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Go Spotting: Japanese firefighting jacket

Tuesday November 7, 2017

This 19th-century Japanese firefighting jacket is in the collection at the Seattle Art Museum. “The jacket tells a story from the life of Minamoto2017.11.07_firemans-coat-go-spider-1080px no Yorimitsu (948–1021), a warrior-hero,” according to a recent post on the museum’s blog. “The story is as follows: Yorimitsu was sick, and was resting in bed. He was visited by a priest—but the priest was actually a giant spider (tsuchigumo) in disguise! Yorimitsu, being very clever, sees through the disguise, and attacks the spider with his sword, wounding him. Yorimitsu’s four attendants, called the Four Heavenly Kings, were playing a game of go while guarding him, and leapt up to track the spider back to his den.

This narrative was popular in theatrical productions, and there was a song in Noh theatre specifically about tsuchigumo, the intimidating earth spider. The story appears frequently in woodblock prints in the nineteenth century as well. The jacket shows the moment when the go game was abandoned, with tsuchigumo retreating back to his web. So great was the hurried effort to find the spider that the attendants left behind their personal effects, scattering go pieces in their haste.”

Thanks to Steve Jones for passing this along.

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Go books go global…and local

Wednesday August 9, 2017

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by Steve Colburn & Jeremiah Parry-Hill

Even in this new age of e-books, many go players still turn to good old-fashioned hard-copy books about go. Over the years, many players and clubs tend to collect books about go, from the mundane to the rare. Places like the Seattle Go Center — and now the National Go Center in Washington, DC — have shelves full of printed materials  for their members to study and borrow. This is convenient if you have the type of real estate that can house a large number of books. But what if your club doesn’t have a Go Center?

In Rochester NY, at the Empty Sky Go Club, we’ve decided to work with our host university, the Rochester Institute of Technology, to house the club’s books. Over the years, we had collected over five hundred go books —  far too many for anyone’s house. We decided that our new players should have access to those teaching materials when they’re starting out. Empty Sky Go Club’s longtime advisor, Tom Policano, suggested that Empty Sky be known for our expansive library.

We partnered with RIT Libraries to catalog and collect the books that were formerly stored in several club lockers. At present there are 385 books on the shelves of RIT’s walk-up collection (right), with another 170 in the queue to be added by the end of the year.

We were curious to benchmark against the collections of peer institutions. Princeton University’s Asian Library is well-known for its collection of books on go; they currently hold 248 titles. But the Cleveland Public Library system is the current champion, with 434 titles.

Very cool, but what if you don’t live in Cleveland, New Brunswick, Rochester, Washington or Seattle? The true power of putting books in an institutional repository is that most libraries are part of a worldwide system called WorldCat, which catalogs books and other media from all over the world. Which means all of these books are as close as your local library via the Interlibrary Loan system.

So if you’re looking for a go book to study, now is the time to check your local library and borrow something interesting. From Janice Kim’s “Learn to Play Go” series, to many Nakayama titles, to every copy of Go World and a whole lot more, there are many many options for players to study and deepen their enjoyment of the game. Check it out!

photo by Steve Colburn

 

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Go Congress Close to Running Out of Rooms at the Resort

Friday June 23, 2017

When the 2017 US Go Congress last year signed its contract with the Town and Country Resort, the committee thought that 200 guaranteed rooms a night was being optimistic, reports Congress Co-Director Ted Terpstra. Now, with more than a month to go before the August 5 arrival date, there are only 25 rooms left at the contracted prices of $135 plus fees and taxes for Garden rooms and $170 for the Royal Palm Tower rooms, respectively.  (These prices are for one or two people in a room; it’s slightly more to have a third or fourth adult in the room. Children are free if they are third or fourth in the room.) When the 25 rooms are booked, rooms the hotel’s available rooms will move to the going public rate, currently $190 for a Garden Room, $198 for a Regency Tower Room and $246 for a royal Palm Tower Room, plus taxes and fees.  If any of the 200 Congress contracted rooms are not booked by July 1, the Congress will have to return them to the hotel’s inventory for letting out at current rates.  June 30 is also the end of the second early bird period. On July 1, registration will go up by $50 and meal plans costs will be increased by about $100 for the breakfast, lunch and dinner plan.  Act now!

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MLily: Ryan Li 1p Vs. Chen Yaoye 9p in Second Round; AGA Broadcasts

Monday June 19, 2017

2016.04.06_Ryan-Li-1st_IEMG_-Feb-27-2016-11-038China Korean Tengen 2013The AGA Broadcast team will provide coverage of two games from Round 2 of the 3rd Lily Cup tomorrow, June 20th, starting at 10:30 p.m. PDT (UTC-7), with commentary by Jennie Shen 2p. Our very own Ryan Li 1p, winning yesterday against Cheng Honghao 2p, now faces world champ Chen Yaoye 9p. Elsewhere in the tournament, Wang Haoyang 6p scored an upset win against Shin Jinseo, the rising Korean phenom, which wins him the chance to play DeepZenGo in round 2.

Join us at http://www.youtube.com/c/usgoweb/live or http://twitch.tv/usgoweb !

 

kf_zen_01The MLily cup is the first traditional tournament in which AI players are seeded just as their human counterparts, and it may also be the last, with Tygem China News reporting that no future Chinese tournaments will allow AI entrants.

 
 
 

Here is Ryan Li’s monster 363(!) move 1st round win over Cheng Honghao 2p:

[link]

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Hold an AlphaGo Match Viewing and Kibitzing Party

Wednesday May 17, 2017

Next week’s face off between Ke Jie 9p and DeepMind’s updated AlphaGo software promises to be more than a long-awaited grudge match (“One small bleep for a computer, one giant push for mankind,” commented AGA President Andy Okun). It will also be be a chance to think about the future of go. Moves suggested by AlphaGo have already become common in online and professional tournament play as players build, break and rebuild their opening and middle game theories. “More than anything else, then, this is a chance to learn new things about the game by analyzing, commenting on, arguing about and playing over the moves thrown off in the brawling between China’s fearsome slugger and Google’s triumph of modern engineering,” Okun said. “We should do this together.” To this end, any chapter that holds an AlphaGo viewing party during next week’s event is eligible for $100 of (non-alcohol) expenses supported by the AGA president’s discretionary chapter rewards points pool, in addition to using their own points. Since the games are in Asia and may be late at night, watching online later is fine. Conditions are that the chapter is current, that more than a couple of people attend, that it be before May 30, and that you send the EJ a notice of the event beforehand so we can put word out about it, and an account of the event and a couple of pictures. Send questions to president@usgo.org.

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