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A Google Doodle for Go Seigen?

Wednesday June 12, 2013

On Go Seigen’s 99th birthday, Go Game Guru renewed the call for a Google Doodle next year on the go master’s 100th birthday.

Google regularly changes the logo on their homepage to mark the anniversary of important events and celebrate the achievements of great scientists and artists. These are called Google Doodles.

“Since Go Seigen will turn 100 in 2014, we thought it would be great if we, as a community of go players, could convince Google to celebrate Go Seigen’s 100th birthday with us,” said Go Game Guru’s David Ormerod. “Not only would this be a great way to mark the world’s greatest go player becoming a centenarian, it would also introduce many new people to this fascinating game.”

Email proposals@google.com and ask them to celebrate Go Seigen’s 100th birthday on June 12, 2014. Click here for Go Game Guru’s report, which includes an overview of the life of the “living legend.”

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Categories: World
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Go Helps Minority Cultures Preserve Their Traditions in U.S.

Wednesday June 12, 2013

How can minority cultures gain acceptance in American society without abandoning their cultural values and traditions? The game of go may be one way.

One Friday last month, Academy of the Americas (AoA) students traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan with the Go Cultural Ambassador International Program (GCAIP) where Detroit and Ypsilanti youth taught Kalamazoo students how to play go. They related the ancient board game to community building, anti-bullying and peer mentorship in the kindergarten through higher education continuum, influenced by the anti-bullying work of top pro Yasutoshi Yasuda.

GCAIP’s mission is to promote global citizenship and cultural validation with an emphasis on academic excellence in the social sciences and humanities. It uses go to bridge and even transcend cultural differences. Eighty students aged 9-13 attended the daylong event at the Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services.  Participants analyzed the first Hikaru No Go anime with faculty assistance using the theories of “cultural humility” and “transformative complicity.” The young students “grasped college-level theory leaving Diana Hernandez, WMU’s Director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs,  in shock,” according to WMU Assistant Professor  Dr. Roxanna Duntley-Matos who is also the co-founder of the Asociacion Latina Alcanzando Suenos (ALAS) and GCAIP.

Detroit youth paired up with El Sol Elementary teachers and students and with University of Michigan faculty Dr. Robert M. Ortega (known for his promotion of cultural humility in child welfare) to discuss how their game strategies reflected their personalities (i.e. risk taker, adventurous, aggressive or cautious).   WMU provided university flags and patches to inspire participants to work hard and return in a few years as college students. Live music and a karate demonstration led by Martin Gatlin added to the festival-like atmosphere. “The day ended with students dancing the bachata and merengue giving the entire day a true Latino touch,” Matos said. “All in all, we had people from two universities, three schools and one community program blending elements from Latino, African American, Euro-American and Asian cultures.”

GCAIP has other activities in the works.  It plans to visit groups in Grand Rapids and Wayne State University and hopes to connect with a new program in Puerto Rico. They already have ongoing relationships with programs in Oregon and Mexico. “Go is more than a game of strategy, it is a way of life. It connects people and communities together,” says Oscar Hernandez, one Detroit youth GO Cultural Ambassador;

GCAIP, AoA and ALAS credit Dr. Earlie Washington, Dean of WMU CHHS and Dr. Linwood Cousins, Director of  the WMU School of Social Work for providing invaluable institutional support. They also thank Kelly Alvarez, Terry Gay, Anne Bowman, Jinny Zeigler, Ernestina Iglesias and Jennifer Clements for helping to organize the Kalamazoo event celebrating AoA’s 20th anniversary and honoring GCAIP co-founder and recently deceased AoA Principal Mrs. Denise Fielder. AoA’s GCAIP Director Mark Duffy played a crucial role continuing the instructional work of Siddhartha Avila, GCAIP co-founder from Pipiolo Elementary School in Mexico. Special thanks from ALAS to Portland organizer Peter Freedman and karate instructor Martin Gatlin for weekly go training over the Internet for the past year.
- Roy Laird; photo: El Sol students learn go; photo by Diana Hernandez

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UK Taps Shodan Challenger Chris Bryant to Reverse Team Fortunes

Thursday June 6, 2013

A new captain has been appointed to head up the British team for the online Pandanet Go European Team Championship 2013 following the UK’s demotion to the C League, after they failed to win a single game last season (A League Finalists Set in European Team Championship 5/10 EJ).

