Tuesday May 21, 2013
There is a new IGS client available, GoPanda 2, which is being distributed as a standalone application. Version 2.1.0 was released May 15th. “Aside from a ton of bugfixes and new features, we also moved away from java as the supporting technology” report the developers. “The new client handles like a native app, and doesn’t rely on any specific browser being installed anymore. It’s still missing some features, but we will be adding new things constantly.”
The Pandanet/AGA City League plays Round 7 for the A & B Leagues and Round 5 for the C & D Leagues. Observers can watch live on IGS starting at 1pm EST/10am PST on Sunday March 26th. For more info on the league, click here.
Pandanet encourages players and observers to try the new client during their games on Sunday.
Monday May 20, 2013
Registration is still open for this weekend’s KGS 2013 Meijin tournament qualifier. The April qualifier featured “many exciting games and drew more than 300 observers,” reports KGS admin Akane Negishi. “One of last year’s contenders, Grande, won the April qualifier again.” The single-elimination qualifier will be held May 25-26 on an Asian/European daytime schedule (Round 1 starts at 5a EDT/2a PDT). In this fifth qualifier, the winner will become a contender for the finals which will start in November. The runner-up may also become a contender if there are 6 or more rounds in the Qualifier. The final KGS Meijin winner will receive a minimum cash prize of $500 and a special Meijin icon. Click here for details and to register.
Sunday May 19, 2013
Many chess players who discover go seem to leave chess behind, but notable Swedish grandmaster Tiger Hillarp Person , the author of “Tiger’s Modern,” finds go to be a nice complement to his enjoyment of chess. Persson recently started blogging at “Chess at the Bag of Cats,” where he has set up a go section. He writes: “I started out with Go in the beginning of 2011 and, after a rapid rise to about 9kyu, I’ve been gaining around 4kyu a year since then. I can really recommend chess players to do this for a number of reasons. First, if you are too tactically inclined a player, then by playing Go you will be forced to think about things like ‘structure’ and ‘plans’. Secondly, if you work as a coach, reliving the struggle of being a beginner at a difficult game (like Chess – or Go) will definitely improve your understanding of those you are coaching. Thirdly, there are few things that let you appreciate the ‘nature’ of what you have learned as a chess player. Learning Go will make it obvious that you know stuff that transcends the chess board.” -Roy Laird, with thanks to Michael Bacon for sending the link.
Sunday May 19, 2013
Go is returning to Hollyhock Center, in British Columbia, after more than a decade. Janice Kim 3P will lead a workshop at the popular learning center June 28 through July 3. The Hollyhock website says “Hollyhock was founded in 1983, and is Canada’s leading centre for lifelong learning, but you can also think of us as a ‘refuge for your soul’, a place that allows you access to what matters, or simply time to rest, play and achieve wellness.” Kim promises to “Increase your go skill through interactive lectures, small and large group exercises, game practice and analysis,” as well as help players “Develop critical thinking skills and improve their confidence while exploring effective and positive real world decision-making.” An award-winning author and professional 3-dan, Kim brings decades of experience to her acclaimed workshops; in 1984 she won the World Youth Go Championship, took second place in the 1985 Fuji Women’s Korean Go Champion and in 2008 she placed 4th in the World Poker Tour Bellagio Five Diamond Classic. She’s also been a contributor to the American Go E-Journal, most recently contributing commentary at the 2012 Sport Accord World Mind Sports Games in Beijing. To learn more, and to register for the workshop, click here.
Friday May 17, 2013
“Five days and 50 miles in, we’ve just come out of England’s Lake District, some of the most breathtakingly gorgeous scenery I’ve ever been through and certainly the toughest I’ve ever walked, hiked and rock-climbed,” reports EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock, who’s walking the 200-mile Coast-to-Coast with his wife Lisa (as reported in the EJ on May 6th) and raising funds for the American Go Foundation (AGF). “We’re enjoying the walk and working hard — still another 150 miles to go! — just like the folks at the AGF, who do so much for American go.” Click here to make a contribution to the AGF. Photo at left by Lisa Garlock: At Hayeswater Tarn, with the Lake District in the background. At right, by Chris Garlock: “Great pub, terrifically creative food, but where’s the go? Hopefully our friends in the BGA will attend to this.”
Wednesday May 15, 2013
Myungwan Kim 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Mingjiu Jiang 7P, and Jennie Shen 2p have confirmed they will be teaching at the US Go Congress in Tacoma this year. Co-Director Chris Kirschner reports: “Pros from Korea, China, and both Kansai Ki-in and Nihon Ki-in in Japan will attend, but we aren’t sure of the names yet.” Korea also plans to send two additional pros to the Teacher Workshop. See the What’s Happening link on the Congress Website for more details and frequent updates.
Sunday May 12, 2013
“The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will be assisting us to present items of significance to the history of go in this country,” reports Congress Director Chris Kirschner. “We will have a collection of AGA Journals from the 1940′s and 50′s. Japanese players in Seattle have donated old books dating back to the early 1920′s, including some that were hand written during the wartime internment. Copies of some of these will be available for purchase at the Go Congress.” Also on display will be a floor board and stones, along with a doll that traveled West from Japan about 1900, to Austria, and continued from Europe about 1950, landing in Seattle ultimately.
“We will have a piece by well known Japanese calligrapher Taiun Yanagida, stating 10 rules for playing well,” said Kirschner. “It was a feature at the original Seattle Go club in Seattle’s international district, which was a chapter of the Nihon Ki-in. It was donated to the Seattle Go Center by surviving members of that club shortly after the Go Center was founded in 1995. A translation will be available. Copies of early books in English will make an interesting comparison with our modern book style,” adds Kirschner. The organizers are looking for additional display material. If you have material you would like to see displayed , contact Kirschner at firstname.lastname@example.org. -Paul Barchilon.
Sunday May 12, 2013
In Russia, they take their mind sports seriously. Case in point: the Russian Sports Federation’s (RSF) chess program has produced many of the world’s finest players. Similarly, the RSF’s go program has produced top Western professionals through their partnership with the Hankuk Kiwon, producing players such as Alexander Dinerchtein 3P (“breakfast” on KGS) and Svetlana Shikshina 3P, and continues to produce promising up-and-comers such as Ilya Shikshin 7D.
If asked to name their mentors, all would certainly mention Valery Shikshin, an Honored Trainer of the Russian Federation (and as you may gather, father of both Svetlana and Illya). Shikshin has been teaching and coaching Russian go for 25 years, and has developed a set of axioms and principles that he sets forth in this four-volume “Theory and Practice Series,” now available exclusively in the US through GoGameGuru. Volume 1, The Theory and Practice of Tsumego, includes more than 300 original life-and-death problems, many from Russian master games. Starting with the basic shapes, Shikshin takes the reader all the way through corner positions, side formations, and on into the intricacies of seki and ko. I found the chapter on seki to be uniquely systematic in its understanding of how these strangely symbiotic shapes arise.
While Volume 1 of “Theory and Practice” is a new approach to an area that has been widely studied, Volume 2 — “The Theory and Practice of Semeai“ — is surely unique in English. Here Shikshin takes the same systematic approach to capturing races, illustrating a few dozen basic principles with numerous problems and game examples. As in Volume 1, the principles are illustrated by hundreds of problems and examples, many from actual games. Two other volumes will complete the series in the next few months – The Theory and Practice of Shapes, and The Theory and Practice of Analysis. These materials helped to produce some great Western go masters – they are surely a worthy entry into the Western go canon.
- Roy Laird