American Go E-Journal

An E-Book Author, Publisher and Reader Walk Into a Bar…

Tuesday January 15, 2013

The ongoing development of electronic publishing is often framed as a battle to the death between two formats, hard-copy versus electronic. But the reality may be more complex, as creators and users seek to maximize the advantages of both formats in a rapidly-changing technological landscape.

“The e-book version has the advantages of both printed books and a go file on the computer using a go program,” says Michael Redmond 9P, a top player and author of many hard-copy go books, who has recently released ‘Patterns of the Sanrensei’, written specifically for SmartGo Books. “The greatest advantage of go file on a computer is the ease and speed with which one can view the moves and variations, without having to search for the next move, and no problems with misplaced stones. I think the advantage of a printed book is that it is easier to grasp the overall flow of the game when you can see a number of diagrams on the pages, and can compare diagrams, check the text analysis, with it all there in front of you. With SmartGo Books you can start with the book view, and it looks just like a printed book. Then you just touch a diagram, and you can enlarge it, play out the moves, and do just about anything you might want to do while viewing a file on a pc. You can try adding moves, in case you want to be sure about if that ladder really works. Then you return the diagram to it’s original size, and everything is as it was before, in the book form. Any moves you added will disappear, so you don’t need worry about messing up the diagrams. This combination of the strengths of books and computers allows the author to present more information, and for the reader it is relatively easy to understand. When I first saw what SmartGo could do on an iPad I thought it was perfect already, then I wanted to write a book for it, and that is how the book ‘Patterns of the Sanrensei’ came to be. Since then, (SmartGo Books publisher) Anders Kierulf has actually managed to make it even better, with inline diagrams and links between diagrams that add depth and enrichen the learning experience.”

Kierulf notes that since SmartGo Books — which has now released several dozen e-books, many of them re-issues of classics like the Elementary Go Series or Janice Kim’s Learn to Play Go books — “are currently limited to iOS devices (iPad and iPhone), the impact on printed book sales will necessarily be limited.” In fact, Kierulf (at left showing Eric Cotsen the ‘Invincible’ e-book at the 2012 Cotsen Open) says, “There’s some indication that releasing a book on SmartGo Books actually increased sales of the printed copies, which I’m glad to hear, as we need to keep a healthy ecosystem for go book authors and publishers.” Kierulf adds that “For me personally, being able to carry ‘Invincible’ in my pocket has made the whole SmartGo Books project worth it. So many people (including me) own the printed copy, but have never had the opportunity to study the games properly.”

“In reviewing both the print and SmartGo version of ‘Patterns of the Sanrensei’,” I found that is was very easy to read the SmartGo version because of the virtual go board capability,” said go player Robert Huang, an AGA 6 kyu. “This is much more convenient than the print version and simple eBook version on iBook or Kindle. I was able to start, stop, pick up where I left off, and finish the entire book in a relatively short amount of time. I think being able to actually visualize the move sequence, as opposed to mentally playing the sequence is very helpful.” Huang adds that “I am not sure how much I actually retained at this point, but the proof will be in the pudding as I play more games. Hopefully, I will see my ranking improve.”

What are your thoughts on hard-copy vs. electronic go books? Let us know at journal@usgo.org! photo by Chris Garlock

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Jason Clancy Tops MGA Winter Tourney

Monday January 14, 2013

Jason Clancy 6k (at left, in green sweater) took first place at the January 13 Massachusetts Go Association Winter Tournament, topping a 24-player field that ranged from 4 dan to 20 kyu. “Twenty three players pre-registered,” reports  Tournament Director Eva Casey. “Three of those were no-shows, so twenty players got the pre-registration discount.   The majority of the players joined or renewed membership in the Massachusetts Go Association, thus meriting an additional discount.” Casey thanked the Boylston Chess Club in Somerville for use of their premises.
Winners: First  Place: Jason Clancy 6k; Second Place: Elliot Stern 7k; Third Place: Alex Linden 12k.
photo courtesy Eva Casey: left to right: Clancy-Peters; DaSilva-Linden; Nahabedian-Yamkovoy

 

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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Zhaonian Chen Wins Gotham Open as Tournament Go Returns to Big Apple

Saturday January 12, 2013

Zhaonian (Michael) Chen 7D (right) won the Gotham Go Tournament January 12, topping a capacity crowd that filled the Soho Room at the historic Hostelling International New York on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Chen’s 4-0 sweep earned him the $300 top prize and included a convincing win over Andy Liu 1P (left) in the second round. Liu took second place and Kim Dae Yol was third in the open section.  The field included a healthy mix of new players and “old-timers” who were happy to see tournament go returning to the New York go scene after a multi-year drought. The tournament drew from as far away as Washington, with DC organizer Haskell Small 2D making the journey up to play, and as near as 106th Street, as former AGA President Roy Laird 3K walked over to join the festivities. The American Go E-Journal’s Chris Garlock and John Pinkerton  broadcast top-board games (see links below) on KGS with live commentaries by Gansheng Shi 1P — who also did live audio commentary, which was very well-received by nearly 200 players — as well as Hugh Zhang.