Chris Bryant 1d (pictured), a 23-year-old software engineer from Bury, who plays at St Albans Go Club, has been charged with reversing the team’s fortunes and his personal go history speaks of a man with the resolve to achieve his goals. Bryant learned go in February 2011 and early on made a commitment to try and reach dan grade within a year, signing up for the British Go Association (BGA)’s Shodan Challenge, where ambitious players are supported in a formal attempt to reach a specified higher grade within one year.

The puzzle-loving Bryant attributes his go success to solving an estimated 10,000 tsumego problems in a year — including about 1,000 in the first week alone, bringing him to 13-kyu — and in fact has only played about 300 actual games.

Bryant not only took the Challenge and met it, but also displayed his organizational flair by running the Shodan Challenge in 2011 – 2012 for the BGA. At that time there was an individual mentoring system, but this was difficult logistically and as Bryant explains, “The way [it] works at the moment is that there is a forum/Google group where people can post up games to be reviewed”. The BGA has also held closed teaching events for stronger players to improve. Bryant has already identified and made contact with more than the maximum pool of twelve (minimum six) strong players from which four will be selected for each round .

Outgoing captain Andrew Simons 4d continues to play a part in strengthening British go talent by giving lectures most Thursdays at 8pm in the British Room on the KGS go server. Bryant said of the lectures,  “These have helped a lot of people; it’s the kind of thing that I’d love to see more of. I give lectures myself, though mostly on Second Life – we have a go playing location there called Kido Province

As for future ambitions, Bryant said, “I’d like to become British Champion one day – going to need lots more tsumego for that though ;). I’ve never had a dedicated teacher but there have been a few people who I’ve got advice from and I’m really appreciative of that. One of the things I like most about go is that strong people seem eager to teach others, and so the trend continues as those players themselves become stronger!”

This year’s Championship starts in September.

- Tony Collman

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Categories: Europe,Go News
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KBA Donates Free Beginner’s Book to AGA

Thursday May 23, 2013

With the publication of Falling in Love with Baduk: Play a Game in One Week, The Korea Baduk Association has taken yet another important step to support Western go.  Written in both Korean and English by Dahye Lee and Jihee Baek, two young Korean pros, this is a book aimed at beginners, and especially Westerners. “People with different skin colors and different languages can understand one another when seated across the Baduk board,” they write.  “It thrills us to imagine a view of Easterners and Westerners playing the game together.” This is a valuable book for serious newcomers of any age. Basic principles are broken down into seven simple lessons, presumably one per day, with dozens of problems illustrating each day’s lesson. Ms. Lee will attend this year’s US Go Congress and will participate in the AGA’s first teacher training program. The book is ideal for classroom situations too, and can be used as a manual for non-players who find themselves running go programs at libraries or schools.   The book is available as a free download from the AGF website here, it is 86 mb, so expect it to take a little time.

The text in Falling in Love with Baduk appears side by side in Korean and English, following a style developed by Korean publisher Oromedia. Perhaps Oromedia had an uncredited role in developing this book. Oromedia’s Speed Baduk series (9 volumes) has been all-English, but their other books feature side-by-side presentation of the same material in English and Korean. Examples include Korean Style of Baduk, the Think Like a Pro series ( 2 volumes), the 100 Tips for Amateur Players series (3 volumes ), Inspiration of Pro and Creative Life and Death (2 volumes), all available from Yutopian. Here, as in the other bilingual books, it’s fun to see what the authors have to say in both languages on the same page, especially for language learners. The English text uses Korean terminology for concepts lacking an English equivalent, rather than the terms of Japanese origin that Western players learned from the first generation of English go books. For instance, the position known as “atari” is called “dansoo.” The emergence of Korean-based synonyms may further bewilder newcomers who are already struggling to grasp the vast, abstract nature of the game itself. But in the end, it all adds to the ineffable richness of the game. The worldwide community of players has been unable to agree on a single set of rules. There is not even agreement on what the game should be called; we are unlikely to produce a universal lexicon any time soon. Confused readers can always consult Prof. Chi-hyung Nam’s Contemporary Go Terms, if they have one handy, but the question remains – if you want to tell your opponent that their stone is about to be captured, what should you say? -Roy Laird

