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

Life and Death and Middle Pair: Go, Poker and the Sublime

Tuesday October 30, 2012

(Gamasutra) There’s little doubt that music, literature, and film can all result in some incredibly meaningful works of art, but for whatever reason, the jury’s still out when it comes to games. Veteran game designer, Area/Code co-founder, and Zynga New York creative director Frank Lantz, however, believes wholeheartedly that games can be just as beautiful and meaningful as any other media, and at the 2011 Game Developers Conference, he explained how some of history’s oldest games demonstrate the real power of the medium.

“Games are something like music, literature, film,” Lantz said. “Games can be meaningful, beautiful in the way these other things are, but their meaning and beauty is actually quite different.”

But rather than looking at video games, Lantz turned his attention to go and poker, two games that have long since stood the test of time and have proven the power games can hold over their players. By examining what makes these games special, Lantz believes video game designers can have a batter grasp of what makes their craft meaningful.

“Understanding this particular kind of beauty is challenging, and it’s important, because if this really is the golden age of games then we, as developers, are its custodians and architects, inventors and guides. And we should understand how these things are beautiful in order to each more people and in order to create deeper, more valuable games,” he said.

Click here to see Lantz’ lucid and fascinating hour-long talk — which includes a terrific Powerpoint presentation, parts of which are useful as an introduction to the game of go.
- from the Gamasutra website; thanks to EJ reader Nick Prince for passing this along.

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Daniel Chou 6D Sweeps NOVA Pumpkin Classic

Monday October 29, 2012

Daniel Chou 6D (center, front row) swept the top Dan division at the October 27 NOVA Pumpkin Classic, undefeated at 4-0. The other first place winners in their divisions were: Kelsey Dyer 1D (3-1), Benjamin Hong 8K (4-0), Anderson Barreal 12K (3-1), and Caroline Scheck 14K (3-1). Second place finishers were Zhiyuan (Edward) Zhang 6D (2-2), Julian Erville 3K (3-1), Dan Hiltgen 5K (3-1), Bob Crites 12K (3-1) and Frederick Bao 13K (2-2). “First and second place winners and everyone going 2-2 got to take home a pumpkin!” reports Tournament Director Gurujeet Khalsa.
photo: NOVA Pumpkin Classic winners with their prizes; photo by Gurujeet Khalsa

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World Student Oza Registration Open

Monday October 29, 2012

The 11th World Students Go Oza Championship will be held in Tokyo,  from Feb 25 to March 1, 2013. Preliminary rounds will be held on the Pandanet IGS Go Server, and 16 students will be selected to proceed to the championship in Tokyo.  Details are on the website for the event.  “University/College students under the age of 30 can participate in the preliminary rounds,” says Makoto Moriwaki from Pandanet,  “we would like as many students as possible to participate in the internet tournament.”  The application deadline is Nov 25th, any questions can be directed to gakusei15league@gmail.com.  The entry form is here.  -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo courtesy of Student Oza website.

Irvington Elementary Program a Hit

Monday October 29, 2012

Longtime Portland organizer Peter Freedman has been devoting his efforts towards school programs recently, with notable success. “The photo is from the Irvington Elementary School Chess and Go Club,” writes Freedman, “it has 30 students, in 2nd through 5th grades.  The students can, play only chess; play only go; or, switch between chess and go each month.  New students must play a month of go before they decide on their option.  Go is played  on KGS, and a self-pair tournament runs for go each month.”  Freedman has also organized live match-ups with Sunstone Montessori, also in Portland, and has his kids competing online with students as far afield as Detroit and Mexico City.  Read Freedman’s tips on running a successful program for children here.  There are many more helpful links on the AGA’s teaching go page here, and the AGF will provide free equipment for K-12 go programs. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Peter Freedman: Jordan (l) and Aden (r) at the Irvington Club.

Tesuji, Maybe

Monday October 29, 2012

One of the hits at this year’s U.S. Go Congress banquet was the performance of “Tesuji, Maybe” by Karoline Li and Samantha Fede. Sung to the tune of Carly Rae Jepsen’s big hit ‘Call Me Maybe’ with new lyrics by Todd Blatt, the song was one of the winners of the 2012 US Go Congress Song and Poetry Competition. The sound is a bit low, so be sure to turn it up. Video shot by Nikolos Gonzales.

 

Matt Burrall, Yongfei Ge & Sarah Yu Play for N.A. at Two Int’l Tourneys

Saturday October 27, 2012

North America has three representatives at international tournaments this weekend: Matthew Burrall and Yongfei Ge at the 7th Korea Prime Minister Cup International Amateur Baduk Championship, and Sarah Yu at the Women’s Bingshen Cup World Championship.

The Women’s Bingshen Cup World Championship is an international championship for women, now in it’s third year. It’s being held in Suzhou, China this year from October 28-November 4. Jin Yu (Sarah) studied go for 6 years in China, where her coach was Ruan Yunsheng 7P. She immigrated to Canada in 2005 and graduated from Queen’s University this spring and is now looking for work. In 2000, Yu placed second in the children’s group the national competition for girls in China and in 2009, she played for Canada in the International Amateur Pair Go in Japan with John Yu. She took bronze for Canada this summer in the World Mind Sports Game women’s individual.

The 7th Korea Prime Minister Cup International Amateur Baduk Championship is an international amateur championship hosted this year from October 25-October 30. Matthew Burrall’s dad taught him go when he was four years old, along with his siblings. Soon after, he began to take the kids to the local Davis/Sacramento tournaments and Matthew attended his first Go Congress when he was six. “My oldest sister Kristen and I took to it the most and improved steadily together as we continued to play in local and San Francisco tournaments,” says Burrall. For many years the Burrall kids all attended the Go Camp and the Go Congress every year. “I went with our good friend Jon Boley to Korea for three months to study in the Yang Jae-Ho Dojang,” adds Burrall, and the summer after high school he went to Korea again for a few weeks where he stayed with and was taught by Kim Myung Wan. In 2008 he competed in the first World Mind Sports Games in Beijing and Burrall also recently competed in the first AGA-TygemGo Pro Qualifier at this year’s US Go Congress. Yongfei Ge is representing Canada at the KPMC.
- Report by AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall

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Carlisle High Gets Hikaru

Thursday October 25, 2012

A newly acquired set of the Hikaru no Go manga is on prominent display at the entrance to the high school library in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The students were fascinated by the go display,” says Capri Stiles (at right in photo), Carlisle High School librarian. “Expanding the knowledge of the students through authentic experiences is always a great way to promote literacy. The display encouraged students to start the series, and ninth graders who started reading them at one of our middle schools were delighted to be able to access the rest of them here. A playing board and a collection of go magazines really increased the interest in the books.” The American Go Foundation makes the popular manga series available to school and public libraries for free, with just a $20 charge for shipping, click here to order a set. The donation to Carlisle High School was arranged by Fred Baldwin (AGA 8k), a member of the Harrisburg Area Go Club. Baldwin, who is also a long-term member of the Carlisle Area School District board, also arranged for two Carlisle middle school libraries and the local public library to receive their own sets. Several kids at one of our middle schools have developed an interest in go, thanks largely to Hikaru,” Baldwin says, “and two or three of them are regular participants in club play. It’s good to see teenagers learning to love the game and benefit from the mental discipline it requires. I especially appreciate how our school district’s librarians, Ms. Stiles and Stephanie Weimer, have worked with other faculty members to encourage Carlisle students to give go a try.” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo and reporting by Fred Baldwin.

NoVA Pumpkin Classic; Debarre’s 3rd French; Best School for Inseis?; Go & Strategy Club; Berlin Tourney; More Than Just a Game?

Monday October 22, 2012

NoVA Pumpkin Classic Reminder: Register at www.novagoclub.org by 10P October 25 for the annual Pumpkin Classic in Arlington, VA. More details on the AGA-rated four-round tournament on the website.

[link]

Debarre Wins 3rd French Championship: Thomas Debarre 6d won his third French Championship title recently in Lyon, defeating Tanguy le Calve in the final. Here’s the game.
- Alain Cano

What’s The Best School for Inseis? Joy Craft wonders “what is the best school in the world for students who want to become pros?” Her son has been to a program in China and is looking into one in Korea and she’s curious what EJ readers would recommend. Email your suggestions to us at journal@usgo,org

Go and Strategy Club: Social thinker, venture investor and founder of the Russian School for Strategic Branding Efim Ostrovskiy runs the graphically striking Go and Strategy Club website, which has some interesting perspectives on the history of the game.

Berlin “Go to Innovation” Tourney: If you’re planning to be in Berlin next month, check out the 5th “Go to Innovation” tournament there, scheduled for November 16-18. The 8-round event has over 2,000 Euros in prizes.

More Than Just a Game? Saying that go is fundamentally a recreational board game like chess, the Washington State Department of Revenue Board of Tax Appeals recently denied the Seattle Go Center’s request for an exemption from local property taxes. The SGC had argued that go enhances the “functioning of individuals in society” and promoted cross-cultural understanding and tolerance, as required by state law governing such exemptions. “I guess someone who is clueless enough to think of chess as fundamentally a recreational board game is not going to appreciate the depth of Go,” said Forbes contributor Peter J Reilly in his fascinating column “Go Is More Than A Game Despite What State of Washington Thinks,” which quotes Thore Graepel, a Principal Researcher for Microsoft as saying that “Go is a great game that develops intellect and character.”

 

Guozhong Zhuang & John A. Sajo Top Portland Tourney

Monday October 22, 2012

Undaunted by autumnal rain, over two dozen players hunkered down for the 2012 Portland(Oregon) Go Tournament last weekend. The event, including a 7-round handicap tournament and a 5-round open, was held on the picturesque campus of Lewis & Clark College on October 20-22. A startling number of iPads were present, used to record games through Anders Kierulf’s “SmartGo Kifu” app.

Two father-son pairs competed: John and John Sajo and Guozhong and Ethan Zhuang. The younger brother of Vincent Zhuang, Ethan was one of two six-year-olds debuting at this tournament; the other was Maxwell Chen. Maxwell won the youth prize, racking up five wins despite having to miss one round to attend a birthday party.

Four strong players played in the open. Guozhong Zhuang came out on top, winning four rounds. In the handicap bands, the winners were: Dan: John A. Sajo (1st), Glenn Peters (2nd), Louie Liu (3rd); Single-digit kyu: George Schmitten (1st; at left in photo), Jeffrey Kleiss (2nd), Robert O’Malley (3rd); Double-digit kyu: Maxwell Chen (1st), Fillard Spring-Rhyne (2nd), Patrick Easley (3rd).

Thanks to Yellow Mountain Imports for offering a generous discount on prizes. GoClubsOnline was used for pairing and other tournament management tasks.
- Peter Drake, Tournament Director. Photo: George Schmitten (l) plays Masaya Tsukamoto; photo by Peter Drake.

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SmartGo Kifu Includes Fuseki & Joseki Matching

Monday October 22, 2012

SmartGo Kifu 2.0 includes fuseki and joseki matching: given any board position, it finds all the matching full-board or corner positions in 40,000 pro games and shows you how the professionals played. “Programs like SmartGo for Windows have long done this on the desktop,” says author Anders Kierulf. “Now you can have this capability in your pocket.” SmartGo Kifu runs on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, and is available in the App Store. Click here to read more about the newest changes.