Time is running out to register for the American Go Honor Society’s 14th annual School Team Tournament. On March 16th and 23rd, go clubs from across North America will compete online for glory and prizes. Each school may enter up to three teams, consisting of three players of any levels from the same K-12 school. There are multiple divisions, so teams of any level will be able to compete. A total of $3,000 in prizes will be awarded, with prizes in each division, but also to every team that has a high participation rate. Visit www.aghs.cc to register and to read important information about the new rules and prizes. The registration deadline has been extended to March 6th, so gather a team from your school and enter before it’s too late. -Julian Erville, AGHS Vice President.
American Go E-Journal » U.S./North America
Wednesday February 27, 2013
Monday February 25, 2013
Fifteen-year-old Andrew Lu 6d has just won the Senior Division of the US Youth Go Championships, dethroning Calvin Sun 7d, age 16, who has had a lock on this event for the past six years. Sun seemed almost sure to win again, emerging from the finals with a perfect record, and defeating Lu (at left) in the final round of the qualifiers. Both boys then started fresh in the four-player double-elimination finals, which began on Jan. 20th. Sun defeated Andrew Huang 6d in round 1, while Lu defeated talented newcomer Albert Yen 6d, who at just 12 years of age is proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Round 2 gave Sun another edge, defeating Lu, while Yen knocked Huang out. Yen then faced Lu a second time, and the victor would go on to face Sun. Although he fought his best, Yen was not able to prevail and was eliminated. This left Lu in the uncomfortable position of being out if he lost a game, but needing to defeat Sun twice in a row in order to win. Despite having lost to Sun in both of their previous matches, Lu was determined to break through. He opened strongly in round 4, on Feb. 16th, and then waged and won a protracted ko fight to claim a decisive victory. The final showdown came Feb 23rd, and again featured a strong opening from Lu. Sun tried to create complications, but in the end was down by komi, and resigned. The game is attached below. To get a sense of just how difficult a player Calvin Sun is to beat, check out the members-only Feng Yun commentary on Lu and Sun’s earlier match up in the qualifiers, where Sun turns the tables on Lu. With this victory under his belt, Lu is now the US National Youth Champion, and has won a free trip to the US Go Congress. The Junior Division matches are not yet finished, but the E-J will report the results when the final games are played. Paul Barchilon - E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Andrew Lu 6d
Monday February 25, 2013
The New Jersey Open, to be held at Princeton University in New Jersey March 2-3, will be the second of 2013′s NAMT points qualifiers after January’s Jujo Jiang Ing Goe tournament in San Francisco. A large tournament with a great history of more than half a century, the New Jersey Open is often a draw for strong players “and will be a fantastic opportunity for them to earn points,” notes AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. As the first qualifier for the Eastern region, participating strong players will be eligible to earn points towards the North American Masters Tournament at this year’s US Go Congress in Tacoma, Washington. Registration is 9-10A Saturday, March 3. Email co-director Mott for full details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday February 24, 2013
The Ing Foundation has announced its qualifier tournament for the World Youth Go Championships (WYGC), to be held March 9th and 10th. The new tournament has changed many of the requirements, added new prizes, and created a two step process. The qualifiers will be open to youth under 21, of any strength, and will be held on KGS. Two winners in each age bracket (under 16 and under 12) will be invited to compete live in Menlo Park, CA, for finals on March 22 and 23. The winner will then be invited to compete at the WYGC, which will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, this August. Another addition is the inclusion of a “special recommendation” player, who can be any youth player 3k or stronger, who is recommended by their go club, teacher, or other organization. Details on the tournament, including registration information, can be found in the attached PDF file here: WYGC. The deadline to register is March 3rd. Information on the WYGC tourney in Prague can be found here: WYGC_flyer. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Tyn Church in Prague.
Saturday February 23, 2013
I had learned the game from a professor at college, and I knew of two other students who played. One January, back in 1980, the professor taught a month long course on the game. While I did not take the class, I showed up for Don’s visit. After only experiencing the very laid back style of the prof, Don was a seismic shift. His energy was amazing and his laughter infectious. I recall he played the entire class 9×9 games with handicaps. I lacked 9×9 experience, so I was not one of the few winners, but I recall him complimenting my willingness to try to kill him. I failed, but he did not kill me either – I recall the final score was 5 to 2.
Later I would learn that he was one of the strongest players on the East Coast. He was a mainstay of the American Go Journal staff back in those days. I know he was extremely proud of his work on the “Keshi and Uchikomi” series in the Journal, which was later published by Slate and Shell. Like Sam Zimmerman and Chris Kirschner, he was one of those guys who simply showed up at the Go Congress and went to work setting up and helping out wherever he could.
You could call Don the “father of the AGA 7dan”. The US Open — until the second Denver Congress in 2000, I believe — had always had a 5 dan section, and an open section above that, therefore, the AGA’s highest rank was 6 dan. Don argued for years that he was a 6 dan, but that he could not compete with those other 6 dans, and that we should have a 6 dan section, implicitly recognizing a 7 dan rank. My recollection is he got his wish, promptly won the first-ever 6 dan section, and had to play in the Open section the next year anyway.
But my fondest, and given his death from cancer, bittersweet, memories of him were playing games, usually on picnic tables outside at the Go Congresses. Unlike many strong players, Don would play absolutely anyone just so long as they were willing to share his smoker’s exile and put up with his running commentary on the game. Laughing with him in the summer sun are truly some of my brightest Congress memories.
heavy eyebrows laugh and smoke
joyful go exile
- by Keith Arnold; photo by Phil Straus
Friday February 22, 2013
U.S. pro Andy Liu 1P will play Lee Sedol 9P this Sunday, Feb. 24 (10a EST) in the latest round of the 10-game series between the AGA-Europe pro team and Lee, sponsored by go9dan.com.
- photo: Andy Liu (right) receives his 1-dan professional certificate from Myung-wan Kim 9P at the 2012 AGA-Tygem Pro Tournament; photo by Steve Colburn
Friday February 22, 2013
The second round of the Pandanet AGA City Leaguewill be held this Sunday, February 24. Round 1 winners in the A League were Greater Washington (d. Boston), Los Angeles (d. New York City) and Vancouver (d. Seattle). In B League, winners were Washington DC 1, San Francisco and Toronto. In the
C League, winners were Washington DC 2, Memphis, Chicago and Pittsburgh. D League winners were Quebec, Southern California 2, Kentucky and Brentwood TN. Click here for Sunday’s pairings (check schedules for times for each league): A League; B League; C League; D League.
Friday February 22, 2013
Long-time go organizer and mentor Don Wiener passed away on February 21 after a struggle with lung cancer. “We will miss one of American go’s true spirits,” said American Go Association President Andy Okun. Wiener (left), a 6-dan player, was one of the stalwarts of the Massachusetts Go Association, and an organizer of countless tournaments over a span of more than 30 years. At the beginning of each tournament, he always announced – with a straight face – the “special MGA rule” that “if you touch a stone you must play that stone.” Wiener taught so many players with so many high-handicap games that he often said “I don’t know how to play an even game.” He was also an important member of the New York group which powered the growth of the AGA in the late 70s and 80s. Beside his speed go and quick wit, Wiener’s speed typing was a huge asset as an Assistant Editor of the American Go Journal from 1977 to 1987 when all of the text was done on an IBM Selectric typewriter. Wiener is survived by his mother and a sister in California. No memorial service is planned, but donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.
- Bill Saltman; photo: Wiener at the 1987 U.S. Go Congress; photo by Phil Straus
Wednesday February 20, 2013
At Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), Stan Aungst is employing the ancient Chinese game of go to help students gain new insight and new methods for countering attacks — cyber and physical, both foreign and domestic — and to hone new cognitive skills for the 21st century.
“We’re using the game as a training ground to think strategically and tactically,” said Aungst, a senior lecturer for security and risk analysis (SRA) and senior research associate for the Network-Centric Cognition and Information Fusion Center in a Penn State press release February 7.
The course that Aungst is teaching, “Using Serious Games to Promote Strategic Thinking and Analysis,” introduces students to thinking visually about attacks, attack patterns, spatial analysis with individual performance evaluation via interactive virtual scenarios/missions and gaming. Paul Wright, president of the State College Go Club, recently demonstrated the game for the students in the class.
John Hill, a lecturer at the College of IST who is assisting Aungst with the course, said that the class is a “significant departure” from any other courses that the college has offered. “During the course, go is used as the means for analyzing widely divergent problems, and for developing effective tactics and strategies to address those problems by means of conversion rather than elimination,” Hill said.
Joe Cho, a sophomore SRA major who is also in the class, said the objective of the Go game is “more about efficiency” than other board games such as chess, since the goal is to capture territory using as few “stones” as possible. “The lessons are more applicable to today’s military situation,” he said.
A test will be used to measure individuals’ ability to predict cyber and physical attacks. About 100 intelligence analysts have taken the test, Aungst said. After the students in the “Go” class take the test, he added, their scores will be compared to the students who took the test last year.
- photo by John Pinkerton; effects by Chris Garlock
Tuesday February 19, 2013
Despite the simplicity of its rules, go remains something of an open problem for the game AI community. In Playing Go with Clojure, Bay Area software developer and go player Zach Tellman discusses the inherent difficulties of the problem, provides a survey of current approaches, and explores how they can be efficiently implemented in Clojure, a dialect of the Lisp programming language.
- Thanks to Steve Colburn for passing this along.