, 2011

Go author Jonathan Hop is starting a video lecture website aimed at popularizing go and providing more resources for people who want to learn more. The website, Sunday Go Lessons “will eventually grow to have hundreds of lectures on various topics, from joseki to the middle game, and will present go in a fun and exciting way,” Hop tells the E-Journal. “Perfect for getting friends and colleagues acquainted with the game.” Looking for financial contributions from the go community to help get his dream off the ground, Hop is offering prizes for contributors, including free lectures and signed copies of his books. Jonathan Hop is a 4 dan amateur and studied at the Yu Changhyuk Baduk Dojo in Migeum, S. Korea and is also the author of the So You Want to Play Go?series, a primer for players of all skill levels. Click here for details on the new site.



Dinerchtein’s “Intense” Korean-Style Insei League

Monday October 24, 2011

Alexandre Dinerchtein’s Korean-Style Insei League on the Kiseido Go Server is a training league aimed at providing online participants with an experience similar to Dinerchtein’s insei training in Korea. Dinnerchtein, a 7-time European champion, holds a 3 dan professional ranking from Korea. Besides Dinerchtein, League teachers include Christian Pop (solaris on KGS) and Fernando Aguilar (aguilar on KGS), who are also regular teachers in KGS Plus. AGA 7 dan Andy Liu (bigbadwolf on KGS) has also participated as a teacher. The League is open to amateurs 10 kyu or stronger. “This is an intense go experience,” reports Bob Gilman 5k, who’s enrolled in the October League. “Inseis are expected to play at least 12 games during the month with at least six different opponents. In addition, the schedule for the first two weeks includes 27 lectures or simultaneous games with teachers. A few of the lectures are in Russian but most in English. Some are also likely to be at awkward times for U.S. players. Still with so many events I’ve been able to attend plenty . There are a number of US players, so finding opponents in a nearby time zone is not so much of a problem. I am enjoying it.”