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Latest Attempt to Create International Map of Go Clubs

Tuesday November 29, 2016

There have been a number of attempts to create an international map of go clubs, so that instead of each country maintaining a separate map, there can be one reliable map of go clubs which transcends national boundaries.2016.10.156_Go clubs

One such project is being developed by a member of the German Go Federation (Deutsche Go-Bund). It is open-source and based on free data (OpenStreetMap and umap), so even if the creator were to disappear, it could be taken over and continued with minimal effort, and it would never incur licensing costs of any kind.

The database is currently located hereand the map (which is updated regularly from the database, and therefore
doesn’t include recently-added clubs) is here. The source code is at GitHub here  and here.

The map can be freely embedded on any website, and a few regional, local and national sites are already using it to display their country’s clubs, but at the moment, although European and South American coverage is quite good, the coverage of US clubs is rather sparse, and the Far East isn’t really covered at all.

You can look for your local club by sorting the list here (for example by ZIP code), and if your club is not there, you can add it here. Clubs can be added, removed and edited by all users of the site, and registration is free, but requires authentication via a third-party account: at the moment, GitHub, Google, Facebook and VK are supported.

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Seminar on Strategy Games at Cambridge Not Child’s Play

Wednesday October 19, 2016

 

IMG_20161002_113336An international seminar on strategy games was held at Cambridge University, England, on October 1st and 2nd. Organized by ChessPlus, and co-sponsored by Google’s Deepmind, the event drew about 40 teachers from 15 countries, who shared their expertise on teaching go, chess and other games in schools. The first day began with a compelling presentation from Dr. Barry Hymer, Professor of Psychology in Education at the University of Cumbria, in Lancaster. Hymer provided a brief introduction to mindset theory, and what it does and doesn’t say about achievement as it relates to strategy games. He contrasted two different mindsets: fixed vs. growth. Those with the former believe intelligence is a fixed trait that can’t be changed, while those with the latter believe intelligence is cultivated through learning. Dr. Hymer’s chart (below, at right) shows how these mindsets play out. All of us exhibit some of both types of mindsets at times, and in different areas.

Hymer also expounded on some mindset myths, which included the belief that natural ability and talent don’t exist, or that they don’t matter, and that hard work guarantees ultimate success. Instead, multiple factors come into play to create success, including what Hymer calls metacognitive strategies (how we think about thinking). Hymer noted Gary Kasparov, from the chess world, felt the same way: “It’s not enough to work hard and study late into the night. You must also become intimately aware of the methods you use to reach your decisions.” In a later presentation, Hymer discussed some educational studies with a few surprising results, including that praising students does not lead to any greater level of excellence or even motivation. Negative feedback also does not help.Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 3.31.47 PM Instead, Hymer advocates engaged, attentive, and non-judgmental feedback, which he said helps create self-motivated students who then cultivate the love of learning for themselves. These types of students outperform all other categories by as much as 30%, said Hymer. An example of this from the go community would be the kinds of questions one asks in a teaching game: “What were you hoping to achieve when you went here? How do you think your opponent might respond? Were there other places you thought of playing, and why?” Getting a student to think about how they reached their decisions is key to creating autonomous learners in Hymer’s approach.

Hymer’s presentation was followed by an equally engaging one from Jorge Nuno Silva, of the University of Lisbon (Portugal). Professor Silva gave a lecture on the intellectual history of games in education. Drawing on games from across the centuries (most now completely forgotten) Silva illustrated how and why games are important to learning. Along the way he fascinated the audience with stories of strange and interesting games, including Rythmomachia: ”Invented as a pedagogical game, to help the teaching of Arithmetic, in the 11th century. Even the setup of the pieces on the board was an important experience. It was popular everywhere where Boethius’ Arithmetic was taught. It vanished, naturally, in the 17th century, as mathematics developed in a different way. Chess then took over.”jorge

The seminar continued with presentations from teachers and specialists from all over the world. Daniela Trinks of Myongji University in Korea spoke on the didactics of go, and Stefan Löffler spoke on the didactics of chess. Mads Jacobsen, from Denmark, spoke about the extraordinary success of chess programs in his country, where 30% of all schools have chess as a scheduled activity. Toby Manning of the British Go Association, and Paul Barchilon of the American Go Foundation both spoke on efforts to introduce go to more schools in their respective countries. “The beautiful rooms of Cambridge University provided a wonderful environment for these two days of learning, teaching, discussing, inspiration and forming cooperations,” said Daniela Trinks. “The success of this seminar proves once more that chess and go teachers shouldn’t see each other as rivals but as colleagues who have a lot in common. By sharing our experiences we can learn from each other, improve teaching praxis and develop more successful educational programs at schools in the future.”

