American Go E-Journal » U.S. Go Congress

Historians and Anthropologists at the 2012 International Go Symposium

Tuesday December 11, 2012

The 2012 International Go Symposium in Black Mountain, North Carolina attracted leading scholars and researchers from around the world for two days of presentations and discussions on the many aspects of the game of go. Hours of footage have now been edited down and posted online to accompany the conference papers. This 3-part series covers highlights of Symposium presentations by teachers, scientists, historians and anthropologists. 

Students of the long and fascinating history of go who attended the 2012 International Go Symposium were richly rewarded with presentations on anime, poetry, and history, while also learning about the development of the game itself, such as why and when the 19×19 board came into use, and the challenges involved in developing a universal set of rules.

The most well-attended event of the Symposium took place on Sunday afternoon, when Hikaru No Go fans packed the lecture hall to see Hotta Yumi, the author of the wildly popular series. Ms. Hotta, interviewed by go teacher and E-Journal Youth Editor Paul Barchilon with  translation by longtime AGA volunteer Akane Negishi, answered questions ranging from how she came up with the idea for Hikaru to who’s her favorite character.

Reflecting a growing general Western interest in China, several presentations centered on Chinese themes. Stephanie Mingming Yin, now one of America’s resident pros, described Growing up Pro in China, while Joshua Guarino reminisced about his recent visit there, offering tips to go players who might be planning a trip, and Symposium organizer Peter Shotwell recalled his visit in 1985, making the first official contact between the AGA and the newly formed Chinese Weiqi Association. Documentary filmmaker Marc Moskowitz shared highlights of his new film on Chinese go, Weiqi Wonders.

Intertwining history and art, Dr. Chen Zu-yan , a professor of Asian and Asian-American Studies at Binghamton University, spoke on The Art of Black and White: Weiqi in Chinese Poetry.  In a fascinating example of the global nature of the game, Konstantin Bayraktarov of Bulgaria’s research into Vietnamese go was presented by American go writer – and Symposium organizer — Peter Shotwell. Shotwell also updated his longtime inquiry into the origins of go with “The Origins of Go Strategies in Classical Chinese Grammar: Why the Chinese Play Go and the West Plays Chess” Noting that fundamental differences in the structure and purpose of language can impact a society’s development, Shotwell showed how in the case of the West they pose a barrier to grasping go. In a second talk, Shotwell muses about so-called “custodial capture” games in ancient Greece and Rome, and in a Tibetan game known as Mig-Mang.

Other speakers looked at the special nature of the game itself, which is ephemeral yet universal. The rules were never even written down until the 20th century, and to this day there are several seemingly irreconcilable rule sets — yet everyone knows how to play. Chen Zu-Yuan, a leading rules expert, reviews the history and merits of Japanese (territory) and Chinese (area) counting. Potentially infinite, go is occasionally played on boards of various sizes, especially 9×9 and 13×13, but could be played on a grid of any size, and has even been played on a special board with no edges at all. At the 2012 US Go Congress it was played on a US-shaped board. So why 19×19? Ichiro Tanioka has studied this question concluding that the change probably happened during the 4th century AD along with other fundamental changes, for instance in the Chinese calendar. Mr. Tanioka goes on to speculate on other questions, such as why Chinese boards are perfectly square while Japanese boards are slightly rectangular. Continuing the inquiry into why the board is the way it is, Dalsoo Kim gave a history of the board’s “star points”, which at various times has ranged as high as 17.

The AGA and the 2012 US Go Congress are extremely grateful to the for financial support that made this event possible, and to the American Go Foundation for supporting the video recording.  Links to all the videos and to associated papers, links and contact information be found at the Symposium website. NEXT: Scientists at the Symposium.

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28 Great Go Talks Now Online

Wednesday November 14, 2012

What does it take to become a Chinese pro? How did Hotta Yumi get the idea to write Hikaru No Go? What is new in the history of go and its rules? Who was Atari founder Nolan Bushnell’s most famous minimum-wage employee? For answers to these and many other intriguing questions about the game of go, visit the 2012 International Go Symposium’s new website, where all the presentations are archived, along with links to associated papers and web pages, as well as a YouTube channel of video recordings of the event.

Sponsored by The International Go Federation with additional support from The American Go Foundation, the conference was presented by organizers from the The American Go Association and the 2012 US Go Congress. This was the first such gathering since 2008, and 25 speakers eagerly seized the chance to present their latest findings to more than 100 registered participants. The Symposium offered something for just about everyone – programming enthusiasts, history buffs, anthropologists, teachers, organizers, and of course players. Papers and links associated with these presentations are available here. In the coming weeks we will profile some of the more remarkable videos, but don’t let that stop you from checking it out in the meantime.

