American Go E-Journal

Local Club Organizers Respond to New Go Club Survey

Sunday September 29, 2013

“The AGA made my club possible 10-15 years ago,” responded on local go club organizer to a recent survey. “As long as I have a working memory, I will be grateful for this.” Said another, “People want to know why they should join the AGA. Usually the only reason they do is because they want to play in an AGA rated tournament.” Wondered another, “Can you provide any other reasons I or my club should rejoin the AGA outside of general support?” A whopping 85 club leaders across the United States responded to the survey last June, which queried them on club revenue sources, tournaments, meeting frequency, advertising methods, internal chapter email list maintenance, size and reach, and AGA membership. The AGA’s Board of Directors has been studying the survey responses and is “already using the results of the survey to plan additional chapter and member services” says survey organizer Greg Smith. “We did learn, however, that there are some misconceptions out there about the AGA and the services it provides. Many people made suggestions about what the AGA could do, when the AGA already does those things.” Smith credited Philip Waldron for establishing a valuable baseline in his “2008 Chapter Report” and Lisa Scott for collating the new survey’s responses. “We’ll both begin following up using the AGA Chapter List over the next few months, correcting the misconceptions there and in the E-Journal,” Smith said. Click here to see a detailed report on the survey.

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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LA After-School Program to Roll Out Go to a Dozen Schools

Sunday September 29, 2013

LA’s BEST, an award-winning after-school program serving 194 high-needs elementary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, is establishing go  programs in 12 schools, according to AGA President Andy Okun and LA’s BEST Director of Education Stela Oliveira.  “For those of us who have seen how captivating, fun, and beneficial go is for little kids, this is an incredible chance to spread the benefits of the game and bring something new and exciting to a bunch of students,” said Okun.  The program started over the summer with a trial run at two elementary schools, Latona  and Lareto.  Aside from providing equipment and sets of Hikaru no Go, the AGA and the AGF also provided teacher training, led by former AGF teacher of the year Vincent Eisman, who held a small  training in June and a larger one in late September.  The AGF is providing continuing support through the school year as well.  To donate money to help cover  training costs and equipment expenses click here.

Still Time to Sign Up for Pandanet-AGA City League

Saturday September 28, 2013

There’s still time to sign up for the next Pandanet-AGA City League. “We are looking for some more teams for this season to fill our roster,” reports Steve Colburn. “Talk to your club members and sign up now!” There are openings in all of the leagues; email the League TD Steve Colburn at steve.colburn@usgo.org. “We are also looking for League Managers as well,” says Colburn. Email Colburn for details.

Chapter News: Gotham’s Efficient Play

Saturday September 28, 2013

Gotham Go Group organizer Peter Armenia’s recent email to New York City go players was a model of efficient play, celebrating a club success, promoting an upcoming tournament and urging membership in the AGA.

“Well it’s that time of year again,” Armenia reported in an email with the subject line “The Benefits of Membership.” “It was early October, 2011 that I put out the word that regular weekly Go would be returning to New York City. We have been going strong at the Hungarian Pastry Shop ever since, regularly getting between 12 and 20 players every week. On top of that: We had a very successful first Gotham Go Tournament last January with nearly 60 players; And another coming up in October! Click here to register; And the US Go Congress is coming to NYC next year!

“One thing I did that October is register with the American Go Association as an AGA affiliated club,” Armenia continued. “Not only does this help our club get noticed, it also supports Go in the United States. It only costs $35/year for our club, which I pay out of pocket (small donations from members are certainly welcome but not required). If you are a lapsed member of the AGA I urge you to renew today. If you have never have been a member of the AGA I urge you to take advantage of a special half price offer they have through our chapter. This is a special discount offered through our chapter club (the Gotham Go Group). Note:If you want to get this discount, send me an email and I will email you the discount voucher to use on the AGA website. And remember, to play in the upcoming tournament you need to be a member of the AGA, so join today.”

Other chapters are welcome to adapt this model to help build their own local clubs and the AGA, Armenia tells the E-Journal. “The more each chapter succeeds the more we all succeed,” he says. “It’s important to keep things simple, consistent, and to make coming out to play go easy and enjoyable. Do what you can to make a community around your go club.”
photo: Armenia (right) at the January 2013 Gotham Tournament; photo by John Pinkerton

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Spotting: “So simple, yet so deep”

Saturday September 28, 2013

“This is the pinnacle of game design. So simple, yet so deep.” “This was on the front page of (Reddit’s) r/gaming today,” reported djedi25 on September 28. “Expect a spike in go searches! There’s also a discussion going on here”

Categories: Go Spotting
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Liqun Liu 7D Prevails at Triangle Memorial Tournament