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Janice Kim Workshop June 28

Sunday May 19, 2013

Go is returning to Hollyhock Center, in British Columbia, after more than a decade.  Janice Kim 3P  will lead a workshop at the popular learning center  June 28 through July 3. The Hollyhock website says “Hollyhock was founded in 1983, and is Canada’s leading centre for lifelong learning, but you can also think of us as a ‘refuge for your soul’, a place that allows you access to what matters, or simply time to rest, play and achieve wellness.” Kim promises to “Increase your go skill through interactive lectures, small and large group exercises, game practice and analysis,” as well as help players “Develop critical thinking skills and improve their confidence while exploring effective and positive real world decision-making.” An award-winning author and professional 3-dan, Kim brings decades of experience to her acclaimed workshops; in 1984 she won the World Youth Go Championship, took second place in the 1985 Fuji Women’s Korean Go Champion and in 2008 she placed 4th in the World Poker Tour Bellagio Five Diamond Classic. She’s also been a contributor to the American Go E-Journal, most recently contributing commentary at the 2012 Sport Accord World Mind Sports Games in Beijing.  To learn more, and to register for the workshop, click here.

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New From Hinoki Press: “Theory and Practice” series by Russian Master

Sunday May 12, 2013

In Russia, they take their mind sports seriously. Case in point: the Russian Sports Federation’s (RSF) chess program has produced many of the world’s finest players. Similarly, the RSF’s go program has produced top Western professionals through their partnership with the Hankuk Kiwon, producing players such as Alexander Dinerchtein 3P (“breakfast” on KGS) and Svetlana Shikshina 3P, and continues to produce promising up-and-comers such as Ilya Shikshin 7D.

If asked to name their mentors, all would certainly mention Valery Shikshin, an Honored Trainer of the Russian Federation (and as you may gather, father of both Svetlana and Illya). Shikshin has been teaching and coaching Russian go for 25 years, and has developed a set of axioms and principles that he sets forth in this four-volume “Theory and Practice Series,” now available exclusively in the US through GoGameGuru. Volume 1, The Theory and Practice of Tsumego, includes more than 300 original life-and-death problems, many from Russian master games. Starting with the basic shapes, Shikshin takes the reader all the way through corner positions, side formations, and on into the intricacies of seki and ko. I found the chapter on seki to be uniquely systematic in its understanding of how these strangely symbiotic shapes arise.

While Volume 1 of “Theory and Practice” is a new approach to an area that has been widely studied, Volume 2 — The Theory and Practice of Semeai — is surely unique in English. Here Shikshin takes the same systematic approach to capturing races, illustrating a few dozen basic principles with numerous problems and game examples. As in Volume 1, the principles are illustrated by hundreds of problems and examples, many from actual games. Two other volumes will complete the series in the next few months – The Theory and Practice of Shapes, and The Theory and Practice of Analysis. These materials helped to produce some great Western go masters – they are surely a worthy entry into the Western go canon.
- Roy Laird

 

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Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT) Field Shaping Up

Monday May 6, 2013

With just three weeks left to register for the third annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT), the field already shows “an exciting diversity of ranks from the high 7 dans all the way into the 20 kyus!” reports AGA

[link]

Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. The tournament, with $3,000 in total prizes, is shaping up to have a very strong open section, with at least 9 of the registrants so far being 6 dan or stronger. Players of any level can register for free. “Brand new AGA members are welcome,” Burrall adds, “or even those who haven’t joined the AGA yet, as long as players are AGA members by the time of the tournament, they may participate!” Players don’t have to be citizens or permanent residents either; if you live in the US you are eligible to compete and AGA life members living anywhere are also eligible. Now in its third year, the tournament has produced two champions so far, both professional players: Zhanbo Sun 2P in 2011, and Mingming Yin 1P in 2012. Check out the final game of the 2012 tournament between Mingming Yin 1P (Mingming) and Jie Liang 8D (gust) at right, featuring some exciting fighting throughout the game. “Continued thanks goes to Young Kwon for sponsoring this exciting tournament and his dedication to promoting go in the US!” says Burrall. “His support makes all of this possible.” Players who have already registered (or if you just want to see who is playing), click here and double check that your information is correct. If you requested a rank adjustment when you registered, these changes are not displayed yet; Burrall will be contacting players closer to the tournament date to discuss any rating change requests.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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North American College Players Invited to July Tournament in China, But Must Act Quickly

