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

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.

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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

 

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Go Doc Team Having Busy Spring

Wednesday March 27, 2013

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for The Surrounding Game documentary team. They launched an online “collaborative game,” premiered an extended preview of the film at last weekend’s well-attended Spring Go Expo in Boston and kicked off a campaign to raise $30,000 to finish their film. Director Will Lockhart is especially excited about the collaborative game, saying that “You can go to the game and vote for your move, and at the end of the day the votes are tallied and one move is played per day!  I think it should lead to a very interesting game.” An interesting thing to consider, says Lockhart, is “what level of play is reached when each move is decided by democratic vote?” The fundraiser aims to raise the caliber and potential impact of the The Surrounding Game “by hiring a professional editor and paying for legitimate distribution,” Lockhart explains. With less than a month to go, they’ve raised almost $6,000 thus far; click here to see who’s contributed.

 

Special Election Announced for Central Region Board Seat

Tuesday March 26, 2013

A special election is being held to fill the Central Region board seat vacated recently by Bob Barber (Barber & Smith Moving On, Central Region Seeks New Board Members 2/8/2013 EJ). The election is being conducted on a compressed time frame, with nominations closing April 15 and ballots due back by May 1. The winner, who will serve out the remaining year of Barber’s term, will be announced on May 2. Lisa Scott has volunteered to serve the last few months of departing board member Daniel Smith, who was also from the Central Region. The regular elections and call for nominations for the 2013-2015 board seats will be announced on May 4. Details on qualifications and nominations are available on the AGA Election page; questions can be sent to elections@usgo.org.

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Narumi Osawa 4P to Visit DC April 2

Monday March 25, 2013

Japanese 4-dan professional Narumi Osawa (right) will give a free talk and simul in Washington, DC on April 2. The event, which will run from 7-9:30p, is co-hosted by the Japanese Embassy the Greater Washington Go Club and will be held at the Japan Information and Cultural Center in downtown Washington, at 1150 18th St. NW. Born in Saitama Prefecture, Japan on May 22nd, 1976. Ms. Osawa became professional 1-dan in 1998, was promoted to 2-dan in 1999, 3-dan in 2003, and 4-dan in 2009. She won the Women’s Kakusei title in 1999 and 2003, and the Women’s JAL titlein 2005. She participated in the 16th Asian Tournament as a member of the Japanese National Team. The free event will have two parts: a short talk designed for beginners, then a simultaneous exhibition followed by a short analysis of highlights from these games.

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