American Go E-Journal

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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Go Congress Joseki: Transportation & Parking

Sunday July 24, 2011

How do I get from the Santa Barbara Airport to the Congress?
UCSB will provide a free shuttle to and from the Santa Barbara Airport for Congress attendees. Call 805-893-2772 when you arrive, and the shuttle will pick you up shortly.  Attendees arriving on Friday, July 29 may also use this shuttle service.  Depending on the number of attendees needing these shuttles, shuttles may be available on other days as well.  This shuttle will only drop off at the Santa Rosa Residence Hall, steps from registration.

How do I get from the Goleta Amtrak station to the Congress?

We recommend taking a taxi.  Using public transportation includes a one mile walk that most attendees will probably want to avoid.

How do I get from LAX to the Congress?
The Congress has arranged with Santa Barbara Airbus for group transportation on their regular shuttles. Mention the US Go Congress to receive the lowest price: $28 per person one-way.  Santa Barbara Airbus will add a stop at UCSB, but will not make additional pick ups or drop offs.

Do I need a parking permit?
YES. All Congress attendees will receive an Unloading Permit in their email.  If you do not receive an unloading permit, please contact lisa.scott@gocongress.org for a second permit.

In addition to our regular ongoing go news and updates, the E-Journal is publishing a special series of updates this week on the 2011 U.S. Go Congress, which begins next Saturday, July 30 in Santa Barbara, CA. If you have any questions about the  Congress, email Lisa Scott at lisa.scott@gocongress.org and watch the E-Journal this week. If you prefer the weekly EJ to more regular updates, you can always change the preference in the “UPDATE YOUR PROFILE” link at the bottom of every EJ.

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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Go Congress Joseki: Arrival/Registration

Saturday July 23, 2011

The E-Journal will publish a special series of updates this week on the 2011 U.S. Go Congress, which begins next Saturday, July 30 in Santa Barbara, CA. If you have any questions about the  Congress, email Lisa Scott at lisa.scott@gocongress.org and watch the E-Journal this week.

Congress registration will not officially open until 10a on Saturday morning, but anyone arriving on Friday, July 29 should check in to get their key when they arrive. “You can find us in the Corwin Pavilion before 5p, and the Santa Rosa Entry Hall after 5p,” says Congress Director Lisa Scott. “Anyone arriving early should call the Congress phone number — 805-769-USGO — to let us know that you have arrived.”


Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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Yamashita Keigo Wins 66th Honinbo

Saturday July 23, 2011

Yamashita Keigo 9P has won the 66th Honinbo in Japan, after a hard-fought seven game match with Hane Naoki 9P. Yamashita won the first three games in the final, but Hane fought back to win the next three. This took the Honinbo to a 7th game decider. Hane (playing black) seemed to have the advantage after the first 100 moves and it looked as though he would win the title. However, Yamashita met Hane’s move 115 with strong resistance and the game quickly became complicated. As the dust settled it was clear that white was ahead, and Yamashita won the game by 4.5 points. This is Yamashita’s first successful defense of the Honinbo, which he won from Hane Naoki in 2010.

E-Journal readers may also be interested in An Younggil’s commentary of the Honinbo game.

- David Ormerod; based on his original report: Yamashita Keigo defends his title in 66th Honinbo at Go Game Guru. Photo: Hane Naoki (left) and Yamashita Keigo count the final score. Match referee Rin Kaiho 9P sits in the background (center).

Categories: World
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Jiang, Yang & Li Lead in SAMG Qualifier

Thursday July 21, 2011

Mingjiu Jiang 7P, Huiren Yang 1P and Jie Li 7D are leading the way in the Sport Accord Mind Games qualifier after three rounds. East Coast rivals Jie Li and Andy Liu battled it out in Round 3 on Monday, July 18, with Li exacting revenge on Liu, who had dethroned Li last November as U.S. rep at the Fujitsu Cup; Li had been the Fujitsu rep three times. Mingjiu Jiang 7P from San Francisco defeated California amateur champion Danny Ko 7D on Monday and Huiren Yang 1P from Boston managed to handle former Japanese insei Sorin Gherman in 290 moves. Click here for current standings and game records. Round 4 starts on Thursday 7/21 at 8p ET.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Sign Up Online for Congress Pair Go!

Thursday July 21, 2011

The North American Pair Go Championship is not only a great opportunity for people to have fun and play Pair Go, but also a chance for top pairs to compete to represent North America internationally. The top eight pairs will compete to earn a trip to the International Amateur Pair Go tournament in Tokyo from November 18-22. Winners will receive complimentary hotel and meals while there, and must cover only a small portion of their airfare.

Anyone interested in playing in the Pair Go Tournament can sign up online.  Pairs interested in competing for the trip to Japan should also email tournaments@usgo.org to express their interest.  The eight top-rated pairs will play on Tuesday night, during the open Pair Go Tournament, with a final round played later in the week.
photo: U.S. team (l) at the 2010 International Amateur Pair Go tournament in Tokyo

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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Jiang & Li Lead SAMG Qualifier

Tuesday July 19, 2011

Mingjiu Jiang 7P and Jie Li 7d lead the online Sport Accord Mind Games Qualifier, both with three wins and no losses.  There are just two rounds left in the SAMG: Round 4 on July 21-23 and Round 5 on July 24-26. Click here for latest standings.

[link]

Yuan Zhou 7d upset FengYun 9P by just 1.5 points in this July 11 Round 1 game.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Excitement Building for Upcoming U.S. Go Congress in Santa Barbara, CA

Tuesday July 19, 2011

With just twelve days left before the year’s biggest go event on the continent, there’s still time to register for the 2011 U.S. Go Congress July 30-August 7 in Santa Barbara, CA – and to sign up online for Congress tournaments and events! “This year’s Congress is proving truly exciting,” says Congress Director Lisa Scott. “Between tour groups from three countries, new tournaments, tons of trips to local attractions, and nearly 20 pros, we’re beyond pumped!”
- photo of the University of California, Santa Barbara, site of the 2011 U.S. Go Congress

Prabhavalkar & Thompson Top Tacoma Tourney

Monday July 18, 2011

Rohit Prabhavalkar 9k and Bill Thompson 16k topped the July 17 Tacoma (WA) Go Club’s Congress Warm-up tournament, posting 3-1 records. The 4-round tournament, held at the Seattle Go Center, drew “Fourteen intrepid go players, ranging from 6d to 17K, who showed up on a beautiful Sunday morning in Seattle to play go,” reports Gordon Castanza. TD Mike Malveaux was also warming up: he’ll be the US Open TD at the upcoming 2011 US Go Congress in Santa Barbara. The Tacoma Go Club provided lunch-time pizzas for all players.
- photo courtesy Gordon Castanza

Categories: U.S./North America
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