American Go E-Journal

International Go Art Contest

Sunday September 4, 2011

The 1st International Children’s Go is Art Painting Contest received submissions from the US, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines and India,” reports Alma G. Juarez, of Mexico City. “We wanted to make go culture flourish among children, and promote it through a creative exchange with the painting contest,” Juarez told the Journal, “there were three categories A, B and C from 6 to 15 years old, and kids were free to use any technique they wanted for their artworks. All the paintings we received were amazing and we could see the creativity and love that these children have for go.”  The submissions are all online, and can be seen here.  “The decision about the finalists was hard for the panel of judges,” said Juarez, “but we can say that the experience was great for everyone. We included a Special Mention for Takumi Shimada, a four-year-old  Japanese boy. Even though his age wasn’t under any category, he submitted a painting showing his love for go and his will to learn. Also we had the finalist submission of Aaron Ye 4d, who recently represented the US at the World Youth Go Championship, he’s not just a strong go player but also a great artist!  For all the children that didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the ‘Go is Art’ Painting Contest, it will be an annual event, so don’t hesitate to send your submissions next year!” -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Quotes translated from the Spanish by Siddhartha Avila.  Photo: Jamia Mei Tolentino’s  “Happiness with Go” An entry from the Philippines.
Results

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Chicago Teens Learn Chinese and Go

Sunday September 4, 2011

“This summer, fifty high school students from the Chicago area attended the Startalk Learn Chinese program, and filled their summer vacation with an intensive college-level Chinese language experience,” reports Xinming Simon Guo, “sure, they were immersed in activities typical of a language program: listening, speaking, reading and writing in Chinese. What the students did not know they were in for was the use of weiqi (go) to help them understand Chinese culture and thinking. What’s the relationship between Chinese language learning and weiqi? Research from Wellcome Trust showed that Mandarin Chinese speakers use both sides of their brains to understand language, whereas English speakers use just the left hemisphere. Meanwhile in another research study, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to compare the brain activities of people playing chess as opposed to weiqi. The result indicated that the right hemisphere of the weiqi players worked more actively than that of the chess players during the game. By being exposed to weiqi, Chinese language learners are more likely to tap both sides of the brain and learn Chinese more quickly.”  Guo and other teachers were involved in the project, which was held at Depaul University.  A full report on the program, and more photos, is here.  -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photo:

Simons Says Belfast

Saturday September 3, 2011

As August drew to a close, go players descended upon Northern Ireland to do battle. The 2011 Belfast Open once again took place at Belfast Boat Club, with a total of 23 players, and n0 boats taking part. The winner was Andrew ‘Uberdude’ Simons, taking the title with a perfect score. Second place went to 2009 winner Matthew Crosby, while James Hutchinson salvaged some local pride with 3rd place. Winning performance prizes for 4 wins out of 5 were Justyna Kleczar (who had just won the Galway Open), and Marek Gutkowski from Dublin. Click for the Results Table.
- Ian Davis

Categories: Europe
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The SportAccord World Mind Games

Saturday September 3, 2011

Preparation for the First Sport Accord World Mind Games is proceeding rapidly.  This event, to be held December 8-17 in Beijing, features six top international teams made up of four men and one woman each from China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, the European Union, and the U.S.  Two medals items will be played: team and pair go.  The U.S. team has been formed and is made up of Jie Li, Andy Liu, Mingjiu Jiang, Kevin Huang, and Yun Feng.  Yun Feng and Jie Li will also represent the U.S. in the pair-go tourney.  Several exciting side events to promote the main tournament will be held in the next two to three months.  Details should be forthcoming soon.
– reported by Thomas Hsiang

Categories: World
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Go to Join Int’l University Sports Federation

Saturday September 3, 2011

The International Go Federation (IGF) is in the process of applying for membership in the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The decision was made at the IGF’s annual general meeting in May of this year. Preparations are proceeding well and the IGF expects to participate in the 2015 Summer Universiade event in Gwangju, Korea.
– reported by Thomas Hsiang

Categories: World
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International Seniors’ Tournament Invites Players

Saturday September 3, 2011

The Korean Amateur Baduk Association (KABA) is inviting international participants to the 5th Kim-In Cup International Senior Baduk Competition, to be held November 4-7 in Gang Jin City, Korea.  Dan players (male – born before 12/31/1961, female – born before 12/31/1981) are welcome to form teams of four to enter.  They may also enter as individuals.  Cash prizes will be given.  Players are responsible for their own air tickets to and from Seoul, Korea; all other expenses are borne by the sponsors. Contact Thomas Hsiang, AGA Vice President for International Affairs at igf@usgo.org if you’re interested.

