American Go E-Journal

Your Move/Readers Write: Responding to ‘SGFs and iStuff’

Tuesday February 5, 2013

“Regarding Roy Laird’s article, ‘SGFs and iStuff’ (2/1 EJ),” writes Eric Anderson. “Please — if you’re going to do a comparative product review, please spend the effort to investigate the features. Otherwise, you’re using your powerful and respected platform to spread casual (and misleading) opinions, and it’s really quite unfair to your readers. Specifically — ‘Seems worth the extra cost unless you really need to import large databases.’ Um, no. SmartGo Kifu is an excellent problem and game collection, combined with a Go playing engine. It includes a form of SGF editor; but that editor is not particularly suitable either for recording games or for constructing problems — at least, not compared to EasyGo, which is specifically (and very well) designed to do … SGF editing. Bulk file import and export is only one of the features you’d want in an SGF editor; other features include tree-editing capabilities (ever tried fixing a recording mistake in SmartGo Kifu?), problem editing (ever tried entering un-numbered initial conditions?), and variation analysis. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s an independent review. Although at first sight EasyGo looks like a close-cousin to SmartGo Kifu, it is not. They share a goal though: analyzing games, exploring variations and solving problems. But they focus on different sets of features, and work very different. That review — only six paragraphs long — is much more insightful and thorough, and helpful to readers, than your ‘Seems worth the extra cost…’”
“All that seemed necessary was to copy the linked-to sgf on the web page onto my desktop,” suggests Kirby Smith. “Then I could use the ‘edit’ mode of the KGS interface (CGoban3) to view it and its commentary. I recall that The Many Faces of Go will also open these. Thanks for your journal’s many interesting articles.”
A number of readers also suggested this solution, which works great for desktops, but Laird’s review was specifically referring to smartphone apps available for Apple products.

 

 

Share

Brunei Cup Deadline Feb. 6

Monday February 4, 2013

“This is the last chance to sign up for the Brunei Friendship Cup,” reports Andrew Huang, AGHS Tournament Organizer.  “Registration will close Wednesday night at midnight. The team is still short on female players for pair go, so ladies, I urge you to find a partner and try for pair go.” More info can be found on the AGHS website. To register, follow this link. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

German Brothers Team Up to Produce “Fascinating” Go Video

Monday February 4, 2013

Two German brothers are collaborating to create a free movie trailer to spread the game of go.  Sven Walther is a go player and computer scientist, while his brother Lars is an actor and filmmaker. Sven says he’s driven to “inspire people with interesting stuff” while Lars is “wowed by the stories and the drama in a game that appears to be so simple.” The brothers have teamed up to crowd-source $8,000 “to make a short video clip, like a movie trailer, to promote the game of go.” Rather than explaining the rules of the game, the Walthers intend to work with real actors and real movie people to create a professional clip that will create a “fascinating atmosphere to represent the game. The novice will see it and say ‘Whoa, what’s that game? Wanna learn more!’” They’ll make the video available on YouTube, so anyone “can use it to promote the game wherever you want.” With 50 days to go, the duo has already raised just over $2,200 in pledges. With several other professionally-produced shorts – the romantic French go video The Album Leaf Within Dreams (Go Art: Romantic Go Video 12/3/2012 EJ) and the 2012 European Women’s Goe Championship promo (The Red Dress Tesuji 8/26/2012 EJ) – already available, and the feature-length documentary The Surrounding Game now in production, a critical mass of go videos seems to be building.

 

 

Categories: Go Art,Go Spotting
Share

Redmond Cup Open for Registration

Saturday February 2, 2013

Young American go players can now sign up for the 20th annual Redmond Cup Tournament. For the first time, the tourney will be held on KGS instead of IGS. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids under 12 years old, and the Senior league for those under 18, on August 10 2012. The two finalists in each division win a free trip to the 2013 US Go Congress to play the final games in person.  Competitors in the Senior League must have an AGA rank of  1 dan or higher, in the Junior 5 kyu or stronger. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA. The tournament director for the Redmond Cup is Michael Bull; AGA rules for all games. To register e-mail youth@usgo.org with your name, phone #, date of birth, AGA rating, KGS ID, and citizenship. The registration deadline is March 10, 2013. The Cup is sponsored by Michael Redmond 9P and his family, the American Go Association and the American Go Foundation. Photo: 2012 finalists, Jianing Gan 7d (l),  and Calvin Sun 7d(r) compete at the US Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC. – Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor.


SGFs and iStuff

Friday February 1, 2013

When I was reviewing Weiqi2Go (Weiqi2Go Update 1/29 EJ) and discovered that there was no “Import” function, I thought it strange. I assumed that most go apps include this function, but it turns out that a good sgf reader is surprisingly hard to find. Most apps just save the records the user creates. I found only two programs that allow the user to import games: Smart Go Kifu, priced at $19.99; and EasyGo, priced at $11.99. It’s easier to import a large number of files into EasyGo; Smart Go Kifu only lets you do one at a time. On the other hand, Smark Go Kifu already contains a library of 40,000 games,  as well as a way to record your games, a tutorial, a pretty strong playing program, 2,000 problems, 30 annotated games, a joseki matching feature, and more. You can also purchase and read many classics from Smart Go Books. Seems worth the extra cost unless you really need to import large databases.

What if you just want a free app to look at your sgfs? For now, it seems there is only one option. It’s a little clunky, but it works. Here’s how:
1. Install the latest version of Panda-Tetsuki, Pandanet’s client for  The Internet Go Server client, on your device.
2. Install Dropbox on your device.
3. On your desktop, move the files you want to review to a directory in Dropbox.
4. Make sure your device is connected to the Internet.
5. Open Dropbox on your device, find the sgf you want to view and click on it.
6. A window will open with a button containing the Pand-Tetsuki icon. Click on it.
7. Voila! The game appears onscreen.

You need to be connected to the Internet to load a game, and you can’t save sgfs in Tetsuki, so if you have 3G great, but Wi-Fi has its limits. I guess if you’re serious enough about go to collect game records, you’ll have to spend a few bucks.

Thanks to Tomasz Podolec for pointing out the Dropbox connection.

- Roy Laird

 

New Faces at 21st Jujo Jiang Cup in SF; Yi Xue Tops Field

Thursday January 31, 2013

Although there were many familiar faces at the annual Jujo Jiang Ing Cup last weekend, there were many new faces as well. “This year Jujo brought a group from China, led by former LG Cup titleholder — and Chinese National Team Coach — Yu Bin 9P,” reports organizer Ernest Brown. “Also on the tour was Li He, current women’s world go champion.” Nine amateur players from the Chinese contingent joined more than 70 local players on the boards, including Herb Doughty, Steve and Matthew Burrall and Martin Lebl. The 21st Jujo Jiang Ing Cup was held January 26 in San Francisco, sponsored by Ing’s Goe of California and organized by American Ing Goe and the Bay Area Go Association.  “Go in the San Francisco area seems to be thriving,” Brown added. The one day, 4-round event used the Go Clubs Online pairing software for the first time, and Brown reports that “The software held up well without any technical problems.  We plan to use it again and encourage pre-registration for future tournaments.”     Every contestant received a t-shirt from Jiang’s go school in China along with a carton of Kid Robot collectible “Fat Cap” figurines as door prizes. “Jujo plans to bring an even larger group to next year’s tournament,” Brown says.
photos:  top left: An Yu (left) & Aaron Ye; bottom right: Herb Doughty. photos by Ernest Brown

Winner’s Report (see below for top-board game records)
Open Division: 1st: Yi Xue; 2nd: An Yu (daughter of Yu Bin); 3rd: Hugh Zhang; 4th: Aaron Ye
Dan Division: 1st: Zhi Ma; 2nd: Jun Yao; 3rd: Chengji Huang; 4th: Daniel Liu
Expert  Division: 1st: Linden Chiu; 2nd: Kevin Chou; 3rd: Charles Su; 4th: Eric Branlund
Intermediate Division: 1st: Liang Chen; 2nd: Jonathan Mi; 3rd: Matthias Kramm; 4th: Eric Liu
Novice Division: 1st: Peter Pan; 2nd: Matthew Cheng; 3rd: Maxim Razin; 4th: Eric Huang

