American Go E-Journal » YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

Your Move/Readers Write: 1940′s Article on Go Found

Tuesday April 8, 2014

“I expect you’ll have many responses to Stuart French’s question (looking for 1940′s article about how Japanese generals used the game of go to strategize WWII in the Pacific) in the April 7 E-Journal (Your Move/Readers Write: More Responses to The Popular Go Quiz Question), but I give mine anyways,” writes Reinhold Burger. “I think the article may have been a piece in the May 18 1942 edition of Life Magazine (pp. 92-96), entitled ‘Go: Japs play their national game the way they fight their wars.’ The map in question is on page 96. Btw, it includes a photo of Edward Lasker placing a stone on the board.” Burger goes on to wonder “if this is a serious example of the game. After 42 moves, neither player has touched the lower left corner (i.e., where the Indian ocean lies). But I am quite weak (DDK), so perhaps a stronger player could comment.”
Thanks also to David Doshay, Grant Kerr and quizmaster Keith Arnold, who also flagged the same article. It also appears on page 26 of The Go Player’s Almanac published by Kiseido, reports Richard Bozulich.

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Your Move/Readers Write: More Responses to The Popular Go Quiz Question

Monday April 7, 2014

“Thanks for asking this great question about popular go references, (Go Quiz: Who Pulled Off the “Miraculous Upset”? 4/4 EJ)” writes Stuart French from Melbourne, Australia. “A few years ago I saw an Australian newspaper article about how the Japanese generals used the game of go to strategize the war in the Pacific. It included a map of SE Asia, from Japan down to Darwin with a Go board super-imposed over the top. I assume ~c.1943. Did anyone submit this to you as one of the options, or have you seen a copy of it? I am chasing it down to use in my Go and Complexity presentation and would really appreciate an electronic copy.” If anyone’s come across this, let us know at journal@usgo.org.

“Love the Camel ad,” writes Bob Barber in Chicago, Il, also in response to last week’s quiz. “David Matson has it, and a photo of the same situation, with David playing Black. I see that the new paperback edition of Shibumi has a go board on the cover, and a few stones. The central stones make an empty triangle. This may be intentional, and not just a stupid mistake. Years ago, Alan Mishlove showed me a video of Richard Boone, as Paladin, playing go. Far out.”

And in response to quizmaster Keith Arnold’s comment that he was expecting “A Beautiful Mind” to be the winner, noting that “the go scenes are less than convincing…” Rick Mott in Princeton, NJ responded “…Meaning the position in the overhead board shot was utterly ridiculous, doubtless set up by some random prop guy who didn’t play. Yet somebody taught the actors to hold the stones the proper way.” Mott goes on to say that “Hollywood is very, very good at faking things if you don’t know what you’re looking at. Years ago, I had a chance to visit a special effects house on a technical project, the short version is that the effects for the ‘planet at the end of the universe’ in Star Trek V were done with an electron microscope using a digital imaging system made by the company I worked for at the time.”

Your Move/Readers Write: Returning the Favor

Tuesday March 25, 2014

“I just want to add an addendum to Bob Gilman’s efforts to bring the Cubans to the US Congress (Progress Reported on Project to Bring Cuban Delegation to U.S. Go Congress 3/8 EJ),” writes Peter Shotwell. “I organized a trip there in 2000 and more than a dozen people came (we were legal because it was an “amateur” tournament that Cubans could participate in). The Cubans treated us royally and I want to encourage anyone who hasn’t donated to the cause to think about what this means to them if not just to return the favor!” For more details on the project, email bobgilman.aga@gmail.com.

Your Move/Readers Write: Thanks for the Problems

Monday March 17, 2014

“Thank you very much for the problems link, especially the ebook (‘New on the AGA Website: Classic Chinese Problem Collection‘ 3/16 EJ)” writes Lee Frankel-Goldwater. “I think it’s been a challenge to have a good, and simple solution to mobile go problems while not connected to the internet. Appreciated.”

Your Move/Readers Write: How to Find Iyama

Sunday February 23, 2014

“In response to the question about viewing the rest of the Iyama program (Your Move/Readers Write: Where’s the Rest of Iyama? 2/22/2013 EJ): it is possible but you must pay,” writes Todd Dahlquist. “Click this link and it will ask you to either pay the 210 yen ($2) for just watching this program or 945 ($9.22) for unlimited access for a month. Clicking those links brings you to another page to register. All of it is in Japanese though so it would be difficult for someone who does not know Japanese.”
Editor’s Note: Google Translate may help.

Your Move/Readers Write: Where’s the Rest of Iyama?

Saturday February 22, 2014

“Just wondering if the NHK program on Iyama (Go Spotting: Iyama Yuta on NHK 2/15 EJ) is available online in its entirety,” wonders Brian Olive.
Perhaps one of our readers who reads Japanese can check out the NHK site and let us know. email journal@usgo.org

Yunzi Stones and Lead: An Update

Friday February 14, 2014

“I bought ‘Yunzi Stones’ from Yellow Mountain Imports as a gift for my young children so we can play baduk together,” wrote EJ reader Jason Lee recently. “Later on after ordering, I saw online that this kind of stone can contain lead. So when my order arrived I got a lead test kit from the local hardware store to check them for safety. It turns out that the stones sent to me did contain lead. This is unsafe for my children to use and maybe me too. I wrote about my experience here. Thank you for the great work (the EJ does) for baduk players. I read the website every week.”

