American Go E-Journal

CORRECTIONS: Shotwell Link Updates & E-books on the iPad

Monday December 13, 2010

Our Go Online post on E-Books And Steganography (12/5/2010) has been updated with correct links for Peter Shotwell’s writings and the steganography article as well as to a recently-posted short version of Shotwell’s Appendix V of the Origins article, the one that revamps early go history. Also, in that same post “Amazing Happenings in the Game of Go,” Volumes 1 & 2 are available on the iPad, not the Kindle, as we reported. “In fact,” says author Bob Terry, “I specifically wrote them for the iPad. The Kindle does not display color, and these books are filled with color photographs of Japanese festivals, television programs and other picturesque events that make use of the iPad’s capabilities. I want these books to reach as many people as possible, not just go players, so that they bring more people into the game. I hope that making go attractive in this way will help in that.”

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Chit-Chatting About Go

Sunday December 12, 2010

Chicago go organizers Bob Barber and Mark Rubenstein checked out Pecha Kucha recently and Barber thinks it may be “an opportunity for go proselytizers.” Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat”, Pecha Kucha rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds, a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace. “Great fun,” says Barber, who’s going to contact the Chicago Pecha Kucha organizers “and see if they’ll give us a shot.” “We’ll make 20 visually interesting slides about go, tell some amusing anecdotes about the game, and pass out meishi (Japanese business card) when done,” says Barber, who encourages other go organizers to consider this novel method of outreach. Click here for the Chicago Tribune report on the Chicago event.

Categories: U.S./North America
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GO WORLD: Lee Sedol 9P on Genius, Luck and Inner Strength

Sunday December 12, 2010

“I don’t know whether or not I’m a genius. Even if they call me a genius, I am not sure if it is a suitable term. And even if it is a suitable term, you really have to like go in order to keep playing. But I do like go very much. In that sense, anyone who keeps playing go could be called a genius.”

“If a player has a natural source of momentum and vigor, I believe that somehow changes into luck. So in a sense there is a vigor in me that just wells up. I think that is the source of my strength. This inner strength is necessary. In international tournaments and those in Korea and China, three hours has become standard, so I think that explosive power is required to exert all your strength in a short time.”

- excerpted from the Autumn 2010 issue of Go World, the quarterly magazine covering the international go scene; interview by Miyazaki Yutaro 6P, translated by Rob van Zeijst. The Member’s Edition of the E-Journal includes an excerpt of the Fujitsu final game, with commentary by Kobayashi Satoru; click here to sign up for the Member’s Edition.

For more on Sedol (Yi Se-tol), click here for his entry on Sensei’s Library and here for the Wikipedia entry.

Categories: Go World
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DAVIS THREEPEATS AT IRISH CHAMPS; POMSTRA SLEDS TO WIN IN CORK

Wednesday December 8, 2010

Irish Go Association President Ian Davis 1d beat clubmate James Hutchinson 1k 2-0 on November 27 in Belfast to take his third Irish Championship title. A week later, Willen-Koen Pomstra 5d (r, in red shirt) of the Netherlands won the UCC Cork tournament. The Cork tournament continues to be plagued by natural disasters. Several years ago the playing room was damaged by storm winds, and the entire city was flooded the next year. This year, record snowfall brought the entire country to a standstill. Still, nearly 30 stouthearted go players braved the storm and cold for the December 5 tournament, making it the biggest go tournament to be held in Cork. In addition to the usual Irish and British players, a whole host of nationalities turned out, including five players from the Netherlands, three from Poland, as well as Chinese, Vietnamese, German, Romanian, Zimbaween and Taiwanese players who are living locally. Pomstra snatched the Cork title from three-time winner Wei Wang 6d (l in photo), who has moved to London to study engineering. In second place for the fourth time was Cao Tong-Yu 4d, a local lecturer at the University. The best female player was Karen Pleit, also from the Netherlands. The best kyu player came from Poland, Przemyslaw Dyszczyk who scored 4 wins from 5. All agreed that Justyna Kleczar did a great job organizing her first tournament. Click here for full results; click here for photo album. photo by Rory Wales

Categories: Europe
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MATTHEW & KAROLINE BURRALL TOP DAVIS/SACRAMENTO TOURNEY

Monday December 6, 2010

Matthew and Karoline Burrall topped their respective divisions in the December 4 Davis/Sacramento Winter Quarterly Tournament in Sacramento, CA. A dozen players participated, including one who was playing in his first tournament: Dong Hoang won one game playing as a 12 kyu. Matthew Burrall 7d won the upper division (1kyu and above) with a perfect 4 wins and no losses while his sister Karoline, 5k, won the lower division, also with 4 wins. Jeff Newmiller directed, and when he was called away, Willard Haynes assumed his duties.

