Sunday December 5, 2010
After fifteen years, the New York Go Center closed its East 52nd Street location on November 30. However, leaders and members pledged to keep the Center’s go community going until a new physical location can be established. The Center opened in 1995 when the Nihon Ki-in purchased the four-story building with a generous bequest by Honinbo Iwamoto Kaoru 9P, who also founded centers in Brazil, Amsterdam and Seattle. The Center succeeded the New York Go Club, which had existed since the 1950’s in a series of temporary locations. Iwamoto always seemed especially interested in the outside world. He played a key role in bringing Go Seigen to Japan from China, and lived in Brazil for two years in his twenties. In 1945, he challenged Hashimoto Utaro for the Honinbo title and they were concluding the second game of the title match in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, when the first atomic bomb exploded over the city. The experience transformed Iwamoto, who became dedicated to using go as a way to promote peace and international understanding. He traveled extensively in the West, spending eighteen months in the US at one point. Over the years he made repeated visits to New York, instructing the New York go community in the depth and profundity of the game. The Center’s closure, while a bitter disappointment to all concerned, was not entirely unexpected. Attendance averaged just six players per day, and the building, which requires major renovations, had become an economic liability for the Nihon Ki-in. Newly elected Nihon Ki-in Board member Chizu Kobayashi 5P (standing, at right), Executive Director of the Nihon Kiin’s Overseas Department, traveled from Japan with Norio Wada, the Overseas Department’s Secretary General, to attend the closing meeting on November 30. Ms. Kobayashi, who has visited New York in the past and lived in Europe for many years, is an ardent supporter of Western go and expressed her strong personal support for the Center. More than thirty players (left) came out on a cold, rainy Tuesday to support the Center and to participate in a general discussion of the issues with Ms. Kobayashi, who said that all proceeds from the sale of the building will be used to support international go, as Iwamoto had intended. “He could have given this money to his family,” she said. “But he gave it to support go in the West, and that is how it will be used. The go world has changed very much in the past fifteen years, and we must adjust to today’s situation.” The recently expanded board of Nihon Ki-in America, the 501c3 corporation that has been operating the Center’s go activities, will continue working with Ms. Kobayashi and the Nihon Ki-in board to find a way to support a Go Center for all players in New York. In the meantime the Center’s leadership intends to provide news and information about other playing sites in New York. By getting to know the other playing communities better, they hope to open a new, more successful site in the near future. Visit the New York Go Center’s website for further information, or subscribe to the Center’s mailing list by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
- reported by Chris Garlock; photos by Terry Benson
Farewell Haiku for the New York Go Center
the dead master’s tears
drown the click of stone on wood
bitter autumn rain
- Keith Arnold
Monday November 29, 2010
To make the 2011 U.S. Go Congress in Santa Barbara, CA easier — and more affordable — for those attending from far away, the Congress has contracted discounts with major airlines. Discounts of 5-10% are now available with American Airlines and United Airlines for anyone flying into Santa Barbara — and in some cases LAX — within three days of the start or end of the July 30-August 7 Congress. Additionally, rental car discounts of up to 20% are available when booked at the time of flight reservations. Arrangements have also been made for those interested in flying on Southwest for any groups of 10 or more with the same itinerary. Look for sign-ups for airports coming soon and check out the 2011 Congress website for more details.
- reported by Lisa Scott, 2011 Go Congress Co-Director
Friday November 26, 2010
It has now been almost a year since I first visited the Federal Correctional Institute in Englewood, CO, and I am pleased to report that they now have a weekly go club with regular attendance of 10 to 20 inmates. My first article on this program sparked a tremendous outpouring of support from the go community: Slate and Shell donated over 20 books for the inmates, Yellow Mountain Imports sent a treasure trove of nice playing sets and books, SmartGo donated free licenses for the full version of their program, Janice Kim sent more copies of the Learn to Play Go series, and of course the AGF provided free sets and matching funds as well. All of these resources have been put to good use by the inmates, who are making steady progress. I have been able to visit the prison every few months, and have had a warm reception every time. Continue reading…)
Monday November 22, 2010
The New York Go Center will close its doors this Sunday after fifteen years of operation on East 52 St. in Manhattan, according a message sent to their mailing list last Friday. The Center began operations in 1995, in a building donated by Kaoru Iwamoto 9P with the mission of promoting go in New York. In a letter informing the Center of the intent to close, the Nihon Kiin declared their “desire to continue to promote go in the New York area even after the sale of the Center.” Representatives of the Nihon Kiin will fly to New York next week to begin plans for this occur. For the immediate future, the Center intends to operate as a “Go Center without walls,” getting to know other groups of players in the New York area, so that the Center can become a common ground for all the playing communities in the world’s most diverse city when the Center regains a permanent home, hopefully some time next year. This Sunday November 28, the Center will open at 1p, and there will be a “closing/holiday party” in the evening. Dinner will be available for a small donation. Please RSVP to email@example.com if you plan to attend, so the chef knows how much to cook.
