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

SHIGEKO HANE 1P ON EXPECTATIONS, MENTAL TOUGHNESS AND ENJOYING GO

Wednesday August 4, 2010

Born into the famous Matsuoka go family, the pressure on Shigeko Hane 1P (r) to succeed as a professional from an early age – she learned when she was 6 years old – was intense. “Winning was the #1 priority,” Hane told the E-Journal in an interview Sunday afternoon in the E-Journal office at the U.S. Go Congress. Now, as the wife of former Kisei, Honinbo and Tengen title holder Naoki Hane 9P and mother of four — Ranka 1k, Rinka 4k, Ayaka 1k and 3-year-old Kazuya, of whom great things are also expected – she says she just wants “to enjoy the game.” As a go teacher at an elementary school in Aichi Prefecture, she says she emphasizes the “positive aspects” of their play to encourage them. “Mental toughness is very important to getting stronger,” she says, “all the top professionals absolutely hated to lose as kids. Many of them are famous for breaking down in tears after losses as young players.” While a person’s true temperament can be difficult to determine in real life “it comes out right away in go,” Hane says, “go reveals your real character immediately. Husband Naoki Hane 9P, for example, is calm and steady, like his father Yasumasa Hane 9P – who she accompanied to the Go Congress – and when he came home after winning the Honinbo in 2008 and 2009, “he was the same as always, not jumping up and down, eating the same meals.” And when he lost the title this year, “he was just the same. So I think he really enjoys go for what it is, instead of worrying about winning and losing.” Hane says she’s been “really impressed with how many players at the Congress are recording their games; in Japan very few people do this.” She was also startled that the roomful of hundreds of players at the U.S. Open was “so quiet I could hear the whirr of my video recorder; in Japan tournaments are much noisier.” One way she judges how effective lectures are is by the audience participation, and she noted that at the Congress, “everyone’s really engaged. You must be doing everything right.”
- report by Chris Garlock: photos: Shigeko Hane 1P watching her daughter Ayaka play in the U.S. Open (upper right, by Garlock); Yasumasa Hane 9P, Shigeko Hane 1P, translator Yoshi Sawada (l) and E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock (r) (left, by Todd Heidenreich)

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CONGRESS TOURNEY UPDATES: Tuesday, August 3

Tuesday August 3, 2010

JIANG, YANG, GE & ERIC LUI LEAD ING: Undefeated after three rounds in the North American Ing Masters are Mingjiu Jiang 7P; Huiren Yang 1P, Yongfe Ge 7D and Eric Lui 7DXUEFEN LIN ING COMMENTARIES POSTED: The North American Ing Masters Round 2 game files (Boards 1-5) now include commentary by Xuefen Lin 1P! The U.S. Open crosstab has been updated through Round 3.
SELF-PAIRED CURRENT SCORES: The Champion: William Phillips (8 wins – 1 loss = 7); The Hurricane: William Phillips (8 wins); The Giant Killer (Dan Killer) David Frankel (5 wins against dan-level players); The Keith Arnold (Kyu Killer):  Jeffrey Horn (4 wins against kyu-level players); The Straight Shooter: William Phillips (5 consecutive wins: -8, -6, -4, -3, -2, -1, 1); The Dedicated: Gordon Castanza (14 games); The Teacher: Gordon Castanza (8 games against weaker players); The Philanthropist: Gordon Castanza (7 losses). There have been 109 games played so far.
photo: MyungWan Kim 8P plays Francis Meyer 7D while TD Chris Kirschner watches in Tuesday’s U.S. Open Round 2. photo by Chris Garlock

U.S. GO CONGRESS: Tuesday Photo Album

Tuesday August 3, 2010

photos by Chris Garlock & Jake Edge

CRAZY, MAN, CRAZY

Tuesday August 3, 2010

Quotes & snapshots from Tuesday night’s Crazy Go event, directed by Terry Benson
“Do I even have eyes?”
“How do you play this game? “Who played on the 1-1?” “Illegal move!” “That’s just weird” Player 1: “There’s two sets of stones”; Player 2: “Good, we’re going to need them.” “It’s very bizarre.”
“Ladders are weird.” “This is crazy.”
photos by Chris Garlock

RUDE, CRUDE AND INCREDIBLY ENTERTAINING

Tuesday August 3, 2010

Go commentator Seong-Yong Kim 9P once got a very long and formal letter from a viewer admonishing him to “Be quiet!” Kim chuckled happily. For fifteen years he’s been shaking up the go commentary world with his pungent – and entertaining – commentaries. “People call me rude and say ‘that guy’s too loud,’” Kim told the E-Journal Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Go Congress, where he’s one of the roster of visiting professionals. “Now,” he smiled broadly “they love it.” When Kim – who was Best Rookie of the Year in 1995, semi-finalist in the 1996 Samsung Cup, and won the 2004 Electronic Land Cup and the first King of Kings tournament –  first began, “TV go commentaries used the Japanese style, very formal,  and focused on technical details. They would only talk about the good moves, to be polite.” But during a 1993 visit to the United States, Kim – an avid baseball fan — admired the lively style of American baseball commentators on television, and thought it could be applied to go, which was now being treated as a sport back home in Korea. “So if I thought a move was a mistake, I’d say so, bluntly.” Initial audience response was uniformly negative, so much so that Baduk TV had to shut down their website’s comment section to avoid crashing the server. But Kim kept at it, filling the long empty spaces between moves, not just with his pungent commentary, but detailed background on the players and the moves, “when a move was first invented, and how trends have changed over the years.” Figuring that baseball’s fascination with stats would also translate well to go, he compiled over a thousand pages of statistics about the game and players, “What kind of joseki a particular players uses, the openings he favors, how many times he’s played black or white.” All commentators use stats now, Kim said, and they can reveal fascinating insights. “Lee Changho 9P says he prefers to play black, but the stats show that he has a higher winning percentage as white.” They also show that in a close game, Lee Changho – well-known for his strong endgame – “has a 90% chance of winning.” Kim is so popular that he’s done commentary for several Korean baseball games, which he says was much easier than go. “In baseball, it’s all about what’s already happened, while in go we’re trying to figure out what might happen.” Five years after receiving the “Be quiet” letter, Kim ran into the fan, who enthusiastically shook his hand, apologized for his letter and thanked him for helping generate interest in go with his “interesting, lively and frank” commentaries. “Hey, things change,” Kim – who also now does game commentaries on CyberOro and Tygem — shrugged with another broad smile.
- report by Chris Garlock, photos by Todd Heidenreich. Special thanks to Jonathan Kim 1D for translation