Categories: U.S./North America
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COLBURN WINS FIRST CORNELL OPEN

Monday December 6, 2010

Empty Sky Go Club organizer Steve Colburn 5k took first place in the first annual Cornell Open last Saturday, December 4 in Ithaca, New York. Colburn, who won all his games, also lent the club go equipment for the tournament. “The Cornell Go Club was very happy to host this event, and looks forwards to hosting more tournaments in the future,” reports local organizer David Glekel.
photo by Bryant Garcia

Categories: U.S./North America
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GUO JUAN 5P TO DO COMMENTARIES FOR EJ

Monday December 6, 2010

Popular teacher Guo Juan 5P (r) has joined the E-Journal’s growing roster of contributing professionals and top players. Guo, a 5-dan Chinese professional who lives in Amsterdam and is an active participant in European tournaments, is a regular at the annual U.S. and European go congresses and also conducts popular workshops in the U.S. and elsewhere each year. She also teaches online at Guo Juan’s Internet Go School. Guo will be focusing on commentaries “with an emphasis on opening strategies and direction of play,” she tells the E-Journal. Guo’s debut commentary will be on a double-digit kyu game (10k+); email your game (sgf file required) to us at journal@usgo.org with “Guo commentary” in the subject line BY MIDNIGHT DECEMBER 17. Please be sure to include your AGA number, as this is a member’s-only benefit. “Game commentaries and instruction consistently rate highly in our Reader Surveys,” noted EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “We’re very pleased to welcome Guo Juan 5P to join Michael Redmond 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Kazunari Furuyama and Yuan Zhou 7d as regular contributors and look forward to learning from their insights into the game.”
photo: Guo Juan 5P (right) commenting a 2009 U.S. Go Congress game live on KGS for the E-Journal; photo by John Pinkerton

Categories: U.S./North America
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ISRAEL’S MIND GO CLUB HOSTS JAPAN DAY WORKSHOPS ON 12/13

Monday December 6, 2010

Israel’s Mind Go Club is hosting go presentations, teaching and demonstrations of Japanese arts at the upcoming Japan Day, scheduled for Monday, December 13 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “Some interesting lectures by Prof. Ben Ami Shiloni and others will be given,” reports Shavit Fragman. Also featured are workshops on go, tea ceremony, ikebana (flower arranging), sushi making and  origami. Admission is free.

Categories: World
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SMARTGO RELEASES KIFU 1.3 FOR THE IPAD

Monday December 6, 2010

SmartGo Kifu 1.3 for the iPad is now available in the App Store, reports author Anders Kierulf. “The main improvements are in Book View, which is designed to present annotated games with diagrams and comments like a book,” Kierulf tells the E-Journal. Click here to see examples. “And unlike a book, you can replay the moves within a diagram,” Kierulf adds. Click here for more information.

GO ONLINE: E-BOOKS AND STEGANOGRAPHY

Sunday December 5, 2010

It was only a matter of time. The e-book revolution has come to the world of English-language go books. Translator Bob Terry has just published not one, but two books available only on the Kindle, Amazon’s e-book reader.  The Startling Beauty of the Game of Go contains 200 problems from every aspect of the game, the “cream of the crop” from Kido magazine, the resource of choice for Japanese players for decades, while Amazing Happenings in the Game of Go — also drawn from the pages of Kido — “is packed with material that has rarely been seen in the West,” Terry tells the E-Journal. “It’s part almanac, part teaching manual, part travelogue, part cultural treatise and part game collection,” adds Terry, noting that this is just Volume 1 and that “each volume totals more than 1,000 pages” with “more than 30 games, with 15 fully annotated” between the two volumes. Terry — who’s also working on iPad versions of the books — is the translator of the hard-copy Heart of Go series, Shuko’s two-volume The Only Move series, Takemiya’s This Is Go The Natural Way, and other works.

Steganography, our vocabulary word for this installment, refers to a process by which information is encoded in other information. In ancient times, considerable ingenuity was required; Herodotus reported in 440 BC that one ruler concealed a message by shaving a slave’s head, tattooing a message on his scalp, and sending him to deliver them message when his hair grew back. More recent uses include watermarking intellectual property online and hiding information in e-mail attachments, a sort of digital “invisible ink.” If you like this kind of cloak-and-dagger stuff, you may enjoy a 2005 article we recently found and posted at The Bob High Memorial Library, entitled “A General Methodology and Its Applications to the Game of Go.” The authors have developed Stegogo, a program that encodes information in game diagrams. Reading this article, go author and scholar Peter Shotwell was reminded of an old mystery novel he had read, The Chinese Lake Murders, where crucial details were found encoded in a game diagram. Click here for a brief article Shotwell contributed to the Library that provides more detail; you’ll find articles there that explore many other facets of the game as well, including a recently-posted short version of Shotwell’s Appendix V of the Origins article–the one that revamps early go history.