American Go E-Journal » YOUR MOVE: Readers Write

Your Move/Readers Write: ‘Catching Chess Cheaters’

Monday June 23, 2014

Chess Life recently published a fascinating article, ‘Catching Chess Cheaters’ centered on using computers and statistics to detect cheating in chess,” writes John Pinkerton. “It covers many related topics of interest to go players such as rating inflation, comparing players of different generations, the statistics of move quality, and computational complexity theory. One interesting statistic is that players make 60 percent to 90 percent more errors when half a pawn ahead or behind compared to when the game is even. It’s believed to be a cognitive effect, not the result of high-risk/high-reward play, because it’s seen in both the player ahead and the player behind.” Graphic courtesy Chess Life; cover photography by Luke Copping

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Your Move/Readers Write: Jansch & Renbourn Redux

Sunday June 22, 2014

“Anders Kierulf (@SmartGo) suggested that I should send you the attached cover art of albums for a well-known partnership in British folk-blues circles, featuring games of go,” writes JF Derry.
The E-Journal’s British correspondent, Tony Collman, covered this in his July 14, 2013 report, Go Spotting: Brit Folkies Bert and John.

Your Move/Readers Write: More on the NU Mag Print

Saturday June 14, 2014

“I do not have a copy of the actual story (Go Spotting: Northeastern University Magazine, 6/7 EJ)”, writes Erwin Gerstorfer, “but at least I can tell you something about the depicted print.” The print is from an Oban Triptych titled Kinki-Shoga no Zu (The Four Accomplishments) by Chikashige Morikawa, who was active in the second half of the 19th century, and was published in October, 1881 by Komori Sojiro.

Your Move/Readers Write: Go-moku, not Go in HBR; Classified Ads Work

Thursday June 5, 2014

Go-moku, not Go in HBR: “The board in the Go Spotting: HBR article (6/2 EJ)shows a position of the game ‘five in a row,’” writes Nin Lei. “It is not a go game position. If you pay attention, you will see there are a few areas where four consecutive black stones (in any directions) are blocked by white. The more obvious give away is that they play the game in the center of the board.” David Doshay adds that in the game of Go-moku “the word ‘go’ means 5, not the game we play.” Thanks to everyone who caught this and wrote in.

Classified Ads Work: “I purchased my first go set on Friday thanks to the classified ad in the E-Journal,” writes Daniel Acheson. “Thank you!”
Classifieds are free; email them to journal@usgo.org

Your Move/Readers Write: The Order of Things

Sunday June 1, 2014

“It always irritates me that reading the weekly Journal in the natural direction, from top to bottom, is reading backwards in time,” writes Roland Crowl. For example, “Powers’ Report #2 before Powers’ Report #1; results of a competition before announcement of its beginning. Please present material chronologically.”
The E-Journal is compiled automatically from WordPress via MailChimp in chronological order from newest to oldest posts; this works best for the daily edition, as we publish the daily posts with the latest news first, but in the weekly compilation, as Crowl notes, this can sometimes result in reports that are in reverse chronological order. Other than reading the weekly from the bottom up, our best suggestion would be to switch to the daily EJ to be sure to receive the reports in chronological order. To change your subscription preferences, just click on “Update Your Profile” at the bottom of the E-Journal and select the appropriate frequency. 

Your Move/Readers Write: Earliest Indication of Go in North America? & Another Turn-Based Site

Saturday May 3, 2014

Earliest Indication of Go in North America? “I was just reading the latest copy of the Archaeology Magazine, May/June 2014 and I came across an article by Samir S. Patel about the early Chinese work camps in North America,” writes Sam Zimmerman. “In the article on page 41 they showed a picture of ‘gambling pieces’ (right) from a British Columbia camp of the 1850s-1860s. They certainly look like they are wei-chi stones and they may be the earliest indications of the game being played North America. I have contacted Archaeology Magazine in hope so getting more information.”
See also: ‘The Archaeology of Internment’  5/9/2011 EJ 

Another Turn-Based Site: “In your latest newsletter you mentioned that Yahoo was ceasing its online gaming site (Website Update: Yahoo Go Gone 5/2/2014 EJ) and listed several sites where you could play turn-based go,” writes Jim Hopper. “You failed to list a site located at ItsYourTurn.com which is also a nice place to play people all over the world a variety of games including go. Check it out.”
- graphic from Archaeology Magazine courtesy Doug Ross, Simon Fraser University

Your Move/Readers Write: More on Disco A-Go-Go

Friday April 25, 2014

“I got dressed to disco music this morning (Go Spotting: Disco A-Go-Go! 4/23/2014 EJ),” writes Phil Straus. “Thank you.”

In that same story, we said that “Perhaps a Japanese-speaking reader can translate the spoken section halfway through.” Reader Pieter Mioch came through for us:
Through the go board the stones make (bring about) ever changing variations
Go is like a scaled down version of life

goban wo bankai ni ishi ga kamoshidasu senpenbanka
go to wa jinsei no shukuzu no yo na mono desu.
碁盤を媒介に石が醸し出す千変万化
碁とは人生の縮図の様な物です。

And according to Tony Atkins in the UK, Chris Linn is the stage name for Christer Lindstedt, a 2-dan who plays at Gothenburg. His last tournament play was at the 1998 Grand Prix d’Europe, where he placed 49th, just one place ahead of Atkins. Linn formed the Gothenburg Association of Songwriters in 2002.

Your Move/Readers Write: Taking the Cake

Wednesday April 23, 2014

“As always, I enjoy receiving the E-Journal’s news,” writes Jean de Maiffe. “One thing I missed in the article about the Syracuse tournament, however (Jason Bates Tops Syracuse “Salt City Tournament” 4/20 EJ) was credit for the problem cake with the credits for other supporters of the tournament. Items like the cake, the go vest made and worn by a long-ago lovely, female teacher of the year whom I have not seen in years and years, and the go doodads that AGF offers. These sorts of personal efforts are, I think, very interesting and can add cachet to any club’s doings.”
We agree and apologize for the oversight; Syracuse Go Club organizer Richard Moseson’s wife, Chris, “always makes the problem cake,” Moseson says. Still black to move, by the way.

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.

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.”