 

2012 U.S.Go Congress Overview: Reports, Photos, Games & Commentaries

Monday October 8, 2012

Dozens of 2012 U.S. Go Congress games, reports and photos – including galleries of players in top tournaments – are available online; our comprehensive coverage includes crosstabs of the U.S. Open, North American Ing Masters and Strong Players Open. See below for a selection of highlights of our coverage or click here for all our 2012 Go Congress reports.

REPORTS
Congress Updates: Congress Tournament Winners; Congress Credits
Matthew Hu 1P Wins 2012 Ing Masters
Dyer-Zhou Win 2012 U.S.Pair Go Championships
Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell on Go, Pong, Life and Changing the World
Hikaru no Go Creator Hotta Yumi Goes Behind the Manga
Kyu-Killer Keith Arnold Falls to Kyu Players, 19-1
U.S. Go Congress EJ Team Recognition

TOURNAMENTS
Congress Tournament Winners (PDF)
• US Open
Crosstab (includes game files)
Game commentaries
• North American Masters Tournament
Crosstab (includes game files)
Player photos & game commentaries
• Strong Players Open
Crosstab (includes game files)
Player photos & game commentaries

PHOTOS
Congress Photo Album: Sunday, August 5
Phil’s Portraits: Monday’s Gallery
Go Congress Photo Album: Day Off Activities
Go Congress Photo Album: Crazy Go
Go Congress Photo Album: Pair Go (NEW! Just posted)
Congress Co-Director Peter Armenia’s Photo Album

YOUTH
Gan and Ye Shut Out Rivals in Redmond
Soo, Ganeva, and Ye Top Children’s Art Contest
Liu and Su Top Youth Adult Pair Go
Hikaru Author Hotta Yumi Interviewed

2013 U.S. Go Congress Set for Tacoma, WA
photos, top to bottom: Matthew Hu (by Phil Straus); Nolan Bushnell (by Chris Garlock); Hotta Yumi (by Steve Colburn); Youth-Adult Pair Go (by Paul Barchilon).

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2013 U.S. Go Congress Set for Tacoma, WA

Sunday September 16, 2012

The 2013 U.S. Go Congress will be held August 3-10 at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, a suburb of Tacoma, Washington, just south of Seattle. Stay tuned for further details as they’re available.

Go Classified: Go Congress Photos Wanted

Saturday September 15, 2012

Seeking pictures from the 2012 U.S. Go congress. If you took pictures and have them online, please send the link to: paul@gocongress12.org We’re especially interested in any pictures taken of the winners of the U.S. Open holding their prizes at the banquet.
- Paul Celmer, 2012U.S. Go Congress Co-Director

Hikaru Author Hotta Yumi Interviewed

Monday September 3, 2012

Hikaru no Go author Hotta Yumi was interviewed on film at the International Go Symposium on August 5th, 2012. For those who missed the live stream,  the Tiger’s Mouth website has printed the entire text of the interview.  The AGF is currently editing the videos from the symposium, all of which will be available online at a later date.  A few choice highlights from the Hotta interview are below, you can read the full article here.

On how the series began, Hotta says “I wanted to learn go, so I paid a go school and started to attend classes once a week with a pro. He was mean, and never let the students win the teaching games. This was frustrating to me, because I was thinking ‘Why am I paying to lose all the time?’ I wished that I had a guardian angel or a ghost that could help me beat him really bad. It was at that moment that Hikaru no Go was born.”  When asked about how go has affected her life, Hotta replied: “Honestly, I had no idea that so many kids would want to learn how to play go. Not just in Japan, but all over the world. Especially kids in other countries where there aren’t many teachers or resources for playing go. Nowadays many more kids can play go thanks to the efforts of teachers, professionals, and groups that are helping to bring go to kids around the world. For my own life, Hikaru has made it very hard for me to attend go tournaments. So many people will watch over my shoulder during my games, and I’m not a very strong player so it is very embarrassing!” – Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Translation by Akane Negishi and Solomon Smilack.  Photo: Hotta Yumi, by Paul Barchilon.

U.S. Go Congress EJ Team Recognition

Saturday September 1, 2012

The American Go E-Journal’s comprehensive coverage of the recently-concluded annual U.S. Go Congress has become such a part of the fabric of the event that the extraordinary amount of work that goes into broadcasting dozens of top games, commentaries, reports and photos is now routine and taken for granted. Our work is highly visible, while the workers themselves are largely invisible. Which is how we want it: the focus should always be on the players and the game we all love so deeply. Click here for pro game commentaries (scroll down to Game Review) and here for final results in the NAIMUS Open and Strong Player’s Open.

So it’s a real honor and pleasure for me to recognize here those individuals who contributed so much of their time, effort and talent to help bring this year’s U.S. Go Congress – as well as the first-ever Tygem Pro Tournament immediately preceding the Congress – to our global audience.

First and foremost, deepest thanks, gratitude and kudos to the crack core team of Todd Heidenreich (E-Journal/Broadcast Coordinator), Steve Colburn (EJ IT/Website Coordinator/Video Feed) and Dennis Wheeler (EJ Broadcast Room Manager), without whom our coverage could not happen. They’re talented, dedicated, fun to hang out with, and they love bacon, too.

Our lovely and unflappable KGS Admin team of Akane Negishi and Dan Short was joined this year by Mr. KGS himself, the inimitable William Shubert; we enjoyed having Bill on board and look forward to seeing some great new tweaks to the system soon!

Karoline Burrall, the fierce but fun-loving TD for the US Open, NAIM and SPO, was a full partner with the EJ team, this year enabling us to post pairings sometimes as early as the night before, a great service for players as well as for the EJ team. Karoline was ably assisted by Assistant TDs Steve Burrall and Bob Bacon.

Our game recording team was a wonderful mix of experienced hands, including the amazing Richard Dolen, indispensable Gordon Castanza and, doing double-duty, KGS admin Dan Short. Other returning recorders were Andrew Jackson who did wonderful work on Board 1, Myron Souris (moonlighting from his usual job as EJ Games Editor) and Dave Weimer. Newbies Patrick Allen, Calvin Clark, Pete Gousious, Greg Pongracz and Marshall Quander fit right into the team, especially Allen, who handled a couple of extraordinarily long games with aplomb.

Todd Blatt was better than ever as our nimble-fingered Game Commentary Broadcaster, transcribing pro game commentaries live at the speed of light, and EJ photographer Phil Straus always managed to get an even better shot than we asked for.

EJ Youth Editor Paul Barchilon managed our youth coverage while also running numerous youth events at the Congress; aspiring young go journalists should be sure to volunteer to help out next year. Better yet, get started now by emailing Paul c/o journal@usgo.org Paul’s EJ Youth Game Recording team included Justin Teng, Tom Bahun, and Yunxuan Li.

Last but definitely not least are our Honorary EJ Team Members, 2012 Congress Directors Paul Celmer and Peter Armenia, who not only pulled together a memorable and fun Congress, but who made sure that the EJ team had whatever we needed to bring the Congress to you.

Thanks again to each and every one of these terrific volunteers. And if you’re interested in being on the team next year in Seattle, just drop us a note at journal@usgo.org!

- Chris Garlock, EJ/Broadcast Managing Editor
photo by Phil Straus & Lisa Garlock

Soo, Ganeva, and Ye Top Children’s Art Contest

Monday August 27, 2012

The second International Children’s Go Art Painting Contest received almost seventy entries,  submitting countries included Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Argentina, Mexico and the United States.  The artwork was displayed at the US Go Congress in North Carolina, in the main playing area where everyone could enjoy it.  Chen Yew Soo of Penang, Malaysia, took top honors in the 5-8 year old division; Elitica Ganeva, of Sofia, Bulgaria, won in the 9-12 year old bracket, and  April Ye, of the US won in the 13-16 year old bracket.  Ye is a repeat winner, having taken top honors las year in the 9-12 year old bracket, she  also received an honorable mention for the second piece she submitted this year.  Younger sister of US Jr. Go Champion Aaron Ye 5d, April is proving to be 5 dan when it comes to art. Both of  her entries this year sold at auction at the Go Congress.  Proceeds from the sale were shared with the kids who made the art, with a portion being retained to help cover expenses for the event.  All of the winning entries will receive a magnetic Go board, courtesy of Yellow Mountain Imports, and in Europe by Go-Shop.cz.   The competition was organized by the Comunidad Mexicana de Go Infantil y Juvenal.  Full results, including the top 20 pieces, can be seen online here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: 2nd place winner, Category B: Go, by Shaheer Hassan Khan, of Lahore, Pakistan.

Congress Updates: Congress Tournament Winners; Congress Credits

Saturday August 18, 2012

Congress Tournament Winners: In addition to winning the North American Ing Masters, Matthew Hu (right) won the 2012 U.S. Open at the recent U.S. Go Congress, collecting a set of jade stones and bowls donated by the Confucius Institute of Raleigh, North Carolina in addition to his cash prize and trophy. Evan Cho won the Strong Players Open. Click here for a PDF of the prize-winners in all the Congress tournaments, including North American Ing Masters, Strong Players Open, Pair Go, US Open, Continuous Self-Paired Tournament, Wednesday Die Hard Tournament, Midnight Madness, Wisonet Cup State Team Go Tournament, Michael Redmond Cup, Youth Team, Youth Room Tournaments, 9×9 Tournament, 13×13 Tournament, Crazy Go, Lightning Go. Click here for pro game commentaries (scroll down to Game Review) and here for final results in the NAIMUS Open and Strong Player’s Open. Also, click here for an album of Congress photos, posted by Co-Director Peter Armenia.

