There are just a few days left to register for the US Youth Go Championships, which will be held Jan. 19th on KGS. All AGA members who are under 18, and live in the US are eligible, and there will be prizes awarded every five ranks. The top winners in the under 12 and under 18 brackets will receive a free trip to the US Go Congress! Winners in all bands will receive a beautiful etched glass trophy, 2nd place in each bracket gets a Sai plushie. Everyone who enters will be eligible for AGF scholarships to either the AGA Go Camp or the US Go Congress, first come first served. The scholarships are worth $400 at camp, or $200 at congress. You may enter at a rank higher than your official AGA rank, but may not enter at a lower one. The registration deadline is Sunday, January 13th. To register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, rank, birthday, AGA ID, KGS ID, and citizenship. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
American Go E-Journal
Wednesday January 9, 2013
Tuesday January 8, 2013
The next in Tygem’s series of live world championship commentaries by Myungwan Kim 9P will be this Wednesday and Friday as Zhou Ruiyang 5P and Chen Yaoye 9P vie for the inaugural Bailing Cup, the go world’s newest international title. Game One of the best-of-five series will start at 5:30p Pacific Standard Time (8:30p EST) on Wednesday (9:30 a.m. in Shanghai, where the games will take place.) Game 2 will be two days later at the same time. Kim’s live commentary can be seen on Tygem’s World Server, which organizers promise “will not have any crowding problems.” Chen (right) is one of the strongest go players in the world and is currently number one in China. He plays very well in domestic tournaments but has not had success in world championship games, so this final will be a big chance for him to make his mark on the world stage. Chen showed his talent when he became pro at the age of ten and earned the rank of 9P at just 17. He is also in the finals of the Chunlan Cup, where he’ll play Lee Sedol for that title. Zhou (left), meanwhile, was number one in China for most of 2011 but like Chen has not yet won a world championship. Even though Chen has a slight edge over Zhou, this match will be an interesting for fans. They both are very strong and their styles are totally different. Chen’s game is conservative and defensive while Zhou’s style is aggressive and offensive, a match of sword against shield.
- reported by James Kim
Sunday January 6, 2013
The N.A. Go Convention next month is attracting players from as far away as China, reports organizer Edward Zhang. “At least half a dozen Chinese players with strengths equivalent to AGA 6 dan and higher have registered in the past week,” says Zhang. They include Ruxu Cao (right), who won third place in the 2011 World Mind Sports Games amateur division, and Zhiyao Li, Heilongjiang Province Youth Go champion in 2004 and 2007. Click here to see who’s coming. Team spirit is also a big part of the Convention, which uses a “team score” measure similar to the Cotsen Open’s, in which individual player wins contribute to their team’s overall score as they compete for a $1,000 team prize in addition to individual awards and prizes. “Players don’t need to be all strong players, and they just need to do well in their own divisions,” Zhang explains. Though most teams will likely be made up of players from the same area/city, that’s not required. “All you need to do now is to find seven players and get them pre-registered, “ added Zhang. “You can come up with a team name later.”
Sunday January 6, 2013
“Recently I’ve discovered some information about programmers advocating go to their peers,” writes Steve Colburn, an IT professional and go organizer in Rochester, NY who’s also on the AGA website and EJ team. “The first one is a video from the Game Developers Conference in which Frank Lantz from the NYU Game Center gives a talk about Life and Death and Middle Pair: Go, Poker, and the Sublime (reported in the 10/30 EJ). The second part is part of the Clojure community. The head of the community Rich Hickey advocates the playing of go to people who code in this language. I know of a few active Clojure programmers (Eidogo and IGS programmers) who are all go players. At this year’s Clojure Conj, Zach Tellman gave a talk about Playing Go with Clojure right before the keynote. It’s great to hear go being publicized like this to our peers and those who do not know about go.”
Saturday January 5, 2013
In a surprise move, the Ing Chang-Ki Goe Foundation, sponsors of the World Youth Goe Championships (WYGC), have decided to hold their own qualification process, instead of accepting the US Youth Champion as their representative to the WYGC. “After a long and serious consideration,” writes Executive Secretary Yang Yu-Chia, “[we] would like to inform you that the selection process of World Youth Goe Championships in North America will be conducted by the Foundation and its liaison office in Menlo Park, California, with the hope that we can expand our influence of promotions for the youth there in the future.” No further reason was given. AGA President Andy Okun, in a formal response, stated that “The AGA’s practice is to support nearly all go activities in the US, regardless of who organizes them. For the most part, we welcome the Ing Foundation doing activities on its own. However, regarding international representation, this is one area where we do care who does what in the US. While the Ing Foundation is a private group, and may choose to invite whomever they like to their events, it should be made clear that if the Foundation selects an American player for the WYGC without AGA involvement and endorsement, that player cannot be called the US representative.” The AGA Board moved swiftly in approving a new set of prizes for the USYGC, which will still be held on Jan. 19th, and will select the AGA’s national champions. The winner of the top sections, in both age divisions, will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the US Go Congress. All other brackets will also still receive their national titles, as well as etched crystal trophies. Everyone who enters will also be eligible for AGF Scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or the US Go Congress, first-come first-serve.. - Paul Barchilon, E.J. Youth Editor.
Friday January 4, 2013
With a week to go, nearly three dozen players have already registered for the January 12 Gotham Go Group Tournament in New York City. Zhaonian Chen 7D, Jimmy Guo 7D and Xiliang Liu 7D top the field, and the E-Journal will broadcast top-board games live on KGS for those who cannot attend. Registration is still open for the 4-round AGA-rated tournament, which features prizes for all sections “and surprises for everyone!” promises organizer Peter Armenia. photo: playing site, the Hostelling International New York, at 891 Amsterdam Ave (btw 103rd & 104th).
