American Go E-Journal

Mingjiu Jiang Workshop Set for Portland in April

Monday December 2, 2013

Well-known Chinese pro Mingjiu Jiang 7P will do a weekend workshop at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR on Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27. “This is part of the Portland Go Club’s continuing effort to bring a variety of pro players to Portland to teach players of all strengths,” reports local organizer Peter Freedman. Those interested in participating must let Freedman know asap and pay to insure a spot. Reach him at peter.freedman@comcast.net, call 503-242-4203 or send $100* to the Portland Go Club, c/o Peter Freedman, 1710 SW Harbor Way, Unit 303, Portland, OR. *There are reduced rates for students and children: college students pursuing a degree: $50; Children and youth up to age 18: $25. photo by Brian Allen

Categories: U.S./North America
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Club Corner: Be Tireless and Welcoming

Monday December 2, 2013

The following is a response to a discussion about increasing attendance at go clubs, which was initiated by Aulden Murch recently on the AGA-Chapters email list.  It has been reprinted here with permission.

by Eric Jankowski

After running the Ann Arbor club for a decade, I moved to Colorado and have been largely invisible as an organizer for the last year.  Having been both very and negligibly involved in running clubs, my feeling is that two ingredients are needed for sustainable growth: 1) a tireless advocate for the club who 2) understands the importance of creating an inclusive environment.  I suspect we’ve all known someone with this rare combination at some point — the Susan Weirs, Paul Barchilons, Greg Leflers, and Guo Juans, to name just a few. Those of us who try to build clubs may have even been that person occasionally, and can appreciate it is not a trivial effort to maintain.

The great thing about the first ingredient is that it doesn’t depend on rank.  Anyone that has been bitten by the beauty of the game can be that tireless advocate.  The catch here is that it takes time and energy to be tireless: it can take a big bite out of time for other important life priorities such as work and family.  The tireless advocate here is that person who is always at the club, dragging in all of their friends, putting on workshops at libraries and festivals.  Someone with infectious enthusiasm.  One great example back in Ann Arbor was Albert Guo’s mom; she didn’t ever play, but saw how much her son loved the game and would show up to cook egg rolls at our tournaments.  You just can’t beat that for enthusiasm.  When you show other people how much you want to be somewhere, they want to be there too.

The second ingredient is a little trickier; it requires leadership from strong players who are willing to teach and maintain a welcoming environment.  When the top guns only play each other it creates a feeling of inapproachability.  Back in Ann Arbor, we had a great mix of kids, college students, permanent residents, and even a few famed homeless folk, and I think it’s because we went to great lengths to emphasize an inclusive environment.  We had an implicit rule: Ignoring or bullying younger players, weaker players, or anyone really, cannot be tolerated. In the most constructive and positive way possible, you need to set the tone: “This is a place for having fun, making friends, and a place to learn about this game; if you’re not helping that, you’re not welcome here.”  It’s not enough to parrot that quote; you have to get to know the members of your club and set an example.  Every so often, remind your strong players that they became strong because someone had helped them previously, by creating a place where they felt empowered to learn.  Set an example by teaching new players. Emphasize that your rank has nothing to do with your value as a human.  To grow, your club needs an inclusive culture, but this requires constant attention, and it can fade if you lose that strong player leadership.  Sometimes as a strong player, you just want to play a game and try out that new trick you saw.  Running a club and improving as a player are different things, but this can be easy to forget when there’s a board in front of you.  Resisting that temptation is important if the aim is to grow your club.

So, my advice is:  If you wish to grow your club, be tireless in your efforts to make a welcoming place to play.  And as folks involved in the AGA, I suppose that we have a responsibility to show that these efforts are appreciated and worthwhile.

Jankowski (top right) is a Research Associate in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder . photo at bottom left: at the 2010 University of Michigan/Ann Arbor United Way tournament.  

Categories: U.S./North America
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In Memoriam: David Drexler, Former AGA Volunteer of the Year

Monday December 2, 2013

David Michael Drexler, 58, passed away November 27, 2013 in his beloved home. He was born June 15, 1955 in Rochester, New York. In his brief lifetime he accomplished much. He was a founding member and past president of the Oklahoma Unix Club, instrumental in forming the first go club in Oklahoma City (OKC), recognized by the American Go Association for his volunteer efforts in outreach and promotion of the game of go. He was a member and officer in the Oklahoma Traditional Music Association, playing the mountain dulcimer with astounding beauty and grace. In the early 1990s Drexler established Internet Access Plus, one of the first internet service provider companies in OKC. His many other loves included hiking in the Wichita Mountains, traveling to see friends and family in California, New York, Hawaii, and Alaska, cooking and bicycling. A memorial service will be held at 3pm, Tuesday, December 3, at Memorial Park Historic Cemetery Chapel.  -Text courtesy of Dignity Memorial Online.  Thanks to Jim Story for letting the E-J know.

Categories: U.S./North America
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E-Journal & Ranka to Cover 3rd SportAccord World Mind Games

Sunday December 1, 2013

The third edition of the SportAccord World Mind Games is set for December 12-18 in Beijing. The American Go E-Journal will once again team up with Ranka to provide coverage this year, with Michael Redmond 9P and EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock providing play-by-play game commentary on the SAWMG YouTube channel as well as coverage in the EJ. Thirty players (18 men and 12 women) from around the world — China, Chinese Taipei, Europe, Japan, Korea and North America — will compete for major cash prizes; click here to see the player roster and schedule.

