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

Your Move/Readers Write: Following Congress Tournaments; Watching Congress Games on an iPad

Friday August 2, 2013

Following Congress Tournaments: “Since I (and the large majority of AGA members / US go players) cannot attend the U.S. Go Congress,” writes Kate Collin, “the most important thing for me is to have an up-to-date reference regarding what’s going on with the tournaments. I’d love to have something like the daily sports section of my newspaper, that would tell me: Results, Current standings, Broadcast schedule. I notice that the Congress web site does not even seem to be set up to anticipate posting results, which is frustrating, and I don’t see a central place on the AGA web site that would do that either. Another thing that would be very useful, since I generally won’t be able to watch games live, would be a reference for what KGS IDs are used to broadcast the various games, so that it is possible to search the archive for the games. Good luck! And thanks in advance for your efforts!”
The E-Journal will once again be coordinating tournament coverage, including broadcasting top-board games on KGS (mornings 9-12 and evenings 7-11; look for USGO), and posting results, game records and photos. Click here to see an example of the 2012 U.S. Open tournament grid; our post-Congress wrap-up from last year also includes grids from the NAIM and Strong Player’s Open as well as pro game commentaries and more, all of which we expect to do again this year. We also try to do a daily recap in the EJ of highlights from each tournament and other Congress events. If there’s more or other coverage readers are interested in, just let us know and we’ll do our best to get it for you!

Watching Congress Games on an iPad: “Can I use my Ipad to watch the games from the Congress?” wonders Joe Walters. “If so, how?”
Unfortunately, probably not, since iPads can’t run the KGS java client. “People have done this by running the client on their computer and then sending the display output to their iPad,” KGS’ Bill Shubert tells the EJ, “but I don’t personally know how to do this, so I think an iPad won’t work at this time.” If anyone has information on how to make KGS work on an iPad, let us know at journal@usgo.org and we’ll pass it along.

 

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US Pair Go Development Update

Saturday July 27, 2013

The Pair Go teaching workshop will not be held at the 2013 US Go Congress, as previously reported (Japan Pair Go Association Grants $3600 for US Pair Go Development 7/25 EJ) but will instead occur sometime before August 2014. “It will be the first US professional workshop to focus specifically on learning how to play go strategically and harmoniously in a partnership, and will be funded by the new JPGA grant,” reports AGA Pair Go Coordinator Rachel Small. Small is seeking a Director/Organizer to collaborate on this developing project; email her at pairgo@usgo.org. She also notes that the funds granted by the JPGA support US Pair Go activity from August 2013 through the August 2014 US Go Congress.

Small also reports that the winning pair from the North American Pair Go Championship at this year’s Congress will be offered a professional game review with Shirley Lin, scheduled for Friday, August 9th at 1:30p. “Lin’s comments will help the pair to compete at their best at the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Tokyo this November,” says Small.

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Japan Pair Go Association Grants $3600 for US Pair Go Development

Thursday July 25, 2013

The Japan Pair Go Association has just granted $3,600 to promote Pair Go in the United States next year, reports AGA Pair Go Coordinator Rachel Small. The grant is based on Small’s proposed annual Pair Go plan, which she hopes “will generate enthusiasm, increase the number of Pair Go events held annually, and help Pair Go players form strong partnerships, with the ultimate goal of advancing the culture of Pair Go in the US.” Included in the budget is prize money for the North American Pair Go Championship and the Youth-Adult Pair Go Tournament at the US Go Congress, the second annual Pair Go Tournament at the North American Go Convention, and two additional Pair Go tournaments over the next year. “These are very exciting plans but we need help to make them happen,” Small says. Financial incentives will be provided for an organizer/director for the Pair Go pro teaching workshop at this year’s Congress, a game-recorder for the top table Pair Go game, a volunteer to record video of Congress Pair Go events, and a video-editor to piece together the footage into a short promotional piece, as well as directors of two new Pair Go Tournaments. Those interested should contact  Small at pairgo@usgo.org. -Photo by Steve Colburn: Pair Go contestants at the 2010 Go Congress in Colorado Springs.
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Google Adwords Boosts AGF Traffic 500%

