American Go E-Journal

Tacoma Congress Tune-up Tournament Report

Wednesday July 27, 2011

On a gorgeous, blue-sky Seattle Sunday July 24, 12 intrepid contestants, including two 5-dans, assembled at the Seattle Go Center for the second Tacoma Go Club hosted tournament in a row: the 2011 Congress Tune-Up, with Gordon Castanza as the tournament director. Originally scheduled for four rounds, the players decided that missing the rest of a day on which temperatures rose to 82° F was too much to endure. Consequently, after three rounds, everyone was looking for the exits, and even the Tacoma Go Club’s pizza lunch couldn’t keep the contestants indoors. The final standings saw Solomon Choe 5d and Eric Feiveson 3k finishing the tournament with three wins apiece. Both Joshua Hall 9k and Jon Boley 5d won two out of three games.
- Report and photo by Gordon Castanza

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Congress Joseki: Other Games

Tuesday July 26, 2011

Shocking as it seems, there are apparently a few games other than go that get played at the annual U.S. Go Congress which starts this Saturday in Santa Barbara, CA.
Soccer: Longtime Congress soccer organizer Terry Benson reports that there will be soccer “Every afternoon except the first Saturday and Wednesday” most likely at 4:15, at a site to be determined. “Come one, come all!” Benson urges.
Tennis: Chris Garlock and Lisa Schrag are also planning to organize tennis around the same time; watch for updates as details get nailed down this Saturday. Bring your racquets or rent them at the College.
Poker: No details have surfaced yet but it’s a sure bet that poker will be played at the Congress, most likely in the usual late-night sessions; email us at journal@usgo.org if you have details on this or any other such activities Congress-goers should be aware of.

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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Snapshots from the European Go Congress

Tuesday July 26, 2011

E-Journal photographer John Pinkerton stopped by the European Go Congress — now underway in Bordeaux, France — the other day and sent us these snapshots.
- photos by John Pinkerton; collage by Chris Garlock

Categories: Europe
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GO SPOTTING: Mr Nice Plays Go

Tuesday July 26, 2011

Danish E-Journal reader Martin Liechti spotted go in the new film Mr. Nice, a 2010 crime film – now in limited release in the U.S. – about Howard Marks, a notorious Welsh drug smuggler played by Rhys Ifans (a friend of Marks in real life) and also starring Crispin Glover and Chloë Sevigny. Liechti sent us this screenshot of a scene in which a woman is sitting by a goban. The Danish subtitle says: What’s that?

Japanese Insei Win Friendship Matches With U.S. Youth

Monday July 25, 2011

Ten of America’s young players competed against Japanese insei online last Thursday, July 21, in the first-ever youth friendship matches between the two countries.  The insei, who are studying professionally at the Nihon Kiin, walloped the US team with a 7-3 record.  The insei played live from the Nihon Kiin, while their US counterparts were competing from all across the country.  The matches were held on the Japanese Yugen no Ma Go Server, which is accessible in English through wBaduk.com.  On the top board, US favorite Calvin Sun 7d lost against Shodai Hirano 6d, both boys are 14 years old.  The two youngest competitors were both 9, Asami Ueno 6d (in pink bow above) and Aaron Ye 4d.   Ueno got off to a good start, with a large capture in the corner, and then proceeded to create living groups effortlessly everywhere she invaded, before Ye was forced to resign.  It wasn’t all losses though, Vincent Zhuang 6d, Andrew Lu 6d, and Ashish Varma 4d pulled out all the stops to win their games.  Zhuang, who along with Ye will represent the US at the World Youth Go Championships in Romania next month, scored a commanding win by resignation against 11-year-old Kazuma Yamaguchi 6d, while Lu bested Saeka Iwata 6d.  The darkhorse victory went to 16 year old Ashish Varma 4d, who vanquished Tomohiro Watanabe 6d, age 15.  A full players gallery, with pictures, results and game records is available on Tigersmouth.org. The members edition of this story contains a commented game record on Varma’s win, by Feng Yun, 9P.  AGA youth membership is a steal at only $10, and gets you commented games every week in your mailbox, click here to join.
- Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo: Japanese insei at the Nihon Kiin, by Tom Urasoe.

