Sunday June 2, 2013
Attendees at this year’s US Go Congress can start planning their daily activities now with the Congress’ handy Google Calendar. The the 29th Annual US Go Congress is set for August 3-11 at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, and the schedule includes the US Open, the largest annual go tournament in the US, professional lectures and game analysis, continuous self paired games, and all kinds of go-related activities from morning to midnight. Congress organizers credit “the talented work of Bart Jacob and Jared Beck” for the first-ever online calendar. “Remember, though, that the calendar is a dynamic production,” notes Gordon Castanza, “so come back to it now and then to see if there are any updates. We will strive to use this valuable tool during the Congress as well. So those with portable devices, laptops, tablets, etc. can see the calendar at any time.”
Saturday June 1, 2013
Mexico City, Mexico, beat Portland, Oregon 8-0 in a May 25 team match between elementary school players, taking revenge for their 8-4 loss the last time these two teams met up. Four players from Mexico City competed against eight Portland players, with each Portland player playing one game and Mexico City players playing two games in this two-round match. Playing for Mexico City were Leo, Samuel, Dante and Diego. For Portland: Hikaru, Nicholas, Wilson, Aden, Jordan, Noah, Tyler and Cameron. This was the first match for Nicholas and Cameron.
- Peter Freedman; photos by Freedman (left, Portland) and Siddhartha Avila (right, Mexico City)
Thursday May 30, 2013
An undefeated Eric Lui 7D won the 2013 Maryland Open and NAMT Qualifier, held May 25-26 in Baltimore, MD. A total of 52 players “enjoyed beautiful weather for the 40th Maryland Open,” reports organizer Keith Arnold. Eight players 4-dan and above competed for NAMT points. Gurujeet Khalsa directed the 5-round event.
Winner’s Report: Open Section: Eric Lui 7 dan (undefeated); 2nd Yuan Zhou 7 dan; 3rd Daniel Chou 6 dan
A Section: Justin Ching 4 dan; 2nd Willis Huang 3 dan
B Section: Kelsey Dyer 1 dan; 2nd Ken Koester 2 dan
C Section: Julian Erville 2 kyu and Kyu Champion; 2nd Todd Blatt 1 kyu
D Section: Nathan Epstein 5 kyu (undefeated); 2nd Arnold Eudell 4 kyu
E Section: Andrew Liu 6 kyu; 2nd Frederick Bao, (The Smiling Assassin, 6 years old) 6 kyu
F Section: Bob Crites 10 kyu; 2nd Roberto Andaya 12 kyu
Fighting Spirit Prize – Leslie Lamphere 12 kyu
Thursday May 30, 2013
The 10th annual Carolina Spring Go Tournament featured a hotly-contested team competition for the youth players. Four teams representing Raleigh Academy of Chinese Language (RACL), Cary Chinese School (CCS) and Chinese School at Chapel Hill (CSCH) competed in the team tournament at the May 18 event, held in Raleigh, North Carolina and organized by the Cary Go Club and the Chinese-American Friendship Association of North Carolina. The tournament attracted 30 go players with ages ranging from 6 to 70 years old.
“The team competition was fierce,” reports organizer Owen Chen. “Young players kept reporting and checking the team scores posted on the wall after each round. In the end, the Chinese School at Chapel Hill team consisting of Justin Zhang, Andrew Huan and their teacher Eric Zhang (right) won the team competition.”
In the individual competition, a new Duke student, Liqun Liu, who was a 5 dan in China, gave long-term North Carolina champion Changlong Wu 7d (left) a fierce challenge. Wu won the close match against Liu and eventually won the open section with a perfect score of 4-0. Liu finished the second place in the open section with his only loss to Wu.
Xiaoping Wu 1d won Section A (1d-2d) with a perfect score of 4-0. John Zhu 9k won Section B (9k-1k) with a score of 3-1. Tom Carlson 10k topped Section C (15k-10k) with a perfect score of 4-0. Justin Zhang 19k, who was a member of the Chinese School at Chapel Hill team that won the team competition, also won the indiviual champion in Section D (25k-16k) with a 4-0 score.
- photos courtesy Owen Chen
Wednesday May 29, 2013
The Korea Baduk Association is sending Kim Hyunghwan 6p and Lee Dahye 4p to the US Go Congress in Tacoma this year. Kim Hyunghwan, 27, is a student of famed teacher Kapyong Kwon, whose students include Lee Sedol 9p and Park Junghwan 9p. He distinguished himself as a youth player, and was unbeaten in the 2001 WYGC in Maui, Hawaii, becoming pro the following year. The Maui experience prompted him to study English. He is also a student of Chinese and teaches go at university clubs. Lee Dahye, 28, aside from representing Korea in international play, is a specialist at teaching beginners, expertise she will be sharing as an instructor at the first ever AGA classroom teaching certification workshop at Congress. Since 2008, Lee has amassed an impressive record broadcasting lessons on Baduk TV, K-Baduk and Cyberoro (you can see some of her lessons on YouTube here). She has also taught soldiers in Korea’s military, students at university clubs, and multicultural youth. She edited the Korean edition of Hikaru no go as well. Most relevant for the teaching workshop, she is co-author of the Korean-English go book, Falling in Love with Baduk, which will be distributed to workshop students free in PDF form (it is available for download through the AGF here as well). She graduated Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, majoring in Japanese, and is in graduate school in the same university. -Andy Okun, with assistance from Myungwan Kim 9p. Photo: Lee Dahye 4p
Wednesday May 29, 2013
When Glenn Fiedler first came to go in 2004, he was immediately taken with the aesthetic side of the game, the black and white stones, their biconvex shape, the sound they make hitting a wooden board. “I especially loved the way go stones wobble and how stone placement becomes irregular as the game progresses, because the go stones are just slightly larger than the grid,” he told the EJ. Playing on a computer, though, was not the same experience. “When I play go on a computer it feels like I’m playing on a magnetic board. In real life, I don’t want to play on a magnetic board. I wanted to make a go board that I could play on the computer that felt like I was really playing go.” The desire led the Australian Fiedler to a career change. He became a network game programmer with a specialization in physics and started developing methods of synchronizing physics simulations across multiple computers. “I ended up inventing new techniques and talking at GDC (Game Developers Conference) about how to network physics simulations. And all the techniques I invented were originally thought up because I wanted to network a simulation of a go board and stones!”