Friday September 27, 2013

The Triangle Go Group hosted its 2013 tournament in an autumn outdoor setting at the Umstead State Park in Cary, North Carolina on Sept 21. Following tradition, the 30 participants were treated to a picnic lunch and all the entry fees were returned to the players as prize money. As dusk settled on the final game to be completed, Liqun Liu 7D topped perennial champion Changlong Wu 7D in a showdown for the Open Section championship. The A section (1D-2k) was swept by Seth Cardew, also with a perfect 4-0 record, with Brian Wu 3-1 placing second. In the B section (6-11k) Kerianne Squitire, Andrew Zhang, and Alvin Chen tied with scores of 3-1. Finally section C (14k+) was swept by Justin Zhang 4-0, with Colin Zhang, playing in his first tournament, finishing second with 3-1.
- report/ photo by Charles Alden; photo: photo, tournament winner Liqun Liu (seated, right) faces Jeff Kuang in the third round as Eric Zhang and Frank Salantrie observe.

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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4th Euro Online Team Championship Under Way

Friday September 27, 2013

The fourth season of the online European Team Championship kicked off on September 17 with the first round in League C, followed by the first A-League round on September 24. This year 32 national teams — a record number – will compete, with Greece and Iceland entering for the first time in League C, which now comprises 12 teams.
The British team hit the ground running on the 17th, with a 4-0 win over newcomers Greece, giving impetus to hopes of reversing last season’s demotion from the B-league (see EJ of 6/6). Click here to see British Go Association report, with game records. However, Switzerland (against Iceland) and Turkey (against Kazakhstan) also won all four games.
Looking forward to the new season, European Go Federation President Martin Stiassny, predicted “a brilliant competition” in League A, with France new possible favorites for the championship as they field a very strong team comprising 2013 European Champion Fan Hui 8d on board one and Thomas Debarre 6d and Remi Campagnie  5d (currently studying go in Beijing) on boards two and three. This makes them now as strong as both Czechia, last year’s winners and Russia, who won the first two championships. Stiassny also marked out Romania, with Catalin Taranu  5p now on board one, as likely be stronger than last season, though in fact in Round One they lost 3-1 to the French.  Ukraine, who beat Sweden 3-1 in the first round, will also be one to watch according to Stiassny.
The Championship is sponsored by Pandanet and played with the new client GoPanda2 on IGS/Pandanet on Tuesdays, normally starting at 8p (time-zone UTC+1) in the EuropeanTeamChamp  room. Click here for full results.

- Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the EJ. Graphic courtesy Pandanet home page.

Why Doesn’t the West Play Go?

Friday September 27, 2013

Why isn’t go more popular in the West? That question has preoccupied go author and scholar Peter Shotwell for decades. Shotwell’s recently published “appendix” on the subject — appended to his ongoing “Origins of Go” study — is entitled Why the West Plays Chess and the East Plays Go: How Classical Chinese and Ancient Western Grammars Shaped Different Strategies of War, Weiqi and Chess. Shotwell examines his idea that the presence or absence of abstract nouns, the verb “to be” and other linguistic features developed and shaped the philosophies and resulting different strategic thinking of early Greece and Classical China. He provides the historical background of how and why this happened and concludes with an examination of the Thirty-six Strategies that encapsulate the strategic yin thinking of Chinese generals like Sunzi (right) and weiqi players of the Han dynasty, along with a short discussion of the reasons for the fall of the Qin dynasty. The full article is 274 pages, or you can download a 16-page summarizes of the most significant findings here.

Your Move/Readers Write: Status of the AGA Rating System?

Thursday September 26, 2013

“What’s the status of the AGA rating system?” wonders EJ reader — and AGA member — Brady Daniels. “ It seems updates have become scarce recently, and I’m sure your readers would love to know why, and what solution is planned. Shouldn’t ratings be updated after every weekend tournament, or at least, say, twice a month?”
Provided that tournaments report complete and accurate results, the ratings are currently updated at least twice a month. Email ratings@usgo.org if you have other ratings-related questions or comments. 

Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup: Chen Yaoye vs. Park Junghwan

Thursday September 26, 2013

human go stonesEvery other year since 2003, a top Chinese and top Korean player play an exhibition match in Fenghuang City, China. The grand prize is 400,000 RMB (approximately $65,000 USD) and the runner up receives 280,000 RMB. What makes the Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup unique are the 361 human go stones (left) that mimic the game on a 31.7 x 31.7 meter board.

This year, Chinese player Chen Yaoye 9p defeated Korean player Park Junghwan 9p by 14.5 points in a 50 minute sudden-death match. White (Chen), favored in the opening, took a lead after two major ko fights, and stayed ahead until the end after 298 moves. For more information on this year’s Ancient City of the Phoenix Cup including game record and photos, please visit Go Game Guru.
– Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru