Sunday May 12, 2013
In Russia, they take their mind sports seriously. Case in point: the Russian Sports Federation’s (RSF) chess program has produced many of the world’s finest players. Similarly, the RSF’s go program has produced top Western professionals through their partnership with the Hankuk Kiwon, producing players such as Alexander Dinerchtein 3P (“breakfast” on KGS) and Svetlana Shikshina 3P, and continues to produce promising up-and-comers such as Ilya Shikshin 7D.
If asked to name their mentors, all would certainly mention Valery Shikshin, an Honored Trainer of the Russian Federation (and as you may gather, father of both Svetlana and Illya). Shikshin has been teaching and coaching Russian go for 25 years, and has developed a set of axioms and principles that he sets forth in this four-volume “Theory and Practice Series,” now available exclusively in the US through GoGameGuru. Volume 1, The Theory and Practice of Tsumego, includes more than 300 original life-and-death problems, many from Russian master games. Starting with the basic shapes, Shikshin takes the reader all the way through corner positions, side formations, and on into the intricacies of seki and ko. I found the chapter on seki to be uniquely systematic in its understanding of how these strangely symbiotic shapes arise.
While Volume 1 of “Theory and Practice” is a new approach to an area that has been widely studied, Volume 2 — “The Theory and Practice of Semeai“ — is surely unique in English. Here Shikshin takes the same systematic approach to capturing races, illustrating a few dozen basic principles with numerous problems and game examples. As in Volume 1, the principles are illustrated by hundreds of problems and examples, many from actual games. Two other volumes will complete the series in the next few months – The Theory and Practice of Shapes, and The Theory and Practice of Analysis. These materials helped to produce some great Western go masters – they are surely a worthy entry into the Western go canon.
- Roy Laird
Saturday May 11, 2013
Go teacher Evan Cho 7d has won the second TRENDnet Southern California Go Championship, reports tournament organizer Kevin Chao. A small but enthusiastic crowd of 32 met at the Arcadia Badminton Club in Arcadia, CA, for the tournament, which is sponsored by the global network hardware provider. Cho beat Curtis Tang 7d for the top section prize and Gus Price 7d came in third. In the dan section, Daniel Alvira won top honors followed by Jay Zheng, Jerry Shen and Jeffrey Zhang. In high kyu, Preston Hutchins won, followed by Andy Cheng and AGA Executive Vice President Ted Terpstra. Mid-kyu: David Baran, followed by AGF Teacher of the Year Joe Walters and Hena Garcia. Low-kyu, Jeremy Shen followed by Sean Tucker and AGF Director Larry Gross. The go playing happened in an upstairs room at the giant badminton club; some players went downstairs and played badminton while waiting for their next round, making the weekend a combined mental and physical workout.
Saturday May 11, 2013
There are still seats open in next weekends tournament OWL: Resurrection. The sequel to last year’s Oscar Wilde Liberation tournament, which falls on the anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s release from Reading Gaol Prison. For the second year in a row, this tournament will give players a chance to earn points towards this year’s North American Masters Tournament at the US Go Congress in August. The 4-round tournament will take place on KGS in the AGA Tournament Room, on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19. Players must be eligible for NAMT and rated 4D+. Click here for tournament schedule and rules, and click here to register. Registration is free, and participation in the tournament guarantees at least some points to all players. The deadline is May 16th, at midnight. - Karoline Burrall. Photo: Oscar Wilde, who once said “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
Friday May 10, 2013
The deadline for registration of the first International Collegiate Go Tournament (North American College Players Invited to July Tournament in China, But Must Act Quickly 5/2/2013 EJ) has been extended until May 31. The invitation has been extended to students in Europe as well. More details about the July 7-13 event can be found at the ACGA’s website.
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Three American Go Association (AGA) Board of Director seats are up for election this year, reports Arnold Eudell, who’s coordinating this year’s election process. The terms of three seats – one in each region – expire this September. Nominations are now being accepted and will close on June 15; nominations must be made by email by full members of the AGA. Send to email@example.com Click here for complete election information and qualifications.
Wednesday May 8, 2013
Now that Go World magazine has ceased publication (EJ 11/16/12) , back issues of this matchless archive of top analysis and instruction have become more valuable than ever. The American Go Foundation’s Store offers a selection, and the first 108 issues are also available as PDFs from Kiseido Digital. The AGF was delighted to recently receive a generous donation of hundreds of oldies but goodies from the publisher, including twenty issues that have never been available from the AGF before. Click here to browse the contents of all but the last seven issues. If you’re unfamiliar with this great resource, download a free sample issue of Go World and check it out. A total of more than 50 back issues are now available to AGA members, and AGF programs. Click here to order from the AGF, who will ship anywhere in the US. If you enjoy the “real feel” of actual paper-and-ink, act now — when they’re gone, they’re gone! Still missing an elusive issue? Kiseido is offering all back issues from #72 – #124 on at $8/each including airmail from Japan. Issue #125-129 are $10/each. Some earlier issues are also available. Click here to find more info about Kiseido’s offer (at the bottom of the page). -Roy Laird
Tuesday May 7, 2013
Top winners at this year’s U.S. Go Congress will receive the AGA’s first-ever Rank Certificates. Although the automated rating and tournament reporting system may not be ready by August, “AGA President Andy Okun looked at reports of US Open winners and determined that over 90% of those who place in the top three in their band, or top 6 in the open section, hold or exceed the rank,” reports Congress Co-Director Chris Kirschner. “That’s good enough for us to jump-start the program with certificates based on placing at least third in your band,” said Okun. When the automated process is completed, players who meet the standard for their next rank will receive an email notifying them of their achievement and a printable PDF certificate. Fancier certificates and plaques, suitable for framing, will be available at a reasonable cost. “This is an exciting addition to the tournament scene,” said Karoline Burrall, AGA National Tournament Coordinator. “Since the only way to get the certificate is to compete in AGA tournaments, we are expecting more and larger tournaments.”
Tuesday May 7, 2013
Dueling schools in Portland, OR, are at it again, with Irvington Elementary notching up an 8-4 win over Sun Montessori, at their most recent tourney on April 21st. Irvington Elementary is coached by Peter Freedman, while Sun Montesorri is coached by Fritz Balwit. Richard Blakeslee, a Portland-based go player and film-maker, has been covering go at Irvington, and made a three minute video of the match which can be seen here. Another longer video, just over seven minutes, shows the kids playing and includes interviews with some of the kids about go, and the program, and can be seen here. Interschool match results: Irvington: McCaleb, 2-1, Hikaru, 2-1, Ellis, 2-1, Wilson, 2-1; Sun Montesorri: Amos, 2-1, Hanson, 2-1, Dylan, 0-3, Shelem, 0-3. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Peter Freedman: Players square off at the tournament on April 21st.
Monday May 6, 2013
With just three weeks left to register for the third annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT), the field already shows “an exciting diversity of ranks from the high 7 dans all the way into the 20 kyus!” reports AGA
Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. The tournament, with $3,000 in total prizes, is shaping up to have a very strong open section, with at least 9 of the registrants so far being 6 dan or stronger. Players of any level can register for free. “Brand new AGA members are welcome,” Burrall adds, “or even those who haven’t joined the AGA yet, as long as players are AGA members by the time of the tournament, they may participate!” Players don’t have to be citizens or permanent residents either; if you live in the US you are eligible to compete and AGA life members living anywhere are also eligible. Now in its third year, the tournament has produced two champions so far, both professional players: Zhanbo Sun 2P in 2011, and Mingming Yin 1P in 2012. Check out the final game of the 2012 tournament between Mingming Yin 1P (Mingming) and Jie Liang 8D (gust) at right, featuring some exciting fighting throughout the game. “Continued thanks goes to Young Kwon for sponsoring this exciting tournament and his dedication to promoting go in the US!” says Burrall. “His support makes all of this possible.” Players who have already registered (or if you just want to see who is playing), click here and double check that your information is correct. If you requested a rank adjustment when you registered, these changes are not displayed yet; Burrall will be contacting players closer to the tournament date to discuss any rating change requests.
Monday May 6, 2013
With just a week before starting his 200-mile trek across England (E-Journal Editor’s 200-mi UK Walk to Raise Funds for AGF 4/17 EJ), American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock 3D Garlock has raised nearly half of his $1,000 fundraising goal. “Go players have been incredibly generous,” says Garlock – who’s undertaking the Coast to Coast Walk with his wife Lisa to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary and raise funds for the AGF. “From our friends at Go Game Guru to AGA President Andy Okun and San Diego Go Club president Ted Terpstra, the response has been truly inspiring.” The AGF supports go in hundreds of schools, libraries and community centers across the country, provides scholarships and resources for youth who play go, and supports go in institutional settings such as prisons, and senior centers. Click here to donate and follow him on Facebook (Christopher Garlock) for posts from the Walk.
- photo by Lisa Garlock