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

Kissinger on Go and Chinese Strategic Thinking

Monday January 24, 2011

Discussing China on CNN Sunday, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said that “One has to understand the Chinese intellectual game, which is what we call go (and) they call weiqi.” Explaining that “it’s a game of strategic encirclement,” Kissinger said that “our intellectual game is chess. Chess is about victory or defeat. Somebody wins.” Kissinger contrasted chess in which “all the pieces are in front of you at all times, so you can calculate your risk” with go, where the pieces “are not all on the board, and your opponent is always capable of introducing new pieces.” Historically, Kissinger said, the Chinese use strategic analysis based on “the go way.” Despite Kissinger’s cogent understanding of the game, CNN mistakenly used video of Chinese Chess to illustrate the segment. Click here to see the interview; the comments about go begin at 7m32s.
Thanks to the many readers who alerted us to this interview.
UPDATE: Noting that “The goal is less victory than persistent strategic progress,”
Kissinger made similar comments in a 2004 Newsweek column. (Thanks to Roy Laird for finding this)

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School Teams Delayed for NJ Open

Monday January 24, 2011

The AGHS School Teams Tourney has been pushed back one week, to avoid the New Jersey Open. The event will now be held on March 5 and 12. Full information, including registration, can be found on the AGHS website.

Canadian Cities Face Off Online

Monday January 24, 2011

Hanxi Zhang has organized a Canadian online super go competition on KGS between top players in Ottawa/Gatineau and Montreal/Quebec City. The next game — round 3 — will be this Wednesday, January 26 at 9p EST, when Yingzhi Chen (Yingzhi) will play Pascal Tremblay (Pasukaru). You can follow the games online on KGS and on Twitter.

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Evanston Players Learn Yang’s “Simple Concepts”

Monday January 24, 2011

Twenty go players ranging from 4 dan to 12 kyu attended the Evanston Go Club’s recent Winter Workshop with Yilun Yang 7P. “Mr. Yang is uniquely able to present concepts that are equally applicable to players of all levels,” reports local organizer Mark Rubenstein. One of the workshop’s highlights was a lecture on the second day. Yang “noticed in the game reviews that most of us were confused about when to make a one-space jump from a stone on or near the side star point, and when not to,” says Rubenstein. “He was able to give us some simple concepts to guide our decision in any situation. That’s the beauty of his teaching methods. Good play comes from understanding what is going on, and being able to answer”brings a deeper understanding of the game than simply memorizing patterns, and makes every move meaningful,” adds Rubenstein, who hosted the 12th annual event. photo by Mark Rubenstein

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GoClubsOnline Adds Features

Monday January 24, 2011

GoClubsOnline now has “dozens of new features and extra options to make GoClubsOnline  easier to use for club organizers and volunteers,” reports Robert Cordingley. Highlights include a new dashboard to add tables and charts enabling club organizers to follow statistics and review historical trends of club membership, tournament attendance levels and tournament finances. Also added: more Membership Card Options, more themes, and Tournament Publish, so that tournament organizers can mark a tournament as “published” when it’s ready to be viewed by site visitors.”GoClubsOnline has over 300 subscribers waiting to register online for your tournaments!” adds Cordingley.

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Live at the White House: A Report from the Welcome Ceremonies for China’s President

Friday January 21, 2011

by Allan Abramson, AGA President
It was cloudy and cold early Wednesday morning, as we went through the White House security lines. Feng Yun 9P and Paul Matthews had risen at 2 am in northern New Jersey to drive to DC and Paul Celmer and Frank Salantrie had driven in from North Carolina on Tuesday. Feng Yun and Paul had to wait an hour for clearance, as her name had been reversed on the guest list for the welcoming ceremony for Chinese President Hu Jintao. We had all been invited because of the go community’s contributions to President Obama’s gift last year to President Hu of an America-made go board and bowls, plus fine jade Chinese stones donated by Feng Yun (Go Community To Attend White House Event Welcoming Chinese President 1/17 EJ). Companies from all the military services assembled on the South Lawn, including one dressed in Revolutionary War red. A band played before the 9 am ceremony started. It was a full military review, with upwards of 400 invited guests, plus dignitaries. Small U.S. and Chinese flags had been given to us to wave before the press cameras. Presidents Obama and Hu began with a walk on the lawn to inspect the assembled companies, and then they shook hands with invited children from schools with Chinese language  and cultural instruction, before going up to the podium. Each made a speech, full of promises and pledges for cooperation between our countries. Then they went up the stairs into the White House, ending the formal ceremony. The go community’s presence at this meeting between the two leading superpowers provides a metaphor for peaceful competition. It also offers us a glimpse of a positive future, when go becomes an integral part of our society. Once again, we are challenged to make this happen.
photos by Allan Abramson; top right, l-r: Salantrie, Celmer, Feng Yun & Matthews. Click here for an online photo album

