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

NJ Open Set for This Weekend in Princeton

Thursday February 26, 2015

One of the biggest go tournaments on the East Coast is taking place this weekend. The New Jersey Open will be held in Princeton, NJ Saturday 2015.02.26_NJO-2014-DSC_0360February 28 and Sunday March 1st. Registration run from 9-10a at the Frist Campus Center, Princeton University, located at the corner of Washington Road and Ivy Lane. You must be there by 10a to be paired in the first round. $38 for full tournament; $28 youth rate under age 23; $25 Sat. only / $20 Sun. only ($20/$15 under-23). Free to Princeton University students with ID. Cell phones don’t work at the site, but if you’re lost or late, call 609-851-6351 during the last half hour of registration. Info: rickmott@princetongoclub.org.
photo: TD Paul Matthews at the 2014 NJO; photo by John Pinkerton

 

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Yilun Yang Visits Sunny Seattle

Thursday February 26, 2015

Yang Workshop with StevenYilun Yang came to the Seattle Go Center for his yearly workshop last weekend, Feb. 21 and 22.  There were 13 participants, ranging from 12 kyu to 2 dan; a mixture of new students and old friends.  Mr. Yang has been teaching these workshops in Seattle since 2001, and he has fine-tuned his mixture of lectures on theory, reviews of games played by students, and go problems.  He recommends that kyu players do go problems to improve, rather than studying professional games.  This year, students worked on his go problems throughout the workshop, but still  there were very few perfect scores at the end of Sunday.

We had beautiful sunny spring weather during the workshop, with early flowers in full bloom, and we were glad to show Mr. Yang that Seattle is not always cloudy in February.  Photo caption: Now that the young man is playing white, it is harder to make territory. – - photo/report by Brian Allen

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Chess and Go Tourney Pays in Candy

Wednesday February 25, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 4.32.22 PMKids in Portland, OR, competed for candy in a Chess and Go Tourney, held at Taborspace, on Feb. 22nd, reports Peter Freedman.  Four elementary schools, Roseland Heights, Richmond, Irvington, and Beverly Cleary, sent a total of 24 kids.  Tommy Boyd Flynn, of Beverly Cleary took the first place trophy in the Go tournament, winning all four games.  In a play-off for second place, Olin Waxler, also from Beverly Cleary, defeated Kieran Cronin, of Irvington.  Both had 3-1 records.  Fourth place was taken by Emmett Mayer with a 3-1 record, one of his wins being a bye.  Games were played on 13×13 boards.  “All the children were either unranked or double digit kyu players,’ adds Freedman, “kudos to Elsa Warner, the only female go player, and to Ai Rose Solomon, the only female chess player.” The top three places in the chess tournament were all taken by Irvington players: Ansel Wallace, 1st, Mason Buchanan, 2nd, and Leo Frankunas, 3rd. Each Go player received a packet of black and white M&M’s, and each chess player received a chocolate king or queen. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

MIT Moves To Make Chess More Accessible To Spectators

Wednesday February 25, 2015

“Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Media Lab are trying to turn chess into a spectator sport like American football or2015.02.24_bbc-report poker,” reports the BBC. “The group wants to make the game more accessible to the uninitiated, by presenting complex information on matches in a simple, visually appealing way and give an expert insight into the state of a game.” “Can’t we do this as well?” wonders EJ reader David Matson, who sent this along.

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Amy Su & Leon Lei Win 2014 AGF Scholarships, Topping Record Field

Monday February 23, 2015

The 2014 American Go Foundation College Scholarship winners are Amy Su of Bridgewater, New Jersey and Leon Lei of Bardonia, New York, AGF President Terry Benson announced. “We had nine applicants this year, more than ever, and all of them worthy candidates,” Benson said. “For the first time, students included school-related assignments as part of their applications; one winner’s paper was favorably received at a regional competition. Another applicant tried to measure the impact of go instruction on school performance. It’s great to see students exploring the mathematical, psychological and other intricacies of go in their schoolwork.”

The AGF awards two scholarships of $1000 each year to ” high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the Go community,” according to the AGF website. College-bound US citizens are encouraged to apply in the fall by submitting an application form and an essay; the scholarships are awarded in November.

Amy Su 5D of Bridgewater NJ was already an experienced tournament competitor when at age 12 she “decided to change my relationship with go. Instead of playing for my own satisfaction, I chose to devote my time to teaching others about the game, to give them a chance to discover the art, and for me to pass on my enthusiasm for the game. I learned to teach by watching my mother [Feng Yun 9P] teach at her go school.”  After starting go classes in two different Chinese schools, Amy became active in The American Go Honor Society, where she is now serving as Promotion Head. “Teaching Go [has] given me leadership, mentoring, and speaking skills,” Amy wrote in her essay. “It taught me patience, and how to encourage others to learn. As a student, it taught me how to think and use logic. It changed me as a thinker, a dreamer, an artist.”