Thursday January 3, 2013
European Youth Go Championship: The 18th European Youth Go Championship, organized by the Hungarian Go Association in Budapest, Hungary, will take place 3/7-10… London Open: The London Open, played from 12/28-31 in London, United Kingdom, was won by Lukas Kraemer 5d (left), second was Matthew Cocke 5d and third was Volkmar Liebscher 3d… Austrian Championship 2012 Playoff: The Austrian Championship 2012 Playoff, played from 12/16-30 in Vienna, Austria, was won by Schayan Hamrah 4d (right), second was Viktor Lin 5d… Hungary New Year’s Tournament: Dominik Boviz 3d won Group A; second was Renato Tolgyesi 1k and third was Mate Matolcsi 6k; Barnabas Kollner 9k won Group B; second was Viktor Toth 14k and third was Judit Bovizne Detre 17k; Szilvia Toth 18k won Group C; second was Aniko Tothne Temesvari 18k and third was Nikoletta toth 18k…SM-finaali: The SM-finaali played 12/29 in Oulu, Finland, was won by Antti Tormanen 6d (left), second was Juri Kuronen 5d… Sociable Go Tournament: The Sociable Go Tournament, played on 12/29 in Bratislava, Slovakia, was won by Viktor Lin 5d (right), second was Miroslav Smid 1k and third was Jakub Berka 4k… Velika Gorica Tournament: The 462nd Velika Gorica weekend go tournament, played on 12/29 in Velika Gorica, Croatia, was won by Mladen Smud 1k, second was Robert Jovicic 2k and third was Drazen Odobasic 17k….Peter Gaspari Memorial: The Peter Gaspari Memorial, played on 12/22 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, was won by Marjan Drobez 2d, second was Dalibor Cotar 5k and third was Miran Gorenec 1k… GO7 Rapid: The GO7 Rapid 2012, played on 12/22 in Vienna, Austria, was won by Monika Cernikova 6k, second was Lothar Spiegal 4d and third was Ivan Oravec 5k…
Adapted from EuroGoTV, which includes winner reports, crosstabs, game records and photos. Edited by Taylor Litteral
Wednesday January 2, 2013
Although I agree with most of the article on how to improve (The Spirit of Play: “What can I do to improve?” 12/31 EJ), I must — tongue firmly in cheek — object to the statement that solving go problems is ‘boring’.
When I was a student at the Korean Baduk Association, the protocol for solving a problem was that you had to be willing to stake your life that your answer was complete and correct. ‘Complete’ is key, as you definitely didn’t want to scramble for a reply if an alternate move in some sequence was suggested; the executioner may have itchy fingers. Solving problems to this day remains a high-octane, nail-biting affair for me, especially if it’s not much of a reading challenge, so tempting then to omit steadying the nerves and triple-checking. You can hold yourself to a higher standard when practicing, and everybody loses sometimes so the pressure is off when playing, so you might think it’s the actual competition that is the tedious part of go…”
Last (well, not really) thoughts. They don’t call the experts ‘practitioners’ for nothing. Janice’s brain cross-references with two suggested reads: The Little Book of Talent, questions-answered-from-real-world-not-author-agenda-practical-really-works tips for improvement in any endeavor, and the science fiction novel Ender’s Game, almost required reading on the American Cultural Experience syllabus. Spoiler alert the entire premise is this idea of thing-itself-is-a small detail or afterthought, the lead-up to the game, not during the game, is where the winner is decided.
- Janice Kim 3P; photo: Kim playing primary schoochildren at the Shuang Huayuan campus of the Beijing Chaoyang Fangcaodi International school on December 17; photo by Chris Garlock
Wednesday January 2, 2013
In a December 29 NPR story about differences between the way that the West and the East think about the process of intellectual struggle, Planet Money correspondent Robert Smith (r) notes that “I learned how to play the board game Go…And one of the things they tell you right at the beginning is to lose your first 50 games quickly; that the whole notion of learning this game is to start by losing a lot. And it reminds me a little bit of this, this theory that it’s going to happen, so you need to embrace that. That is the important part.” Click here to hear the story: NPR Reporters On The Stories That Stuck In 2012; the story — by science correspondent Alix Spiegel – begins at 1:05 and Smith’s comment is at 2:45. Thanks to Eric Osman for passing this along.
Monday December 31, 2012
by Gabriel Benmergui
From time to time students ask me “What can I do to improve?” This is a funny question because I suspect what they really want to know is “What can I do to improve that doesn’t involve solving problems?”
When this subject comes up, someone invariably says something like “I know at 5-dan who never picked up a problem book.” I know a few of these cases, too, and understand that the comment is not really about recognizing that player’s natural skill but as proof that solving problems is not required to improve at go.
There are many factors that contribute to a player’s skill. Unless you’re one of those rare cases of raw natural talent, trying to convince yourself that solving problems is not one of those factors is simply laziness.
An informal poll I once conducted revealed that over 50% of players don’t do any problems at all on a weekly basis. And of those that do, only 10% do enough to reasonably expect any improvement. The good news is that this means that solving problems gives you an absolute edge over the vast majority of players.
Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: solving problems can be terribly boring. It doesn’t have the excitement of a game and there is no companion or rival. Also, the benefits are hard to measure with precision in the short run, and no matter how diligent we are and how many problems we solve correctly no-one will praise us.
Solving problems, more than any other training activity, requires effort. But you can be assured that when you do put in the effort, you will reap the benefits. How much you want to work is up to your personal ambition, and nothing else.
My Advice: Ignore whoever or whatever tells you that solving problems is a waste of effort. Effort equals results.
Gabriel Benmergui lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentinian Champion in 2011 and 2012, he has studied go in Korea and now runs the Kaya.gs Go Server. photo by Ivan Vigano