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

Chinese Go Leaders to Visit New England

Sunday May 8, 2011

The Ing Foundation, MIT Go Club, and the Massachusetts Go Association are joining forces to co-host an unusual event on May 19 featuring visiting Chinese go leaders working to promote go across the world. “The President of the Chinese Qiyuan (Chess Institution), the Secretary-General of the Shanghai Ing Foundation, and the Former Chinese University Tournament champion will be visiting Boston in May to gain insight into how to promote a thriving New England go community,” reports Walther Chen. On May 19 at MIT in Boston, from 6:30-10p, “there will be a special event to honor our Chinese guests as well as provide opportunities for networking and, of course, playing go,” says Chen. RSVP by May 10 with your rank to help setting up matches: americaninggo@mail.com

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Jimmy Yang 4D Sweeps NOVA May Madness

Sunday May 8, 2011

Jimmy Yang 4D went 4-0 to take the top section at the annual May Madness tourney in Fairfax, VA on May 7. The May Madness event is known for its gift exchange where each player brings a wrapped gift and takes a different one home. A new feature was the Life and Death contest where players received a set of five life and death problems at registration and had until the start of the first round to complete them. Ethan Baldridge 2D took home the prize for Dan level problems, and Kevin Chin 1k, with the only perfect score of five correct, won the prize for kyu level.
The other sectional winners in the tournament were Kelsey Dyer 2K 4-0, Robert Ehrlich 5k 3-1, Alan Chen 11k 3-1, and Yang Tang 28k 3-1. Second place winners were Wesley Wu 3D 2-2, Yukino Takehara 2k 3-1, Joey Phoon 6k 2-2, Jason Long 8k 3-1, and Anderson Barreal 22k 3-1.
- Gurujeet Khalsa, Tournament Director

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Clock Ticking on Free Go World Offer

Monday May 2, 2011

Nearly 100 go players have already taken advantage of the American Go Association’s special membership offer of as much as 1700 pages of Go World. “Don’t wait until the last day,” urges AGA President Allan Abramson, “join or renew now!” For a limited time – offer expires May 31 — the AGA is offering as many as 27 issues of Go World magazine to those who join, re-join or renew their memberships. Go World, Kiseido’s quarterly publication, is the ultimate source of go knowledge in English, each 64-page issue is packed with extensive review of at least ten major title match games by top professionals as well as problems, instructional articles and series, and coverage of historical, cultural and other aspects of the game. Click here for complete details on how to take advantage of this offer – made possible by the American Go Foundation– plus download a free sample of Go World.

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Nominations Open For 3 AGA Board Seats

Monday May 2, 2011

Three American Go Association (AGA) Board of Director seats are up for election this year, reports Arnold Eudell, who’s coordinating this year’s election process. The terms of three seats – one in each region – expire this September. Nominations are now being accepted and will close on June 15; nominations must be made by email by full members of the AGA. Send to elections@usgo.org Click here for complete election information and qualifications.

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Osman Wins in Western MA

Monday May 2, 2011

Eric Osman 2d (l) edged out a win in the Western Massachusetts Go Club Spring 2011 tournament on April 30. The tournament in Amherst, MA “had a modest turnout of 16 hard-core players not lured away by one of the most beautiful spring New England weekends yet this season,” reports organizer Trevor Morris. Three players went into the final round undefeated “but none were able to convert to 4-0 and we ended up with 7 players at 3-1” and Osman won on tiebreak to claim the top prize on a month membership to the KGS Insei League. Other first place finishers were Richard Buckman 5k and Stan Silver 14k.  Additional 3-1 winners were Micah Feldman, Joseph Chaves, Ralph St. Louis and Ruban Mitchel. “Thanks to the sponsorship of the KGS Insei League, we’ll be donating over $100 in proceeds from the tournament to Japan relief efforts,” adds Morris. Click here for photos.

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NYC Tsunami Relief Tourney Raises $400

Monday May 2, 2011

”Last week’s Tsunami Relief Tournament in New York City raised over $400 dollars that will be donated through the Japan Society in New York,” reports organizer Boris Bernadsky. Over 30 players attended the April 23 event, some of whom had just started playing earlier this year, including four from the newly-formed Lycee Francias De New York go club. Ben Lockhart 6D won first place with a 3-0 record, winning a month of participation in the KGS insei-league, donated by Alexander Dinerchtein. Other prizes were teaching games donated by Goh Juyeon 8P and Lee Hajin 3P of Korea. The playing space was donated by Randy Au of Meetup.com, whose NY Mostly Go Club meets semi-regularly. Click here http://www.meetup.com/mostlygo/photos/1361253/22934425/ for tournament photos.
- photos by Randy Au.

