American Go E-Journal

Jan Simara Surprise Winner at Euro Championship; The Red Dress Tesuji; U.S. Women’s Tournament Crosstab

Sunday August 26, 2012

Jan Simara Surprise Winner at Euro Championship: Jan Simara 6D was the surprise winner of this year’s European Championship title when he won the deciding game against Ilya Shikshin (click here for the game) at the recent European Go Congress. Simara lives in Zlin in the Czech Republic and just finished university, where he majored in teaching IT. He learned go in chess camp when he was 14 – he’d been playing chess since the age of six — and about two years later quit chess and started to play go. “I studied seriously only once about six years ago for an year when I was about 1-dan,” Simara said, “Mostly reading the Shusaku book Invincible. otherwise I sometimes replay top pro games and do tsumego when I’m in a train going to a tournament.” In an interview with EuroGoTV, Simara’s advice for new players was “Play mainly for joy, never be stressed about results.” Click here for pairings and game records. Final standings for the 2012 European Championship: 1st: Jan Simara; 2nd: Ilya Shikshin; 3rd: Pavol Lisy; 4th: Thomas Debarre; 5th: Ondrej Silt; 6th: Antti Tormanen; 7th: Mateusz Surma; 8th: Gheorghe Cornel Burzo.
- Alain Cano, special European correspondent for the E-Journal; photo by Olivier Dulac

The Red Dress Tesuji: A very stylish and hip 60-second video promoting the upcoming European Women’s Go Championship has been released. The Women’s Go Championship and a side tournament are being organized as part of the 2012 European Go Cup Brno, which is being held September 7-9 in Brno, South Moravia in the Czech Republic.

U.S. Women’s Tournament Crosstab: Tournament Director Lisa Scott has just sent in the crosstab for the recent Women’s Tournament at the U.S. Open, which was won by Kelsey Dyer 1D.

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Ron Paul Using Go Strategy to Advance Agenda at GOP Convention?

Sunday August 26, 2012

Ron Paul, the libertarian politician who ran unsuccessfully for this year’s Republican Presidential nomination, will have a disproportionate influence at the GOP’s convention this week thanks to his employment of shi (pronounced “sure”), “a strategy expounded and employed by Chinese philosophers and military strategists for thousands of years,” according to “The Grand Shi Strategy of Ron Paul,” a guest column in Forbes by Mark Spitznagel. “Throughout history, perhaps the clearest and most pedagogical example of shi at work has been in the Chinese board game weiqi,” writes Spitznagel, who uses the board position here to show that while “White is far ahead in terms of tangible territory right now…black has established a strategic advantage and intangible edge by moving into the center to command the rest of the board.” Spitznagel sees Ron Paul’s shi strategy “in the great patience and nonaggression that favors the slow buildup of influence and strategic advantage over the decisive all-or-nothing clash,” arguing that the strategy’s success is exemplified by “Mitt Romney’s support of Paul’s current ‘Audit The Fed’ bill, as well as his recent position on the inefficacy of further (as well as past) Fed quantitative easing; it remains only a question of degree with Romney, but a position that nonetheless would have been unlikely without the pressure from the Paul campaign—especially given Romney’s otherwise very simplistic Keynesian-leaning views.”
Thanks to Jim Hlavka for passing this along.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go One of “5 Things Your Brain Does Better Than A Computer”

Sunday August 26, 2012

Go is the first example of “5 things your brain does better than a computer,” a recent post on the Mother Nature Network blog. “There are still a few activities that are too complex for a computer to bash its binary way through,” writes Shea Gunther. “In those realms, humans still reign. But don’t get too comfortable; computers are getting faster and smarter by the year.” Gunther notes that “There are more than 10 times more scenarios in Go than there are atoms in the observable universe. Computers are good at handling big numbers, but that’s just ridiculous. What’s more likely is that humans will get better at designing computer programs that more closely replicate the human brain and its thought processes. But when that happens and the machines take over, I don’t think we’ll be all that concerned about losing a game of Go to a computer.” By the way, the other four things your brain does better than a computer? Solve crossword puzzles, play Starcraft, create art, and write. Thanks to Richard Moseson for passing this article along.
- photo by Marcus Yeagley

 

Categories: World
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KGS Insei League Tweaks Curriculum