Thursday May 2, 2013

The Shanghai Ing Foundation has opened its first International Collegiate GO Tournament to US and Canadian college students, according to Michael Fodera of the American Collegiate Go Association. Students who attend the July 7-13 event will play go with players from all over China and the world, travel around Shanghai and Hangzhou and play teaching games with stars Gu Li 9P and Chang Hao 9P. While players must cover their own travel costs to China, their food, accommodation, travel within China, tour costs and sponsored events will be paid for by the Shanghai Ing Foundation. “I was one of the players that attended the [Ing-sponsored] 2011 go summer camp,” Fodera tells the E-Journal, “ and I can honestly say that this is a chance of a lifetime. The Ing Foundation really does not spare any expense when it comes to these events.” The opportunity is open to players who have attended college or will attend college —  undergraduate or graduate — in the 2013 calendar year, and who do not hold a professional certification from a recognized go association.

Act fast, however. The deadline for registration is May 15, and, while there is currently no cap on the number of North American students who can attend, the event includes students from the rest of the world as well and if room runs out, requests will be handled on a first-come first-served basis, Fodera says. Click here for details of the trip, as well as links to the registration form and schedule. Questions may be addressed to Fodera at mdf116@brandeis.edu or to the Shanghai Ing Foundation’s Min Xiao at min_xiao@harvard.edu.
- Andy Okun

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Categories: Youth
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Karl-Ernst Paech, Influential European Go Leader, Dies at 90

Monday April 29, 2013

Karl-Ernst Paech, former president of the European Go Federation (EGF) and the German Go Federation (DGoB) — and one of the most influential leaders of European go in the last century — died on April 16 at the age of 90.

After growing up in different German cities Paech (left, in blue shirt) spent most of his life in Munich. He first came across go in 1937 when he discovered a telegraphically-played game between Fritz Dueball and the Japanese Farming Minister. In 1964 Paech founded the Bavarian Go Association (BGoV) and became it’s first president. In 1966 he was elected president of the German Go Federation. One year later he also became president of the European Go Federation for two years and after that served as EGF treasurer. He was a member of the EGF board and DGoB president for ove 15 years. He was appointed Honorary President by both organizations after his retirement. Even after retiring he regularly attended yearly meetings of the the Bavarian Go Association despite being more than 80 years old.

Paech’s proudest honor was the 1988 award of the Japanese Okura prize, the highest award by the Nihon Ki-in for spreading go in the world. Aside from his success in building go federations he was also a proficient player. At his first trip to Japan in 1965 he received a Ni-Dan diploma from the Nihon Ki-in and in 1982 he received a 2-dan amateur diploma from the Korean Baduk Association.

Paech had a major influence on establishing the administrative structures and tournaments that exist in Europe today and he was responsible for numerous activities fostering go in Germany and Europe, including four European Go Congresses which took place in Germany during his leadreship tenure. He also initiated the introduction of the Japanese ranking system in Germany.

- reported by Jan Engelhardt, German correspondent for the E-Journal

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Categories: Europe
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Clash of the Go Titans? Jubango Between Lee Sedol 9P and Li Gu 9p Looks Likely

Thursday April 18, 2013

Gu Li and Lee SedolThough neither the Korean Baduk Association nor the Chinese Weiqi Association have officially confirmed whether the rumored 10-game match, or jubango, between Sedol Lee 9P (right) and Li Gu 9P (left) will actually occur, buzz surrounding the potential match hints otherwise. Major Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo reports that “both players have agreed to play the ten games between October 2013 and May 2014, in various locations throughout China.”

While some details remain fuzzy, including venues and exact dates, news reports claim the budget for the match is estimated to be approximately $1.15 million USD. The reason Lee cites for this sum is the damage the loser’s reputation will suffer “throughout the go world and in the history books.” As many fans hail Lee as Korea’s top player and Gu remains the top Chinese player, his concern is understandable. It is not personal, however. In an interview after their most recent match (March 20), Lee said, “Gu Li is the best rival for me to play against, but he’s also a best friend of mine for life.” Gu echoed the sibling-esque rivalry when he said, “I always fight intensely whenever I play against Lee Sedol. I’d like to create more exciting games for go fans.”

So, is it still possible? Will the two players, born the same year and then became pro together twelve years later, have a face-off like never before? Korean player An Younggil 8p says that despite the missing pieces “we have reasons to be optimistic.”

Right now, Lee and Gu’s official record is 17-15 with Gu in the lead (17-17 if one includes exhibition games). For more details surrounding the Lee-Gu jubango, visit Go Game Guru.

-Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article on Go Game Guru

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Categories: Go News,Go World
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