The main organizers were John Foley, Stefan Löffler, Rita Atkins and John Upham from Chessplus. The seminar was sponsored by DeepMind, and supported by the British Go Association, the European Go Federation, the European Go Cultural Centre, the American Go Foundation and the UK Backgammon Federation. An online documentation of the seminar, including videos, photos and presentation files is planned. Interested readers can see the program, and associated slideshows, for all segments highlighted in blue on this page. -Story and photos by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Top: Seminar participants take a break on the lawn at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge;  Lower right: Slide from Dr. Barry Hymer’s presentation; Lower left: Professor Jorge Nuno Silva shows the board for Rythmomachia.

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AGA Broadcast Friday Night: Ke Jie 9p vs Won Sungjin 9p in Bailing Cup

Thursday August 25, 2016

Myungwan Kim 9p and the AGA’s Andrew Jackson will commentate the first game in the Bailing Cup semi-finals this Friday, August 26, starting at 10:30p (PDT). Friday’s game will be the first game of a best-of-three match featuring Ke Jie 9p versus Won Sungjin 9p. watch the action live on the AGA’s YouTube channel or Twitch. Ke Jie 9p, one of the strongest players in the world at the moment, is known for his intense fighting and this match is sure to be exciting.
- Michael Wanek

 

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Correction: Kim Broke WYGC Record in 1985

Thursday August 25, 2016

2012.04.27_janicekim-2008-10-sf“Congratulations to Aaron Ye on the WYGC (EJ 8-13)” writes eagle-eyed reader Keith Arnold, “he may be the first to finish third, but he is not the first to finish in the top three. Janice Kim took second place in the World Youth Championship in 1985.” Arnold also noted that Bellamy Liu tied for third place back in 1995, and that several contestants besides Calvin Sun had also placed fourth in the past.  “Keith, repository of go lore, is correct in all things,” responded Janice Kim 3p when asked for comment, “I myself wasn’t sure if he had the year right, so I had to go look at the trophy. The year before (’84) I came in 9th, interestingly, my recollection is that Lee Chang-ho 9 dan came in 3rd, and Ryu Shi-hoon 9 dan came in 4th (he was a Korean insei who went to Japan and even won a title there). Kim Young-hwan (not sure what dan he is now) won. The next year when I came in second, Kong Byung-ju (again, not sure what dan he is now) won. The Korean insei system got started around 1980-81, and that first cohort was a POWERHOUSE, headed by Yoo Chang-hyuk 9 dan, the oldest of us. I think I was riding the wave of that team, and see sometime soon something similar for young US go players. I should note that I was studying in Korea, but representing the US, and in those early days the insei system in Korea wasn’t really formalized.”

“To be an insei (or ‘wonsaeng’ in Korean) back then you just kind of had to show up and ‘represent yourself,’ as one might say,” Kim continues. “When Kong Byung-ju came to Seoul, one of the older pros had him take 2 stones against Yu Chang-hyuk, who had already been granted professional 1 dan status for coming in 2nd in the World Amateur Championships a bit earlier. I think Yu was 18, making him one of the oldest of us, he was pretty strong already, in just a couple of years he was challenging Cho Hoon-hyun 9 dan in title matches. That strong younger generation coming in with the lower dan ranks, was one of the reasons why Korean low-dans were globally feared back then.”

“I remember distinctly when Yu was playing this 2-stone evaluation game with Kong, they went to just the early middle game, and then Yu Chang-hyuk said “Andennundayo,” basically, it’s not happening, I can’t give him two stones. That was enough to put Kong Byung-ju at wonsaeng 3 kyu or ‘gup’, in A League. The games that A Leaguers or lower-dan pros played in the wonsaeng study room were fascinating to watch, they were all even, and I remember once a huge, complex capturing race with big eyes, where one side had over 20 liberties, the other, one less, although I wasn’t able to see that before the resignation came. I could not believe my own eyes that a player short a liberty so far down a twisting path would resign at that point, certain of defeat. It’s informed my go sensibilities to this day what it means to be truly strong, although many people would look only at the loss.”