Sunday August 26, 2012

Better. Faster. That pretty much sums up the latest version of Alexandr Dinerchtein’s Korean-style insei league on KGS. Dinerchtein is instituting several new concepts and rules changes as of September, including mainly reviewing professional games, rather than insei vs insei league games, as previously. In addition, Dinerchtein says he will “show the way of thinking, while playing,” discussing his moves, the moves of his opponent and his thoughts during the game. Insei vs insei game reviews, which used to take weeks, will now be returned in 24 hours with commentary by Dinerchtein. And beginning in September, “we will have fuseki/joseki lectures and lectures on other subjects, for example: invasions or attacking,” adds Dinerchtein. As before, the league will have simultaneous games with reviews by Dinerchtein and other teachers. Discounts are available for young inseis. New American pro Andy Liu calls the league “the most successful teaching project on KGS, and possibly better than most American and European baduk academies.”

Categories: World
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China Dominates World Youth – Again

Saturday August 25, 2012

China won both divisions of the 29th World Youth Go Championship, repeating their victories in this event from last year.  The week-long tourney wrapped up on August 21, and was sponsored by the Ing Foundation. Twenty-two young players came from all over the world to vie for the top slot in the Junior (under 12) and Senior (under 16) divisions.  The tournament was held in Luoyang, China, a city with more than 3,000 years of history.  The US sent Calvin Sun 7d in the Sr. and Aaron Ye 5d in the Jr. along with Team Leader Mingjiu Jiang 7P. “China, Korea, and Taiwan sent out top youth professional players, all with great expectations of winning the tournament,” reports Calvin Sun, “through the intense competition, a bit of luck, and the guidance of the USA team leader, Mingjiu Jiang 7p, I got into the Semi-Finals with just one more SOS point than Korea’s representative. Everyone was shocked that Korea’s new female professional did not advance into the Semi-Finals. Japan’s representative, however, fiercely fought into the top four, defeating both Korea and Taiwan in the preliminaries and defeating Taiwan again in the Semi-Finals.  We went sightseeing on the third day of the competition, going to places such as the White Horse Temple, which was the first Buddhist temple in China, and the Shaolin Temple, where monks demonstrated their boundless skills of Chinese kungfu.” Winner’s Report: Senior Division: 1st: China, Li Qin Cheng; 2nd:  Japan, Koyama Kuya; 3rd: Taiwan, Cheng-Hsun Chen; 4th: USA, Calvin Sun. Junior Division: 1st: China, Wang Shiyi; 2nd: Korea, I-Hyeon Chae; 3rd: Japan, Ueno Asami; 4th: Taiwan, Huang Shi-Yuan; 6th: USA, Aaron Ye. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo by Yanchen Sun: Calvin Sun 7d(l) vs. Li Qin Cheng

Enthusiastic Turn out in Metro DC for Weitang Liang 9P Event

Friday August 24, 2012

Chinese professional Weitang Liang 9P put on a brilliant display of technical virtuosity for a captivated audience of 50 go fans in a special event at the Rockville United Church in Rockville, MD on Tuesday August 14. “The strength of a professional player is definitely fascinating,” event organizer Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang told the E-Journal. “In the 6-on-1 simul, players as strong as 5 dan had five to nine-stone handicaps, yet only one Korean player — Insu Kim — was able to win.”

The event was a collective effort by the Capital Go Club of the American Go Association (AGA), the Great Falls Go Club, the Rockville Go & Chess Group (RGCG), and the Rockville Sister City Corporation (RSCC), and Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.

Liang came to DC from his appearance at this year’s US Go Congress on behalf of the China Qiyuan and the Chinese Go Association. “I have heard that the go activities in the Washington DC metro area have been impressive and famous, and am very happy to spend the evening with so many American go players.” Click here for a video clip of the event by Tie-Hua Ng.

The event included a simultaneous exhibition involving six players (Robin Kramer, Gary Li, Tsann Yu, Ben Hong, Insu Kim, and Kevin Wang), a mini AGA-rated tournament, and an open forum for questions and game commentary analysis with Mr Liang, who learned to play go – or weiqi, as it’s known in China – when he was 10. In 1999 he became the 22nd player to achieve Chinese professional 9 Dan status, the highest professional level accorded. Mr. Liang’s go style is described as straightforward, deep, stable, and sharp, and he’s known in the Chinese go community as “Long Life Sword.” Mr. Liang is the only 9-dan professional in the Shenzhen city of Guangdong, where he’s said to have inspired over a hundred thousand of players to learn the game.

