American Go E-Journal

AGF College Scholarships due Nov. 20th

Monday October 21, 2013

The deadline for the American Go Foundation’s College Scholarship is just one month away. The program  recognizes high school students who have served as important organizers and promoters for the go community.  Read about last year’s winner here, and former winners here.  For more information, and the application form, visit the AGF Website- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. 

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Chris Martin Wins First Louisville Tournament

Sunday October 20, 2013

Ten players showed for the Louisville Go Club’s first annual tournament on October 19 in Louisville, KY, including some players from the Cincinnati Go Club. An undefeated Chris Martin 4k (3-0, on right) took first place with Taylor Perkinson 6k (2-1 on left) in second.
- report by Asha Nagaiya

Categories: U.S./North America
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Capture Go: Gateway or Standalone?

Sunday October 20, 2013

Is Capture Go merely a stepping stone to traditional go, or can it stand on its own as a viable game? In Memphis, two go players and teachers are working hard to answer that question.

The simplified rule set that master teacher Yasuda Yasutoshi 8P describes in his book Go As Communication has been used in hundreds of schools, after-school programs and libraries. Go players who teach Capture Go often hope to quickly move their pupils along to traditional go but Jay Jayaraman 9K and Graham Smart 9K wondered what would happen if a whole program focused just on Capture Go. They’re working with the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis (CIUM) where they’re teaching Capture Go to Chinese language instructors from CIUM-affiliated after-school programs in the Memphis area, who in turn will introduce hundreds of primary school students to the game this year. The program is currently active in 12 Shelby County elementary schools and will be adding more schools throughout the year, reaching an estimated 40-50 students per program. Jayaraman and Smart also plan to start Capture Go programs in middle and high schools in the area.

“We are not trying to teach go,” Jayaraman, the director of CIUM’s after-school programs told the EJ. “We are presenting 9×9 Capture Go strictly on its own merits, not as a ‘gateway game.’ We call the game we teach go, not Capture Go, so that children who become interested in the long-form game don’t have issues with transition. We hope that even students who don’t enjoy traditional go will have a little fun with Capture Go.” All students, not just winners, can earn Pokémon-style badges (created by Smart) to reward merit, encourage competition and create a sports-like atmosphere. Players will get badges for reaching certain goals, such as completing a certain number of games or playing at least one game with every other player.

The curriculum involves ten two-hour classes, presented as part of CIUM’s Chinese language and history program in partner schools. The American Go Foundation has provided 80 full size sets of stones and more than 200 9×9 boards so far, and Viz Media has granted permission to use Hikaru no Go anime and manga freely as part of their curriculum. Smart is also creating a series of introductory videos for use in the curriculum. The rule set is designed to be completely simple and solvable on the board. However, since the instructors are also new to the game, the organizers will serve as “experts on call” when the classes are taking place. Any instructor can send them a question, along with a picture of the board position if needed, and receive an immediate answer.

Jayaraman discovered the potential of Capture Go as a standalone game last summer when he served as the lead go instructor for CIUM’s K-12 Chinese Summer Immersion Camp. With 20 students ranging from five to eleven years old, he worried about losing them if the game seemed too complex, so he focused on Capture Go after discovering Let’s Play Go, Yasuda’s elegant yet simplified introduction to the game. Jayaraman and local player Wade Humbert “described Yasuda’s ‘Capture Go’ method and hoped for the best,” says Jayaraman. “To see a room full of children playing within thirty minutes of first hearing about the game was quite a treat.  We set up daily classes, drawing upon the Freedman-Balwit curriculum available through the ‘Methods and Materials’ page on the AGA’s Teacher Resources site. To our surprise, only a handful of children showed any interest in advancing to traditional go, but they were all incredibly enthusiastic about Capture Go. Campers were actually excited about their homework! We held a tournament on the last day and combined homework scores with results to find the top finishers. Prizes included copies of Hikaru No Go and full size playing sets. It was a joy to watch their enthusiasm and progress.” Positive feedback from parents encouraged CIUM and the Memphis schools to expand the program into the school year. The Memphis program has four goals: reach the largest possible audience; re-envision go and Capture Go as team sports; engage parents, teachers and other stakeholders; strengthen ties with Confucius Institutes nationwide.

Jayaraman thinks one reason go more popular  is that the go community has followed the top-down, expert-oriented teaching approach that has worked so well for chess. Unlike chess, however, go experts are few and far between. In addition, programs such as the middle school chess team seen in the recent documentary Brooklyn Castle have high infrastructure costs and are difficult to maintain. Chess-In-the-Schools spends millions of dollars teaching chess in New York City alone.

