American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America

Seattle Tourney Honors Jin Chen 7d’s Memory

Monday January 10, 2011

More than two dozen go players recently celebrated Jin Chen 7d’s life by playing the game Chen loved. The Seattle Go Center hosted the 2011 Jin Chen Memorial Tournament on January 2, with 26 players from across the country competing in the 3-round event. Many more visited the Center to watch the tournament and to pay their respects to the parents of Jin Chen, “a near master of one of the most complex strategy games in the world,” who accidentally fell to his death in January 2009. The tournament was held the day before what would have been Chen’s 24th birthday. The event showed that “friends and family of Jin Chen are moving on and celebrating,” Shan Chen told the E-Journal. “The Seattle Go Center has a great history and cultural values, and we are proud that Jin is part of it.” Click here for the Bellevue Reporter’s account and here for more photos of the tournament.

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Xbox’s Path of Go The New Hikaru No Go?

Monday January 10, 2011

Judging by the flood of fan mail we received over the holiday break, The Path of Go — the new Xbox LIVE game – is quite the gaming hit, at least in the go community. “I just played The Path of Go with my 8 year old grand daughter and we could not get her to stop,” writes longtime go player and organizer Ernest Brown. “The three year old wanted to try also. This should be a great thing for promoting go.  In fact I believe we will get a bump in people wanting go lessons similar to the Hikaru No Go phenomena.  I think this beginning could attract more attention from the computer gaming community as well.  I hope it gets Bill Gates more engaged with go!”

Thanks to everyone who sent in reviews (Path of Go Available on Xbox 12/23/2010); “It’s a fun game,” wrote Joshua Ward. “It has a story mode that I was able to play through fairly quickly. The story mode is good for beginners as it plays entirely on a 9×9 board and teaches them the basics of the game. There is a multiplayer function to the game as well. You can go onto Xbox Live and play against other people on a 9×9, 13×13, and 19×19 board.” Here’s an edited excerpt of Christian Haught’s review: The game’s plot is interesting. You begin by being summoned to the residence of a wise old go master, who teaches you the basics of go. He then informs you of a twin you didn’t know of, who possesses go prowess like you, but who could never learn how to lose with grace. Leaving to pursue the Path of Go, he left his – and now your – master, who allows you to leave to look for your twin. This is an interesting setup for the game, as it hints to leading to a suspenseful final game between you and your twin, who has an odd habit of leaving games unfinished, which the masters you meet along the way ask you to finish. The control system for the game is relatively simple to understand, graphics were really well done and the three dimensional effects are impressive, adding a sense of depth and realism to the game. The insertion of your xbox live avatar into the game is also carried out quite well, as they make it seem as though your avatar belongs in the game, not just coded in. The settings in which the game takes place are also beautifully put together, and look like places you could find in nature. The computer that you play against is also decently strong, sometimes even forcing players who are more then just beginners into a corner. I wonder how that will work with players who are new to the game, but I imagine that this will force newer players to improve at a more rapid rank. Even if you have never played a game of go in your life, the game starts out with an excellent tutorial that introduces many of the beginning basics. These are, of course, added onto as the game proceeds, but these few beginner tips will allow you to get the basic understanding of the game and begin your journey into becoming a skilled go player. I imagine that most players will be at least 18k in rank, if not higher, by the end of this game.
- click here for the original version of this review

Ventura Go Club Goes West

Monday January 10, 2011

Go west, go players. The Ventura County Go Club has moved 10 miles west to the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf coffeehouse in Camarillo, CA after the Borders in Thousand Oaks – where the LA-area club has met for six years – closed recently. “We will continue to meet Wednesday evenings, at the new time of 6:15-9:45p,” says organizer David Whiteside. Meetings at the new location — 824 Arneill Road in the Central Plaza Shopping Center — started January 5.

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IN MEMORIAM: Judge King, Early Translator & Longtime AGA Member

Monday January 10, 2011

Longtime American Go Association member Samuel P. King died in early December in Hawaii. “Judge King published one of the first English go books called “The Theory and Practice of Go” written by Oscar Korschelt (1880) which he translated from German to English with George Leckie,” reports Sid Kobashigawa of the Honolulu Go Club. The 94-year-old King, a leading figure in Hawaii – click here to read more about his fascinating life – was an AGA member for more than 35 years; his AGA membership number is 415.

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Jujo Jiang Goe Tournament Jan. 8

Monday December 27, 2010

The Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, Guo, and ZhiQiang, are sponsoring the 2011 Jujo Jiang Tournament. This will be an AGA rated, one day, four round tournament, with prizes in 5 divisions: Open, High Dan, Expert, Intermediate, and Novice. The entry fee is $35 for all ages, with a $10 discount for current AGA members. More information can be found on the GoMasters website.