AGA BOARD ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCED

Tuesday August 3, 2010

Lisa Scott (l) , Chuck Robbins, Andrew Okun and Jie Li have won election to 2-year terms on the American Go Association Board of Directors, reports Arnold Eudell. Scott – who received 20 votes to Daniel Smith’s 9 and current Director Roy Schmidt’s 3 — will represent the Central Region, Robbins – who edged out Andrew Jackson 28-25 – the Eastern, Okun the Western and Jie Li is At-Large. Okun and Li were unopposed and all were incumbents, except for Scott. Click here for details on the election and candidates.

Categories: U.S./North America
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CONGRESS TOURNEY UPDATES: Monday, August 2

Monday August 2, 2010

U.S. OPEN/ING RESULTS, PHOTOS & GAMES ONLINE: Click here for results and game records from the U.S. Open and North American Ing Masters as well as a photo gallery of all 32 NAIM players.

MATTHEW BURRALL TOPS LIGHTNING: Matthew Burrall 7D; Philip London 4D; Aaron Ye 2D; Mark Gilston 1D; Jesse O’Brion 1D; Henry Zhang 2k; April Ye 3k; John Gipson 5k; Sathya Anand 7k; Betsy Small 11k; David Niu 8k.

GILSTON & ANAND WIN 13X13: Winners: Mark Gilston 1d, Sathya Anand 7k. TD: David Weiss.

IT’S MATT BURRALL & ALBERT HU IN 9 x 9: Dan winner: Matthew Burall 7d; Kyu winner: Albert Hu 3k.

PLUS: Tune in to KGS on Tuesday morning at 10A Mountain time for Xuefen Lin 1P’s live game commentary on a Round 2 Ing game from Monday night.
- reports by Lee Huynh & Laura Kolb; photo by Chris Garlock

TANG WINS REDMOND CUP

Monday August 2, 2010

Curtis Tang 7d (r) won both Redmond Cup games, shutting out Jianing Gan 7d in the Senior Division.  Gan had been favored to win, placing first in the qualifiers, while Tang placed third, and was only selected to play when second place finalist Gansheng Shi was unable to attend the Congress.  Tang, now 17 years old, has a long history of success in the Redmond.  He took the Junior Division championship in 2001, 03, and 04, and then again in 2006 in the Senior Division. Both finalists won a free trip to the US Go Congress to compete, and will receive cash prizes as well, and this year None Redmond herself will present the Redmond Cup at the awards banquet. Click here for both game records (under Redmond Cup Senior Division).
- Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor

AGF TEACHER OF THE YEAR REVEALS SECRETS OF TEACHING GO

Monday August 2, 2010

“It took begging on my knees to get into schools,” said Marjorie “Su Co” Hey 19k (l), the American Go Foundation’s Teacher of the Year, in a Monday afternoon presentation about her methods of teaching go.  Once she did get into schools, though, teachers “found that the kids that were playing go were behaving better in classes — suddenly I was very popular.”  Double-digit kyus make better teachers, she said, because they don’t complicate things. “If you give the students too much information, they’ll get confused, and they probably won’t come back.”  She is not a fan of “capture go” as a teaching method, because “by the time you get around to showing them all the rules, they’ve lost interest,” so she teaches the full rules of go. Hey said that she ensures that new players win their first game, no matter what, because they won’t come back if they don’t enjoy it, and “worse yet they won’t tell anyone.”   David Weiss 2D agreed that capture go is not a good tool because “kids in general only want to capture — it’s like throwing gasoline on a fire.”  But John Greiner 6k pointed out that the biggest advantage of capture go “is that they know when the game is over.” Hey doesn’t like 9×9 boards — they’re too crowded and players don’t get room to experiment — so she moves people up to 13×13 after two or three games.  In addition to the traditional names for the fourth line (“influence line”) and third line (“territory line”), she added names for the second (“losing line”) and first (“dead line”) to help her students avoid them.  For new students, it’s important not to “let them leave empty-handed,” so she gives out The Way to Go, paper boards, and various other handouts so that they have something to read as well as a way to play before  the next meeting.  It is important to recognize that different kinds of students have different needs, Hey said.  Adults “need to be assured that they are learning something worthwhile,” while kids want to start playing “before they know where the stones go.”  Presenting some go history and the names of famous players is useful when introducing adults, but not for kids.  In addition to her presentation, Hey also brought a lot of her teaching materials (r) to show to the other teachers.
- report/photos by Jake Edge

U.S. GO CONGRESS: Monday Photo Album

Monday August 2, 2010

photo by Chris Garlock