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

Go Spotting: Go in the Library

Monday September 30, 2013

The entire Spring 2013 issue of Library Trends magazine is devoted to how to develop gaming programs in libraries. The authors agree that with libraries seeking a relevant connection to Internet-savvy young users, games can draw young people in. Various authors discuss the merits of video, tabletop, card, and role-playing formats. Among them is Thomas Maluck (right), a teen services librarian at Richland Library in Columbia, SC. In an article entitled “Play It Loud,” Maluck describes Go Your Own Way, a program he developed after seeing the AGF booth at the American Library Association convention in New Orleans in 2011. “Go encouraged positive parent-child communication,” he writes. “In one session, as a child learned the rules and played a practice game, his mother tried to kibitz over his shoulder. Her well-intentioned advice was based on a logical understanding of an aggressive, checkers-like strategy, but . . . the child’s understanding of the game was more advanced than his mother’s. Staff invited the mother to play and watched them both develop personal strategies and counterstrategies over the course of several games.” Although Library Trends is published by Johns Hopkins Press, it is not freely available. You’ll need access to Project MUSE; try your local public or university library. It’s an interesting issue.
- Roy Laird

Categories: U.S./North America
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Local Club Organizers Respond to New Go Club Survey

Sunday September 29, 2013

“The AGA made my club possible 10-15 years ago,” responded on local go club organizer to a recent survey. “As long as I have a working memory, I will be grateful for this.” Said another, “People want to know why they should join the AGA. Usually the only reason they do is because they want to play in an AGA rated tournament.” Wondered another, “Can you provide any other reasons I or my club should rejoin the AGA outside of general support?” A whopping 85 club leaders across the United States responded to the survey last June, which queried them on club revenue sources, tournaments, meeting frequency, advertising methods, internal chapter email list maintenance, size and reach, and AGA membership. The AGA’s Board of Directors has been studying the survey responses and is “already using the results of the survey to plan additional chapter and member services” says survey organizer Greg Smith. “We did learn, however, that there are some misconceptions out there about the AGA and the services it provides. Many people made suggestions about what the AGA could do, when the AGA already does those things.” Smith credited Philip Waldron for establishing a valuable baseline in his “2008 Chapter Report” and Lisa Scott for collating the new survey’s responses. “We’ll both begin following up using the AGA Chapter List over the next few months, correcting the misconceptions there and in the E-Journal,” Smith said. Click here to see a detailed report on the survey.

 

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LA After-School Program to Roll Out Go to a Dozen Schools

Sunday September 29, 2013

LA’s BEST, an award-winning after-school program serving 194 high-needs elementary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, is establishing go  programs in 12 schools, according to AGA President Andy Okun and LA’s BEST Director of Education Stela Oliveira.  ”For those of us who have seen how captivating, fun, and beneficial go is for little kids, this is an incredible chance to spread the benefits of the game and bring something new and exciting to a bunch of students,” said Okun.  The program started over the summer with a trial run at two elementary schools, Latona  and Lareto.  Aside from providing equipment and sets of Hikaru no Go, the AGA and the AGF also provided teacher training, led by former AGF teacher of the year Vincent Eisman, who held a small  training in June and a larger one in late September.  The AGF is providing continuing support through the school year as well.  To donate money to help cover  training costs and equipment expenses click here.

Still Time to Sign Up for Pandanet-AGA City League

Saturday September 28, 2013

There’s still time to sign up for the next Pandanet-AGA City League. “We are looking for some more teams for this season to fill our roster,” reports Steve Colburn. “Talk to your club members and sign up now!” There are openings in all of the leagues; email the League TD Steve Colburn at steve.colburn@usgo.org. “We are also looking for League Managers as well,” says Colburn. Email Colburn for details.

Chapter News: Gotham’s Efficient Play

Saturday September 28, 2013

Gotham Go Group organizer Peter Armenia’s recent email to New York City go players was a model of efficient play, celebrating a club success, promoting an upcoming tournament and urging membership in the AGA.

“Well it’s that time of year again,” Armenia reported in an email with the subject line “The Benefits of Membership.” “It was early October, 2011 that I put out the word that regular weekly Go would be returning to New York City. We have been going strong at the Hungarian Pastry Shop ever since, regularly getting between 12 and 20 players every week. On top of that: We had a very successful first Gotham Go Tournament last January with nearly 60 players; And another coming up in October! Click here to register; And the US Go Congress is coming to NYC next year!

“One thing I did that October is register with the American Go Association as an AGA affiliated club,” Armenia continued. “Not only does this help our club get noticed, it also supports Go in the United States. It only costs $35/year for our club, which I pay out of pocket (small donations from members are certainly welcome but not required). If you are a lapsed member of the AGA I urge you to renew today. If you have never have been a member of the AGA I urge you to take advantage of a special half price offer they have through our chapter. This is a special discount offered through our chapter club (the Gotham Go Group). Note:If you want to get this discount, send me an email and I will email you the discount voucher to use on the AGA website. And remember, to play in the upcoming tournament you need to be a member of the AGA, so join today.”