Monday November 22, 2010
After a two-year hiatus, the Tacoma (WA) Go Club hosted a four round, Thanksgiving/Veterans’ Day tournament at the Seattle Go Center on November 21, attended by 13 participants. Zhao Ju, 5d, took first place in the dan/high kyu players division. Daniel Top, 2k took 2nd place, and Peter Mooyman, 4k took third place. Ken Masutomo, 11k took first place in the lower kyu division. Job Betcher, 8k took second place, and his brother, Jordan Betcher, 8k took third place.
- Gordon Castanza
Monday November 22, 2010
The Syracuse Go Club hosted its Fall Ratings Tournament at the Betts Branch Library on Saturday, November 20. Seventeen players participated in this event, and although some were more successful than others over the goban, all players departed at the end of the day with new go books presented as door prizes, thanks to Slate and Shell.
- report/photo by Richard Moseson; photo: Ben Gonnella (foreground left) plays Jared Beck and Nick Jerge plays Jim Howard
Sunday November 21, 2010
The Huaxia Chinese School in West Windsor-Plainsboro, New Jersey is organizing its first mindsports games competition on December 5. The competition — open only to students, parents and teachers at Huaxia – already has about 200 players registered for half a dozen events, including chess, go, xiangqi (Chinese Chess), checkers, bridge and gobang. Feng Yun 9P is coordinating the event and Kevin Huang 7d is one of the favorites, reports organizer Rulin Sun. The largest school of its kind in the United States, Huaxia consists of 19 branches, serving over 7,000 students in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut areas.
Saturday November 20, 2010
How can your rating change even if you haven’t played any games? When an earlier tournament is submitted after more recent tournaments have been rated, we go back and recalculate all tournaments starting with the newly submitted one, explains Ratings Coordinator Jonathan Bresler. This may cause some ratings to move in non-intuitive ways. If there’s a path of played games from you to at least one player from the earlier tournament, your rating will change as a result of the newly submitted tournament. This ensures that the ratings system is not held up by delayed tournament reports. You can check your current rating here where you can also check the list of rated tournaments. You can also review your own tournament history or that of other players — in the American Go Association Go Database.
Saturday November 20, 2010
How to Fix A Board? The Boise Go Club recently acquired a lovely but badly damaged 3″ floor board. Refinishing all six sides and the feet is necessary. We have access to tools and skills to remove the surface with abrasives or planes. Which might be better? Once we strip and smooth this great block of wood, we must apply a grid and I’d rather not do it with a black Sharpie; should I try to find someone with a CNC plotter? Anyone used laser etching? Perhaps readers of the E-Journal can help us with some advice or point us toward some resources. David Bogie firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday November 20, 2010
Won Suk Suh 5d topped a field of 19 at the 2010 Moon Cha Memorial Go/Weiqi/Baduk Tournament November 13 in Rockville, MD. The tournament is named after Moon Cha, a DC area go player who passed away in September 2003. A theoretical physicist with the Naval Surface Weapons Center in White Oak MD, Moon Cha had a major influence on the local, national, and international go communities, mentoring generations of area go players. Winner’s Report: First Section (Open): 1st: Won Suk Suh 5d; 2nd: James Park 5 d; 3rd: Juan Pablo Quizon 5d; 4th: Keith Arnold 4d; 5th: Zhenying Gu 5d. Second Section (Handicap): 1st: Todd Blatt 1k; 2nd: Joseph Contarino 2d; 3rd: Samuel Zimmerman 5k. The tournament is a fundraiser supporting the Rockville Sister City Corporation and promoting public awareness of go.
- Justin Teng (l) plays Juan Pablo Quizon; photo by John Goon