American Go E-Journal

KABA Opens First Overseas Branch at Korean Go Club in LA

Saturday October 26, 2013

It takes a lot to get the guys at the Korean Go Club in Los Angeles to stop playing. Their moves are fierce and the concentration is total. But on Friday, they put down their stones and looked up from their boards as Dae-won Suh, President of the Asian Go Federation (AGF) and Vice President of the Korean Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) and Dalsoo Kim, Secretary General of the AGF announced that the club — an AGA chapter — will be the first overseas branch of KABA.

The United States was chosen because of the ongoing collaboration between the Korean and American go communities, especially last year’s inauguration of the US pro system through the Tygem-AGA Pro Tournament. “This is just the fifth professional go system in the world,” said an obviously proud Suh, who’s also a former Korean Ambassador. “We very much hope it will prosper.” And Los Angeles was selected because “it has the largest Korean population outside of our country,” he added. Another connection is the Korean Cultural Center, which this weekend is hosting the Cotsen Open for the second year. “We’re very glad that the KCC can host this tournament again this year and hope that it will help discover new talents,” Suh said.

Ambassador Suh also noted that “there were lots of Korean professionals at this year’s U.S. Go Congress,” adding that the Korean Baduk Association (the professional player’s association in Korea) and KABA “have committed to supporting the U.S. go scene,” including training like that offered by Myung-wan Kim 9P, who beamed quietly in the back of the Korean Go Club as the officials made their remarks. “All of this, we hope, will help promote go in the United States,” said Suh.

AGA President Andy Okun welcomed the move and called KGC organizer Gary Choi “a real friend to the go community and the AGA for a very long time,” and thanked the club’s players “for being so welcoming when we come here and for supporting AGA events like the Cotsen.” Okun also extended an enthusiastic welcome and congratulations to KABA’s new branch, saying that “LA is the right place” for this step.

Korean Consul General Yeonsung Shin closed the brief ceremony — which was also attended by Hajin Lee 3p, Chosun Daily reporter Hongryal Lee, Cyberoro reporter Kim Soo Kwang, KABA staffer Jong-geun Lee and 2015 Go Congress organizer Josh Larson — by announcing that he and Ambassador Suh are interested in working with the AGA to organize a Consul’s Cup and Shin, Suh and Okun could later be seen discussing plans. But first Okun was invited to take on Kim Younghwan 9p — the “Younghwan Wizard” — who quickly demonstrated his ability to give more handicap stones to amateur players than any other pro, and still win.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock

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Your Move/Readers Write: What’s In A Name?

Saturday October 26, 2013

“I am wondering if there is a typographical error in  last week’s ‘Capture Go’ story, when Mr. Jayaraman says, ‘We call the game we teach go, not Capture Go,” writes  veteran organizer Jean DeMaiffe, a graduate of Yasuda Sensei’s International Go Teacher Certification Program. “Surely the organizers are going to call their game ‘Capture Go’ or better still, as Yasuda-sensei calls it, ‘The Capture Game’.  I have taught ‘The Capture Game’ as part of my Go curriculum for years and can readily attest to the importance of clearly differentiating between the goals of the two games.  After learning to play capture, most of my students consistently need to be refocused on capturing territory, rather than just stones. Thanks for your help in setting one or more of us straight on this issue.”
“Our curriculum is meant to serve less as an introduction to regulation go than as an in-depth introduction to the underlying principles of the game,” responds Jayaraman. “These include the basic rules of stone placement, liberties  and capturing, as well as the traditions of the game like etiquette, problem study, and history. Our use of the term ‘go’ is also rooted in some practical considerations. Our program is primarily focused on equipping teachers with no prior knowledge of go with the skills, supplies, and support to be able to introduce their students to the game. In many cases these classes may be the only time they ever hear of the game. For those whose interest in regular go is sparked, however, they and their families will be familiar enough with the game to seek out more information about it, and hopefully utilize the existing resources in our community, like the Memphis Go Club or the introductory regulation go workshops the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis offers.  For these students who pursue it, the precise name of the specific rule variation that first set them on the path of go will probably be inconsequential.”

Cotsen Open Today in LA; Still Time to Play or Watch Live on KGS

Saturday October 26, 2013

The food truck and masseuses are confirmed, the boards and clocks have been set up and the Koreans professionals await the arrival of players at the 2013 Cotsen Open in Los Angeles, CA today, one of the most competitive tournaments outside the annual U.S. Go Congress. Registration opens at 8a sharp at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd) and walk-ins are welcome to compete for thousands in individual and club prizes. The tournament fee is completely refundable for players attending both days (three rounds Saturday and two rounds Sunday), and the lunches are free both Saturday and Sunday. For those unable to attend, follow the top-board action LIVE on KGS as the American Go E-Journal team broadcasts games on the USGO accounts, and look for updates on the AGA website as well as in daily EJ updates. photo: setting up Friday at the Cotsen; report/photo by Chris Garlock

Categories: Cotsen Open
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Go Spotting: Distinguishing Between Skill and Luck on LinkedIn

Friday October 25, 2013

“How often do you gamble on behalf of your company?” wonders Bill Pieroni, Global Chief Operating Officer at Marsh in his October 11 post on LinkedIn. “It probably occurs more often than you think. The outcomes of most actions are often dependent on a combination of skill and luck. Skill involves impacting the outcome in a purposeful and measurable way. Luck dominates when an outcome is based on random, uncontrollable factors. It is useful to think about skill and luck on a continuum. For example, Wéiqí, a game of strategy, is dominated by skill, while winning the lottery is based on luck.”

