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

Korean Pro Moonyong Choi 6P Visits Bay Area

Sunday April 7, 2013

 

Moonyong Choi 6P spent a week visiting school and youth go clubs in the California Bay area, March 18-24. The Korean Baduk Association (KBA) sent Choi to see first-hand what go programs in America are like, and he is currently in the Los Angeles area visiting programs there as well. “It was really fun,” reports Patrick Wang, of Hyde Park Middle School in Cupertino, “the pro introduced himself, told us how he started playing, why he played, and how he went pro. After that, we asked him questions like how many tournaments he had won or how to improve. Then he played four people at once with nine handicaps on 19×19 and five handicaps on 13×13. Our school teacher even let us stay after lunch to finish the games! To end it off everyone asked him for his autograph.” Choi also visited Meyerholtz Elementary, Valley Christian High, and Berryissa Chinese School, all in San Jose, before finishing up his trip with a visit to the Santa Clara Youth Go Club. At all of the locations, Choi spoke to the children about his challenges in becoming a pro. “I studied for five years at the go school and became an insei which is a preliminary professional. During the course I lost a lot of times, especially games that I was ahead but lost in the end game. Sometimes I cried a lot and felt depressed,” said Choi, “Did you ever lose a game that you thought you had won? Did you hate your opponent for that? However, you don’t have to hate the person. Because you’re the one that made the mistake . We are all in the learning process. Correcting the mistakes and playing better the next time is what is important.”

Choi’s top tips for new players are “First of all, don’t be afraid of losing the game. I myself have played more than 20,000 games and lost half of them. There is a saying that ‘losing means learning’. It’s ok if you lose but knowing the reason and correcting it is how you take your skills to the next level. That’s why having a good teacher is essential. Second, being modest or having a humble attitude is good. There are lots of people that play better than you. You are in the learning process. Learning from your weaker opponent’s mistakes and from your stronger opponent’s good moves will make you a better person the next day. Third, enjoy the game. When you’re playing you always have to do the best you can. Think as much as possible. This is a war game. But once it’s over admit the results and try hard to find better moves. The more you love the game and dedicate yourself to it, the better player you will be.” His advice was well received, and Yanping Zhao of the Santa Clara Youth Go Club reported “It was a wonderful visit to our club. Mr. Choi, and our club members all had a very good time! About 15 kids came to the club to meet the pro. Mr. Choi was very kind to play a teaching game with almost every one of the them. He played several rounds, each round with four or five kids at the same time. During the breaks between the rounds, we had pizza and the pro chatted with kids. At the end, the kids signed a thank you card to express their appreciation. The kids all hope to meet Mr. Choi again and more pros in the future!” The visit was part of a larger outreach to support new programs in America, and was arranged by Myungwan Kim 9P. More pros will be visiting soon, and future trips will be scheduled in other areas of the country if all goes well.
-Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Yanping Zhao: Moonyong Choi 6P plays a simul at the Santa Clara Youth Go Club, in California.

 

 


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“Creative” Osawa 4P Teaches at DC Event

Thursday April 4, 2013

A small but appreciative crowd turned out for an evening of go with Japanese 4-dan professional Narumi Osawa in Washington, DC on April 2 during the city’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Osawa’s free talk and simul at the Japan Information and Cultural Center (JICC) included a collaborative game with beginners — including a pair of young children — and a simul with seven pairs of players. “I found it creative that she let beginners take turns to play,” said local organizer Edward Zhang, “as well as teaching along the way when seeing an opportunity in the game. I also loved the Pair Go format of the simul, encouraging communication and collaboration. Her successfully getting students involved by asking many many questions is consistent with some other Japanese pros I met in Go Congresses.” Ms. Osawa is not only a pro from Nihon-Kiin, but also a special envoy of the Japanese government, which may account for the enthusiastic presence of the embassy’s Minister for Public Affairs Masato Otaka for the entire evening. As the visiting go players pondered moves during the simul, embassy staff clustered around a small board off to the side as they tried to solve life and death problems. “Special thanks to JICC director Izumi Seki, who initiated and organized this special event,” said Greater Washington Go Club organizer Haskell Small. Among those in attendance were former AGA President Allan Abramson and new AGA Board Chair Gurujeet Khalsa. Osawa will reportedly be in the US for two months before heading Brazil for a week.
- report/photos & collage by Chris Garlock

Categories: U.S./North America
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Chiu Wins USYGC

Tuesday April 2, 2013

Eleven-year-old Jeremy Chiu 5d has won the Junior Division of the US Youth Go Championships (USYGC), finally defeating his longtime rival Aaron Ye 5d.  The tourney began on Jan. 20th, but the final rounds weren’t completed until March.  Chiu got off to a good start in the double-elimination tourney by defeating Willis Huang 3d in the first round, and then beating Ye in round 2.  Chiu then went on to defeat Redmond Cup runner up Austen Liao 3d, and then Brandon Zhou 2d – who at just nine years of age is a player to watch out for.  Chiu finally got his face off with Ye on March 16th, in a game with heavy fighting.  Ultimately, Ye’s center group was caught without eyes, and short on time, and he was forced to resign. The game record is below, look for a Feng Yun commentary on another match from this series in the near future.  Chiu also won in the Ing Foundation’s World Youth Qualifier, and will be going on to compete in Prague this summer, along with Andrew Lu 6d, who also won both the USYGC Senior Division and the Ing Qualifiers. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Muling Huang

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Go Camp Open for Registration

Monday April 1, 2013

“Registration for the AGA Summer Go Camp is now open,” reports camp director Amanda Miller,”we welcome campers from the ages of 8 to 18 to attend for a week of go-playing and fun.”  For the convenience of the campers and their families, payments can be made online, although some forms must still be mailed directly to the organizers. The camp will take place two weeks before the Go Congress from July 20 to July 27 and will be held  at YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles in Rockwood, Pennsylvania.  Registration information and forms can be found here. Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Amanda Miller: Mingjiu Jiang 7p playing a simul at last year’s camp.

Rocky Mountain Spring Tourney Includes NAMT Qualifier

Monday April 1, 2013

The upcoming Rocky Mountain Spring Go Tournament on April 13th will have prizes for the winners in Dan, Kyu, and Double Digit Kyu brackets, and will also be raffling go sets “and other fun prizes,” promises organizer Paul Barchilon. “Even if you don’t win your section, you could go home with a nice prize,” he adds. The top section will also be a qualifier for the North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) at the US Go Congress. “We will try to have a beginners section as well, on 13×13, and AGA membership will not be required to play in that section,” says Barchilon. “There are no fixed rounds, so there shouldn’t be too much waiting for games.  Players will be paired as they are available.  These are handicap games, but an attempt will be made to pair as many even games as is practical.”  The NAMT section will have four rounds, and all games will be played even. To register, email shimari@comcast.net with your name and the rank you would like to play at.  You may also leave a message at 303-440-7124.
photo:  at the 2012 NAMT Qualifier at the Boulder (CO) Kids and Teens Go Club, photo by Paul Barchilon

Kerwin Retires from Nihon Ki-in (But Not From Go)

Sunday March 31, 2013

James Kerwin 1P, the first Westerner to become a professional player at the Nihon Ki-in, has retired as of 31 March. A disciple of the late Iwamoto Kaoru 9P, Kerwin became professional 1-dan on February 14, 1978. The following year he won the 1-dan section of the Kisei tournament. Although he went back to the US to teach a couple of years later, Kerwin had retained his affiliation with the Nihon Ki-in. “I was informed that they now have a mandatory retirement rule, so I obliged,” Kerwin tells the E-Journal. “While I have retired from the Nihon Ki-in, I have not retired from go.”

“I have the deepest gratitude to the Nihon Ki-in for training me in the game I love so much and for accepting me as one of them,” Kerwin said in a note accompanying his official retirement letter. “During the years I lived in Japan I gained the greatest respect for the Japanese people and a love of their culture and art. I came to Japan because I could not reach my potential as a go player in my own country. When I returned to the United States, I wanted to help advance the level of teaching in the United States so other players could reach their potential without living abroad. Even today American players cannot reach their full potential here, but they can come much closer. I am pleased that I could contribute to that advance in a small way, and the Nihon Ki-in made that possible. I must also say the many efforts the Nihon Ki-in has made to assist Western go players are extraordinary.”

Three other players retired on the same day (which is the end of the financial year in Japan). They included Haruyama Isamu 9P, known in the West for his frequent instruction tours and for co-authoring a classic Ishi Press/Kiseido book Basic Techniques of Go.
- John Power; photo courtesy Nihon Ki-in

Video: Chang Hao 9P on His Game with Andy Liu 1P

Sunday March 31, 2013

Steve Colburn has posted a short (2:43m) video of Chang Hao 9p’s comments on his recent game with Andy Liu (Game Commentary: Chang Hao 9P – Andy Liu 1P 3/23/2013 EJ) at the ACGA Spring Expo. “I wish I had gotten Andy as well but he was too quick,” says Colburn. “Andy first commented that ‘this was the most terrifying game I’ve ever played.” He also notes that “One missed translation from (Chang Hao’s) speech is ‘I would like to see more American go players in international tournaments in the future.” The ACGA held this event March 23-24 at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Chang Hao’s translator was Yi Tong. photo: Chang Hao (left), Yi Tong and Andy Liu (right)