Categories: World
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Strong Field Expected in New Insei League

Saturday September 3, 2011

More than 60 go players have already registered for the next Insei League. “Our September League will be even stronger than usual,” reports Alexandre Dinerchtein. “We will have Fernando Aguilar (aguilar on KGS) and Pavol Lisy (cheater on KGS) fighting for first place in our supergroup.” Prizes in the League’s five groups total $750 (USD) with a special prize for the most active insei: Japanese green tea set with free shipping from Japan. Insei League teachers include An Younggil, Cristian Pop, Alexandr Dinerchtein, Andy Lui, Hwang Inseong and many 5-6d amateurs. There are a few spaces remaining in the League; click here for details.

Categories: World
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Samsung Cup Group Stage Results

Monday August 29, 2011

The group stage of the 16th Samsung Cup finished on August 26. Unlike other go tournaments, the Samsung Cup doesn’t use a straight knockout in the round of 32. Instead, the players compete in groups of four, with two players advancing from each group. Go Game Guru has a more detailed explanation of how the Samsung Cup round of 32 works. Lee Changho 9P made it through to the next round after receiving a wildcard qualification for the group stage, which he initially expressed reservations about accepting. Unfortunately for Park Junghwan 9P (recent winner of the 24th Fujitsu Cup) and Piao Wenyao 9P (who won the 15th LG Cup in February 2011), luck was not on their side and they’ve both been eliminated. Park and Piao faced very strong competition in a group with Chen Yaoye 9P and Li Zhe 6P. Soccer fans would call this the ‘Group of Death’. The Chinese tiger cub generation are making their presence felt, as are young pros from Korea. In particular Li Xuanhao 3P and Na Hyun 1P are both only 16 years old! This promises to be a very exciting tournament. Here’s the draw for the round of 16, which will be played in Korea starting on October 4 (that’s October 3, US time).

Lee Changho 9P vs Gu Li 9P
Lee Sedol 9P vs Kong Jie 9P
Kim Junghyun 3P vs Chen Yaoye 9P
Kim Jiseok 7P vs Li Zhe 6P
Won Seongjin 9P vs Li Xuanhao 3P
Na Hyun 1P vs Peng Liyao 5P
Lee Younggu 8P vs Tan Xiao 5P
Park Younghun 9P vs Guo Wenchao 5P

- Jingning; based on her Samsung Cup reports at Go Game Guru. Photo: Li Zhe 6P (left) plays Park Junghwan 9P.

Categories: World
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NEW IN PRINT 2011: A Mixed Bag

Wednesday August 24, 2011

by Roy Laird
During this year’s annual visit to the vendor room at the U.S. Go Congress, I added four new titles to my collection. I’m interested in pretty much anything John Fairbairn has to say, so I was excited to see that his ongoing partnership with Slate and Shell has produced two in which he focuses on a single important game played by Shusai , the last hereditary head of the Honinbo school. Old Fuseki vs. New Fuseki describes Shusai’s 1933 encounter with Go Seigen , while The Meijin’s Retirement Game covers the 1938 contest immortalized in Kawabata’s The Master of Go. Shusai’s opponent in that game was of course Kitani Minoru, who along with Go is credited with the creation of the revolutionary “New Fuseki.”  Fairbairn goes far beyond mere game analysis to tell the story of how these games came to be so important, placing them fully in the social and historical context of the time. There are “Timelines” outlining the lives of all three principals, and Old v. New contains an extended essay on the birth of “Hypermodern Openings.” Like Fairbairn’s other works, these books strengthen our appreciation for the deep sociocultural well we dip into each time we reach for a stone.

Another productive collaboration is that between S&S and Yuan Zhou. In addition to instructional material – my personal favorite is his small but powerful booklet, “How Not To Play Go” – he shares insights gained from a lifetime of studying the games of important players in his “Master Play” series. In five previous books, he has analyzed the style of seven top players through detailed discussion of two exemplary games – Go Seigen, Takemiya , Cho Chikun, Kitani, Kato, Lee Chang-ho  and Seo Bong-soo. In this year’s Master Play: The Playing Styles of Seven Top Pros, he takes a similar look at Sakata, Takagawa, Fujisawa Shuko, Rin Kaiho, Nei Wei-ping, Ma Xiao-chun and Cho hun-hyun. They say the best way to improve is to study pro games, and here we have a collection of games by some of the strongest players of our time.

Michael Redmond is also working with S&S to produce a new series of books for Western players on the opening. I saw a preliminary proof of Volume One, which will focus on the san-ren-sei opening. In the introduction, Michael says he intends this as “a textbook as well as a game collection.” Considering the Opening: San-Ren-Sei should appear in print before the end of the year.

On a more practical level, I found that I had somehow missed Volume 7 of Kiseido’s “Mastering the Basics” series, Attacking and Defending Moyos. This is the third book in English on the subject. Keshi and Uchikomi (2002; out of print) is organized as a dictionary, showing twenty standard reduction patterns and eighteen common invasion techniques. Reducing Territorial Frameworks (1986) focuses mostly on the “keshi” side of things.  Invading and Reducing Moyos co-authors Richard Bozulich and Rob Van Ziejst take a unique look at the subject by spelling out thirteen general principles, then illustrating these points through extended analysis of six carefully chosen games. The book ends with 151 problems.

Two problem-oriented series continued to grow this year, each serving a different purpose. Korean pro Cho hye-hyon was the youngest female, at eleven, to ever earn Korea professional credentials. In 2010 she became the world’s fourth female 9P. Her blog of challenging problems became so popular that last year she turned it into a book, Creative Life and Death; now she followed up with Volume Two. These books feature extended analysis of dan-level problems. At the other extreme, Oromedia’s Speed Baduk workbook series is now up to twelve volumes. Each book contains hundreds of problems breaking go down to its most basic elements, such as “hane at the 1-2 point.” Dozens of problems illustrate each point.  The workbooks themselves contain no answers – answer books are available separately for each three-volume unit. I also decided to pass up the 21st Century Dictionary of Basic Joseki,Takao Shinji’s update/rewrite of Ishida’s Joseki Dictionary, although I’m sure it contains valuable new material. I have Ishida, much of which is unchanged in the new edition, as well as Kiseido’s Dictionary of Modern Fuseki: The Korean Style. I also subscribe to Go World, where I see more discussion of modern openings than I can ever understand. If I didn’t have a joseki dictionary, though, this is the one I would get. Volume Two, completing the series, will appear early next year.

The long- rumored and anticipated Kiseido art book featuring ukiyo-e with go themes from the Pinckard collection, Japanese Prints and the World of Go, has finally appeared – and I’m sorry to report that it is a big disappointment. Unlike the rich, glossy covers of Go World, the prints seem faded and blurry. William Pinckard’s accompanying commentary in English and Japanese, on the other hand, is richly enlightening. Pinckard was a great scholar of go – click here to read his remarkable essay comparing go to the other ancient classic games, chess and backgammon. If you ever visited the Kiseido website’s “Art Gallery”, from which much of this material was drawn, you know how thoroughly Pinckard researched his acquisitions. I was looking forward to a beautiful book that could live on our coffee table – and I still am.

YOUR MOVE: Congress Ratings?

Tuesday August 23, 2011

“When will the ratings be updated?” wonders Andreas. “Looks like the first two rounds of the main Congress tournament are in there, but nothing after Wednesday, none of the Self-Paired.”
In general, tournaments are rated within a week of our receiving the tournament results report from the tournament director.  From time to time there are delays as we have to clarify some of the results with the tournament directors…its very easy to transpose a number in a players AGA ID, for instance.  Please rest assured that we will rate the tournaments as quickly as possible.
– Jonathan M Bresler, AGA Ratings Coordinator
photo: at the 2011 U.S. Open in Santa Barbara, CA; photo by Chris Garlock