Categories: Go Spotting
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Upcoming European Tournament: 16th Go To Innovation

Friday October 25, 2013

The 16th Annual Go To Innovation tournament will take place November 22-24 in Berlin, Germany. Founded in 2004, Dr. Martin Sattelkau teamed up with software developer Alexander Eckert to create a new annual tournament to attract more go players in Germany and throughout Europe. The grand prize for the winner is 1000 EU but cash prizes are available up to 20th place, along with go books for places 21-30 and as 3 consolation prizes. A separate jackpot of 450 EU is available for players with 8 wins. Registration is 35 EU for general players and 10 EU for youths (under 16). To register or for more information, please visit the official Go To Innovation website.

— Annalia Linnan; for complete listings, check out the European Tournament Calendar

Daniel Puzan Wins First Ivy Moon Tournament in Des Plaines, IL

Thursday October 24, 2013

“I ran a small tournament at my place in Des Plaines (IL) on October 19 with 9 players,” reports Laura Kolb Moon. “We named it the First Ivy Moon Tournament after my baby daughter.” Daniel Puzan 1k took first place with a perfect 4-0 record, and Lisa Scott (1k) and Matt Inwood (5k) took 2nd with 3-1 records. graphic: the tournament’s namesake demonstrates the rare but surprisingly effective “Cheerio tesuji”; photos by Laura Kolb Moon

Portland Tournament Turnout Way Up

Thursday October 24, 2013

Nearly three dozen players attended the 2013 Portland (Oregon) Go Tournament, held (date) at Lewis & Clark College. “This is an increase of over 25% from last year,” said tournament director Peter Drake. Zipei Feng 7d swept the 10-player open division with five wins, followed by Harry Zhou and Nick Zhirad. In the dan handicap division, the winners were Jim Levenick, Glenn Peters, and Eugene Zhang. For single-digit kyu, Maxwell Chen (also 5-0), Minh Pham (president of the Lewis & Clark College Go Club), and Clark Brooks. For double-digit kyu, Eric Hanscom, Eric Wang, and Ethan Zhuang.

The numbers for youth and female players were also improved from last year, Drake reports. Maxwell Chen took the prize for top youth player. Cynthia Gaty was the top female player.

GoClubsOnline was used for tournament administration. “Thanks to Yellow Mountain Imports for a generous prize discount,” says Drake, who also thanked KGS, SmartGo, and Darrell Malick (via Cynthia Gaty) for prize donations and Glenn Peters for bringing boards, stones, clocks, and snacks.

A Top Player’s New Obsession

Thursday October 24, 2013

What game has tens of millions of active players, is very popular in Asia, has professional leagues and professional tournaments all over the world and was originally dominated by the North American League? Not go, of course. It’s League of Legends, one of the most popular eSports, or organized video game competitions. We were tipped off to this phenomenon by one of the strongest amateur go players in the United States, who admitted recently that his go playing time has been cut into not only by work and family, but by his fascination with League of Legends. “As a mental and strategy game, it bears a close resemblance to go,” the player — who prefers to remain anonymous — says, although unlike go, League of Legends is a team game, with five players on each team. “Like the go world, China and Korea are dominating League of Legends now,” the player says. “However, because this game has such a big fan base in North America, there is a chance that we can come back.” According a Forbes report in August, “If there needed to be further evidence of the growing enthusiasm in the West for eSports, League of Legends may have just set some sort of unofficial record for most tickets to a live event sold in the shortest amount of time. In about an hour after they went on sale, tickets to October’s World Championship Final event in LA’s Staples Center  were sold out.” And according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, “Top (videogame) players can ultimately take home $18,000 a month or more.”

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Spotting: “The Math Book”

Thursday October 24, 2013

Kelsey Dyer was “pleasantly surprised to find go” mentioned in Clifford A. Pickover’s “The Math Book,” which chronicles discoveries and advances in mathematics throughout history. Picover “gives a rundown of the object of the game and its mathematical facets” and Dyer says that his favorite line is “While powerful chess software is capable of defeating top chess players, the best Go programs often lose to skillful children.”

Categories: Go Spotting
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Still Time to Register for World Student’s Go Oza

Wednesday October 23, 2013

Go-playing university/college students under the age of 30 can still register for the qualifying prelim for the 12th World Students Go Oza Championship, which will be held February 24-28, 2014 in Tokyo. Sixteen students from around the world will gather in Japan to decide the world’s number one student player. There will be an online preliminary round on Pandanet to select the 16 student players. Click here for details. University/college students under the age of 30 are eligible to participate.