“When Kong and I played in the final at the World Youth, I think I believed I could win, but maybe subconsciously didn’t, I used to watch everyone’s games and wonder inside if I could possibly be playing at that level. Afterwards we went to the top of the hotel we were staying at in Taipei, and tried to drink the beer they had given us at the banquet out of our trophies. I have never cared for beer though, even under such circumstances, so we ended up just singing instead.”

-Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor

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Ye Breaks Through in WYGC

Saturday August 13, 2016

IMG_7137Aaron Ye 7d has finally broken the glass ceiling at the World Youth Goe Championships (WYGC) by becoming the first American player to place in the top three at the event.   Now in its 33rd year, the event has been run by the Ing Foundation for decades, and invites strong youth from all over the world to compete. Ye first attended the event in 2011, competing in the Jr. Division when he was just nine years old, and placing fourth overall.  Calvin Sun, now 1P, also competed in the event for years as a child, and had also placed fourth when he was 13 (on his sixth attempt).  China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan have shut everyone else out until this year, when Ye’s determination and effort finally paid off.  Now 14, Ye has been at the top of the US youth go scene for years, winning the Redmond Cup several times, and putting up a strong fight in the AGA pro certification leagues, as well as dominating other youth events and leading in many AGA tournaments.

The WYGC was held August 4th-7th in Tokyo this year, at the Nihon Kiin.  Ye reached the semi-finals by edging out Takei Taishen 7D of Japan by a hairs-breadth 3rd tier tie breaker (SOSODOS). After losing to the tournament’s champion Jiang Qirun 2P of China, Ye went on to take 3rd place by defeating Ahn Dongjun  5D of Korea. The USA junior player, nine-year-old Matthew Cheng 2d faced a tough choice this year, as he also won the Redmond Cup qualifiers and could have had a free trip to the US Go Congress to compete at the finals. Unfortunately, the WYGC and the Congress were both held the same week this year, so Cheng had to choose one over the other. Cheng did well at the WYGC though, “placing 7th in an outstanding performance by a player who learned go from a you-tube video a scant three years ago,” said Team Leader Mike Bull. Cheng also managed to draw matches with three of the four strongest players in his division in his first three games of the tournament. -Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor, with Mike Bull. Photo by Abby Zhang: Ahn Dongjun 5d (l) vs. Aaron Ye 7d (r).

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Iberoamerican Go Championship Extends Invitation to Players Worldwide

Saturday August 13, 2016

The Venezuelan Go Association, in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan, will host the 18th Iberoamerican Go 2016.08.13_IberoamericanChampionship October 7-9 at the 5-star Pestana Caracas Premium City and Conference Hotel in Caracas, Venezuela. “We would very much like to have a lot of participants from every country,” says Loli Puerta of the Asociacion Venezolana de Go.
The 7-round Swiss-paired tournament will be played using WAGC rules, with players playing even games with 6.5 komi. Trophies will be awarded to the top three players. Games will be played on all three days of the tournament, with a city tour following the closing ceremony on Sunday. Lunch will be provided on each day.
To register, contact the Organizing Committee by October 4th with your name, rank, country, and age. Include photo identification. The registration fee is $30. Transportation to and from the airport will be provided. Any questions about the event may also be directed to the Organizing Committee in either English or Spanish.

- edited by Brian Kirby

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Categories: South America,World
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US Players Invited to Malaysia Int’l Amateur Go Championship

Saturday August 13, 2016

The “Ipoh Wei Qi Enterprise” has formally extended an invitation to AGA players, and to amateurs worldwide, to sign up for2016.08.13_MIAGC the Malaysia International Amateur Go Championship, or MIAGC. The championship will consist of three sessions, including two online selection sessions, denoted Preliminary and Semi-Final by the organizers, and a final session March 11-16, 2017 at the Syeun Hotel, in Ipoh, the capital city of Perak, Malaysia. Early Bird registration offers a discount of 20 Malaysian Ringgits, bringing the price from 180 to 160, roughly $40 USD. If more than five people register together, there is a 20% discount. The preliminary rounds will be held on OGS throughout October, and the semi-finals online November 16 through December 15. Those who win 5 of 10 matches in October’s preliminary will qualify for the semi-final, and players winning 6 of 10 matches in the semi-final will secure a place in the final until all the places are taken. Unique to this tournament is the ability to buy back in, should one lose early. The prize for the champion will be 50,000 RM minimum, or roughly $12,500 USD, and depending on registration totals may be raised. Click here for tournament information and registration.
- edited by Noah Doss

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Playing Go in Hong Kong

Sunday July 3, 2016

-by Dave Weimer

13254283_10153430156721793_2158670935980139262_nTwenty years ago I lived around the corner from the Hong Kong Go Association in the Wan Chi District of Hong Kong. Returning to Hong Kong last fall, I discovered that the HKGA had moved. After some investigation, I was able to find the new location in the Kowloon District. During my first visit I was amazed that a search of a card file revealed my membership at the old location!

