Tuesday March 25, 2014
MTV’s Teen Wolf has shattered the Go Spotting record, featuring go four weeks in a row, on a show that’s not about go. With a viewership of 3.5 million, repeated mentions of the game, and even a summary of the main goals, local clubs could soon be seeing a surge of new players if even a fraction of those viewers become curious about go and learn to play. This week’s episode, entitled “The Divine Move” both starts and ends with go. Early in the episode Mrs. Yukimura (Tamlyn Tomita) advises a desperate Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) while the family is seated around a go board “he made a powerful move by splitting the two of you.” “So what’s our move?” responds her daughter Kira (Arden Cho), as she places a stone on the board. “The Nogitsune has had sente until this point, what you need is a ‘Divine Move’ in order to turn this game around,” responds her mother. Stiles does find a divine move, in the story arc at least, and his friends defeat the Nogitsune at last. Towards the end of the episode, Kira’s parents are seen picking up the pieces from the go board, drawing a conclusion to the story arc (and the season). Full episodes of Teen Wolf can be streamed on the MTV website here. As an added bonus, in the after show (Wolf Watch) series creator Jeff Davis also talks briefly about go. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo from the MTV website: Kira places a stone on the board, while Stiles talks to Mrs. Yukimura.
Wednesday March 19, 2014
The AGA Go Camp is confirmed for this summer, reports Camp Director Amanda Miller. Camp will be held the week before the Go Congress, from August 3rd to 9th, at YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven, PA. White Haven is about 2 hours outside of New York City, so anyone who wishes to attend both camp and congress should be able to do so easily. Miller will be joined by co-director Nano Rivera, and they invite campers of all skill levels, and between the ages of 8 and 18, to join them for a week of go-playing and fun. More information regarding the camp will be available soon, and registration will open within the next two weeks. Keep an eye on the camp website for details. Those who played in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships will also be available. Any questions can be e-mailed to Amanda Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. -Story and photo by Amanda Miller
Wednesday March 19, 2014
MTV’s Teen Wolf seems to be on a go jag. This week’s episode featured another conversation about strategy, with Kira (Arden Cho) learning about go from her mother, who even explains what the game is about, and describes territory. Later in the episode, Kira’s father tells her that go is called Baduk in Korea, and that her mother is a very aggressive player – too aggressive for her own good. This marks the third week in a row that go has been featured on the show, and next week’s episode is titled “The Divine Move,” which any Hikaru no Go fan will immediately recognize as a key concept in the manga. My guess is that next weeks episode will revolve around another go match, possibly between Kira and her mother. Check out Teen Wolf on the MTV website here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Tuesday March 18, 2014
Nine-year-old Andrew Zhang, of Corvallis, OR, took 1st place with a record of 7-1, at the Hikaru no Go Tournament in Portland, on March 16th. 14 youth competed in the event, the youngest was six and the eldest in high school, reports organizer Peter Freedman. “We developed a unique format, designed specifically for new players, who had to play four 9×9 games, three 13×13 games, two 19×19 games, or three total games of any of the previous combinations,” said Freedman. Beverly Cleary’s John Meo, age 13, took second place with a 6-1 record. Third place went to Hikaru Sato, age 11, with a record of 5-2. Four children made the trek up the valley to Portland to play in the tournament. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
Saturday March 15, 2014
Turns out the board position in episode 22 of Teen Wolf (EJ 3-12-14) is from a real game. “I had the pleasure of setting up the go board for this scene, and I got paid for it too,” reports 2012 AGF Teacher of the Year Joe Walters. “The empty triangle is a real move. The game was between Michael Redmond 9P and Chino Tadahiko 9P on March 15, 2012, in the B section of the Meijin. I set the game up for the scene sometime before Xmas last year, they provided the board and stones. I did it on the floor in the room where they shot the scene, but not on the tree stump where they used it in the final scene. Someone took pictures of the board, and they duplicated the setup when they shot the scene later on. They just wanted a game that looked real, so I selected that one because it was by an American 9 dan pro and had only a few moves,” said Walters.
