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

Chapel Hill Chinese School Team & Changlong Wu 7d Top Carolina Spring Go Tournament

Thursday May 30, 2013

The 10th annual Carolina Spring Go Tournament featured a hotly-contested team competition for the youth players. Four teams representing Raleigh Academy of Chinese Language (RACL), Cary Chinese School (CCS) and Chinese School at Chapel Hill (CSCH) competed in the team tournament at the May 18 event, held in Raleigh, North Carolina and organized by the Cary Go Club and the Chinese-American Friendship Association of North Carolina. The tournament attracted 30 go players with ages ranging from 6 to 70 years old.

“The team competition was fierce,” reports organizer Owen Chen. “Young players kept reporting and checking the team scores posted on the wall after each round. In the end, the Chinese School at Chapel Hill team consisting of Justin Zhang, Andrew Huan and their teacher Eric Zhang (right) won the team competition.”

In the individual competition, a new Duke student, Liqun Liu, who was a 5 dan in China, gave long-term North Carolina champion Changlong Wu 7d (left) a fierce challenge. Wu won the close match against Liu and eventually won the open section with a perfect score of 4-0. Liu finished the second place in the open section with his only loss to Wu.

Xiaoping Wu 1d won Section A (1d-2d) with a perfect score of 4-0. John Zhu 9k won Section B (9k-1k) with a score of 3-1. Tom Carlson 10k topped Section C (15k-10k) with a perfect score of 4-0. Justin Zhang 19k, who was a member of the Chinese School at Chapel Hill team that won the team competition, also won the indiviual champion in Section D (25k-16k) with a 4-0 score.
- photos courtesy Owen Chen 

Categories: U.S./North America

KBA Names Two Pros for US Go Congress

Wednesday May 29, 2013

The Korea Baduk Association is sending Kim Hyunghwan 6p and Lee Dahye 4p to the US Go Congress in Tacoma this year. Kim Hyunghwan, 27, is a student of famed teacher Kapyong Kwon, whose students include Lee Sedol 9p and Park Junghwan 9p. He distinguished himself as a youth player, and was unbeaten in the 2001 WYGC in Maui, Hawaii, becoming pro the following year. The Maui experience  prompted him to study English. He is also a student of Chinese and teaches go at university clubs. Lee Dahye, 28, aside from representing Korea in international play, is a specialist at teaching beginners, expertise she will be sharing as an instructor at the first ever AGA classroom teaching certification workshop at Congress. Since 2008, Lee has amassed an impressive record broadcasting lessons on Baduk TV, K-Baduk and Cyberoro (you can see some of her lessons on YouTube here).  She has also taught soldiers in Korea’s military, students at university clubs, and multicultural youth. She  edited the Korean edition of Hikaru no go as well. Most relevant for the teaching workshop, she is co-author of the Korean-English go book, Falling in Love with Baduk, which will be distributed to workshop students free in PDF form (it is available for download through the AGF here as well). She graduated Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, majoring in Japanese, and is in graduate school in the same university. -Andy Okun, with assistance from Myungwan Kim 9p. Photo: Lee Dahye 4p

Virtual Go a Labor of Love for Games Programmer

Wednesday May 29, 2013

When Glenn Fiedler first came to go in 2004, he was immediately taken with the aesthetic side of the game, the black and white stones, their biconvex shape, the sound they make hitting a wooden board.  “I especially loved the way go stones wobble and how stone placement becomes irregular as the game progresses, because the go stones are just slightly larger than the grid,” he told the EJ.  Playing on a computer, though, was not the same experience.  “When I play go on a computer it feels like I’m playing on a magnetic board. In real life, I don’t want to play on a magnetic board. I wanted to make a go board that I could play on the computer that felt like I was really playing go.”  The desire led the Australian Fiedler to a career change.  He became a network game programmer with a specialization in physics and started developing methods of synchronizing physics simulations across multiple computers.  “I ended up inventing new techniques and talking at GDC (Game Developers Conference) about how to network physics simulations. And all the techniques I invented were originally thought up because I wanted to network a simulation of a go board and stones!”

Now, after finishing work on his latest project at Sony, “God of War: Ascension,” Fiedler has finally turned his attention to programming go.  The idea is not to provide an AI opponent, but instead provide a beautiful and compelling simulation of an actual 3D goban and stones that other developers could include in existing go software like SmartGo or Many Faces of Go, Fiedler said.  It is a painstaking step-by-step effort he is chronicling in a blog on his website, Gaffer on Games.  The blog lays out the code and the physical reasoning behind it.  Fiedler hopes to make some commercial use of the software eventually, though it will be hard to do.  In the meantime, that’s not what’s on his mind. “I’ve had some time to work on my dream project after almost 10 years. It’s really satisfying.” -Andy Okun.  Diagram of a stone from Fiedler’s blog: Gaffer on Games.

