American Go E-Journal

Lee Sedol Beats Gangshen Shi to take 2-0 Lead in AGA-Europe Pro 10-Game Series

Thursday February 7, 2013

Lee Sedol 9P defeated American pro Gansheng Shi 1P on February 2 to take a 2-0 lead in the 10-game series between the AGA-Europe pro team and Lee, sponsored by

“In general I felt good about my game,” Shi — who took white in the game (at right) — tells the E-Journal. “I think I


played well and was able to hang on to until the late middle game where I forgot to make an important exchange that cost me the game.  I feel Lee Sedol is really strong and really punishes opponents for misplays and overplays. He was able to catch all of my mistakes and really profit from doing so. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience.”

In the next round, European pro Catalin Taranu will take black with 0.5 komi (W wins ties). Due to the Chinese and Korean New Year holiday this weekend, the series is expected to resume on the weekend of February 16th.

Categories: U.S./North America

N.A. Go Convention Plans Proceed for Weekend Launch in NJ

Thursday February 7, 2013

Plans for this weekend’s North American Go Convention are proceeding as a winter storm bears down on the region. “Our three professionals have arrived on-site and we’ve arranged for shuttle service from both Newark Penn Station and the Park & Ride in Parsippany-Troy Hills,” says NAGC Commissioner Edward Zhang (at right with Joanne Missingham and her parents, Nan-Ping and Errol). Click here for a short video overview about the NAGC.

Shuttle sign-up is strongly encouraged so the NAGC volunteers can plan accordingly and reduce wait time. Players may also stay at the Days Inn Hotel on Friday if they wish to avoid traveling on Saturday, when the storm is forecast to hit. “Keep in mind that there is a second chapter of the NAGC in DC from February 13-17, with same three Open, Blitz and Pair Go tournaments,” adds Convention Director Yue Zhang 7D.

US Canada Friendship Match Feb. 9

Tuesday February 5, 2013

The 5th US-Canada Youth Friendship Tournament will be held Saturday, February 9, at 4pm Eastern time (1pm Pacific) in the AGA Tournaments Room on KGS.  Organized by Lawrence Ku, the popular transnational match pits the strongest youth in North America against each other, and often draws large crowds of observers. Canada has won for the past three years in a row, and the US is itching for a win.  The current crop of contenders (with US players listed first) features Calvin Sun 7d vs.  Bill Lin 8d;  Hugh Zhang 7d vs. Jianing Gan 8d; Albert Yen 6d vs. Irene Sha 7d; Andrew Lu 6d vs. Andrew Huang 6d; Vincent Zhuang 6d vs. Oliver Wolf 5d; Aaron Ye 5d vs. David Fan. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor

Yasui Santetsu Focus of New Film

Tuesday February 5, 2013

Insight Into the Universe is a new film about Yasui Santetsu, a go player and famous Japanese astronomer, better known as Shibukawa Shunkai. The creator of the Japanese Jokyo calendar and the author of many books about astronomy, he also played with his friend and rival, Honinbo Dosaku, in the “castle games.” The famous game between Dosaku and Santetsu, where Santetsu opened on tengen, is depicted in the 2012 film, which was directed by Yojiro Takita and stars Junichi Okada, a Japanese actor, singer, and member of the pop group V6. The heroine in the film, played by Miyazaki Aoi, works at a shrine which still exists today; click here to see Cho U 9p dedicating some of his famous go problems to that shrine. An English-subtitled version of the film does not appear to be available at this time.
- thanks to Go Game Guru

Categories: Go Art

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.



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

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 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