Now, after finishing work on his latest project at Sony, “God of War: Ascension,” Fiedler has finally turned his attention to programming go. The idea is not to provide an AI opponent, but instead provide a beautiful and compelling simulation of an actual 3D goban and stones that other developers could include in existing go software like SmartGo or Many Faces of Go, Fiedler said. It is a painstaking step-by-step effort he is chronicling in a blog on his website, Gaffer on Games. The blog lays out the code and the physical reasoning behind it. Fiedler hopes to make some commercial use of the software eventually, though it will be hard to do. In the meantime, that’s not what’s on his mind. “I’ve had some time to work on my dream project after almost 10 years. It’s really satisfying.” -Andy Okun. Diagram of a stone from Fiedler’s blog: Gaffer on Games.
Wednesday May 29, 2013
Incumbent Paul Celmer has been nominated to retain his seat as eastern region representative. No nominations for western or central region candidates have been received yet. Nominations close June 15 and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Qualifications and procedures are here http://www.usgo.org/aga-board-elections.
Friday May 24, 2013
The AGA Summer Go Camp will be held at YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles in Rockwood, Pennsylvania, from July 20 to July 27. “Go Camp was a wonderful experience,” writes Sathya Anand 1k, who attended last year, ” I feel my understanding of the subtle complexities of go has been heightened considerably. I loved that everyone in my immediate vicinity had the same passion for learning that I had. I learned a boatload of joseki, as well as the ability to pinpoint where I needed to improve.”
“I loved the fact that everyone there was a go player just like myself,” writes Shawn Ray 4d, “I had fun doing activities with everyone while also studying go. I feel like I improved a good bit because the teachers broke me of my bad habits, and I think that really helped me focus my moves, and to play on a higher level.”
“If you’re a go player between the ages of 8 and 18, and would like an opportunity to study with a professional teacher for a week, the AGA Go Camp is for you,” says Camp Director Amanda Miller. Yilun Yang 7P will be the teacher this year. He has trained many notable players, including Rui Naiwei 9P and Chang Hao 9P. Anyone who played in the US Youth Go Championships can get a $400 AGF scholarship to the camp. If you didn’t play, but need financial help to attend, you can apply for a needs based scholarship here. Please visit the camp website for registration information, or email the camp at email@example.com. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Amanda Miller: Campers at last year’s event, in Black Mountain, NC.
Thursday May 23, 2013
With the publication of Falling in Love with Baduk: Play a Game in One Week, The Korea Baduk Association has taken yet another important step to support Western go. Written in both Korean and English by Dahye Lee and Jihee Baek, two young Korean pros, this is a book aimed at beginners, and especially Westerners. “People with different skin colors and different languages can understand one another when seated across the Baduk board,” they write. “It thrills us to imagine a view of Easterners and Westerners playing the game together.” This is a valuable book for serious newcomers of any age. Basic principles are broken down into seven simple lessons, presumably one per day, with dozens of problems illustrating each day’s lesson. Ms. Lee will attend this year’s US Go Congress and will participate in the AGA’s first teacher training program. The book is ideal for classroom situations too, and can be used as a manual for non-players who find themselves running go programs at libraries or schools. The book is available as a free download from the AGF website here, it is 86 mb, so expect it to take a little time.
The text in Falling in Love with Baduk appears side by side in Korean and English, following a style developed by Korean publisher Oromedia. Perhaps Oromedia had an uncredited role in developing this book. Oromedia’s Speed Baduk series (9 volumes) has been all-English, but their other books feature side-by-side presentation of the same material in English and Korean. Examples include Korean Style of Baduk, the Think Like a Pro series ( 2 volumes), the 100 Tips for Amateur Players series (3 volumes ), Inspiration of Pro and Creative Life and Death (2 volumes), all available from Yutopian. Here, as in the other bilingual books, it’s fun to see what the authors have to say in both languages on the same page, especially for language learners. The English text uses Korean terminology for concepts lacking an English equivalent, rather than the terms of Japanese origin that Western players learned from the first generation of English go books. For instance, the position known as “atari” is called “dansoo.” The emergence of Korean-based synonyms may further bewilder newcomers who are already struggling to grasp the vast, abstract nature of the game itself. But in the end, it all adds to the ineffable richness of the game. The worldwide community of players has been unable to agree on a single set of rules. There is not even agreement on what the game should be called; we are unlikely to produce a universal lexicon any time soon. Confused readers can always consult Prof. Chi-hyung Nam’s Contemporary Go Terms, if they have one handy, but the question remains – if you want to tell your opponent that their stone is about to be captured, what should you say? -Roy Laird