American Go E-Journal

Go Classified: Searching for “Tony”

Friday February 7, 2014

Looking for “Tony,” a strong amateur originally from Austria who used to live in Japan and now lives in LA. When he visited Japan last year, we played go at the Japan Go Association’s center in Tokyo. email Kazu Narimatsu at kazunari_rjbb0624@yahoo.co.jp

Categories: Go Classified
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Go Spotting: Go Kaizen; CSM’s Good Reads; Go in Shanghai Factor?

Thursday February 6, 2014

Go Kaizen: The lifehacker website uses Juha Nieminen’s photo of a go board to illustrate a post on how to “Practice your personal Kaizen”. The Japanese management strategy called Kaizen roughly translates to “continuous slow improvement” and Jason Thomas uses the concept here to as “an ideal approach to improve one’s personal workflow.” Thanks to Lisa Garlock for passing this along.

CSM’s Good Reads: Go is mentioned in the Christian Science Monitor’s January 25 Good Reads column. In the section on “Lessons in an ancient war game,” Managing Editor Marshall Ingwerson says that “Games can be a reflection of how people see the world. If the Western world, reared on chess, wants to understand the Chinese worldview, one way is to understand the strategies of Go.” Thanks to David Saunders for sending this in.

Go in Shanghai Factor? The cover of Charles McCarry’s 2013 espionage thriller “The Shanghai Factor” features a go board, reports Dave Bogie. “I’ve lightly skimmed the book at my library and found no go analogies, references or game descriptions. Maybe other E-Journal readers know more about the story.”

Categories: Go Spotting
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Research Offers a New Look at Go Players’ Brains

Thursday February 6, 2014

A research collaboration in Seoul has revealed new information about the cognitive requirements of playing go and the effects that it may have on the brain. A team compared a group of expert go players with a group of beginners and published the results in the journal “Frontiers in Human Neuroscience”. The work revealed several differences between the brains of the beginner and the expert. The experts had increased volume in certain areas of the brain, decreased volume in others, greater interconnectivity between certain regions and differences in the overall brain structure. A correlation between the magnitude of the effect and the number of years of go training suggests that these differences are not simply the result of a predisposition of these people to continue playing go. Rather, the difference in brain structure can be explained by the the fact that the brain rewires itself to meet new skill requirements. This phenomenon, known as neuroplasticity, has been observed before in chess players. The areas of the brain in which the experts outmatched the novices are associated with visuospatial processing and emotional regulation in decision making, among others. This suggests that these skills are important in go. Thus, it appears that long-term go training can enhance these and other skills and can indeed be used as a tool for brain development. The complete article is available here. The literature search section links to many other fascinating studies as well. There are several related articles. Click here for one that discusses similar specific physical changes in the brain and reaches similar conclusions. The EJ covered this article at length in 2010 here.
- Ben Gale, Korean Correspondent for the E-Journal
Categories: World
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EuroGoTV Update: Romania, Netherlands, Hungary

Wednesday February 5, 2014

Romania: Constantin Ghioc 5d bested Lucretiu Calota 5d at the National Veteran Championship in Bucuresti on January 26 while Liviu Oprisan 4d placed third. Netherlands: Also on January 26, the Dutch Female Championship finished in Amstelveen with Marika Dubiel 2d (left) in first, Mirjam Visscher 4k in second, and Annemarie de Putter 2k in third. Hungary: Dominik Boviz 4d led group 1 in the Kondor Dragon Cup on January 26 in Budapest. Behind him were Robert Csizmadia 1d and Attila Teby 1k.

– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

School Teams Tournament Set for March

Tuesday February 4, 2014

The annual School Teams Tournament is set for March 22 and 29 this year. Run by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS), and co-sponsored by the AGA and the AGF, the event is the largest annual youth competition in North America, drawing players from dozens of schools across the continent.  All K-12 schools and organized learning institutions (such as Chinese language schools) in Canada, the US and Mexico, can register teams consisting of three players. Each school is allowed a maximum of three teams. This year, all teams that complete their matches will also receive an entry prize (regardless of their score in the event).  Teams can choose between a full set of Hikaru no Go manga (23 volumes), two classic go books from Slate and Shell (Fundamental Principles of Go, and Master Play), or a $50 gift certificate to the go vendor of their choice (due to customs fees, not all gifts may be available for Mexico and Canada).  For more details visit the AGHS website. The event is “a good opportunity to see which school club is the best in North America and a chance for young players to communicate,” says AGHS Promotion head Yunxuan Li, “our recent champions in 2012 and 2013 are High Land Park High School and Albert Einstein High School. Will we see the returning of a defending champ or the rise of a new champion?” Rules for the event are here, to register, click here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Double click on the image to enlarge it to full size.

 

Kyu Championships Deadline Feb. 11th

Saturday February 1, 2014

Young players, in the US, Canada, and Mexico have until Feb. 11th to register for the North American Kyu Championships (NAKC). The tourney will be held on KGS, on Saturday Feb. 15. Brackets in the NAKC will be divided by rank, with a new bracket formed approximately every 5 ranks or so depending on the range of participants. Within brackets, all games will be played even.  Dan level players will be able to compete in the Redmond Cup (including players from Canada and Mexico).  Youth who compete in either event will also be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, courtesy of the AGF, on a first come first served basis.   Registration is now open for both the NAKC and the Redmond Cup, and more information can be found on the AGA webpage for youth events.  The deadline for the NAKC is Feb. 11th. to register, click here.  For Redmond Cup registration, click here.  - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. 