Congress Credits: “Putting on a Go Congress is a monumental effort,” says 2012 U.S. Go Congress Co-Directors Peter Armenia and Paul Celmer (below, right, with Congress Registrar Arlene Bridges; Armenia is at left). “It is even more of a challenge with an unpaid, volunteer staff. Every staff member running around during the recent Go Congress was working hard for the love of the game and as a service to the go community. Many had defined roles, but some simply dove in where they saw a problem or need. And this year besides the Congress, we had the challenge of adding the Pro Certification Tournament, International Go Symposium, and Youth Go Camp. Supporting these events is a complex and stressful task, and we could not have done it without a highly skilled, energetic, and dedicated team.” One of the most inspiring moments for Celmer came at the very end of the Congress, when one of the Blue Ridge Assembly maintenance staff came up in his truck. “He came out of his truck, shook my hand, and thanked me because one of our staff had taught his ten-year-old son the game,” says Celmer.

There are also a few commemorative USA-shaped half-inch thick plywood go boards still available for sale, $40 dollars plus shipping, as well as the puzzle coasters with Congress logo, $15 dollars plus shipping. Email paul@gocongress12.org if you are interested. If you would like to purchase a replica of the large USA shaped board that the two pros played on, contact Frank Salantrie (standing, in photo below right) at fesalantrie@nc.rr.com.

“We want to thank the following volunteers, as well as all those that have helped this Congress and who have helped spread the game we love,” say Celmer and Armenia.

2012 U.S. Go Congress Staff/Volunteers: John Aiken, Charles Alden, Keith Arnold, Bob Bacon, Paul Barchilon, Jared Beck, Terry Benson, Dale Blann, Todd Blatt, Adam Bridges, Arlene Bridges, Karoline Burrall, Steve Burrall, Tony Cha, Owen Chen, Steve Coburn, Rich Crandall, Judy Debel, Vincent DiMattia, Richard Dolen, Chris Garlock, Cynthia Gaty, Nader Goubran, Julie Greenberg, Josh Guarino, Todd Heidenreich, Russell Herman, Jim Hlvaka, Chris Kirchner, Jeff Kuang, Jim Levenick, I-han Lui, Steve Mabe, Andy Olsen, Frank Salantrie, Dan Scheck, Peter St. John, Dennis Wheeler, Sam Zimmerman.
- photos by Phil Straus

Matthew Hu 1P Wins 2012 Ing Masters

Friday August 10, 2012

In a dramatic game that saw the lead change hands several times 14-year-old Zi Yang (Matthew) Hu 1P (at right) prevailed over brand-new U.S. professional Zhi Yuan (Andy) Liu 1P in the North American Ing Masters (NAIM) tournament final round Friday night. Hu had also defeated Liu in the 5th round of the U.S. Open Friday morning, his 5-0 record giving him a virtual lock on winning the Open, which has one more round on Saturday. Liu had a winning position coming out of the middle game, according to game commentator Yilun Yang 7P,  but allowed Hu to start a ko that wound up erasing Liu’s lead and he resigned shortly afterwards. Click here for the game commentary (scroll down to Game Review). Click here for latest results in the NAIMUS Open and Strong Player’s Open.

“Andy played really well today,” Hu said after the game, “I think maybe I was just a little more lucky.” Liu said that the games showed that “The difference between an amateur and a professional is staying calm no matter how complicated the game gets. I have a lot to learn from Matthew.”

After the game, the board Hu and Liu played on — a 2-inch kaya board donated by Yutopian — was auctioned off to benefit the American Go Foundation, with E-Journal Broadcast Coordinator Todd Heidenreich’s $600 bid winning both the board — which had been signed by both players as well as game commentors Yilun Yang 7P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P and Maeda Ryo 6P — and two unique bowls created especially for the event by Todd Blatt of MakerBot using his replicator.

Women’s Tournament:
 Amanda Miller 9k and Caroline Scheck 16k were both 3-0 going into the final round on Friday.
- reported by Lee Huynh

NAIM/SPO PLAYER PHOTOS POSTED: Photos are now posted of the players in the North American ING Masters and the Strong Players Open. Plus, in the crosstabs for the US Open,  NAIM and Strong Player’s Open, hovering over the result shows who a player’s opponent was. “It’s a small change, but it makes viewing the crosstabs a thousand times more pleasant,” says an EJ reader.
 - reports by Chris Garlock: photos by Phil Straus (top right) and Steve Colburn (bottom left); photo (l-r): AGF President Terry Benson, E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock, EJ Simulcast Manager Todd Blatt; Matthew Hu 1P, Todd Heidenreich, Andy Liu 1P, Yilun Yang 7P, Maeda Ryo 7P.