American Go E-Journal

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.

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NY GO CENTER CLOSES MANHATTAN SITE

Sunday December 5, 2010

After fifteen years, the New York Go Center closed its East 52nd Street location on November 30. However, leaders and members pledged to keep the Center’s go community going until a new physical location can be established. The Center opened in 1995 when the Nihon Ki-in purchased the four-story building with a generous bequest by Honinbo Iwamoto Kaoru 9P, who also founded centers in Brazil, Amsterdam and Seattle. The Center succeeded the New York Go Club, which had existed since the 1950’s in a series of temporary locations. Iwamoto always seemed especially interested in the outside world. He played a key role in bringing Go Seigen to Japan from China, and lived in Brazil for two years in his twenties. In 1945, he challenged Hashimoto Utaro for the Honinbo title and they were concluding the second game of the title match in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, when the first atomic bomb exploded over the city. The experience transformed Iwamoto, who became dedicated to using go as a way to promote peace and international understanding. He traveled extensively in the West, spending eighteen months in the US at one point. Over the years he made repeated visits to New York, instructing the New York go community in the depth and profundity of the game. The Center’s closure, while a bitter disappointment to all concerned, was not entirely unexpected. Attendance averaged just six players per day, and the building, which requires major renovations, had become an economic liability for the Nihon Ki-in. Newly elected Nihon Ki-in Board member Chizu Kobayashi 5P (standing, at right), Executive Director of the Nihon Kiin’s Overseas Department, traveled from Japan with Norio Wada, the Overseas Department’s Secretary General, to attend the closing meeting on November 30. Ms. Kobayashi, who has visited New York in the past and lived in Europe for many years, is an ardent supporter of Western go and expressed her strong personal support for the Center. More than thirty players (left) came out on a cold, rainy Tuesday to support the Center and to participate in a general discussion of the issues with Ms. Kobayashi, who said that all proceeds from the sale of the building will be used to support international go, as Iwamoto had intended. “He could have given this money to his family,” she said. “But he gave it to support go in the West, and that is how it will be used. The go world has changed very much in the past fifteen years, and we must adjust to today’s situation.” The recently expanded board of Nihon Ki-in America, the 501c3 corporation that has been operating the Center’s go activities, will continue working with Ms. Kobayashi and the Nihon Ki-in board to find a way to support a Go Center for all players in New York. In the meantime the Center’s leadership intends to provide news and information about other playing sites in New York. By getting to know the other playing communities better, they hope to open a new, more successful site in the near future. Visit the New York Go Center’s website for further information, or subscribe to the Center’s mailing list by writing to manager@nygocenter.org
- reported by Chris Garlock; photos by Terry Benson

Farewell Haiku for the New York Go Center
the dead master’s tears
drown the click of stone on wood
bitter autumn rain
- Keith Arnold

Categories: U.S./North America
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DINERCHTEIN WINS RUSSIAN CHAMPIONSHIP; NEW PAY-PER-VIEW SYSTEM DEBUTS

Saturday December 4, 2010

Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P has won his first Russian Championship. Playing in the Russian Championships for the first time in several years, Dinerchtein swept the tournament with a perfect 7-0 score. Ilya Shikshin was second with 6-1 and will represent Russia in the 2011 World Amateur Go Championships (WAGC), and Oleg Mezhov took third with 5-2 and will play for Russia in the 2011 Korean Prime Minister’s Cup (KPMC). All three are teachers on Insei-League.com. Dinerchtein had bypassed the tournament in recent years because as a pro he couldn’t win the right to represent Russia in international events like the WAGC or KPMC, but as of 2010 he could play for a place on the Russian team in the European Team Championship. The Russian Championships – held November 27-28 in St Petersburg — also premiered a new type of live broadcast on KGS, with one board each round open for all to watch (check the EuroGoTV3 account on KGS for game records) and the other — commented live in Russian by dan player – limited to members of the Russian Go Federation or Insei-League.com, or those who paid a $15/year fee. “A lot of Russian go fans were very unhappy because it was not possible to access this (commented) game live,” reports Dinerchtein, who suggested the idea. However, with less than 10% of players attending Russian go tournaments members of the Russian Go Federation, Dinerchtein hopes the special access for members to live game will help the Federation to increase membership. “It’s a very bad situation,” adds Dinerchtein.”Go fans like to watch games of top players free of charge, but they don’t want to support the Federation in any form.” He says that he hopes that other countries will also consider this idea as a method of increasing membership. Click here to view the Championship’s deciding game between Dinerchtein and Shikshin, with live commentary (in Russian) by Timur Sankin (SanKingTim on KGS), courtesy of the Russian Go Federation and KGS.