Milwaukee Go Club Spreads Go at Art Museum

Monday July 25, 2011

As part of its Summer of China programming, the Milwaukee Art Museum not only recently presented a spectacular nevermore-to-leave-Beijing exhibit of newly restored artifacts from the Forbidden City, but also a two-day Chinese culture festival on that included a go tournament and a go demonstration table on July 23. Hundreds of Milwaukee Go Club brochures were snapped up by the middle of the second day, and hundreds more stopped by to take a look. One young visitor, Ishmael Robinson (r) was so captivated that he stayed for more than an hour and a photo of his lesson with Alex Wang not only made the front page of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Sunday local section, but was ranked #3 in their top Photos of the Week. The festival was preceded by an introductory session at a local public library, “where six attendees caught the go bug, one of whom plans to introduce the game at the daycare where she teaches,” reports local organizer Joyce Tang Boyland. “Thanks are due to all our adventurous and devoted players and volunteers,”  Tang Boyland adds, “without whom this could not have taken place, especially Bob Barber, who TD’ed the tournament and provided mentoring and guidance.”
- photo by Michael Sears, courtesy the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Categories: U.S./North America
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GO CLASSIFIED: Go Boards for Sale

Monday July 25, 2011

1 folding 19×19 Goban. 0.75 inches thick. Mustard yellow color. Will take Japanese/Korean size stones. USD $30 plus shipping.

5 one-piece 9×9/13×13 beginner boards. ¼” thick. Will take 23mm stones. All 5 for USD$10 plus shipping.

For details contact Arian I. at ai3131@yahoo.com

Categories: Go Classified
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Seattle Go Center Pleased With Renovation

Monday July 25, 2011

The new tenant at the Seattle Go Center has begun renovations by taking out some old walls.  The recent work has pleased the Board and staff of the Seattle Go Center.  “We are happy to see that Companion Pet Clinic is on schedule to open this fall” reports manager Brian Allen.  The long term lease with the veterinarians will be a big help to the Go Center budget.  Rent payments begin in December; the downstairs was empty for over a year.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Euro Go Congress Underway in France

Sunday July 24, 2011

The Zhuyeqing Tea European Go Congress started last Saturday in Bordeaux, France. You can follow the EGC games live on EuroGoTV1 and IGS. The EGC main tournament started Sunday and can also be followed on KGS. Click here for the complete schedule.

Categories: Europe
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What’s Your “Shusaku Number?”

Sunday July 24, 2011

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a trivia game based on the concept of the small world phenomenon and rests on the assumption that any individual can be linked through his or her film roles to actor Kevin Bacon within six steps. Now there’s the Shusaku number, which represents the “distance” between a go player and Honinbo Shusaku, measured in go opponents.

Kuwahara Shusaku  (1829-1862) was the strongest player of Japan’s “Edo” period, a “golden age of go” where four “houses” devoted themselves to winning the honor of playing in the “Castle Games” for the Emperor. The author of the most famous move in go history – the so-called “ear-reddening move” – Shusaku once famously responded, when asked the result of a game, “I had black.”  (The komi system was still more than fifty years in future.) He won nineteen consecutive games over a thirteen-year period, an unparalleled achievement, before dying of cholera at age 33. To equal this achievement today, a player would have to win every game on white by at least eight points. The ideas Shusaku left behind, especially the so-called “Shusaku opening,” formed the foundation of go theory for the next hundred years.

How closely are you connected to Shusaku? Borrowing from the world of mathematics, where authors proudly calculate their “Erdos number”, some go players enjoy figuring out their “Shusaku number,” a series of games leading back to the historic figure. For instance, The E-Journal’s erstwhile translator Bob McGuigan’s “Shusaku number” is four, a very respectable achievement for an amateur player. McGuigan once played a game with Sumiko Shiratori 5P, who in turn once played Fumiko Kita 6P, an important figure in the Hoensha, forerunner of today’s Nihon Kiin. Ms. Kita in turn once played Hoensha founder Honinbo Shuho, Shusaku’s unlucky opponent in four “Castle Games.” That’s a three-player link, so Bob is a four. (Shusaku’s “Shusaku number” is of course zero.) If you have ever played Bob, you are a five.  Click here to learn how to trace your “go lineage” to the great master.  When you’ve got that all figured out you can take it to the next level, and try to figure out yourWinning Shusaku Number,” where you have to trace a series of victories all the way back to someone who beat Shusaku.  Handicap wins on black don’t count, so good luck with that . . .
- Roy Laird

Categories: U.S./North America
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