Downloadable top-board game records; recorded by Chris Burg
Round 1, Board 1_Hugh Zhang 7d – Shao Liu 7d
Round 2, Board 1_Hugh Zhang 7d – Renyu Chen 7d
Round 3, Board 1_Hugh Zhang 7d – AnYu
Round 4, Board 1_Yi Xue – An Yu

 

Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Go Game Guru’s “Year of Go in Photos”

Thursday January 31, 2013

Our friends at Go Game Guru have just posted their 2012 album of favorite go photos, which are great fun to look at – the captions are amusing too — and many of which would make terrific screensavers or wallpaper. Click here for the 2011 collection.

Countdown to First N.A. Go Convention: 9 Days

Wednesday January 30, 2013

With the first-ever North American Go Convention just over a week away, over 110 players have now registered for the Feb. 8-17 event. The field is shaping up to be fairly strong, with 30 players 5 dan and above, another 32 players 1d-4d and 30 single-digit kyu players. The total prize purse is $3,170 and includes the NAGC Open, a Team Competition, Blitz Go and Pair Go (check here for complete, up-to-date info). The week-long event spans two weekends, beginning in Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ (2/8-12) and then moving to Arlington, VA (2/13-17); click here for the full schedule. A one-day option offers up to seven games per day, with trophies, books, and certificates awarded to 3- and 4-win players. Yuan Zhou 7d will be etaching at the DC event as Joanne Missingham 6P (right) – who will be welcomed to DC by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office — can only teach on 2/13-14 due to a professional tournament game scheduled on 2/17 in Taiwan. Shuttle buses may be available to NJ from New York City; click here to sign up.

 

 

Janice Kim 3P to Lead Go Workshop at Hollyhock

Tuesday January 29, 2013

Go is returning to Hollyhock after more than a decade as Janice Kim 3P leads a workshop at the learning center in British Columbia June 28 through July 3. Kim promises to “Increase your go skill through interactive lectures, small and large group exercises, game practice and analysis,” as well as help players “Develop critical thinking skills and improve your confidence while exploring effective and positive real world decision-making.” An award-winning author and professional 3-dan, Kim brings decades of experience to her acclaimed workshops; in 1984 she won the World Youth Go Championship, took second place in the 1985 Fuji Women’s Korean Go Champion and in 2008 she placed 4th in the World Poker Tour Bellagio Five Diamond Classic. She’s also been a contributor to the American Go E-Journal, most recently contributing commentary at the 2012 Sport Accord World Mind Sports Games in Beijing.

 

Categories: U.S./North America
Share

Weiqi2Go Update

Tuesday January 29, 2013

In a recent E-Journal article about Weiqi2Go, the new iPod/iPhone/iPad app for viewing recent tournament games, we complained that the players were only listed in Chinese, limiting its usefulness to non-Chinese reading users, and we’re pleased to report that game lists now identify events, games and players in English. Some game descriptions are still only in Chinese; there is also a Chinese option, and Korean names can be viewed in Korean. Nearly 1,000 recent pro games are available on the server, which is continuously updated with the latest top tournament games, organized in a way that I found difficult to browse; games from several tournaments are lumped together in one directory. A subdirectory structure for each tournament would be a welcome addition. The graphics are OK but still fall short of other programs. The stones seem too small for the board, which in turn could be larger on the iPod (which I used to review these products).  If you want to look at games from the current tournament scene, Weiqi2Go looks like a good option. Just find the games online that you want to look at and download them to your device, then save them to a directory. All the events I looked for were there. I was however disappointed that there is no “Import” function, and “Export” is also missing, but that’s another story . . .
- Roy Laird