Thursday March 7, 2013
Almost exactly a year since co-directors Will Lockhart and Cole Pruitt decided to shoot a documentary on the game of go — The Surrounding Game — the team is moving into the next phase of the project. “We have come a very long way and the filming itself is almost complete, but we still have a long way to go to get to a finished film” says Lockhart. The team filmed at the 2012 U.S. Go Congress and AGA Pro Tournament last summer, traveled to China and Korea in the fall, and spent the winter organizing their extensive footage. “We’re now launching a second fundraiser to raise money for post-production, including hiring a full-time editor, commissioning original music, and digital mastering of the film,” says Lockhart. A new fundraising goal of $30,000 has been set to reach a final cut of the film.
The new fundraiser begins this Saturday, March 9 and will operate via The Surrounding Game’s brand new website, which also features a recently-released trailer for the film. “We are adding Chinese- and Korean-language options for the site to make the project and fundraiser accessible to an international audience, and we’ll be offering a ton of new rewards which weren’t available the first time around,” says Pruitt. We want “The Surrounding Game” to be as well-produced as it can possibly be, and we hope you’ll share the project with your friends and family and help us reach our goal.” He also noted that last year “we passed our initial goal quickly thanks to a lot of support from EJ readers.”
- screencaps from the latest Surrounding Game trailer
Wednesday March 6, 2013
While the U.S. team prevailed in a February 16-17 friendship match in Cuba, “the true victory was in realizing this rare opportunity for players from the two countries to come together,” said trip organizer Bob Gilman.
A team of 11 U.S. players competed with Cubans at the Academia Cubana de Go in Havana. The US players ranged from 5 dan to 24 kyu, and the Cubans had a similarly wide range. The event drew coverage on Cuban sports TV.
“They are just a wonderful group of people and their passion for the game came through every minute we were with them,” said AGA President Andy Okun. “When the barriers between our countries are gone, the North American go community will be that much richer.”
“All the players I played showed intense fighting spirit,” Okun added, “and I think they will benefit a lot once they have easier access to resources and opponents.” He also noted that “The rum they served out to celebrate the end of each day’s play was awfully good.”
Anthony Chen 5d agreed that ”If the Cubans get to play go on the internet, their
strength will improve dramatically. Since their travel is limited, they don’t play against many different styles of players. It was good that our US team was able to provide a measuring stick for them, but if they can play regularly on the internet, I am sure they will raise their level rapidly.”
Catherine and Royce Chen each brought donations for the Academia: Catherine 10 new copies of Cho Hun-Hyeon’s Lessons on Go Techniques Vol. 2, a book she had translated, and Royce 50 used go books he had collected. The Cubans presented the US players with gifts of Cuban handicrafts.
photo: Cuban player Sergio Seara Saenz (left, in white shirt) and Andy Okun (at right, with back to camera); photo by Joel Olson
Wednesday March 6, 2013
Former AGA President Phil Straus (l) recently dropped by the Santa Monica Go Club where he played a game with go author, translator — and Santa Monica Go Club member — Richard Dolen.
- photo by Jeffrey Tsao
Tuesday March 5, 2013
The upcoming Spring Go Expo, scheduled for March 23-24 in Boston, MA, will now be held at Harvard’s Student Organization Center at Hilles (SOCH) on both days. The event will include a Chinese-American professional exhibition match between Andy Liu 1P and Chang Hao 9P, simultaneous games against professional players, a preview of the first feature-length documentary on go, “The Surrounding Game”, public teaching and demonstrations, a youth go tournament, and lectures on the relevance of go beyond the board.
“We urge everyone in the New England area to try to come to this unique event,” says organizer Cole Pruitt, “especially college students, for whom the ACGA can offer subsidies for travel and stay”. The Go Expo is designed to attract both die-hard players and newcomers alike, with many different kinds of activites throughout the weekend. Click here for the full schedule, as well as registration info; click here for the brand-new Expo flyer.
Monday March 4, 2013
NJO Results & Standings Posted: Our New Jersey Open report (Andy Liu 1P Wins New Jersey Open 3/3/2013) has been updated to include links to a full NJO tournament report, including prize-winners, and complete tournament standings, including updated ratings and all game results. photo by Rick Mott
AGA Website/Social Media Updates: Liking AGA’s Pair Go Facebook Page: The new AGA Pair Go Facebook page has new photos and urges you to check it out and “Like” it. Go9dan Added: The new go9dan.com server has been added to the AGA’s internet go page; the server’s features include the ability to observe and play multiple games, a teaching game auction, rated and unrated tournaments, and the opportunity to play against professional world go champions.
25% Off Slate & Shell Books: Slate & Shell is having a sale on all its books, publisher Bill Cobb tells the E-Journal. All S&S books are discounted at least 25% on the web site. The sale — which does not include books imported from overseas lasts through 10am EDT Monday March 11.
Guo Juan School Accepting Students: Guo Juan’s Internet Go School is currently accepting enrollment for its online group class for the 2013 second term, beginning on April 13. Participants also receive a 20% discount on annual membership of the school’s pro lectures. The teaching faculty includes Guo Juan 5P, Young Sun Yoon 8P, Jennie Shen 2P, and Mingjiu Jiang 7P.
Sunday March 3, 2013
The New Jersey Open — held March 2-3 in Princeton, NJ — had a near-record turnout of 114 players. Professionals participated for the first time in the 54-year history of the tournament, and the final round came down to Andy Liu 1P (US, at left) and Ming-ming (Stephanie) Yin 1P (CN, at right), with Andy Liu emerging victorious. This is his second time as NJ State Champion.
“Another highlight of the event was the drawing for the Beginner’s Prize, which has been a feature of the NJO since 1990,” reports organizer Rick Mott. The names of all players 15 kyu and below who completed at least three games were written on index cards, and the newly-crowned New Jersey Champion picked a card at random. This year, the winner was young Audrey Shin, playing in her first tournament. She was much too small to hold the box with a new board, bowls and stones, so it fell to her dad David Shin 4k, who also won a prize as a 4-game winner, to carry it home. “All in all, it was a pretty good day for the Shin family,” said Mott.
Click here for a full NJO tournament report, including prize-winners, and complete tournament standings, including updated ratings and all game results.
- photo by Rick Mott
Sunday March 3, 2013
Jeff Newmiller 1k (right) topped the Davis/Sacramento Go Club tournament last Saturday, March 2, with two wins. There were a total of seven players at the Arden-Dimick library in Sacramento. Cha Tai-An 5k (left), won Division II with a perfect 4 wins.
- Willard Haynes
Sunday March 3, 2013
The American go community lost another longtime friend when Teddy Feldman passed away on Friday, March 1. Feldman — along with her son Micah — has been a familiar sight at go tournaments and events in the Northeast for many years, where she took an obvious delight in sharing the game with friends old and new. The funeral will be in New Jersey on Monday morning.
- photo: Teddy Feldman (l), plays Todd Cesere at the Western Massachusetts Go Club’s Spring 2011 tournament. photo courtesy the MGA
Sunday March 3, 2013
iPad/iPod/iPhone user alert: In “SGFs and iStuff” (2/1/13), I looked at some issues related to viewing sgf files on iPods, iPads and other mobile Apple products. I managed to confuse some readers, so please note that I was referring specifically to apps for mobile devices, not desktop-based software. One reader disagreed at some length with my conclusion favoring Smart Go Kifu (SGK) over EasyGo, so I took a closer look at the two apps. The reader raised some specific questions: What about when you’re recording a game and realize you skipped a pair of moves? How do you place un-numbered stones when setting up a problem? I found that both apps have these functions. He also offered a link to a review from last April with information that is, in some cases, incomplete or inaccurate. SGK actually does keep problem statistics, but only for one user (EasyGo can track multiple users.) SGK only imports one file at a time, but that file can contain many games or problems; just concatenate them into one file on your desktop, using software such as the freeware Kombilo. EasyGo does offer one unique feature — a “time line” type graph that shows where the next comment will be. You can test it in the free version if you like. On the other hand, SGK’s problem collection is better. I’ve been studying a lot of problems lately. I find it is the perfect time filler when you’re waiting in line, riding the train or otherwise briefly idle. If you guess the wrong answer in EasyGo, you get a big red X that tells you to try again. SGK’s response is more thorough. Your wrong move says “1?”, and the other side’s best response appears, so you can play out failed variations and see why they don’t work. (If you don’t even get a “1?”, you know you’re not even close.) When you’re right, your stone says “1!”, but you still have to finish the variation to get credit, and if you go wrong along the way, you’ll get a “?” to let you know, and you can play it out and see why. With so many other features — a playing engine, a collection of 40,000 pro game records and a “Guess Next Move” function , to name a few — SGK still seems clearly worth the higher price. When I’m finished studying SGK’s >2000 problems, I’ll probably pick up EasyGo too, for the problem collection; or I may just get one of the classic problem books that’s available through Smart Go. Or both.
- Roy Laird