AGA Election Update

Wednesday May 29, 2013

Incumbent Paul Celmer has been nominated to retain his seat as eastern region representative. No nominations for western or central region candidates have been received yet.  Nominations close June 15 and should be sent to Qualifications and procedures are here

Categories: U.S./North America

Triple Ko in Tiger’s Mouth Tourney

Monday May 27, 2013

An interesting triple ko came up in the most recent Tiger’s Mouth prize tourney.  The tourneys are run every month, and are open to youth in the US and Canada. Handicapped, and with prizes in double-digit kyu, single-digit kyu, and dan sections, the tourneys provide challenging games for players of all levels, with prizes courtesy of the AGF.  The triple ko came up in a six stone game between Narnian 12k, and Gocookrice 18k, and can be seen in the attached game record. The ruleset was Japanese, which technically means the game should be no result. The players asked the TD to make a ruling, he decided it was a seki, and gave the win to white on territory.  How would the triple ko have been resolved in other rule sets?  The E-J asked Yilun Yang 7p to weigh in with Chinese rules: “If both players keep taking the ko in this situation, it seems the game should be no-result. Black has to keep capturing,  otherwise black loses. Unless one side gives up the ko battle, no one can win, and neither player can give up the ko in this game.”

AGA rules resolve the issue by making full board repetition illegal, which turns this situation into what is called “Super Ko“. AGA Rules Coordinator Terry Benson says: “The main point of AGA rules is that the players have to figure and play it out – not the ref – and we have no null games. A triple ko is going to prohibit the 6th move. So who starts matters. Thus finding a ko threat on move 6 which the opponent answers, would reset the triple ko with the other player to start. I think Ing rules would be the same. This is a fighting ko.” See move 257 to illustrate the options.

E-J Games Editor Myron Souris has a succinct analysis for this situation: “according to AGA rules Black wins the triple ko, no matter who plays first.  If Black takes 1st, then 6 moves later White would be forbidden from repeating the position from just before Black’s 1st move.  So White dies.  And White taking the triple ko 1st is useless, because Black is alive in double ko. With the AGA rules, Terry and the rules committee devised a truly beautiful ruleset:  simple, rigorous, and sensible. Numerous people have unfairly criticized the AGA ruleset for being to difficult to apply to these multiple ko situations, e.g., ‘Knowing when a previous board position repeats is too difficult.’  Terry’s analysis exposes that misconception for this game.  A few years ago, I found about a dozen pro games (the latest is the infamous 2012 Gu Li vs. Lee Sedol game) ending in triple and quadruple ko, all of which even I could apply the AGA rules to resolve who would have won without too much work. Yes, some contrived multiple ko situations can be extremely difficult to analyze for who wins; however, those situations don’t seem to appear in real games, and in any event, the AGA allows the players to play out the situation themselves.” To sign up for the next Tiger’s Mouth Tourney, on June 15th, click here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor 


Summer Go Camp

Friday May 24, 2013

The AGA Summer Go Camp will be held  at YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles in Rockwood, Pennsylvania, from July 20 to July 27. “Go Camp was a wonderful experience,” writes Sathya Anand 1k, who attended last year, ” I feel my understanding of the subtle complexities of go has been heightened considerably. I loved that everyone in my immediate vicinity had the same passion for learning that I had. I learned a boatload of joseki, as well as the ability to pinpoint where I needed to improve.”

 “I loved the fact that everyone there was a go player just like myself,” writes Shawn Ray 4d, “I had fun doing activities with everyone while also studying go. I feel like I improved a good bit because the teachers broke me of my bad habits, and I think that really helped me focus my moves, and to play on a higher level.”

“If you’re a go player between the ages of 8 and 18, and would like an opportunity to study with a professional teacher for a week, the AGA Go Camp is for you,” says Camp Director Amanda Miller. Yilun Yang 7P will be the teacher this year. He has trained many notable players, including Rui Naiwei 9P and Chang Hao 9P. Anyone who played in the US Youth Go Championships can get a $400 AGF scholarship to the camp.  If you didn’t play, but need financial help to attend, you can apply for a needs based scholarship here.  Please visit the camp website for registration information, or email the camp at -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Amanda Miller: Campers at last year’s event, in Black Mountain, NC.