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AGA Seeking Hosts For NAIM Qualifiers

Monday May 2, 2011

The American Go Association (AGA) is looking for chapters interested in hosting qualifiers for this year’s North American Masters’ Tournament (NAIM). The AGA will sanction as many as eight local NAIM qualifiers – which usually draw large crowd of strong players — and two online events over the next two months. All participants of the qualifiers accumulate points for the NAIM, and the clear winner of each event is guaranteed a place in the main NAIM tournament at the 2011 US Go Congress at Santa Barbara, CA this August. If your chapter is interested in holding a NAIM qualifier during May and June, contact National Tournament Coordinator Edward Zhang at tournaments@usgo.org

Congress and Camp Scholarships Available to Young Players

Monday May 2, 2011

The  American Go Foundation (AGF) is again offering youth scholarships to both the AGA Summer Go Camp and the US Go Congress. A limited number of scholarships are available and the application deadline  is  May 30. Up to 15 awardees will be selected by June 1. Applications received after the deadline will be placed in a lottery, along with other applicants who were not selected in the first round. The remaining scholarships will be awarded by chance.  Needs-based scholarships to the Go Camp are also available. To apply for Go Camp, click here.  To apply for Go Congress, click here.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Eight-year-old Aaron Ye, 2d, reviews his US Open game with Yilun Yang 7P, at the 2010 Go Congress in Colorado Springs.

Children’s Programs Flourishing

Monday April 25, 2011

Elementary school go programs are on the upswing, with organizers across the country launching programs for young kids. Xinming Simon Guo used the Chinese New Year last February to introduce 64 second-graders at Hawthorne Elementary, in Chicago, IL, to the game. “We celebrated a special Chinese Spring Festival. Besides having delicious food for the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the students were treated with ‘delicious’ Chinese culture in the game of weiqi (go).”  Guo reports that some of the kids will soon join his weekly program at the local Chinese school.

In Camp Hill, PA, Mark Lichtenstein started a program at Eisenhower Elementary.  ”I received go equipment from the AGF last school year,” reports Lichtenstein, “it got some use at the high school where I was teaching part time but the school closed over the summer, which I had anticipated.  I  brought the equipment with me to my new location, and I am glad I did, because it gave me the opportunity to lead a small go club at Eisenhower.  I had 6 to 8 children in the club plus an assistant from the high school for each meeting.  We met in February and March every other week for about an hour.  Everyone learned some basics.  Due to time constraints and attention spans, we started on 9×9 and moved to 13×13 but never went to 19×19.  A few parents approached me at other school events and told me that their children were having a great time.  The highschooler downloaded a go app for her smart phone.  The parent running the chess club a few tables over was intrigued but I’ve not got him playing yet.”

Programs like these are directly supported by donations to the American Go Foundation (AGF).  The AGF offers free equipment to any go program for kids in the US and Canada (through the CGA).  They also offer free sets of Hikaru no Go to school and public libraries.  For more information, or to make a donation, visit the AGF website. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo – at Hawthorne Elementary in Chicago, Guo is at far left, in the rear, wearing an orange shirt.  Photo by Xinming Simon Guo.

GO SPOTTING: Discover Magazine on “Who’s Smarter, a Human or a Computer?”

Sunday April 24, 2011

“Go computers are not even close to human capability,” reported Andrew Moseman last February in Discover Magazine . In “Who’s Smarter, a Human or a Computer?” Moseman reviews “the ways that humans can still out-think our computational creations—for now.” On the eve of the IBM’s supercomputer thumping of Jeopardy champions, Moseman looked at checkers, chess, poker and go, as well as Scrabble and Risk, which are also games where humans still do better than computer programs. “There won’t be any major popular game solved for a while now,” University of Alberta professor Jonathan Schaeffer — a member of a research team that created a poker-playing AI that can best human players in limit Texas hold ‘em — says. “There’s a gap.”
photo: Watson faces its human rivals in a practice round. Image: Jeopardy / IBM