Report from Korea: Jo Hanseung 9P & Park Jeongsang 9P on the Lee Sedol – Gu Li Jubango Game; Kuksu Games Available

Wednesday January 29, 2014

Jo Hanseung 9P & Park Jeongsang 9P on the Lee Sedol – Gu Li Jubango Game: This game commentary on the

[link]

 January 26 game between Lee Sedol 9P and Gu Li 9P — the first of their jubango (Lee Sedol Off and Running as MLily Jubango Begins with Gu Li, 1/26 EJ) — was transcribed from the Baduk TV live stream and includes variations and comments by commentators Jo Hanseung 9P and Park Jeongsang 9P. 

Kuksu Games Available: The game records from the recent Kuksu Cup are now available; four uncommented sgf files have been added to our January 16 report (Cho Hanseung Wins 3rd Consecutive Kuksu 1/16 EJ).
- Ben Gale, Korean Correspondent for the E-Journal 

Categories: World
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AGA City League First Round Results

Monday January 27, 2014

The first round of play has mostly been completed for the AGA City League, reports TD Steve Colburn. In the A League,

[link]

 Boston defeated Los Angeles (2-1), Greater Washington beat Toronto (3-0), and Canwa Vancouver 1 defeated Seattle 1 (2-1). In B League, Chicago beat Washington DC 1 (3-0), NC Raleigh defeated Washington DC 2 (2-1), and New York City defeated San Francisco 1 (3-0). In C League, Seattle 2 won over West Tennessee/Memphis (2-1), Canwa Vancouver 2 defeated Katy TX 2 (3-0), Brentwood/Nashville def Lincoln (2-1) and Central New York/Syracuse vs Katy TX 1 is in progress, currently 1-1. Check the Pandanet site for all the most up to date information. Here’s the game record for the Evan Cho (LA) vs Huiren Yang (Boston) game.

Mind-Mapper Tony Buzan Takes a Turn at the Go Board

Monday January 27, 2014

Tony Buzan, the inventor of mind-mapping and author of numerous books on enhancing the power of the brain, has made his debut appearance at a go tournament at the age of 71. The man once named by Forbes Magazine alongside Henry Kissinger, Margaret Thatcher and Michail Gorbachev as one of the world’s top five international lecturers played in round one of the annual Maidenhead Go Tournament, held January 18 at Hitachi’s European Headquarters in Maidenhead, south-east England, after seeing publicity about the tourney in his local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser.

He entered with a nominal grade of 10k, but it seems this may have been wishful thinking as opponent Colin Maclennan of Twickenham Go Club, with a thick grade of 10k, won by a large margin. Maclennan says, “In our game it soon became apparent that I was building a huge moyo that he allowed me to turn into territory.  He then invaded with little hope of life. In the end I won by over 100 points.”

It appears that Buzan has long wanted to find the time to learn to play go well, though it is hardly surprising, with his prodigious output and many speaking and other commitments, that he has not so far been able to put in the many hours required to master the game. British Go Association VP Tony Atkins says Buzan approached the Association some twenty years ago, enquiring about learning at the time when manytime British and European Champion Matthew Macfadyen 6d was actively teaching. He added, “I still have fond memories of a festival of the brain that [Buzan] organized at the Royal Albert Hall some years ago, which we were privileged to teach go at”. Atkins organizes the go competition in the Mind Sports Olympiad (see Taylor Wins Gold at London’s Mind Sports Olympiad, EJ 8/28/13), which Buzan co-founded.

However, the novice promised tournament organizer Iain Attwell that he will be attending some of Maidenhead Go Club‘s Friday evening meets in the future. If he does, he will be in good hands: the club and tournament, sponsored by Hitachi,  grew out of the Furze Platt School go club which Attwell founded some twenty-five years ago with fellow teacher France Ellul who had taught him to play, and the school produced every single Under-16 and Under-18 British Youth Champion for a number of years. Attwell described his guest as “a very nice gentleman”, and expressed hopes that Buzan will be as good as his word.

In a surprise finish, Toby Manning 2d of Leicester this year stole the tournament from British Championship Challenger Andrew Simons 4d of Cambridge in the third and final round. Click here for full results.

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal; photo courtesy of  Buzan’s mindmappingsoftware blog.

EuroGoTV Update: Ireland, Russia, Romania

Monday January 27, 2014

Ireland: The first half of the Irish Championship League finished on January 19 in Dublin with Roman Pszonka 3d in first, James Hutchinson 1d in second, and Tiberiu Gociu 3k in third. Russia: Also on January 19, the Russian Youth Championship finished in Moscow. Grigorij Fionin 4d won the under 16 division with Dmitrij Miljutkin 4d in second and Anton Chernykh 4d in third. Kim Shakhov 1k took the under 12 tournament while Andrej Mramorov 3k placed second and Mikhail Dobricyn 4k came in third. Romania: Adrian Nedan 2k (left) bested Elian Ioan Grigoriu 1d at the MPRB 5.2 Braila on January 19. Iulian Toma 3d was third.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV
NOTE (1/29): this report has been updated to reflect that only the first half of the Irish Championship League finished on January 19, not the entire league. 

Categories: Europe,Go News
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