KBA Donates Free Beginner’s Book to AGA

Thursday May 23, 2013

With the publication of Falling in Love with Baduk: Play a Game in One Week, The Korea Baduk Association has taken yet another important step to support Western go.  Written in both Korean and English by Dahye Lee and Jihee Baek, two young Korean pros, this is a book aimed at beginners, and especially Westerners. “People with different skin colors and different languages can understand one another when seated across the Baduk board,” they write.  “It thrills us to imagine a view of Easterners and Westerners playing the game together.” This is a valuable book for serious newcomers of any age. Basic principles are broken down into seven simple lessons, presumably one per day, with dozens of problems illustrating each day’s lesson. Ms. Lee will attend this year’s US Go Congress and will participate in the AGA’s first teacher training program. The book is ideal for classroom situations too, and can be used as a manual for non-players who find themselves running go programs at libraries or schools.   The book is available as a free download from the AGF website here, it is 86 mb, so expect it to take a little time.

The text in Falling in Love with Baduk appears side by side in Korean and English, following a style developed by Korean publisher Oromedia. Perhaps Oromedia had an uncredited role in developing this book. Oromedia’s Speed Baduk series (9 volumes) has been all-English, but their other books feature side-by-side presentation of the same material in English and Korean. Examples include Korean Style of Baduk, the Think Like a Pro series ( 2 volumes), the 100 Tips for Amateur Players series (3 volumes ), Inspiration of Pro and Creative Life and Death (2 volumes), all available from Yutopian. Here, as in the other bilingual books, it’s fun to see what the authors have to say in both languages on the same page, especially for language learners. The English text uses Korean terminology for concepts lacking an English equivalent, rather than the terms of Japanese origin that Western players learned from the first generation of English go books. For instance, the position known as “atari” is called “dansoo.” The emergence of Korean-based synonyms may further bewilder newcomers who are already struggling to grasp the vast, abstract nature of the game itself. But in the end, it all adds to the ineffable richness of the game. The worldwide community of players has been unable to agree on a single set of rules. There is not even agreement on what the game should be called; we are unlikely to produce a universal lexicon any time soon. Confused readers can always consult Prof. Chi-hyung Nam’s Contemporary Go Terms, if they have one handy, but the question remains – if you want to tell your opponent that their stone is about to be captured, what should you say? -Roy Laird

Six Days Left to Register for YKNOT3

Thursday May 23, 2013

The deadline to register for this year’s Young Kwon National Online Tournament has been extended until midnight on Wednesday, May 29. This means there are still six days to register for the tournament! Sponsored by Young Kwon of Pearl River, NY, the tournament offers nearly $3,000 in total prizes! More than 60 players have already registered. Click here to register and here for details on schedule and rules. Join the wide range of strengths already represented and make this tournament better and even more exciting! The five-round tournament will take place June 1, 2, and 8 on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room. For those who aren’t going to play in the tournament, be sure to check it out and watch a few games – a tournament with nearly 20 players 5D and stronger promises excitement!

Studying in Stile

Wednesday May 22, 2013

With just 73 miles left to go in his 200-mile Coast to Coast walk across northern England, E-J Managing Editor Chris Garlock took a tsume-go study break Wednesday on a fence stile outside Richmond (using SmartGo for iPhone).

“Everyone along the way has been so friendly, hospitable and generous,” Garlock says, “just like those who have contributed to the American Go Foundation” in support of the walk (the fundraising drive is almost up to $1,500).  “We’re into Yorkshire now,” Garlock adds, “and the going is a bit easier, with soothing strolls through pastures and woodlands in place of Cumbria’s mountains and bogs.” - photo by Lisa Garlock

Go Congress Site Posts 60 Local Attractions

Tuesday May 21, 2013

Go Congress co-director, Gordon Castanza, has compiled a list of 60 diverse activities that are “sure to fascinate those who want to see the attractions of the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia area,” says Castanza. “From aquariums to arboretums to beaches, parks and zoos, the Pacific Northwest has something for even the most fastidious visitor.  Find the trolls of Fremont, the wonders of the Chihuly glass sculptures, the gastronomical delights of 5 species of oysters from the bays of Puget Sound, and the dizzying vistas of the Space Needle. So get a group together and eat your box lunch while reveling in the panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains to the west or one of the many volcanoes (Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Baker) of the Cascade Range to the east. You will find the ‘Non-Players’ Activities’ list on the Congress web page here. The activities are self-propelled and self- guided.” Day off tours for players are also posted on the site, and players can of course engage in the the non-player activities as well.  Local residents will be available to help people make plans.  Photo by Gordon Castanza: “The architecture, and the layout  of the Seattle Chinese Garden is the same as in Seattle’s Sister City, Chongqing, China. These rocks not only come from, but also imitate the mountains around  Chongqing, which is in Sichuan Province.