American Go E-Journal » Your Move: Readers Write

Your Move/Readers Write: Other Ways of Getting Unstuck

Sunday November 4, 2012

“I enjoyed the article about being stuck at certain levels (The Spirit of Play: “I’m Stuck” 10/29 EJ)” writes Pierre-Yves Laflèche. “In my experience the 2-kyu (or thereabouts) block has been the biggest one for my students. I’ve found that often, trying to power through with problems or reviews can leave the player frustrated if his efforts don’t pay off. It’s one thing to recommend doing problems and game reviews to improve, but what if the student does that and still isn’t improving? A complex situation like that would best be served by a teacher and lessons, but that isn’t always possible with time and budget constraints. One solution that I’ve offered my students has been to change up their playing style, in an attempt to broaden their go horizons and get out of unproductive or unsatisfying habits. The classic example would be to emulate the great Takemiya Masaki’s moyo play, but that is not the only path. I’d be interested in hearing other possible solutions, as this problem is something I’ve thought about quite a bit.”
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Your Move/Readers Write: Gangnam Style Korean Chess, Not Go

Wednesday October 10, 2012

EJ reader consensus is that the game in the “Gangnam Style” video (Go Spotting: Go Gangnam Style 10/8 EJ) is not go, but changgi, or Korean chess. “The player on the right appears to be contemplating moving a piece, not placing one,” points out Peter Drake. “More significantly, there are no bowls of stones visible.” Xinming Simon Guo notes that the pieces are all the same color, and his close-up screen capture seems to settle the question.




Your Move/Readers Write: Whence the Seattle Portable Set?; No Politics

Sunday September 2, 2012

Whence the Seattle Portable Set? “In a world of on-the-go go, it is really difficult to find a portable go set that is satisfying to play with,” writes Ramon Mercado. “But I think I’ve managed to find it. I was searching for a set to take to the club meetings on the coffee shop, and to have available for a quick middle-of-the-day game break at work. Thus, one of those magnetic non-standard size sets was not enough; I wanted a full standard-size board. So imagine my excitement when one day a member of the Des Moines Go club shows up with this perfect folding go Japanese-standard board. No hinges or interlocking pieces, and when opened, the lines perfectly aligned. Great sounding wood too! I asked excitedly ‘where did you get this?” and was told ‘This board is from Seattle.’ Apparently the board dated back to the early days of the Seattle Go Center and the board’s owner has never seen anything like it again. After a few months of searching I did track one down on eBay, but I’m wondering if someone could tell me more about this board, what is its relation to the Seattle Go Center, what it’s made of, and most importantly, can someone make more?”
Email information to

No Politics: “Please do not include political pieces in future journals,” wrote Mason this week (Ron Paul Using Go Strategy to Advance Agenda at GOP Convention? 8/26 EJ). “There is no place for them.”
The E-Journal is dedicated to covering go-related news without fear or favor. Sometimes that news may have political or social aspects but our focus is always on the game of go and it is never our intent to imply support or endorsement of any particular political or social view.


Your Move/Readers Write: The Elegant Hedgehog Pops Up Again

Saturday September 1, 2012

“My wife Kathy Kline’s book group recently read The New York Times best-seller The Elegance of the Hedgehog” writes Terry Benson. “Pages 112-114 in Muriel Barbery’s book (translated from the French) have a wonderful go reference.”

“The main character is a precocious 12-year-old girl who comments acerbically about the adults around her and knows more about go than the father of a friend who is making a movie of The Girl Who Played Go. She uses go as a philosophic metaphor, saying that ‘One of the most extraordinary aspects of the game of go is that it has been proven that in order to win, you must live, but you must also allow the other player to live. Players who are too greedy will lose: it is a subtle game of equilibrium, where you have to get ahead without crushing the other player. In the end, life and death are only the consequences of how well or how poorly you have made your construction. This is what one of Taniguchi’s characters says: you live, you die, these are consequences . It’s a proverb for playing go, and for life.’”
(Previously reported in GO SPOTTING: The Elegance of the Hedgehog 5/4/2010 and The Return of the Elegant Hedgehog 10/24/2010. NOTE: The novel was adapted into a film The Hedgehog (Le hérisson) released in the U.S. in 2011, starring Josiane Balasko as Renée Michel, Garance Le Guillermic as Paloma Josse, and Togo Igawa as Kakuro Ozu, with a score by Gabriel Yared. Click here to see a trailer)



Your Move: Readers Write

Thursday July 5, 2012

“All of a sudden, I can’t get Java to work for me with CGoban,” writes Ray. “The message I get is ‘unable to launch application’. Can you help?”
Sounds like there’s a problem with your KGS. We’ve seen this at the U.S. Go Congress when the network drops and we have no connection. Here are the steps we recommend to solve the issue: Uninstall KGS; Update Java to the latest version at; Reinstall KGS from; Try to download and run the SGF file from; If the above steps do not solve the issue then you should download the CGoban 3 without file extension and this will need to open cgoban first then load the sgf file.
“Works like a charm!” Ray reported. “I had removed and reinstalled JAVA to try to fix but totally forgot that KGS was integral too.
I definitely owe you a tall, cool one!”


Your Move: Readers Write: Nakazono Report Sparks Nice Memories

Wednesday May 23, 2012

“The only time I went to Kyushu, I visited Kumamoto,” writes Bob Barber in response to our May 16 report, The Nakazono Fan Club’s Road Trip to Guangzhou. “I played in a tiny club there.  They were pleased to show me a picture of Michael Redmond.  Nice memories.”


Your Move: Go in American Samoa?

Wednesday April 4, 2012

“I will be a volunteer in American Samoa from July 2012 through to June 2013,” says David Stephenson. “I’m wondering do you know of any go activity over there? – I can’t detect any from igolocal or other google searches. It would be good to find some over-the-board players.” Email


Your Move/Readers Write: Cuban Go?

Wednesday February 1, 2012

“Do you have any contact information for Cuban go players?” wonders Phil. “I’ll arrive in Havana on Saturday, Feb. 4. I did play at the Havana club in 2003, but perhaps someone has more up-to-date information.” Email us at with any info/contacts, and muy gracias!
“We have an Go Academy,” reports Rafael Torres Miranda; the address is: Academia Cubana de Go (Cuban Go Academy),Centro Deportivo ( Sport Center) Eduardo Saborti; 5ta Ave y 120. Playa.  email: Contact: Rafael Torres Miranda ( 57 5 2850452 );



Your Move/Readers Write: Adjusting the Frequency

Sunday January 15, 2012

“I suddenly seem to be getting the daily EJ,” writes Roy. “How do I switch to the weekly?”
At the bottom of the EJ, click on ” UPDATE YOUR PROFILE” and then select the desired frequency.




Your Move/Readers Write: Best Go Teachers?

Monday December 19, 2011

“Assuming a player is serious and wants to make significant improvement with a dedicated effort, whom are the best teachers to partner with for serious improvement,” wonders Joy. “And where are the very best schools in California for making significant improvement for go for adults?”

It’s impossible to say who’s “best,” as that depends on so many unique variables.  Start by asking around at your local club (click here for clubs in California) to see who’s working with which teachers and what their experiences have been. Next, try some lessons with different teachers to get a sense of the fit between their strengths and your goals. Check out the list of US pros here.  Also, a lot of go students these days work with teachers online; KGS is a great source of information on such teachers as well as lectures and more. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!