Tournament organizer Peter Armenia — who even got a round in himself — pronounced himself “pleasantly surprised and very pleased” at the turnout, which included a half-dozen top-ranked players. “Thanks to everyone for coming out,” Armenia added, “we hope to make this a regular event, so stay tuned!” Matthew Hershberger directed the 4-round tournament.

Other section winners were: 3D-1D: Willis Huang 3D; 1K-4K: Todd Blatt 1K; 5K-9K: Gino Choung 5K; 10K+: Yuga Suzuki 12K. Look for complete results to be posted soon.

Round 1, Board 1: Chen-Kim
Round 1, Board 2: Lee-Hong
Round 2, Board 1: Liu-Chen
Round 3, Board 1: Lee-Chen
Round 3, Board 1 (Lee-Chen) Commentary by Gansheng Shi 1P
Round 3, Board 2: Liu-Creeks
Round 4, Board 1: Chen-Lockhart
Round 4, Board 2: Liu-Lee

 photo by John Pinkerton

Categories: U.S./North America
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Tourney/Event Updates: Live From Gotham; Berlekamp Confirmed for ACGA Spring Go Expo; Save $10 on Jujo Ing Cup Registration

Friday January 11, 2013

Live From Gotham: With 64 players — including six 7-dans –registered, this Saturday’s Gotham Go Tournament has maxed out, reports organizer Peter Armenia, “due to space and equipment limitations.” However, you can follow the top-board action live on KGS starting at 10a EST, as the E-Journal broadcasts games with commentary by pros and top players, including Gansheng Shi 1P, Justin Teng and Hugh Zhang. Players will be competing for cash prizes and books from Slate and Shell.

Berlekamp Confirmed for ACGA Spring Go Expo: Dr. Elwyn Berlekamp, co-author of ‘Mathematical Go’, has been confirmed as a featured speaker at the upcoming ACGA Spring Go Expo, which has now officially begun registration. More speakers and the expo schedule will be confirmed in the next couple weeks, reports organizer Cole Pruitt. “Because another event (the Penny Arcade Expo) will be held in Boston at the same time, March 23-24, hotel space is already filling up quickly, so we’re recommending that anyone interested in attending sign up now,” Pruitt urges.

Save $10 on Jujo Ing Cup Registration: Pre-register for the January 26 Jujo Ing Cup on-line for a $10 discount. The one-day, 4-round tournament is sponsored by Ing’s Goe Foundation of California and organized by the Bay Area Go Players Association. Forty players of all levels and ages from the Jiang Zhu Jiu Goe School in Shangahi are expected to attend, led by Yu Bin 9P, former Fujitsu Title holder and Jiang Zhu Jiu 9P, competing for $3000 in prizes.

Categories: U.S./North America
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EuroGoTV: January 10th

Thursday January 10, 2013

Bergen Winter Cup: The Bergen Winter Cup played, from 01/05-06 in Bergen, Norway, was won by Antti Tormanen 6d, second was Heming Hanevik 1d, and third was Paal Sannes 4d… Torneo della Befana 2013: The Torneo della Befana 2013, played on 01/05 in Milano, Italy, was won by Francesco Marigo 4d, second was Isamu Oka 3k and third was Paolo Montrasio 1k… 463 Velika Gorica weekend-go-tournament: The 463 Velika Gorica weekend-go-tournament, played on the 01/05 in Velika Gorica, Croatia, was won by Mladen Smud 1k, second was Robert Jovicic 2k and third was Nikola Primetica 4k… La Carboneria: The La Carboneria, played on 12/29 in Sevilla, Spain, was won by Jose-Manuel Vega 2k, second was Fran Garcia 9k and third was Francisco Carretero 6k…
- adapted from EuroGoTV, which includes winner reports, crosstabs, game records and photos. Edited by Taylor Litteral

Categories: Europe
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Players Sought for Brunei Friendship Cup Qualifiers

Thursday January 10, 2013

“This February, the American Go Honor Society (AGHS) is looking to renew its relations with Brunei, Malaysia, and Canada in a reinstallment of the Brunei Friendship Cup,” reports event organizer Andrew Huang 6d. “This tournament, aimed at go players in high school and younger, gives all players, regardless of strength, an opportunity to represent the United States in an international and friendly competition.”  A qualification tournament to pick the national team will be held  on February 9-10, with the Brunei Friendship Cup set to take place on February 16. Players of all ranks and pair go participants are needed. For more information and registration, please visit the AGHS site, to register go here.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo from xinwengolife.wordpress.com.

