American Go E-Journal » Your Move: Readers Write

Your Move/Readers Write: A chess players discovers iGo; Searching for a go book:

Monday September 28, 2015

A chess player discovers go: “I was a chess player my whole life,” writes David Coffin. “I’m 31 years old and just starting out in the game of 2015.09.28_Cambodian_Chess_with_Western_setiGo. I call the game iGo cause I heard the Japanese call it iGo. I am amazed by the depth of the tactics in this game. It’s this tactical thinking and the great tradition of the game that keep me coming back. I’ve read a couple of the Janice Kim books and plan on finishing her series. I get the American Go eJournal every day and read about the game. Thanks for your commitment to this board game.”
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Searching for a go book: “I discovered go in a local bookstore in Cleveland, where I also found a board and pieces, in a classic games book for kids,” writes Sharon Cenna. “The shelf also contained a wonderful, hard -back, oversized volume, with history of go in Asia, including many interesting art reproductions.It was quite large, with many pages. I couldn’t afford it at the time, circa 2006, and I’m trying to locate it now. If anyone knows which book this is, and where to find it, I would deeply appreciate any help you might offer.”
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Your Move/Readers Write: Honinbo Sansa’s deathbed poem

Wednesday September 16, 2015

“Here is an example of another kind of verse, a famous kyoka (mad poem) attributed to Sansa, the first Honinbo and founder of that line,” 2015.09.16_Honinbo_Sansawrites Keith Arnold in response to Paul Celmer’s recent query (Searching for a literary go reference 9/9 EJ). “He is said to have composed it on his deathbed, which would date it at 1623. As a demonstration, perhaps, of mu-shin, and not without a touch of grim humor, he makes his own imminent death the subject.”

Go narabaya
ko ni mo tatete
iku beki wo
shinuru michi ni wa
te hitotsu mo nashi

If this were go
I’d start a ko fight
and surely live,
but on the road to death
there’s no move left at all.

This is from an article, Some Senryu about Go by William Pinckard who often contributed to Go World.  I found it on the Kiseido site, but I suspect it was originally published in Go World 15 and in the second edition of the Go Almanac.”
(Thanks also to Peter Schumer, who also sent in this poem)

Your Move/Readers Write: Kudos for Swift Ratings

Tuesday August 25, 2015

Kudos for Swift Ratings: “I’ve complained before about the timeliness of ratings updates, so let me be the first to compliment those responsible for getting it done swiftly this year,” writes Brady Daniels.
The following US Go Congress tournaments have now been rated: US Open, US Open Masters, Congress Self-Paired, Congress DieHard and Congress 
U16 AGA Girls’ Championship. Click here for latest ratings.

Your Move/Readers Write: Where Was Ben?

Tuesday August 18, 2015

Where Was Ben? “I enjoyed reading your story about Lockhart’s win,” writes Ted Terpstra. “But the story failed to say where the competition 2015.08.18_ben-lockhartwas held and where the next round will be. It is always interesting to read where our American players are playing.”
The prelim was in Seoul, Korea; the next stage starts on 9/7 in Beijing, China.

Your Move/Readers Write: No Japanese Pros?

Tuesday June 16, 2015

No Japanese Pros? “I see the E-Journal is reporting the pros coming to the Go Congress (Top Pros Confirm for US Go Congress 6/8)” writes Bill Chiles.  “I’m a bit shocked there are no Japanese pros coming.  Why is that?!  Maeda Sensei is almost always there at the very least.”
We should have specified that this was a preliminary list; the Nihon Kiin and Kansai Kiin in Japan and KBA in Korea have not yet provided the names of their pros who will be in attendance.

About the Liebniz piece: “Most of this information about Leibniz’s acquaintance with go (Go Spotting: Leibniz calls go “ingenious and quite difficult” 6/11) can be found in The Go Player’s Almanac (2001) in Jaap K. Blom’s essay, Go in the West in the 18th Century, pages 38 to 42,” writes Richard Bozulich from Kiseido.

Your Move/Readers Write: Portable Go Board?

Sunday May 24, 2015

Portable Go Board? “What kind of goban are the kids in your Chicago tournament story (Chicago Kids Compete in First Tourney 5/21 EJ) using?” writes Chris Uzal.2015.05.21-Chi-kids-cropped “Who makes it? And how did they make stones for it? It looks perfect. Right size for a backpack and a place for your fingers if you have to move the board. We need more of these in the United States and Europe. The traditional board size is due for a break in tradition.”
Small magnetic sets like that are readily available in the US.  Yellow Mountain and Yutopian both carry them.  

Your Move/Readers Write: Crushed by Cho’s Commercial

Sunday May 17, 2015

“I question whether it’s a good sign when one of the greatest go players of all time is making commercials for Candy Crush soda,” (Go Spotting: 2015.05.17_cho-candy-crushCho Hunhyun Crushes It 5/15 EJ) writes Terry Benson. “It’s amusing and well shot. (Cho Hunhyun) may have done it as a fun ‘why not?’ or because he knows the president of the company, but think Placido Domingo for Halls lozenges or an aging football great selling Depends. I’m sure he was well compensated.”

Your Move/Readers Write: Speed Ratings; Next Generation

Sunday May 3, 2015

2015.05.02_Hopkins-tourney-groupSpeed Ratings: “I stopped by the Hopkins Go Tournament on April 17, and I checked my rating a few days later and found that the tournament had already been rated!” writes Keith Arnold. “I am not sure who to praise on the AGA end, but good job by the first time tournament organizers in getting their data in so quickly.  Makes me wish I had played.” photo (left) by Ning-Yuan Ernest Wang

Next Generation: “Thanks for all the work you put in to publishing the E-Journal every day,” writes Steve Schmeiser. “I recently showed my son my goban and 2015.05.02_schmeiser-sonstones and he had a lot of fun placing the stones on the board and hearing them ‘thunk.’  He is also a great kibitzer!  I thought the other members might enjoy this photo of the next generation of go players.”

Your Move/Readers Write: Go Barely Mentioned in “Full” History of Board Games Post

Saturday May 2, 2015

Go Barely Mentioned in “Full” History of Board Games Post: “Go is mentioned twice in The Full History of Board Games,” writes reader Uri 2015.05.02_roman-diceFeigin. “I would expect it to be detailed much more but…”


Your Move/Readers Write: Li Keqiang’s Go Metaphor; More on Legal Go Positions

Wednesday March 25, 2015

Li Keqiang’s Go Metaphor: In a departure from previous years, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang did not cite any traditional Chinese sayings or 2015.03.23_Li Keqiangpoems at a recent news conference after the annual National People’s Congress. Instead, he used a go metaphor to convey his message. “In weiqi – a chessboard game invented by the Chinese – one has to both plan the big picture and also get the key moves right,” he said, explaining his strategy in managing China’s economy.
- Based on a report in the South China Morning Post; thanks to Melanie Manion and Dave Weimer for passing it along.

More on Legal Go Positions: “A colleague of mine 30 years ago offered a very clever way of accurately estimating the number of legal go positions, (Number of Legal 18×18 Go Positions Computed 3/17)” writes Eric Osman. “His name is Peter Sichel and his clever way was this: generate random board arrangements, and see what percentage of those are legal. If you want more accuracy, generate some more! The estimate for the number of legal positions is merely your percentage of legal ones multiplied by the total number of possible positions which of course is 3 to the square of 19 power.”