Sunday July 21, 2013

The American Go Foundation has seen a 500% increase in website traffic since setting up a Google AdWords account in May, reports project  manager Roy Laird. “We were doing okay, with roughly 500 unique visitors per month, but then we learned that as a 501c3, we qualified for Google Nonprofit status, allowing us to run up to $330 worth of AdWords messages per day.  Now fewer than 100 visitors per day is a slow day. More than 2,600 people visited in the month of June alone.”  Laird says that the goal for now is to generate “click-thrus” – people clicking the ad and coming to the AGF website. When the entire $330/day budget is fully utilized, he says the goal will be to reduce the “bounce rate” – targeting more carefully so fewer people visit and then leave immediately.  “In a typical pre-AdWords month, 200 or so of our visitors would indicate interest by looking at more than one page. In June – our first complete month with the campaign – more than 650 people liked what they saw enough to explore further.”  The ads, which appear as text blurbs on the right of Google searches, are triggered by searching for “key words” that relate to the topic one is searching for.  The ads can link to any page on the site, but the primary goal is to teach people to play through the Learn to Play page,” said Laird,  “we’re not selling the AGF, we’re selling go.” Finding key words that will lead to people actually clicking on the link can be challenging, and Laird says he was surprised at the effectiveness of some unusual approaches. “Someone suggested the puzzle angle, so we created an ad about ‘The Ultimate Puzzle’, which has attracted more than 450 hits in the past month, more than any other ad. Surely there are some other killer out-of-the-box ideas out there. Send them to mail@agfgo.org, and help us grow American go!” Laird thanked Steve Colburn for letting the AGF know they were eligible for Google Non-Profit status. - Paul Barchilon

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Go at the Japanese Friendship Garden Day Camp

Friday July 19, 2013

The Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego’s summer day camp is including go lessons, for the second year in a row. Using equipment provided by the American Go Foundation, San Diego Go Club president Ted Terpstra reports that he’s “teaching beginners the basics of go, and having them playing games on small boards within 20 minutes.” Fifteen day campers are learning about go through Hikaru no Go episodes on Hulu, as well as with books. “The enthusiastic go players have sets available during free time for playing after learning the essentials,” Terpstra adds. Each week is a different age grouping with children in grades from kindergarten through 6th, the program is running for five weeks. -photo by Ted Terpstra: third and fourth graders learn go.
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Congress Pair Go Tourney Adds Special Festivities

Thursday July 18, 2013

At this year’s US Go Congress, the Pair Go Tournament will include special festivities including an opening ceremony, and slide show, as well as a Best Dressed Competition. Pair Go players will also receive lapel pins featuring the new US Pair Go logo (at right, designed by graphic designer Wende Mate to show the “solidifying identity” of Pair Go in the US) “and other goodies,” reports AGA Pair Go Coordinator Rachel Small. In conjunction with the World Pair Go Association, ‘Pair Go Promotion Partner (PGPP) Passports’ will be launched in the US for the first time at the Congress. “The passport is a symbol of enthusiasm for promoting Pair Go, and will be stamped at each Pair Go event you attend to track your adventures in competitive Pair Go, starting with this Congress’s North American Pair Go Championship and Youth-Adult Pair Go Tournament,” says Small. To receive your passport at the Congress, apply for PGPP membership at the Congress website . After the Congress, a short video will be released highlighting the congress Pair Go events and celebrating the culture of Pair Go in the US. ‘Like’ AGA Pair Go on Facebook  to see coverage of the Congress events, including tournament results and photos from the Best Dressed Competition. To contribute photos to be included in the slide show, email pairgo@usgo.org. Financial incentives will be provided for an organizer/director for the Pair Go pro teaching workshop at this year’s Congress, a game-recorder for the top table Pair Go game, a volunteer to record video of Congress Pair Go events, and a video-editor to piece together the footage into a short promotional piece. Those interested should contact Small at pairgo@usgo.org.
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Kan Yao 5D Wins Skip Ascheim Memorial