USYGC Deadline Jan. 13

Wednesday January 9, 2013

There are just  a few days left to register for the US Youth Go Championships, which will be held Jan. 19th on KGS.  All AGA members who are under 18, and live in the US are eligible, and there will be prizes awarded every five ranks.  The top winners in the under 12 and under 18 brackets will receive a free trip to the US Go Congress!  Winners in all bands will receive a beautiful etched glass trophy, 2nd place in each bracket gets a Sai plushie.  Everyone who enters will be eligible for AGF scholarships to either the AGA Go Camp or the US Go Congress, first come first served.  The scholarships are worth $400 at camp, or $200 at congress. You may enter at a rank higher than your official AGA rank, but may not enter at a lower one.  The registration deadline is Sunday, January 13th.  To register, e-mail youth@usgo.org with your name, rank, birthday, AGA ID, KGS ID, and citizenship. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. 

Myungwan Kim 9P to Comment Bailing Cup Live on Tygem This Weds & Fri

Tuesday January 8, 2013

The next in Tygem’s series of live world championship commentaries by Myungwan Kim 9P will be this Wednesday and Friday as Zhou Ruiyang 5P and Chen Yaoye 9P vie for the inaugural Bailing Cup, the go world’s newest international title. Game One of the best-of-five series will start at 5:30p Pacific Standard Time (8:30p EST) on Wednesday (9:30 a.m. in Shanghai, where the games will take place.) Game 2 will be two days later at the same time. Kim’s live commentary can be seen on Tygem’s World Server, which organizers promise “will not have any crowding problems.” Chen (right) is one of the strongest go players in the world and is currently number one in China. He plays very well in domestic tournaments but has not had success in world championship games, so this final will be a big chance for him to make his mark on the world stage. Chen showed his talent when he became pro at the age of ten and earned the rank of 9P at just 17. He is also in the finals of the Chunlan Cup, where he’ll play Lee Sedol for that title. Zhou (left), meanwhile, was number one in China for most of 2011 but like Chen has not yet won a world championship. Even though Chen has a slight edge over Zhou, this match will be an interesting for fans. They both are very strong and their styles are totally different. Chen’s game is conservative and defensive while Zhou’s style is aggressive and offensive, a match of sword against shield.
- reported by James Kim

China Fields Strong Players at N.A. Go Convention

Sunday January 6, 2013

The N.A. Go Convention next month is attracting players from as far away as China, reports organizer Edward Zhang. “At least half a dozen Chinese players with strengths equivalent to AGA 6 dan and higher have registered in the past week,” says Zhang.  They include Ruxu Cao (right), who won third place in the 2011 World Mind Sports Games amateur division, and Zhiyao Li, Heilongjiang Province Youth Go champion in 2004 and 2007. Click here to see who’s coming. Team spirit is also a big part of the Convention, which uses a “team score” measure similar to the Cotsen Open’s, in which individual player wins contribute to their team’s overall score as they compete for a $1,000 team prize in addition to individual awards and prizes. “Players don’t need to be all strong players, and they just need to do well in their own divisions,” Zhang explains. Though most teams will likely be made up of players from the same area/city, that’s not required. “All you need to do now is to find seven players and get them pre-registered, “ added Zhang. “You can come up with a team name later.”

Your Move/Readers Write: Programmers Advocating Go

Sunday January 6, 2013

“Recently I’ve discovered some information about programmers advocating go to their peers,” writes Steve Colburn, an IT professional and go organizer in Rochester, NY who’s also on the AGA website and EJ team. “The first one is a video from the Game Developers Conference in which Frank Lantz from the NYU Game Center gives a talk about Life and Death and Middle Pair: Go, Poker, and the Sublime  (reported in the 10/30 EJ). The second part is part of the Clojure community. The head of the community Rich Hickey advocates the playing of go to people who code in this language. I know of a few active Clojure programmers (Eidogo and IGS programmers) who are all go players. At this year’s Clojure Conj, Zach Tellman gave a talk about Playing Go with Clojure  right before the keynote. It’s great to hear go being publicized like this to our peers and those who do not know about go.”