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Go Community To Attend White House Event Welcoming Chinese President

Monday January 17, 2011

When President Hu Jintao of China arrives at the White House this Wednesday, the U.S. go community will be there. President Obama brought President Hu a go board and glass bowls when he visited China last year, and has invited Feng Yun 9P, who donated a set of go stones given to her when she left China, North Carolina’s Frank Salantrie – who made the board — the West Coast glass blower who made the bowls, and American Go Association President Allan Abramson and AGA Board member Paul Celmer to participate in the arrival ceremony. “Obviously, we’re incredibly thrilled and honored that go is playing such a visible role in this high-profile event,” said Abramson. “With the game emphasizing the long view, as well as trades between the players instead of all-out victory, we think go is the perfect metaphor for better relations among all people.” photos by Peter Armenia
For more on this, see Kitty Felde’s Go” diplomacy to be used with China’s President Hu?

MingJiu Jiang 9P Wins Jujo Jiang Tournament

Monday January 17, 2011

Fittingly – and not surprisingly – it was the Brothers Jiang who battled it out for the top prize at the recent Jujo Jiang Tournament, held January 8 in San Francisco, CA. MingJiu Jiang 9P prevailed in the climactic 4th-round game against his brother — and tournament namesake — Zhujiu “Jujo” Jiang 9P (at left in photo) , winning the championship, which was sponsored by ZhiQiang Guo. “Mr. Guo participated in the tournament two years ago and enjoyed it so much that he decided to be a sponsor this year,” reports organizer Ernest Brown. The final was broadcast live on KGS. There were eight prizes in each of four divisions in the handicap portion of the tournament as well as four cash prizes in the open section. Matthew Burrall 6d took second place and tourney namesake Jujo Jiang 9P was third, while Qucheng (Roger) Gong 6d placed 4th and Hugh Zhang 6d was 5th; all had 3-1 records. Aaron Ye 2d topped the Handicap Division with a 4-0 record and Eric Su 3d was second, also with 4-0; Justin Shieh 4d took third place with 3-1.

The 19th-annual tournament “was well populated by youth dan level players,” Brown told the E-Journal, adding that “During the tournament go lessons were provided free to the public.” Next year’s 20th anniversary tournament is already being planned, and will again be held at the Chinese Culture Center in the Financial District Hilton Hotel in San Francisco.  “We look forward to hosting many of the professional players who have participated in the tournament over the years from around the world,” says Brown. Click here for tournament photos.

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YKNOT Tourney Launches Saturday on KGS

Monday January 17, 2011

More than 120 members of the American Go Association will vie for nearly $3,000 in prizes in the inaugural Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT), which begins this Saturday. The field includes AGA Life Members from Asia and Europe as well as AGA members in the United States – click here for complete list — and dan winners will be awarded Korean Baduk Association’s Dan-level certificates. Nearly twenty players applied or renewed their AGA membership to qualify to play YKNOT, and over a dozen players tested their web camera and Skype during the Q/A session last Saturday. With many players are new to online tournaments, co-director Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang is strongly recommending that all players familiarize themselves with the relevant software. “A reliable internet connection is critical,” Zhang adds. He notes that while it may seem inconvenient at first to have to use software and a web camera, “we are confident that the benefits of low costs, no transportation expenses, more supervision, and a quasi face-to-face experience far outweigh the drawbacks.” For details and complete YKNOT notices, click here. Tournament pairings will be announced soon. The tournament will be held over five days: January 22, 23, 29, 30 and February 5; game times are 1p ET for dan and 6p ET for kyu divisions.

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Torrey Tops MGA Winter Tourney

Monday January 17, 2011

Becci Torrey 1d (at right, in photo) won the January 16 Massachusetts Go Association’s Winter Handicap Tournament, topping a field of 32 at the club in Davis Square, Somerville. Players ranged in strength from 18 kyu to 7-dan, and in age from 14 to septugenarian, reports TD Eva Casey, “with every decade in between represented.”  The players traveled from Western Massachusetts and Cape Cod, as well as Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and  Rhode Island. “Seven women participated if you include the TD,” adds Casey. Gus Heck 2k and Doug Frantz 12k tied for second, while Laura Wu 12k came in third. Click here for photos. Photos courtesy Eva Casey.

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