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Follow the E-Journal on Twitter!

Thursday December 23, 2010

The American Go E-Journal is your best source for keeping up with the go news happening 24/7 around the world: now you don’t have to wait for the weekly or daily E-Journal or even have to check the website for updates: follow the EJ on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet whenever we post a report on the AGA’s website! Click here to sign up or follow us @theaga or text “follow theaga” to 40404 in the United States (click here for codes for other countries)

Tron, Captured

Thursday December 23, 2010

The appearance of go in Tron: Legacy (GO SPOTTING: Tron: a Legacy of Go 12/20) has generated a lot of excitement and email from the go community. Several EJ readers sent in screencaps of the board position in the game (r). “It definitely looks like an actual amateur game, with 103 moves, black to play,” writes Linden Chiu, who notes that it doesn’t match any pro games in his database. “White seems to have an overwhelming lead in territory, especially with black’s top left group having only one eye. There’s some aji in the bottom left, and I think black’s corner group there can live in gote, but the moyo potential on the right is too thin. The black stone on the edge of the top right corner seems to have been moved a line, as I’m guessing it was originally an atari.” If anyone has insight into how the game wound up in the movie, let us know at journal@usgo.org

Holiday Break: Next EJ January 11, 2011

Monday December 20, 2010

This is the last edition of the American Go E-Journal for the year; we’ll be on holiday break for the next two weeks. The first edition of 2011 will appear on Tuesday, January 11. Special thanks to all our dedicated contributors this year, who continue to make the E-Journal required reading for go players around the world. In addition to bringing you the latest go news, features and instructional material in the New Year, we’ll be introducing more regular contributors as we work to make the EJ ever more useful to you (send in your games for professional analysis! They can be anonymous if you prefer; all strengths welcome!). Thanks for your interest and support: from all of us at the EJ and the American Go Association, we wish you happy, relaxing and safe holidays, and good aji in the New Year.
- Chris Garlock, Managing Editor
American Go E-Journal

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The Man Behind the YKNOT Tournament

Monday December 20, 2010

Open to U.S. players of all levels and featuring a prize purse of nearly $3,000, the new Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) is being billed as one of the largest western online go tournaments yet. “Even if you just joined the AGA or renewed your membership, you’re eligible to play as long as you’ve resided in the U.S. for six months in the past year and you can play online (KGS)” Tournament Director Yixian Zhou told the E-Journal. Click here for free registration. A former U.S. Open Champion, Mr. Kwon (r) is a 7-dan from Pearl River, NY. A retired data processing executive, he’s enjoying his golden years playing tennis, traveling and playing go. Though he was exposed to the game as a youngster watching his father play, he didn’t formally learn go until his freshman year at Seoul National University. While he thinks his go strength has gradually weakened in recent years, he tries to “maintain the fire” in him by continuing to play. “My goal is to promote go in the United States through increasing the AGA’s membership,” Young Kwon told the EJ. “I am committed to supporting this tournament as an annual event.” He adds that “Go has helped me in shaping my thought process, life style and career. Go forces you to apply strategic thinking and problem resolution at the same time. The combination of the two elements changes throughout the game, and that is why we love the game so much. It is simply an application of the economic principle– the most gains with the smallest resources.” Mr Kwon also has a broader vision of go activities in North America, noting that “Matches between two countries are very healthy for spreading go, so I hope that we can set up ‘country to country’ matches in the future. European and South American countries are strong potential candidates.”
- Edward Zhang

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Canada Wins 3rd Youth Friendship Match

Monday December 20, 2010

Over 300 go fans showed up on KGS to watch the future of North American go display their talent at the 3rd US-Canada Youth Friendship Match. Neither team disappointed, with many exciting games featuring intense fighting. The 7-player Canadian team won all but the last two boards, repeating their dominance of the U.S. in last year’s edition of the friendship match. On the top board, Calvin Sun, the U.S. WYGC representative, battled Ryan Li, the runner-up in the 2010 Canadian Open. Li gained an early edge, claiming a lot of territory, but a weak group during the midgame gave Sun a chance. However, Li squeaked out life, and Sun could not gain any advantage while attacking the group, giving Li the victory. The Canadians asserted their dominance in the next few boards as well, with Gansheng Shi, Tianyu (Bill) Lin, Jianing Gan, and Andrew Huang all claiming commanding victories, leaving Ben Lockhart and Vincent Zhuang as the only victorious members of the U.S. team. With such a strong showing from both teams, the North American team will definitely make for an exciting matchup against European youth in the 3rd Transatlantic Youth Go Match in Spring 2011. Full results are here.
- Special report by Lawrence Ku