The game itself had been offered as a commented record by Michael Redmond, and appeared in the members edition of the E-Journal. “The empty triangle, white 140, was just a normal endgame move,” Redmond tells the E-Journal. “Although good shape is advantageous even in the endgame, correct reading and calculation becomes much more important and as the board becomes crowded with stones, so-called ‘bad shapes’ become more likely and can often be the correct move, as in this case. Looking for good shape in this game, I would have chosen black 97 because, although I say it myself, it was an inspired and well-calculated move with which I forced the sequence that secured my win.” The timing in the episode of Teen Wolf is pretty good, as white actually resigns the move after the empty triangle, which coincides with Stiles sweeping the stones off the board, and also means the Nogitsune was playing Redmond’s moves. “I am glad to know that my games are getting this extra chance to be viewed by a non-playing audience,” adds Redmond. “It is great that go is now being used more in movies and other such media, and it is always exciting to see that reported in the AGA E-Journal.” This week, as a special bonus for non-members, the E-J is providing Redmond’s commentary on his game record. If you would like to receive exciting games like this in your e-mail every week, join the AGA as a full member here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
Thursday March 13, 2014
The third annual Jingdezhen exhibition match finished on March 9 with Choi Cheolhan 9p finally victorious over long-time rival Chen Yaoye 9p. Establishing territory was tedious but the game remained relatively even up to move 134. However, both Chen (black) and Choi (white) began to stumble shortly after, making a series of mistakes until Choi secured the winning move at 182. They played a perfect endgame and Chen never had a chance to recover.
Before this game, Chen had won over twice as many games as Choi in their individual matches (10-4). From 2007 through 2012 alone, Chen defeated Choi in 8 consecutive games. Choi’s record since 2013, though, has been comeback material. Since 2013, Chen and Choi’s head to head record (including this game) is 3-1 in Choi’s favor.
Also known as the Tianxin Pharmaceutical Cup, the first Jingdezhen match was played in 2012 in its title city Jindgezhen (located in China’s Jiangxi province). The winner’s prize is 150,000 RMB (approx. 24.5k USD) and the runner up claims 100,000 RMB (approx. 16k USD). For more information about this year’s Jingdezhen exhibition match including photos, please visit Go Game Guru.
— Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo and game record courtesy of Go Game Guru
Wednesday March 12, 2014
MTV drama Teen Wolf again wove go into the latest episode, making two weeks in a row where the game has been featured prominently. Co-star Dylan O’Brien, as Stiles Stilinski, has been possessed by a dark fox spirit, the Nogitsune, who is controlling his mind and body. Go is alluded to about twelve minutes in, when two werewolves are discussing strategy. One is trying to use a chess board to figure out what Stiles would do, but the older werewolf observes “Chess is Stiles’ game, it’s not the game of a Japanese fox”. Later, using psychic werewolf powers, Stiles’ friends are able to enter his mind, where they find him engaged in a game of go with the Nogitsune. Like all good go players, he is immersed in the game, and deaf to the cries of his friends. It appears that while his mind is trapped in the go game, the Nogitsune has complete control of his body. We see the board from multiple angles, with Stiles playing white. Unfortunately, the only move he makes on the board is an empty triangle, although the board position is at least reasonable. The spell is broken when Tyler Posey, as Scott McCall, transforms into a werewolf and his howl gets through to Stiles. Suddenly realizing what is going on, Stiles looks up at the Nogitsune, and then sweeps all the stones off the board. Just as well, nothing good would have come from that empty triangle anyway. The go match appears at the 35 minute mark, and the entire episode can be viewed on the MTV website here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo from the MTV website.
Friday March 7, 2014
MTV’s popular drama Teen Wolf features go prominently in the latest episode The Fox and the Wolf. Part of the episode is set in a Japanese internment camp, during the second World War, and a character named Satomi uses go throughout the episode, to help control her emotions. “You take too frequently, and you take too much,” Satomi tells a younger woman, in a conversation at the go board that is as much about stealing supplies for sale on the black market as it is about the game. “The young fox always knows the rules so she can break them, the older wiser animal learns the exceptions to the rules,” says Satomi as she captures a stone. The entire episode can be streamed on the MTV website here, go first appears in the episode at the 9 minute mark. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Satomi studies the board, from Teen Wolf Episode 21.
Sunday March 2, 2014
The 21st annual Redmond Cup will begin in April, and registration is due by March 15th. Preliminary games will be played online and the four finalists will be invited to the 2014 US Go Congress to play the final games. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids 12 and under, and the Senior league for 17 and under, on August 17th 2014. Competitors in both leagues must have an AGA or CGA rank of 1 dan or higher. Redmond tournament director Michael Bull, who ran the event for the past twenty years, has retired this year, and the event will now by run by Paul Barchilon and Justin Teng. The Junior league has been expanded to include 12 year olds, and both leagues now require a dan rating (kyu players can compete in the North American Kyu Championships instead). Players who complete the tournament will be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, on a first come first served basis, courtesy of the AGF. Competitors from Mexico are also invited to the event. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA. For more information on the event, read the rules document here. To register click here. -Story and photo by Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: David Lu 6d (l) vs. Aaron Ye 6d (r), while Justing Teng records the game for broadcast, from the 2013 Go Congress in Tacoma.