Leon Lei 10K learned go at the The Huaxia Chinese School in White Plains, NY from Ms. Tang Jie 4D.  After bitterly grieving his early losses, Leon “realized that much more can be gained from a lost game than an excess pile of teardrops,” going on to win his school’s tournament two years in a row. ” When he graduated from Chinese school, which had grown to more than 40 students, he stayed on as an assistant teacher, while also starting a club at his high school.  He also submitted a paper, “Go and Mathematics”, to The Greater New York Math Fair, where it gained entry into the second round of competition. Leon explored the question of how to calculate the number of possible go games, noting that it is far larger than commonly thought.  Many calculations only consider the number of possible arrangements of stones on the board, but he noted that the stones can also appear in any order; any single ending position accounts for thousands of possible games. Leon’s paper and other school-friendly resources are available on the AGF’s Lesson Plan Cooperative.

The AGF College Scholarship recognizes high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the Go community. Juniors and seniors who plan to attend college and believe they meet the criteria are encouraged to apply by November 1 of each year. Scholarships may be awarded to one male and one female applicant based on merit. “If we continue receiving so many applications of such high quality, we may need to increase the budget for scholarships,” Benson said. — reprinted from SENSEI: The American Go Foundation Newsletter. Click here to read other issues of Sensei. Subscribe for free at the bottom of this page.

Hinoki Press Founder Chris Greene Dies

Sunday February 22, 2015

Hinoki Press founder Chris Greene died last Friday. Greene, who had cancer, died at home in Libertyville, Illinois. He is survived by his wife, 2015.02.22_HinokiPressWebsite1Vicky, and his daughters, Melissa and Elizabeth. “I was lucky enough to work with Chris doing a little copy editing on some of Hinoki’s books, and found him to be a gentleman and a friend to the go community,” said AGA president Andy Okun. “The books he published represent a lasting contribution to the game and its enjoyment.”

A long-time go player, Greene started the go book publishing company in 2006 after retiring from his career as a programmer and published 18 go books before selling it late last year to Go Game Guru (Go Game Guru Buys Hinoki Press, Will Keep Titles in Print 11/12/2014 EJ). “Chris made an immense contribution to the body of English language go literature in a relatively short time,” said Go Game Guru’s David Ormerod. “He was incredibly modest about his achievements and stoic about his illness. When I last spoke to him, on Thursday, he was primarily concerned that the material that he’d worked hard to have translated and published in English remain available to future generations of go players. His motto for Hinoki Press was, ‘always carry a go book in your hand.’ We will miss our friend and fellow go player and will do everything we can to honor his wishes.”

Evanston Go Club Bounces Back

Sunday February 22, 2015

After a long period of low attendance, things are looking up for the Evanston Go Club. “The new location has sparked a lot of interest” says club215.02.22_evanston-go-clubpresident Mark Rubenstein. “We started meeting at the new Starbucks in downtown Evanston (IL), and the response has been fantastic. Customers are showing an interest in the game, and we’re teaching more beginners than ever! This week I was setting up a board and stones at an empty table. I went to get my opponent, and when I returned I saw that two college students had sat down at the board and started playing Go Moku. They didn’t even know about the club!” Check out the club’s website for more information.
photo by Mark Rubenstein

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Go and Artificial Intelligence Tech Talk

Sunday February 22, 2015

Tim Kington, a software engineer at Fog Creek Software and 2-dan amateur go player, talks about go, Artificial Intelligence and attempts to 2015.02.22_tech-talkcreate computer programs that can beat human players in “Go and Artificial Intelligence – Tech Talk,” produced for his Fog Creek colleagues. Kington gives an overview of go, explains how to play it and why go AI is hard. He finishes by describing the progress so far with go AI programs and what the future is likely to hold. The post includes a handy guide to the talk’s content and timing so viewers can jump to the area of interest, as well as a written transcript.

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Your Move/Readers Write: 1st US Go Congress, Not

Thursday February 19, 2015

1st US Go Congress, Not:The group photo said to be of the 1st Go Congress in 1985 is not (Go Filmmakers Looking for US Go Congress 2015.02.16_US-Go-Congress-surrounding-gamePhotos, Videos 2/16),” writes Michael Bull. “That photo predates the Congress and was taken in San Francisco, CA at one of the last of the East Coast/West Coast championships. The long time manager of the SF Go Club Shinji Dote is seated in the front and he never attended a US Go Congress, (he was unable to attend the 1999 Congress in SF because of poor health). The photo was taken by a SF Go Club regular known only as St. Clair.”

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School Teams Tournament Open for Registration

Thursday February 19, 2015

10897132_10203170372235844_5171983283782933950_nThe American Go Honor Society has announced the 2015 School Team Tournament (STT) will be held March 28 and April 4.   “The STT is our annual flagship tournament, played in the classic Hikaru no Go team style where each school sends three representatives to compete against other schools,” said AGHS Co-President Hugh Zhang.  All matches will be played online, and schools from Canada, the US, and Mexico are all invited.  As a new top prize this year, the American Go Foundation is offering full scholarships (tuition + room/board) to the AGA Summer  Go Camp.  All three members of  the top dan and top kyu team will win the scholarships. Prizes will also be awarded in the other divisions, including $75 cash for first place, $50 for 2nd, and $25 for 3rd, as well as medals, and the stylish new AGHS T-Shirt pictured at right.  This year’s tournament will be held on March 28 and April 4. To register, fill out the form here, by March 20. More information may be found on the AGHS website. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.