Categories: U.S./North America
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Your Move/Readers Write: Mac Go Suggestions

Thursday March 28, 2013

“A good program for playing go on Mac is Goban,” (Your Move/Readers Write: Mac Go? 3/25/2013) suggests Porter Howland. “It also works very well as a stand-alone .sgf reader, and I believe it can be used to play online. Goban and its underlying game engine are both open source and distributed freely under the GNU General Public License. Currently, the GNU Go engine is not the strongest; newer engines implement recently discovered algorithms that are more efficient. For example, the Many Faces of Go game engine by David Fotland.”

“For a real beginner, you can’t do much better than Anders Kierulf’s Go Kifu, for iPad (about $10),” writes David Erbach. “For desktop machines, Goban has the gnugo engine behind it, with a very nice interface. It’s plenty strong for a program, but doesn’t have Kifu’s tutorial mode, so it’s not quite as nice as a teaching tool.”

In addition to GNU Go, Ke Lu suggests PANDA-glGo; they’re both available on the IGS Pandanet site. Peter St. John flagged Wikipedia’s listof computer go playing programs and of course there’s always the AGA website’s go software page.

There was also a response posted in the AGA Google+ Community (which now has 164 members) from Ryan Case, suggesting Sen:te software.

 

 

 

 

 

Gansheng Shi-Lee Sedol Match Postponed

Wednesday March 27, 2013

The go9dan.com game this Saturday between Lee Sedol 9P and Gansheng Shi 1P has been postponed “while we move go9dan’s main server to Hong Kong this weekend,” reports Michael Simon. The match will likely be rescheduled for Saturday, April 13 at 10p. Lee is 7-0 in the AGA-Europe Pro vs. Sedol 10-Game Series.

“Something For Everyone” at First Spring Go Expo

Wednesday March 27, 2013

“The Spring Go Expo has something for everyone,” said organizer Michael Fodera as he announced the opening of the 2013 Spring Go Expo at Harvard University’s Student Organization Center at Hillel last weekend.

And so it did. Spread out across four connected areas in a student lounge, the Expo featured exciting performances, thoughtful presentations from a scholarly perspective and an exclusive 15-minute segment of the upcoming documentary film The Surrounding Game. The event was organized by The American Collegiate Go Association  (ACGA) and the  Harvard University Go Club and sponsored by the Ing Chang-ki Weiqi Association.

And for those who wanted it, there was plenty “real go,”  with a self-paired tournament, plenty of space for casual play and simultaneous play with top players ranging from Ing Cup winner Chang Hao 9P to America’s newly minted pros Andy Liu 1P and Gangsheng Shi 1PNarumi Osawa 4P, a Japanese pro currently touring the US, and US-based Chinese 1P Stephanie Yin also made generous use of their time, joining the others in simultaneous play and instruction.   Mid-level players also had the opportunity to play Chinese National University Champion John Xiao and American 7-dan Ben Lockhart. The first round of simuls began at 9a on Saturday.

“Many go events focus on tournament play, but we also wanted to include teaching, and exposure to other aspects of Asian life,” Fodera continued. “Go is considered one of the ‘Four Accomplishments’ in China, so let’s learn more about the others,” he said, yielding the stage to Shin Yi-yang, an accomplished player of the qin. Meanwhile, calligraphers from The Chinese Culture Connection demonstrated their art,  and drummers from The Rhode Island Kung Fu Club chased a  large dragon throughout the space as attendees enjoyed a free lunch. While self-paired and casual games continued, filmmakers Cole Pruitt and Will Lockhart presented a 15-minute of their exciting documentary scheduled for release later this year. After a lecture by Prof. Elywn Berlekamp on “Coupon Go,” Liu played an exhibition game against Hao, losing by only 3.5 points.

On Sunday, while younger players competed in a Youth Tournament, more than 50 participants played and recorded games that were then analyzed in small groups by the professionals. Peter Schumer reprised his college go course talk from this year’s International Go Symposium. (click here to view Schumer’s Symposium talk), and Thomas Wolf described his work studying “The Mathematics of Seki.” Pruitt, Lockhart, Fodera and all the ACGA organizers can take pride in a job in a job well done and extended grateful thanks to the Shanghai Ing Foundation, especially its director, Lu Wen Zhen, and the Secretary General, Ni Yaoliang, who traveled from Shanghai to attend the event.
- report/photos by Roy Laird; collage by Chris Garlock

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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