The event attracted a diverse turnout of players, likely as a result of advertising via social networks and English, Korean and Chinese newspapers. “The event was a huge success,” said local organizer John Goon. “Not only did we see many new faces of local go players, but we also receive a professor’s inquiry about starting a go club at Howard University in Washington DC.”

In the AGA-rated tournament which ran at the same time as the 6-on-1 simuls with Mr. Liang, Liang Yu 7d scored 2-0 “with impressive wins over Juan Pablo Quizon 6d and Meng Lu 6d,” Tournament Director Todd Heidenreich reported.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Organizers: John Goon and Edward Zhang; Web Admin: Gurujeet Khalsa; Photographer: Yangang Li; Video: Tie-hua Ng; Transportation: Lin Lu, Xingyu Lu, Tao Wang, Binquan Wang; Reception: Xingyu Lu; Refreshments and Set-up: (Rockville Go & Chess Groups) Nick Nayfack, Todd Heidenreich, Juan Pablo Quizon, Craig Anderson, Nick Quizon, Diego Bigelow, Tim Bigelow, Joseph Huang and Rohit Gopal; Translators: Ching-Sung Chin (Great Falls Go Club), Sam Choi and Bingjib Huang (both also Rockville Sister City Corporation coordinators); Toastmaster and Signage: Edward Zhang.
photos by Yangang Li; click here for a complete photo album of the event. 

Categories: U.S./North America
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Shieh and Baker Lead at Bay Area Go Monthly

Friday August 24, 2012

Twenty seven players ranging in age from eight to 72 came out to Palo Alto, CA on August 18 to play in this month’s AGA ratings tournament organized by Bay Area Go Players Association. Ranks ranged from 20 kyu to 6 dan, with six players entering at a rank of 4 dan or above. Justin Shieh 5d and Lucas Baker 4d led the Dan division with four wins apiece, while Jay Chan 1k led the Kyu division also with four wins. Four-game winners and those playing in their first tournament ever got to take home a go book of their choosing, and long-time go teacher Herb Doughty gave beginner go lessons in the courtyard just outside the tournament hall. Next month’s ratings tournament is coming up September 8, again in Palo Alto. Photo by Lisa Schrag.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Big Prizes in SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament

Friday August 24, 2012

Here’s a chance to win a free trip to the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing. The International Go Federation is organizing the SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament  September 16 through October 26, in cooperation with Pandanet and SportAccord. The winner will be invited to the World Mind Games, being held in Beijing this December, with travel and accommodations provided. There are also generous prizes for sectional winners, as well iPAD’s as lottery prizes for anyone who finished the preliminary round. Registration for the SportAccord World Mind Games Online Tournament is free but you must register by September 12; click here to register.

 

 

Go Classified: Go Players Wanted

Friday August 24, 2012

Fort Washington, PA: Come and join us on Sunday afternoons playing go at the Upper Dublin Township Library, 805 Loch Alsh Ave, Fort Washington, PA  19034.  We play from 1P until 4 (or until we’re thrown out).  Players of all levels, including raw beginners, are invited to join us.  There is always room for more!  If you have questions, contact Neil Zod at nlzod@verizon.net.
Go Classifieds are FREE and get results! Email yours to us at journal@usgo.org 

Categories: Go Classified
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Chinese Taipei Dominating World Mind Sports Games

Sunday August 19, 2012

Chinese Taipei is dominating the World Mind Sports Games, winning six of the 9 medals awarded thus far, including gold, silver and bronze in the Men’s Individual, gold and silver in the Team, and gold in the Women’s Individual.Japan took silver in the Women’s,Canada took bronze in the Women’s, andSingapore took bronze in the Team.

U.S. results in the Men’s Individual: 17th: Zhao, Zhongxia; 28th: Song, Forest; 52nd: Ching, Justin; 57th Xu, Yang.

U.S. results in the Women’s Individual: 14th: Wang, Yinli; 15th: Shen, Cherry; 18th: Zhang, Yan (Tina).

U.S. results in the Team: USA1 was 10th in Group A and USA 2 was 12th in Group B.

Click here for latest WMSG results, medals, players & more. Harry van der Krogt’s album of WMSG photos is posted here.
photo: group shot of 2012 WMSG participants