Sunday May 3, 2015
Speed 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 stones 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.”
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 Feigin. “I would expect it to be detailed much more but…”
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 poems 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.”
Wednesday February 25, 2015
Life-Lessons of Go: “If life is a game of go. I wish I (could) place my first move again.” (Go Spotting: “Go Stone” Tweet 2/22 EJ) “And that is the life-lesson of go,” writes Terry Benson. “We don’t get to play our first stone again. As in sports, we have to ‘suck it up’ and look for the next best move with our mistakes glaringly in full view. Go ‘is’ life.”
Did Go Save Edward Lasker’s Life? “What I find most remarkable about Lasker’s story (Go Spotting: Lasker’s “Chess Secrets I learned from the Masters” 2/23 EJ) is that one can argue that go saved Lasker’s life,” writes Vernon Leighton. “Out of college, Lasker worked for a multinational German corporation. He wanted to be transferred to the Japan unit so that he could study go. His company said that he had to be fluent in English to work in Japan. He got a transfer to England to work on his English. WWI broke out and he was jailed as an enemy national. He was transferred to the United States, where he settled and lived the rest of his life. Had he not been in England, he might have been drafted into the German army and killed in a trench in France. Therefore, go may have saved his life.”
photo from LIFE Magazine 18 May 1942
Sunday February 22, 2015
“On your site, you’ve posted a poem about go by Jorge Luis Borges, and asked about his connection to the game (Go Spotting: Jorge Luis Borges on “the astrological game of Go” 10/1/2012 EJ),” writes Scott Enderle. “I am not currently aware of any direct connection, but I think it’s worth mentioning that Borges’ writings explored the idea of combinatorial explosion more deeply than perhaps any literary writer before or since. His story The Library of Babel is a particularly notable example — there’s a fairly recent book about the mathematics behind it, William Goldbloom Bloch’s The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel (click here for a review). So the connection as I see it is more conceptual than historical. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Borges never actually played the game, but I imagine that he was immediately able to intuit some vague sense of its beauty because of his fascination with other sources of combinatorial complexity.”
Monday February 16, 2015
Cambodian Go Contact: “Sensei’s Library has a listing for Cambodia; contact ghislain on KGS,” writes Edward Cherlin in response to the February 6 Your Move/Readers Write: Cambodian Go Wanted posting. “I do not know whether that is a current connection,” adds Cherlin, a long-time go player who’s an adviser to the Cambodian Mathematical Society. Dalsoo Kim, secretary of the Asian Go Federation, also wrote in to ask that “If you find any connection in Cambodia, just let me know for my promotion in that area.” Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday February 12, 2015
Canada’s WAGC Player TBA: “The AGA web page says ‘North America will be represented by Danny Ko’ (at the WAGC), but of course Canada also sends a player,” James Sedgwick writes. “Who Canada will send is still up in the air, as our selected rep Ryan Li is no longer eligible due to his now pro status.”
Gambian Go Stamp: “This picture of a stamp, I think it might be from Gambia, was sent to me by my friends at the Beijing Go Club,” writes Gordon Castanza.
Hikaru Cosplay in LA: This year at Anime Los Angeles, held January 9-11, Samantha Davis cosplayed Hikaru from Hikaru no Go. “My friend Kazuki Deng cosplayed Sai (and) we had a little impromptu photo shoot in the hotel lobby.” photo by Cecilia Nguyen.
Friday February 6, 2015
Cambodian Go Wanted: “One of San Diego go club’s members is now in Cambodia, and would like to find other go players there,” writes Ted Terpstra. “I have arranged to play him on KGS, but as we all know, sitting across the board from an opponent is much more fun.” Send your Cambodian go tips to us at email@example.com.
Suggestions? “Looking through the extensive collection of documentaries available on HULU I noticed the movie ‘Word Wars’ about competitive Scrabble players, but saw nothing about our game,” writes David Matson. “It reminded me of the many times that I and others have written to the AGA E-Journal when we notice productive techniques used by communities similar to the AGA for raising funds and/or public awareness. Is there a person working with the AGA or the E-Journal to whom these little suggestions should be directed? If not, perhaps someone on the E-Journal staff who subscribes to Chess Life, for example, might like to occasionally push the AGA into implementing an adapted version of what they feel are the most promising of the many ideas that these other communities find to be successful.”
The AGA always welcomes suggestions on how to promote and publicize go throughout the United States. Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org, keeping in mind that the AGA is an all-volunteer organization, and won’t be able to respond to every email. Ideas that are easy to implement and/or which you are prepared to lead or coordinate are more likely to succeed.
Saturday January 24, 2015
BGC Bullseye: “Although I left Brooklyn behind several years ago, the description of the Brooklyn Go Club (Go in NYC: An Insider’s Guide 1/21 EJ) is disturbingly accurate,” writes Solomon Smilack. “Thank you for the laugh.”
More on Studying Pro Games: “This is a widely debated and discussed topic (Your Move/Readers Write: How Do You Study Pro Games? 1/20 EJ),” writes Dennis Wheeler, “and one can find numerous discussion threads on this very topic in the Life in 19×19 discussion forum. There also may not be just one answer, as I believe the answers can be as varied and personal as the people who give them. And I too would love to hear opinions from EJournal readers who are professional players themselves.” Wheeler goes on to suggest that “Professional games show us how the game should be played, as opposed to the jumbled misguided (yet fun) mess we often play. Why not try to learn from the best? Or just simply enjoy the beauty of a well played game.”
Tuesday January 20, 2015
How Do You Study Pro Games? “We often hear ‘study professional games to help you improve,’” writes Eric Osman. “But how do you actually do that in practice?” Osman says he plays through pro games on his phone. “At each move, I think for a few seconds about what move I’d make next, then I click to see what the professional did. If the professional’s move differs from mine, I try to see if I can think of a reason the professional’s choice was better than mine.” Osman is a KGS 2k/AGA 2d living in Amherst, MA who’s been playing go since 1976. Send your suggestions/comments to email@example.com