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

Louderback & Cha Win in Davis/Sacramento

Sunday December 8, 2013

Allen Louderback 1k (right), won the upper division and Tai-An Cha 5k (left), won the lower division at the Davis/Sacramento Go Clu Winter Quarterly Tournament on December 7 at the Arden-Dimick library in Sacramento. The Club Champions were announced for the club members who won the most games during the year, with Jeff Horn, 1d, winning the upper division and Jeff Murphy, 4k, winning the lower division. – report/photos by Willard Haynes

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Albert Yen Tops Wintry Evanston ‘Caught Ya Nappin’ Tourney

Sunday December 8, 2013

Nearly two dozen players braved wintry weather to attend the Evanston Go Club’s quarterly tournament on Saturday, December 7. “Nobody guessed the meaning of the tournament’s name, ‘Caught Ya Nappin’” reports organizer Mark Rubenstein. The answer is that on December 7, 1991, The Recording Industry Association of America sued the peer-to-peer file-sharing service Napster, alleging copyright infringement, in A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc. In an effort to increase tournament attendance, the entry fee for the next tournament in March 2014 will be free for anyone who has not attended an Evanston tournament in 2013. “We’ve averaged 34 players per tournament over the last 21 years”, said Rubenstein, president of the Evanston Go Club. “This is our way of encouraging people who have been absent for a while to come back. See you in March!”
Winners: Albert Yen 6d (left in photo), Ezra Teitelbaum 2k and Crystal Lin 14k.
photo: Albert Yen plays Lixin Cheng; photo courtesy Mark Rubenstein

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Vegas Go Club Hosts 2-Day Tourney This Weekend

Friday December 6, 2013

The AGA and the Las Vegas Go Club are hosting a two-day, four-round AGA-rated go tournament as part of MSI’s second Las Vegas Mind Sports Festival this weekend. “Two days of non-stop game-play involving Go, Chess, Scrabble, Magic: The Gathering and a cornucopia of other games will quench the thirst of fans and players looking for a festival tournament quite like no other,” says the Las Vegas Go Club. “The blend of mind sports coupled with an unbeatable stay-and-play hotel package make it an experience not to miss.” Arrive by 9:30 a.m. Saturday, rounds at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. $100 top prize, others based on attendance. Best hat worn by a go player wins a box of Bendicks Bittermints. More info: Chris Tettamanti, 702-604-4000 or tettamanti@gmail.com.

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’14 US Go Congress To Be Held In Midtown Manhattan, Sources Say

Wednesday December 4, 2013

According to informed sources, plans are under way to hold the 2014 U.S. Go Congress at the Hotel Pennsylvania in midtown Manhattan from August 9-16. “It’s a terrific location with easy access all that New York City has to offer,” the highly-placed source said. The Pennsylvania has previously hosted the East Coast Oza qualifiers. More details on the 2014 US Go Congress are expected to be announced soon.

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Mingjiu Jiang Workshop Set for Portland in April

Monday December 2, 2013

Well-known Chinese pro Mingjiu Jiang 7P will do a weekend workshop at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR on Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27. “This is part of the Portland Go Club’s continuing effort to bring a variety of pro players to Portland to teach players of all strengths,” reports local organizer Peter Freedman. Those interested in participating must let Freedman know asap and pay to insure a spot. Reach him at peter.freedman@comcast.net, call 503-242-4203 or send $100* to the Portland Go Club, c/o Peter Freedman, 1710 SW Harbor Way, Unit 303, Portland, OR. *There are reduced rates for students and children: college students pursuing a degree: $50; Children and youth up to age 18: $25. photo by Brian Allen

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Club Corner: Be Tireless and Welcoming

Monday December 2, 2013

The following is a response to a discussion about increasing attendance at go clubs, which was initiated by Aulden Murch recently on the AGA-Chapters email list.  It has been reprinted here with permission.

by Eric Jankowski

After running the Ann Arbor club for a decade, I moved to Colorado and have been largely invisible as an organizer for the last year.  Having been both very and negligibly involved in running clubs, my feeling is that two ingredients are needed for sustainable growth: 1) a tireless advocate for the club who 2) understands the importance of creating an inclusive environment.  I suspect we’ve all known someone with this rare combination at some point — the Susan Weirs, Paul Barchilons, Greg Leflers, and Guo Juans, to name just a few. Those of us who try to build clubs may have even been that person occasionally, and can appreciate it is not a trivial effort to maintain.

The great thing about the first ingredient is that it doesn’t depend on rank.  Anyone that has been bitten by the beauty of the game can be that tireless advocate.  The catch here is that it takes time and energy to be tireless: it can take a big bite out of time for other important life priorities such as work and family.  The tireless advocate here is that person who is always at the club, dragging in all of their friends, putting on workshops at libraries and festivals.  Someone with infectious enthusiasm.  One great example back in Ann Arbor was Albert Guo’s mom; she didn’t ever play, but saw how much her son loved the game and would show up to cook egg rolls at our tournaments.  You just can’t beat that for enthusiasm.  When you show other people how much you want to be somewhere, they want to be there too.

The second ingredient is a little trickier; it requires leadership from strong players who are willing to teach and maintain a welcoming environment.  When the top guns only play each other it creates a feeling of inapproachability.  Back in Ann Arbor, we had a great mix of kids, college students, permanent residents, and even a few famed homeless folk, and I think it’s because we went to great lengths to emphasize an inclusive environment.  We had an implicit rule: Ignoring or bullying younger players, weaker players, or anyone really, cannot be tolerated. In the most constructive and positive way possible, you need to set the tone: “This is a place for having fun, making friends, and a place to learn about this game; if you’re not helping that, you’re not welcome here.”  It’s not enough to parrot that quote; you have to get to know the members of your club and set an example.  Every so often, remind your strong players that they became strong because someone had helped them previously, by creating a place where they felt empowered to learn.  Set an example by teaching new players. Emphasize that your rank has nothing to do with your value as a human.  To grow, your club needs an inclusive culture, but this requires constant attention, and it can fade if you lose that strong player leadership.  Sometimes as a strong player, you just want to play a game and try out that new trick you saw.  Running a club and improving as a player are different things, but this can be easy to forget when there’s a board in front of you.  Resisting that temptation is important if the aim is to grow your club.

So, my advice is:  If you wish to grow your club, be tireless in your efforts to make a welcoming place to play.  And as folks involved in the AGA, I suppose that we have a responsibility to show that these efforts are appreciated and worthwhile.

Jankowski (top right) is a Research Associate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder . photo at bottom left: at the 2010 University of Michigan/Ann Arbor United Way tournament.  

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In Memoriam: David Drexler, Former AGA Volunteer of the Year

Monday December 2, 2013

David Michael Drexler, 58, passed away November 27, 2013 in his beloved home. He was born June 15, 1955 in Rochester, New York. In his brief lifetime he accomplished much. He was a founding member and past president of the Oklahoma Unix Club, instrumental in forming the first go club in Oklahoma City (OKC), recognized by the American Go Association for his volunteer efforts in outreach and promotion of the game of go. He was a member and officer in the Oklahoma Traditional Music Association, playing the mountain dulcimer with astounding beauty and grace. In the early 1990s Drexler established Internet Access Plus, one of the first internet service provider companies in OKC. His many other loves included hiking in the Wichita Mountains, traveling to see friends and family in California, New York, Hawaii, and Alaska, cooking and bicycling. A memorial service will be held at 3pm, Tuesday, December 3, at Memorial Park Historic Cemetery Chapel.  -Text courtesy of Dignity Memorial Online.  Thanks to Jim Story for letting the E-J know.

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E-Journal & Ranka to Cover 3rd SportAccord World Mind Games

Sunday December 1, 2013

The third edition of the SportAccord World Mind Games is set for December 12-18 in Beijing. The American Go E-Journal will once again team up with Ranka to provide coverage this year, with Michael Redmond 9P and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. Thirty players (18 men and 12 women) from around the world — China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea and North America — will compete for major cash prizes; click here to see the player roster and schedule.

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Your Move/Readers Write: Questionable Position in Portland

Saturday November 30, 2013

“Someone was listening to Roger Schrag’s comments in his article on Go Spotting: Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland (9/3 EJ)” writes Bob Joyce. Schrag wondered “Is the position on the go board (at left) viable?” and Joyce says “I visited the garden on Saturday, September 28th and the position of the stones had changed (right); however, even a beginner (like me) knows that go games do not begin in the middle of the board.”

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AGA Website Streamlined For Easier Use

Thursday November 28, 2013

The AGA website has undergone some significant changes in the last few months. All the favorites are still there, including news, ratings, youth go, and tournament information, but the main left-side navigation menu has been revised from the top down, focusing on reducing duplication and adding comprehensive titles. “We hope that information is easier to find,” says Greg Smith, AGA Website Volunteer and team leader of the reorganization, on which Roger Schrag, Paul Barchilon and Roy Laird also worked. “We spent a lot of time mapping out the existing content and placing each link into a larger flow of ‘Learn, Play, Outreach, Teach’ ”

The new Outreach section has pages dedicated to presentations and publicity including a dedicated section for handouts. And we created better access to information about the AGA itself: the elections and organizational information each have their own consolidated and categorized page.

In recognition of the AGA’s Professional Certification program, we created a whole new section on AGA-Certified Go Professionals while continuing to honor those go professionals living in the US and certified by other nations.

“The AGA website has an enormous amount of content. We’ve rearranged it a bit in hopes that we can expand with more easy-to-find information,” adds Smith.

Check it out and let us know what you think by emailing your comments to us at webmaster@usgo.org

 

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