Nihon Ki-in Announces New Under-20 World Tourney

Saturday November 30, 2013

The ‘GLOBIS Cup World Go U-20’, a new Japanese world championship for under-20 players, will be held May 8-11 2014 in Tokyo, the Nihon Ki-in has announced. The winner will win 3 million Japanese yen (about $30,000 USD) and all players will receive 35,000 JPY (about $350) for participating. Sixteen players under 20 years of age (as of January 1st 2014) will compete: six from Japan, three each from Korea and China, and one each from Chinese Taipei, Europe, North America and Oceania. “After the termination of the Fujitsu Cup, I am very glad to know that the Nihon Kiin is back to sponsor a world championship,” says AGA Vice President for International
Affairs Thomas Hsiang. The AGA will soon announce a selection procedure for this tournament.

Categories: Japan,World,Youth
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Go Art: Andrew Cole’s Game-Based Art

Saturday November 30, 2013

Novice go player and artist Andrew Cole designs images based on specific games of go. “Quiet Garden” (right) “was based on a game played by Todd Blatt and Jianbo Liu on 9/21/06,” Cole tells the E-Journal. “I found the game in the 2007 AGA Yearbook.” Another image, “1573” (at left) “is based on a game played by Kashio Rigen and Honinbo Sansa in 1573, with an interesting seki at the lower end of the board. This game was included with my SmartGo application.” Cole says that “this is a hobby for me. I love playing go, and this is a different way for me to enjoy the game when my skill level limits me.”

You can find more of Cole’s images of go games on the moca.virtual.museum website: Point of Contention, 1786 and Korigatachi.

Categories: Go Art
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Your Move/Readers Write: Questionable Position in Portland

Saturday November 30, 2013

“Someone was listening to Roger Schrag’s comments in his article on Go Spotting: Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland (9/3 EJ)” writes Bob Joyce. Schrag wondered “Is the position on the go board (at left) viable?” and Joyce says “I visited the garden on Saturday, September 28th and the position of the stones had changed (right); however, even a beginner (like me) knows that go games do not begin in the middle of the board.”

Upcoming European Tournaments: Barcelona Go Seigen, Avalanche

Saturday November 30, 2013

Adrenalina will host the 2014 Barcelona Go Seigen Spanish final qualifying tournament on February 22 and 23. First through fourth places will receive portions of the 900 EU cash prize and books will be offered to the players with best results. Players who register before February 21 will receive discounts. Additionally, players who stay at the Alberguinn youth hostel will have the opportunity to room with other go players. To register or for more information about the tournament, please visit the Barcelona Go Seigen official website.

The 2014 Avalanche tournament will take place during the same dates in Oulu, Finland. In addition to the games, Avalanche will also offer a go players’ sauna evening and lectures by Su Yang 6d. Boasting the largest prize pool in Finland, cash prizes will be offered to the top three players. Registration fees are determined by rank, not by date. However, players under 18 years of age at the time of the tournament can enjoy a 5 EU discount. To register or for more information, please visit the official Avalanche 2014 website.
Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar

Big Jubango Between Lee Sedol & Gu Li Set To Start In January

Friday November 29, 2013

MLily 2014 jubangoThe dates for the much-anticipated match between Lee Sedol 9p (top left) and Gu Li 9p (bottom left) have finally been announced. The jubango, or ten-game match, will begin on January 26, 2014 in Beijing. Sponsor MLily will award the first player to win six games with 5 million RMB (approximately 820,000 USD). The other player will receive a consolation prize of 200,000 RMB (approximately 33,000 USD). If the score is tied 5-5, the prize will be split without a tie-breaker.

“I think these two players are the best choice for a jubango, and the games will be very exciting,” said Liu Siming, president of the Chinese Weiqi Association. “There hasn’t been a jubango like this in the last 70 years, but we’ve pushed ahead to make this one happen.” With twenty-one international titles between the two of them, Liu considers Lee and Gu “still the best” among today’s top players. Liu also delivered the exciting news that each of the ten games will be played in a different city.

Gu and Lee themselves, though, are trying to stay humble. When asked how he will prepare for the jubango, Gu said, “This match will be a very important part of my career and life.” He has already logged many hours studying to prepare. As for Lee, he does not believe that being the top ranked Korean player has anything to do with how the jubango will unfold. “There were many lightning games in the first half of 2013, and I lost many of them,” Lee said. “However there have been more games with longer time limits in the second half of the year, and I’ve been able to achieve better results in those games. That’s all there is to it.”

For more information about the 2014 MLily Gu vs Lee jubango, please visit Go Game Guru. For the full jubango schedule, please visit Go Game Guru’s Pro Go Calendar.
–- Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru, photo courtesy of Go Game Guru

EuroGoTV Update: Czech Republic, Germany, Ukraine

Friday November 29, 2013

Czech Republic: Lukas Podpera 5d (left) dominated the Go Baron Qualification on November 24 in Praha. Behind him were Jan Simara 6d in second and Jan Hora 6d third. Germany: Tobias Berben 4d bested Ji Lu 4d at the Rahlstedter Tengen, Gruppe A on November 17 in Hamburg while Tonny Claasen 4d placed third. Ukraine: At the J. Liedovskoj Memorial tournament in Kharkiv on November 10, Oleksandr Hilliazov 1k came in first, Mykhailo Kovalov 3d in second, and Oleh Lustenko 1k in third.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV