American Go E-Journal » Traveling Go Board

The Traveling Board: Pete Schumer on the Nihon Kiin Summer Go Camp

Sunday September 18, 2016

The Nihon Kiin Summer Go Camp, an intensive training program targeted at non-Japanese go players, was held from 2016.09.18_schumer-nhk-redmond-IMG_5148August 21st through September 3rd at the Nihon Kiin in Tokyo. Vermont go player Peter Schumer was among those attending; here’s his report.

The 2016 Nihon Ki-in Summer Go Camp was attended by around 20 go enthusiasts from all over the world, all of whom were warmly welcomed and got to participate fully in all activities. World renowned professionals including Kobayashi Koichi 9d, Ishida Yoshio 9d, O Meien 9d, and Michael Redmond 9d gave regular lectures, went over famous games, and played several simultaneous games with the attendees. Sometimes you really had to pinch yourself that you were actually there hanging out with these stars of the go world. In addition to pro instruction, the daily routine was packed with go activities, including games, problems, tournaments, social events, and sightseeing to Kamakura, Asakusa, and Yokohama.

2016.09.18_schumer-nhk-tourney-IMG_5239Camp attendees had ample opportunity to play many games throughout the two weeks, participating in goodwill matches with college students, insei, and go clubs from around the city. Notably, attendees were given the unique chance to play in the Takara Shuzo Cup, the most popular amateur go tournament in Japan, which featured over 1,400 people this year.

The night before the first game of the Meijin title match, camp participants joined go legends including Cho Chikun 9d, Cho U 9d, Takemiya Masaki 9d (at right, with Schumer), Otake Hideo 9d, Iyama Yuta 9d, and Takao Shinji 9d to enjoy a lavish reception at the 5-star rated Hotel Chinzanso. The following day they were allowed to sit in the same room as the players for a few minutes during the match itself, which was 2016.09.18_schumer-nhk-takemiya-IMG_5350truly a special honor and very exciting.

The camp featured its own league system with participants playing against one another in a double-elimination tournament. The winner, a 4-dan from Europe, was given the honor to play a 3-stone handicap game against none other than O Meien 9d, with Michael Redmond providing live commentary.

All in all the go camp was enjoyable, highly educational, and well worth it; the price of the camp was very reasonable. The camp was a first-rate experience where you can improve your go, meet wonderful people from around the world, and get to enjoy some Japanese sites and culture.
- Edited by Brian Kirby

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The Traveling Board: Bart Jacob finds a Go Kaisho in Tokyo

Monday September 12, 2016

While in Tokyo recently on business, Bart Jacob found his way to “this very nice Go Kaisho near my hotel in Nihonbashi”2016.09.12_bart-jacob-tokyo where he played a couple of games with Soma-san (right). “I believe the street is shin-ohashi, near the suitengumae station and a short walk from the Royal Park Hotel.”

On his last day in Tokyo, Jacob found “very nice boards, stones and bowls” at Nakamura Goban Ten. “One special board sold for around $100,000 (Yes..that is USD). Others were in the 10,000 range. I was going to buy a set of slate and she’ll stones for $300…but they only took cash.” Store details: TEL03-3351-5360, 東京都港区新橋4丁目31-7, TOKYOTO NINATOKU SHINBASHI 4-31-7

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The Traveling Board: The Small World of Go

Monday June 27, 2016

by Keith Arnold2016.06.27_Beijing story
As I sit down for breakfast at our hotel in Beijing, the gentlemen next to me asks “Are you Chris?”  “No, my name is Keith.” “Sorry, similar face.”  And I thought that was over.


But when he returned with food he tried again. “Your voice is familiar – are you AGA?”

And that is how I met Jeff Kwang 5-dan from North Carolina.  The small world of go.

Longtime go player and local organizer Keith Arnold lives in Baltimore, MD.

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The Traveling Board: A Tale of Two Games

Wednesday May 4, 2016

by Phil Straus

In early 1997, I played in a Baltimore tournament as a 45-year-old three-dan. I split the first two games. In my third game I 2016.05.04_straus-trav-bdwas paired in an even game with a two-dan. Statistically I had about a 2/3 chance of winning. I lost, but what was shocking was that I resigned in less than 30 minutes. I had recently published, with Yilun Yang, Whole-Board Thinking in Joseki. The opening (fuseki) was by far the strongest part of my game. I was ahead at the end of the opening in at least 95% of my tournament games. I was shocked to be so far behind so early in a game. Normally, I have to get to my middle-game weaknesses before I fall behind.

I had spent the previous decade studying intently, hoping to reach the upper levels of amateur play. I looked across the board, and realized my opponent had better potential than I. He was seven years old. I withdrew from the fourth round, went home in time to get a babysitter and go to the movies with my wife. By Monday, I had stopped all my regular lessons and training, and became a full-time photographer.

This past Saturday, I played in the Philadelphia tournament as a 64-year-old two-dan. In my first game, I took six stones from Eric Lui, 1P. I was right. That seven-year-old in 1997 had had more potential. I was delighted that I didn’t lose this game until the fighting in the middle game. The six-stone handicap helped delay my second resignation against this fine player. It was a pleasure to lose again to this young man, who still has such great potential.

Straus is a former president of the American Go Association. He’s at right in the photo above, playing Eric Lui. photo by Henry Hathaway. 

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Game Recorder’s Journal: Everyone wins

Wednesday January 6, 2016

by Chris Garlock
The AGA’s professional qualification tournament tests the go skills of its young competitors, but it’s also a grueling endurance challenge. With2016.01.06_game-analysis two rounds each day, and each game usually going at least three hours, that’s six to eight hours a day for a full week. The concentration these players bring to bear on each game is fierce; every move is considered, and then reconsidered. I’ve seen players think about a move for twenty minutes, reach into the bowl for a stone, take it out and then put it back and settle in for another ten minutes. Even the most natural, “obvious” move must be fully read out and time, while a factor, seems to be the furthest thing from their minds as they follow the branching trails deep into thickets of strategy and tactics, move and countermove, probe and response.

The silence in the playing room is deafening. Traffic swishes by outside and the sounds of a working hotel drift in throughout the day. The pinging of the elevator doors. Housekeeper carts rumbling overhead. Snatches of conversation as hotel guests walk by the room. The hum of air conditioning.

As fierce as the competition is here — and every single one of the players wants to win — it’s not unusual to see two players who have just spent the last few hours trying to slaughter each other’s groups now peacefully reviewing the game, sometimes for another hour. In fact, the analysis is so cooperative and collegial that it can often be difficult to know which player is the winner and which the loser. Perhaps because they understand that in the shared search for mastery they are both winners.
Garlock is leading the E-Journal’s game recording/broadcasting team at this week’s AGA Pro Qualification Tournament in Los Angeles. photo: Daniel Gourdeau (l) and Jeremy Chiu review their game while Manuel Velasco and Sarah Yu watch. 

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Go Take a Bath this Saturday

Thursday December 10, 2015

“There are very few things that beat saunas in the winter,” says Boris Bernadsky. “One of them is playing go in the sauna in the winter.” That’s2015.12.10_go-sauna why he’s hosting an unusual go Meet-Up this Saturday at the King’s Spa, a Korean style bathhouse in Palisades Park, NJ. Here’s a link for a discount entrance fee. “The spa has a space separated by gender where the bathing occurs and a coed area where there are many dry sauna and activity areas, including go boards,” says Bernadsky. “I will bring two more just in case.” The spa provides clothing for the coed area. There is also a restaurant, and for $10 extra you get a blanket and can spend the night on a lazyboy — the go event runs from 5p Saturday through 8a Sunday — although as Berndsky notes, playing all night “is not mandatory. Anyway it will be fun!”

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Traveling Go Board: Gotham Go, Thanksgiving Week

Sunday November 30, 2014

Dropped in on the Gotham Go Club last Tuesday night during a visit to New York City to see longtime friend and go colleague Roy Laird. Despite IMG_1108Thanksgiving being just two days away, the club was bustling with activity, as it reportedly is each week. Had a fun time watching games and a quick pick-up game with a young student from China; it’s a great club well worth the visit if you’re in town!
- Chris Garlock, Managing Editor, American Go E-Journal. Check our Facebook page for more photos. Got go travel tales — or photos — of your own? Send ‘em to us at journal@usgo.org!

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The Traveling Go Board: Benjamin Hong’s Hong Kong Go Adventure

Wednesday May 28, 2014

On his BenGoZen blog, Benjamin Hong recently posted a nice report on his Hong Kong go adventure earlier this year. After spotting an ad for go on a bus, Hong was disappointed to discover that the Hong Kong Go Asso­ci­a­tion (HKGA) does not have a go salon where visitors can drop in for a game. “I was pretty bummed to hear that,” Hong, a 2-kyu who lives in the metro Washington area, writes. “After all, would my epic go adven­ture in Hong Kong be reduced to sim­ply vis­it­ing the HKGA and maybe tak­ing a few pic­tures? All hope was nearly gone until the sec­re­tary told my mom that I could take pri­vate lessons if I wanted to.” This launches an adventure across the city that will be familiar to anyone who’s tried to track down go in a foreign country. In addition to being entertaining, Hong’s tale has a happy ending and reveals the correct address of the HKGA, including a helpful photo of the sign to look for. Hint, not the one at right.

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Visit Seattle on a Tuesday

Monday May 26, 2014

“Visitors to Seattle should save Tuesdays for the Go Center”, advises Center Manager Brian Allen.  “It’s our biggest day.”  On Tuesday, May 20, the Center had 47 players visit, including 12 children.  New players can find instruction on Tuesday as well.  Saturdays are smaller, but usually there are more than 20 visitors at all levels.  There are evening classes on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Your first ten visits to the Go Center are free, including classes. Visitors are invited to check out the weekly schedule, and the special events calendarPhoto: A Tuesday night in June 2013.
- photo/report by Brian Allen.

 

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The Traveling Board: An Act of Kindness

Wednesday April 23, 2014

by Barry Pasicznyk

Every year go players from the Penn Go Society and Phoenixville Go Club teach go at Philadelphia’s Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Festival. This year an especially poignant moment occurred that I wanted to share with other go players.

While we were teaching people how to play go, a man approached our tables. He said that he wanted to donate a go set so we could pass it on. He mentioned that when he was in the hospital with cancer that someone came to the hospital to play go with him. Now he was cured of the cancer; I was under the impression that he had not expected to survive. He said that he was eternally grateful for the act of kindness in his most desolate time, and that he wanted to pass the go set on so others could enjoy the game.

So we accepted the go set and gave it to a group of young adults who seemed to be enjoying the game. We told them the story of the set so that maybe it would inspire them to acts of kindness.

Sometimes go is more than just a game.

photo courtesy BoomsBeat 

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