“There’s another pitfall in expert-based teaching methods,” Jayaraman believes. “Skilled go players often flood beginners with complexity, leaving them feeling hopelessly lost. But Capture Go is easy for anyone to learn. In our model, non-playing teachers and after-school staff receive basic instruction and then learn along with their students. Yasuda sensei never meant for Capture Go to be an introductory tool to regular go. The original program was designed to foster interaction using Capture Go as a great equalizer. Like him, we want to use Capture Go as a standalone vehicle for promoting the ‘four C’s’ — critical thinking, cooperation, competition and communication.”
- Roy Laird 

Your Move: Remembering Albright & Bender

Sunday October 20, 2013

“Thanks for the recent obituaries (In Memoriam: Philadelphia Go Players Hugh Albright and John Bender 10/10 EJ),” writes Bob Barber. “I think it’s a great idea to remember those with whom we’ve shared the game of go. I knew Hugh Albright very well from Congresses. He was perhaps 2 kyu when I was 10 kyu. He was always generous with his time. As I marched up to 1 dan, Hugh may have lingered at 2 kyu. We usually got in a game or two each year. I was at that lecture that John Bender gave at Congress. He looked like a model, and his companion looked like a model. And, he’d gone from zero to 4 dan in no time! I was very impressed. Now I read that he had large talents in other fields. Very sorry to hear that his intense life is over already.”

Iyama Yuta Achieves Rare ‘Triple Crown’ with 38th Meijin Victory

Saturday October 19, 2013

As if the Htriple crown iyama yutaoninbo and Kisei were not enough, Iyama Yuta 9p (left) secured his third Meijin title when he defeated Yamashita Keigo 9p in this year’s Meijin on October 17. By holding Japan’s three biggest titles simultaneously, Iyama is the just the second player in the entire history of go to achieve a ‘triple crown.’ The only other player to attain this honor was Cho Chikun 9p – once in 1983 and again in 1997. In a post-game interview, Iyama said, “I have a deep respect [for] Cho Chikun 9p, and I’m very honored to achieve the triple crown, as he did.” Had he not lost the Judan to Yuki Satoshi 9p in April, Iyama would have completed a grand slam, or held all seven Japanese titles at once. For more information about this year’s Meijin including game records from all five games, photos, and more, please visit Go Game Guru.
– Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru

AGA Announces Online Pro Prelim for November

Saturday October 19, 2013

The online prelim for the American Go Association’s 2013 professional selection process will take place on KGS in November, the AGA Pro System Committee announced earlier this week. The event is open to US and Canadian citizens who meet a minimal residency requirement and have either an AGA rating or stable KGS rank of 5d or higher. Competitors should also be members of AGA or CGA.   The tournament will take place November 9, 10, 16 and 17 in the AGA Tournaments Room on KGS.  The winner will be invited to participate in the pro selection tournament in Los Angeles Jan. 2-8 2014, receiving an $800 travel subsidy.  Players can register for the tournament here. Upon registration players should also submit a copy of their US or Canadian passport. The residency requirement is that players have lived in the US or Canada for at least three of the last six years or else obtain a waiver from the AGA president based on their time overseas being temporary and for the purpose of education, go study or an overseas posting.  For questions about the tournament contact Karoline Burrall Li at tournaments@usgo.org. For questions about pro selection or the residency requirement contact AGA President Andy Okun at president@usgo.org.

E-Journal Website Team Members Sought

Saturday October 19, 2013

Want to help build the global go community? The American Go E-Journal team is expanding, and has a few immediate openings for dedicated, talented volunteers who want to help maintain and expand the American Go Association’s online presence and better serve the global go community. PHP/Drupal/Database/Linux SysAdmin experience helpful but also looking for writers and editors to keep web content fresh and up to date. For more details email journal@usgo.org

Categories: U.S./North America
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EuroGoTV Update: Germany, Ukraine, Finland

Saturday October 19, 2013

Germany:  Manja Marz 3d (left) won the Deutsche Damen-Go-Meisterschaft 2013 in Jena on October 13 while Janine Boehme 1d came in second and Barbara Knauf 3d in third. Ukraine: Also on October 13, the Ukrainian Cup 2013 finished in Kyiv with Bohdan Zhurakovskyi 5d in first, Artem Kachanovskyi 7d in second, and Mykhailo Halchenko 5d in third. Finland: Jesse Savo 4d bested Mikko Siukola 4d in the 2nd qualification for the Finnish Championship in Espoo on October 13. Jusso Nyyssonen 5d placed third.
- Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news

Categories: Europe,Go News
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Go Classified: Seeking Players in Hollywood

Saturday October 19, 2013

Looking for someone in Hollywood CA to play go with.  Email dr.barnsher@gmail.com if interested.

Categories: Go Classified
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Sinking Feeling for “Handicap Go”

Tuesday October 15, 2013

After 20 years out of print, Kiseido’s “Handicap Go” was released in an extensively revised and rewritten edition earlier this year. However, reports Anders Kierulf, it may have to be reprinted again soon, as the ship carrying a thousand copies sank in the Indian Ocean last June. “Fortunately, we were insured and the insurance company already paid us the full value,” Richard Bozulich says. “There is a story floating around that the ship was carrying arms for Syrian rebels and the Russian Navy sank it so those arms would not get to Syria,” says Kierulf. Bozulich plans to be at the Cotsen Open later this month. Meanwhile, “Handicap Go” is now available in SmartGo Books, which has a new website, and Kiseido is having a pre-Christmas sale of books until November 15.

Categories: World
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