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

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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DC & LA to Face Off in Top Pandanet-AGA City League Finals

Tuesday July 16, 2013

It’s East Coast versus West Coast as Greater Washington is set to battle Los Angeles in the first-ever 2013 Pandanet-AGA City League finals. The two are the top finishers in the A League and will face off in the finals at the upcoming US Go Congress. Vancouver finished third, Seattle was fourth, in fifth place was Boston and New York finished in sixth. Click here for details. The rest of the leagues are expected to be completed by the end of the month.

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Pandanet Marathon Cho Chikun Cup Registration Closes Friday

Tuesday July 16, 2013

Registration for the 13th Pandanet Marathon tournament, the Cho Chikun Cup, is open until this Friday, July 19. Players have 42 days and 19.5 hours — 42.195 is a marathon’s length in kilometers –to play as many games as they can. Those finishing with 300 points or more will get their names displayed on the Pandanet web page and will be eligible for a certificate signed by Cho Chikun. Click here for details and registration procedures.

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Learning from the Stones: Go for Project Managers

Tuesday July 16, 2013

What’s a go lover to do when faced with the choice of a dissertation topic? For Grant Kerr, a doctoral candidate at the SKEMA Business School’s Lille campus, the choice was obvious. Kerr, an experienced manager of  IT and process improvement projects, had become disillusioned. “Traditional project management  . . . is limited by its rationalist, determinist, normative, first-order control paradigm,” he writes.  “It does not sufficiently consider context, strategy, irrational decision-making, nor does it deal with effects of goal and methods uncertainty such as high rates of change and reciprocal interactions between activities.”  As a longtime go player, Kerr realized that go may serve as a useful analogy to examine these issues. He notes that “the game of go has been used as a source analogue for many disciplines, e.g. military; politics (Boorman 1969; Kissinger 2011), business (Anderson 2004; Miura 1995), and mathematics (Conway 1976),” and proceeds to examine 83 identifiable principles of play.  In the end finds that seven of these principles may lead to more productive problem analysis, especially when there is strong opposition to a project. “[Go] adds a new perspective to current thinking on uncertainty. It suggests that project managers learn to deal with enduring conflict.” Kerr’s thesis is available in The Bob High Memorial Library.
- Roy Laird

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AGHS Calls for Officers

Saturday July 13, 2013

The American Go Honor Society  (AGHS) has published their officer applications for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year. “Are you interested in joining the core team of one of the largest youth organizations dedicated to go,” asks Eric Chen, outgoing Co-President.  The officer positions include Vice President, Treasurer, Promotion Head, Tournament Organizer, and Secretary. “This dedicated board of members will run the renowned annual School Team Tournament, in addition to several other events, and strive to spread the game of go amongst the youth of the U.S. Come join us in our go-craze frenzy! You never know where you might go,” adds Chen.  Applications are due August 18th, and can be downloaded on the aghs website. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.

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Pandanet-AGA City League 10th Round This Sunday

Friday July 12, 2013

The 10th, and for most teams, final round is scheduled for this Sunday, July 14 on Pandanet IGS. At the conclusion of this round, the top two teams in the A League will be invited to play one final playoff round to take place in person at the 2013 US Go Congress on Saturday afternoon, August 2. LA currently has a a slight lead over Boston and Washington, DC in the latest standings. Click here for schedule and results of previous rounds.
- Karoline Burrall 

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New Site Features Video Go Lessons

Friday July 12, 2013

Jonathan Hop 3d, author of the “So You Want to Play Go?” series, has opened a new website featuring video lectures for go players of all levels. There are several free lessons for new users to try the service out, and then lessons on various topics can be rented for $1.99.   “Currently the site has about 20 lectures,” says Hop, “but little by little I will put more up.  My goal is to make go more of a game that Americans can relate to, and see as fun and personable.  You’ll find lectures for total beginners, as well as those on more advanced topics like invasions and josekis.”   Hop has given  lectures on KGS, and has been teaching players, from total beginners to single digit kyus, for a number of years.  Check out Hop’s site here.

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Wanek Wins Las Vegas Mind Sports Festival Go Tournament

Wednesday July 10, 2013

Although last weekend’s Vegas event was thinly attended, AGA President Andy Okun reports that “it was fun and we taught a dozen or so people to play.” The winner of the dan section of the tournament was Michael Wanek 4d of Las Vegas, with Brandon Zhou 2d as runner up. The kyu section was a three-way tie between James Schaefer, Joe Nemeth and Sootiat Boonchuen. “In the teaching, I noted with pleasure how much easier it is to teach chess players to play go,” Okun tells the E-Journal. “They read automatically, since that’s what you do in a game.” Click here for Okun’s commentary on a live-streamed broadcast of Wanek’s game with Roy Kanamaru.

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