The EJ originally reported on this in 2008 (Go Review: Chinese Go Stones 2/4/2008) and we later reported (Yunzi Stones Now Lead-Free 6/23/2008 EJ) that YMI had contacted the manufacturer, who had agreed to eliminate lead from the manufacturing process of yunzi stones, which are special go pieces manufactured in the Chinese province of Yunnan. Apparently the manufacturer did not completely eliminate the lead, instead reducing it below the levels recommended by the Consumer Products Safety Commission; see below for details.

Yellow Mountain Imports responds: “Thanks for reaching out to us. We thought we had resolved this many years back when we had gone through all the reformulation and subsequent tests with the Yunnan Weiqi factory so obviously we were concerned. We take product safety seriously so when we heard these new complaints, we contacted the Yunnan Weiqi Factory immediately. They were equally concerned and arranged for a current official radio spectrometry test. The black stones tested positive at 0.005% (50 parts per million). Lead was also found in the white stones, at an even lower concentration, less than 0.002 (20 ppm). The Yunnan Weiqi Factory reformulated Yunzi stones to be within safe levels as per our request many years ago, while maintaining as much as the original qualities as possible, but it turns out that they cannot eliminate it completely. Lead makes the stones more durable and less brittle. These levels are well below the 0.009 (90 ppm) level recommended by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, but we do not claim that they are lead-free. Anyone who has purchased Yunzi stones and wants to return them can do so and should contact us.” Email customerservice@ymimports.com with any questions or concerns.

Your Move/Readers Write: Remembering Relson

Saturday January 25, 2014

“Very soon after I started playing go, I learned that there would be a tournament in Ann Arbor,” writes Bob Barber (right). “I entered at 16 kyu. At that time, I was progressing a stone or three every year (blessed memories!), so I did well in those tournaments. Soon, Roger White was encouraging me (some might say pestering me) to have a tournament in Chicago. When I finally relented, I based it entirely on David Relson’s pattern, including the post-tourney pizza party. So, all the folks from around the country and around the world who played in a Chicago tournament can thank Mr. Relson (In Memoriam: David Relson 1/20 EJ). I am the same age (as the 65-year-old Relson), and have in my youth cycled 73 miles in one day. Now I consider 30 a good workout. Also, try as I might, I never could match David’s facial hair. Surely a life too brief. But how many of us will meet our end doing something we love?” photo: Barber (r) with Xuyu Xiang 6D at the September 3 2011 Form Follows Function Tournament in Chicago, IL; photo by Dan Smith

Your Move/Readers Write: Cup Winner Switch; Remembering T Mark Hall

Friday December 13, 2013

Cup Winner Switch: “The recent article ‘Men’s Team & Women’s Individual Events Launch Go Competitions at SportAccord World Mind Games,’  stated that Fan Tingyu won the Bailing Cup and that Zhou Ruiyang won the Ing Cup,” writes Justin Teng, “but in fact it’s the other way around: Fan Tingyu won the Ing Cup and Zhou Ruiyang won the Bailing Cup.” Good catch, Justin; we’ve corrected the report.

Remembering T Mark Hall: “Some 20 years ago or so, I wanted to learn more about the game I  had been briefly introduced to at university and discovered there was a dan-level BGA official living close by,” writes E-Journal British correspondent Tony Collman. “I phoned him and T Mark Hall was kind enough to invite this stranger to come round for a game on the famous goban, where he demonstrated that a beginner can start with 17 stones on the board and end with nothing. In fact I didn’t get into go seriously then, but this year, after having started to really study it thanks to the magic of the internet, I was delighted to renew the acquaintance at the British Open in my home town of Stevenage. T Mark was installed in the lobby of the Cromwell Hotel, just as described by Jon Diamond (but, whether due to current anti-smoking laws or having quit, minus the pipe) and happily chatted away about GoGoD and other matters until he left for dinner. He showed no sign of his illness, nor made any reference to it and it was an honour and a privilege to have had that chance to sit with him.”

Haiku for T Mark Hall: Keith Arnold sent along this haiku in honor of the famously speedy player and GoGoD co-creator who was once banned on IGS.
speed on the go board
careful transcription to bytes
ban over, pipe out

photo: Hall at the 2010 World Amateur Go Championships in China; click here for None Redmond’s interview with him there; photo by John Pinkerton.

 

Your Move/Readers Write: Yang Problem Correction

Thursday December 12, 2013

“On Yang’s puzzle (12/10 Member’s Edition), did you mean white to play instead of black to play?” wonders Eric Osman.
You are correct; sharp find! Sorry about that. We’ve updated the problem, so if you reload the tsumego problem link, you should see the correction.