Some things were the same: I was the only non-Hong Kong native who regularly played; players were friendly and welcoming, often despite the absence of a common language; and counting was usually by the Chinese method. The major difference was that Friday evenings, rather than Saturdays and Sundays, were the best times to find a lot of players and games against opponents of various strengths. My nemesis, a 13 year old named Matthew, was a regular on Friday evenings and we had many enjoyable games. Unlike twenty years ago, when most games seemed to involve big dragons fighting to the death, games seem to show more style now and players usually spend time going over completed games to improve.

As finding the Association might be difficult for someone not familiar with Hong Kong, I offer the following information:

Hours: Tuesdays through Sundays, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Fees for non-members: HK$20 (about US$2.50) on weekdays; HK$40 on weekends and public holidays.

Directions: Take the MTR to the Lai Chi Kok Station; take the B1 exit and go straight ahead a few steps to Tai Nan West Road; turn left onto Tai Nan West Road; go three short blocks to its end at King Lam Street (there is a Honda dealer on the corner); turn left onto Kim Lam Street for one block to Yee Kuk West Street; turn left and enter Number 82 on the left almost immediately; take the elevator to the third floor; play Go! (Based on experience, I highly recommend following these directions rather than relying on a map app.) -Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Go Association’s Facebook Page

 

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Categories: China,World
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Mexican Go Congress Breaks Records

Wednesday June 29, 2016

IMG_2831“The 3rd Mexican Go Congress turned out to be a huge success,” reports Mingming Stephanie Yin 1P. “The event was held June 18th-20th at the Tlatelolco Cultural Center in Mexico City, and was full of surprises for everyone. Three Professionals were invited: Hye-Yeon Cho 9p,  William Gansheng Shi 1p, and myself.  We held  game reviews, lectures, and simul games.   A new record high for the Mexican Open Tournament was set as well, with 56 players.   The participation in the Youth tournament was also pretty impressive, with a 36 player field in two categories,” said Yin. Mexican Go Association Youth Coordinator Sid Avila adds  “these kids are starting to compete at higher levels, some have already played in international tournaments and are also playing in the Open.”

“This is the 3rd time Mexico has run its Go Congress and every year the community is growing and people are more interested,” reports Mexican Go Association president Emil Garcia. “I believe the world of go is entering into a new stage of development, and we are really glad Mexico is catching this upheaval with the support of Associations such as KABA, the AGA, and the AGF,  who helped us bring the pros in. Undoubtedly Mexican go will keep growing having such big allies. I see a bright future for North American go as a whole.”IMG_2828

“On the last day, the pros were invited to visit a private Mexican elementary school named CIEA Pipiolo, which is the only elementary school with go as a school subject in Mexico City,” said Yin, “There are around 80 students ranging in age from 5-12 years old. Everyone is talented and extremely passionate about go. We three pros were separated and played pair go with the kids in teams.”

All three pros issued a joint message for the kids: “It’s wonderful to be here with all of you, our futures of go. We hope that you will enjoy playing go, learning go, and some of you may become professionals in the future.” Yin adds “I believe that the world of go will expand much more quickly than we expected. As professional go players, we will do our best to promote, teach, and help. We also hope that more schools will include go as a subject in America. I am seeing a brighter future for the world of go.”

For full standings from the congress click here.  For youth standings, click here.  Story by Stephanie Yin, pictures by Yin, Emil Garcia and Tonatiuh Zama

 

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Baoxiang Bai of China wins 2016 World Amateur Go Championships

Tuesday June 14, 2016

China’s Baoxiang Bai (right) defeated Chinese Taipei’s Chia-Cheng Hsu to win his second world amateur championship with a 2016.06.14_37wagc_BAIperfect 8-0 record. Korea’s Kibaek Kim was second, and Chinese Taipei’s Chia Cheng Hsu was third. Benjamin Lockhart of the US was 13th, Manuel Velasco of Canada was 28th and Emil Garcia of Mexico was 36th. The tournament took place June 5-8 in Wuxi, a city of six million located slightly northwest of Shanghai. Full results here. Click here for more WAGC reports on Ranka.

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