Thursday July 18, 2013

Kan Yao 5d took first place in the annual Skip Ascheim Memorial Tournament on Sunday July 14th in Somerville Massachusetts, topping a field of 22. “The Massachusetts Go Association greatly appreciates the cordial relationship we have with the Boylston Chess Club in whose space we hold our tournaments,” says Tournament Director Eva Casey. Su Co Chon Duc (aka Marjorie Hey) helped run things for part of the day when Casey had to leave to deal with a family emergency. Results: 1st: Kan Yao 5D (4-0); 2nd: Tiantian Yuan 3D (3-1); 3rd (tie): Jason McGibbon 3k and Giancarlo Feula 7k (both 3-1).
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Rex Weyler on Life Lessons Learned from Go

Wednesday July 17, 2013

It was the problems that hooked Rex Weyler. The Greenpeace founder had just learned go from writer Rick Fields (“Chop Wood, Carry Water”) “and Rick gave me a beginner’s book — Ishigure’s In The Beginning, I think — and I took it home that night in 1981 and the life and death problems were so fascinating that the game absolutely hooked me. Weyler, a reknowned environmental activist and journalist, has been playing go ever since. When he co-founded the Hollyhock learning center on Cortes Island in British Columbia the following year, Weyler made sure that a go workshop was included, initially led by Canadian go player Roy Langston, and then for many years by American James Kerwin 1P. After a hiatus, the Hollyhock go workshop returned this year, this time with Janice Kim 3P, and of course Weyler, who has moved back to Cortes Island, was there. “Go fits in with the way I see the world,” Weyler told the E-Journal in an interview earlier this week in his home overlooking a spectacular view of Lake Hague. “I trained in math but became a writer, and go is a wonderful combination of logic and aesthetics. And the better you can balance the two, the better you can play.” After more than three decades of playing, Weyler says “I’m still learning lessons from go that apply to life. Be aggressive but show retraint; it’s okay to be optimistic but that’s not a strategy. You’ve got to get outside and see the bigger picture,” Weyler says, speaking as both a go player and ecologist. “Go, if you play well, teaches you different ways of thinking.”
- report/photo by Chris Garlock; photo: Weyler (l) playing with former AGA President Phil Straus at Hollyhock. Learn more about Weyler’s work on his website.

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Richard Bozulich Reportedly Throws Hat Into New York Comptroller Race

Wednesday July 17, 2013

Longtime go writer Richard Bozulich, rumored to have died two years ago (Richard Bozulich Not Dead After All 11/9/2011 EJ), is alive and well and apparently running for New York City Comptroller, a race that has drawn international attention since former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer entered it a week ago. According to a post on the Liberty Lion blog, Bozulich was nominated by the Personal Freedom Party to be its candidate for Comptroller on July 3 after the party was notified that Kristin Davis, its original nominee, was ineligible. “If elected,” Bozulich pledged, “I will quickly and anonymously donate my salary to charities that are close to my heart, such as those promoting the game of go and encouraging students to study mathematics.” American Go Foundation President Terry Benson said that “We look forward to having a friend of go at City Hall.”

 

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AGA Board Approves 2014 Budget, Plans 2013 Pro Certification Tournament

Wednesday July 17, 2013

The American Go Association (AGA) Board of Directors approved the AGA budget for fiscal 2014  at its meeting on July 7; the budget includes funds for a pro certification tournament to be completed by the end of 2013.  The AGA will continue to look for new sponsors to replace Tygem, but will run this year’s tournament from reserves and from money earmarked for the AGA’s new professional system. In other actions, the Board approved the creation of a pilot program for AGA ratings of online games, which would parallel the ratings system now in place for in-person games. President Andy Okun will be pursuing implementation plans along with completion of plans to issue formal Rank Certificates to players who have demonstrated achievement at a particular rank level.  The first such certificates will be awarded to top finishers in most brackets at the 2013 US Go Congress. Additionally, Bob Gilman and Royce Chen have been authorized to investigate the feasibility of bringing a Cuban player — or players — to the 2014 US Go Congress.  The Board will assess options for fundraising and implementing such an effort after the committee reports back.

 

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