Categories: Europe
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GAME COMMENTARY: Russian Championship Final: Dinerchtein-Shiksin

Saturday December 4, 2010

2010 Russian Championship

[link]

Round 5
November 27, 2010
W: Alexander Dinerchtein 3P
B: Ilya Shikshin 7d
Commentary (in Russian) by Timur Sankin (SanKingTim on KGS).

010 Russian Championship

Round 5

November 27, 2010

W: Alexander Dinerchtein 3P

B: Ilya Shikshin 7d

Commentary (in Russian) by Timur Sankin (SanKingTim on KGS).

US GO CONGRESS ARRANGES AIRLINE DISCOUNTS

Monday November 29, 2010

To make the 2011 U.S. Go Congress in Santa Barbara, CA easier — and more affordable — for those attending from far away, the Congress has contracted discounts with major airlines. Discounts of 5-10% are now available with American Airlines and United Airlines for anyone flying into Santa Barbara — and in some cases LAX — within three days of the start or end of the July 30-August 7 Congress.  Additionally, rental car discounts of up to 20% are available when booked at the time of flight reservations.  Arrangements have also been made for those interested in flying on Southwest for any groups of 10 or more with the same itinerary.  Look for sign-ups for airports coming soon and check out the 2011 Congress website for more details.
- reported by Lisa Scott, 2011 Go Congress Co-Director

THE TRAVELING GO BOARD: A FLOWER BLOOMS IN THE JAIL YARD

Friday November 26, 2010

It has now been almost a year since I first visited the Federal Correctional Institute in Englewood, CO, and I am pleased to report that they now have a weekly go club with regular attendance of 10 to 20 inmates. My first article on this program sparked a tremendous outpouring of support from the go community:  Slate and Shell donated over 20 books for the inmates, Yellow Mountain Imports sent a treasure trove of nice playing sets and books, SmartGo donated free licenses for the full version of their program,  Janice Kim sent more copies of the Learn to Play Go series, and of course the AGF provided free sets and matching funds as well.  All of these resources have been put to good use by the inmates, who are making steady progress.  I have been able to visit the prison every few months, and have had a warm reception every time. Continue reading…)

REGGINOS WINS 2010 CYPRUS CHAMPIONSHIP

Wednesday November 24, 2010

Dimitris Regginos 1d (r) is the 2010 Cyprus Champion, a title he’s held since 2003 when the Cyprus Go Association was formed, with only exception being in 2008. In second place was Argyris Fellas 3k and in third place Nurman Aylanc (l). The Championship was held November 20-21 at the English School Old Boys and Girls Association Clubhouse in Nicosia, Cyprus.
- Nicholas Roussos

Categories: Europe
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NY GO CENTER FACES UNCERTAIN FUTURE

Monday November 22, 2010

The New York Go Center will close its doors this Sunday after fifteen years of operation on East 52 St. in Manhattan, according a message sent to their mailing list last Friday. The Center began operations in 1995, in a building donated by Kaoru Iwamoto 9P with the mission of promoting go in New York. In a letter informing the Center of the intent to close, the Nihon Kiin declared their “desire to continue to promote go in the New York area even after the sale of the Center.” Representatives of the Nihon Kiin will fly to New York next week to begin plans for this occur. For the immediate future, the Center intends to operate as a “Go Center without walls,” getting to know other groups of players in the New York area, so that the Center can become a common ground for all the playing communities in the world’s most diverse city when the Center regains a permanent home, hopefully some time next year. This Sunday November 28, the Center will open at 1p, and there will be a “closing/holiday party” in the evening. Dinner will be available for a small donation.  Please RSVP to manager@nygocenter.org if you plan to attend, so the chef knows how much to cook.

Categories: U.S./North America
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GO CLASSIFIED: Webmaster Wanted

Monday November 22, 2010

WANTED: AGA webmaster! Please submit statements of interest and qualifications to Andrew Jackson, VP, Operations at operations@usgo.org with a copy to president@usgo.org by Tuesday, November 30.

Categories: Go Classified
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ZHAO JU TOPS TACOMA TOURNEY

Monday November 22, 2010

After a two-year hiatus, the Tacoma (WA) Go Club hosted a four round, Thanksgiving/Veterans’ Day tournament at the Seattle Go Center on November 21, attended by 13 participants. Zhao Ju, 5d, took first place in the dan/high kyu players division. Daniel Top, 2k took 2nd place, and Peter Mooyman, 4k took third place. Ken Masutomo, 11k took first place in the lower kyu division. Job Betcher, 8k took second place, and his brother, Jordan Betcher, 8k took third place.
- Gordon Castanza

Categories: U.S./North America
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