Other chapters are welcome to adapt this model to help build their own local clubs and the AGA, Armenia tells the E-Journal. “The more each chapter succeeds the more we all succeed,” he says. “It’s important to keep things simple, consistent, and to make coming out to play go easy and enjoyable. Do what you can to make a community around your go club.”
photo: Armenia (right) at the January 2013 Gotham Tournament; photo by John Pinkerton

Categories: U.S./North America
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Liqun Liu 7D Prevails at Triangle Memorial Tournament

Friday September 27, 2013

The Triangle Go Group hosted its 2013 tournament in an autumn outdoor setting at the Umstead State Park in Cary, North Carolina on Sept 21. Following tradition, the 30 participants were treated to a picnic lunch and all the entry fees were returned to the players as prize money. As dusk settled on the final game to be completed, Liqun Liu 7D topped perennial champion Changlong Wu 7D in a showdown for the Open Section championship. The A section (1D-2k) was swept by Seth Cardew, also with a perfect 4-0 record, with Brian Wu 3-1 placing second. In the B section (6-11k) Kerianne Squitire, Andrew Zhang, and Alvin Chen tied with scores of 3-1. Finally section C (14k+) was swept by Justin Zhang 4-0, with Colin Zhang, playing in his first tournament, finishing second with 3-1.
- report/ photo by Charles Alden; photo: photo, tournament winner Liqun Liu (seated, right) faces Jeff Kuang in the third round as Eric Zhang and Frank Salantrie observe.

 

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Why Doesn’t the West Play Go?

Friday September 27, 2013

Why isn’t go more popular in the West? That question has preoccupied go author and scholar Peter Shotwell for decades. Shotwell’s recently published “appendix” on the subject — appended to his ongoing “Origins of Go” study — is entitled Why the West Plays Chess and the East Plays Go: How Classical Chinese and Ancient Western Grammars Shaped Different Strategies of War, Weiqi and Chess. Shotwell examines his idea that the presence or absence of abstract nouns, the verb “to be” and other linguistic features developed and shaped the philosophies and resulting different strategic thinking of early Greece and Classical China. He provides the historical background of how and why this happened and concludes with an examination of the Thirty-six Strategies that encapsulate the strategic yin thinking of Chinese generals like Sunzi (right) and weiqi players of the Han dynasty, along with a short discussion of the reasons for the fall of the Qin dynasty. The full article is 274 pages, or you can download a 16-page summarizes of the most significant findings here.

Gotham Tourney Filling Up

Wednesday September 25, 2013

If you haven’t yet registered for the upcoming Gotham Go Tournament on October 12th, you may want to do it soon as space islimited,” reminds organizer Peter Armenia. Register online. “There will be generous cash prizes in all sections, and goodies for all!” Armenia promises. “We will have breakfast bagels and coffee as well as great snacks all through the day. Come celebrate go in the Wonder City!”

Yeong Cha Converts for a Winning Position at Emory Tournament

Monday September 23, 2013

Yeong Cha (center), an extremely strong player on the TYGEM go server, showed he’s just as comfortable on a real board by winning the third annual Emory Go Tournament player on Saturday, September 21 at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. “Yeong seemed very comfortable with vague, doubtful positions but he would always convert them into a winning position,” reports Tournament Director Jeffery Kerlagon. Emory University, which hosted the tournament for the third consecutive  year, “provides a great tournament game room,” said Kerlagon. “It is truly a grand facility.” Just over two dozen competitors from Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina turned out on a rainy night, and “New faces made this an exciting event,” Kerlagon added.

Winner’s Report: HIGH DAN DIVISION: 1st Place – Yeong Cha ($110); 2nd Place – Eric Kim ($70)
3rd Place – (Oasiny) Zhao ($40); DAN / KYU DIVISION: 1st Place – TIE – Rodney Keaton & Hiroshi Yamane ($40 each); 2nd Place – TIE – Darrell Speck & Adam Chesler ($25 each).
Photo: High Dan Division winners (l-r): Eric Kim, Yeong Cha, Oasiny Zhao; photo by Jeffery Kerlagon

 

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Collegiate Go League Off to “Stellar” New Season

Monday September 23, 2013

The Collegiate Go League (CGL) started its new season last Saturday with a “stellar” launch. “We had many close matches, a simul with American pro Andy Liu 1P, and an incredible final game which went 362 moves!,” reports organizer Cole Pruitt. Thirteen schools are competing in two leagues, with players in ‘A’ league competing for a spot in the year-end National College Championship next April. Open any university-affiliated go players and clubs in North America, “Last year’s defending champions, University of Michigan, continue to field a strong team, but we’re expecting to see some competition from other perennial strong teams like University of Toronto,” says Pruitt. Click here for full results and game records. The next round is in two weeks, on Saturday October 5. Games are played on KGS, in the Collegiate Go League room, under ‘Tournaments’.