Plans are underway for a brand-new major go event in the U.S. early next year. Organizers for the North American Go Convention (NAGC) plan to run the event from February 8-17, book-ended with weekend tournaments in New York City (February 9-10) and Washington, DC (February 16-17), with the overall winner declared NAGC Open Champion. Both weekend open tournaments offer 8 rounds of rated games for kyu players, and 6 rounds for dan. Like the annual U.S. Go Congress, the NAGC organizers also plan to include simuls, lectures and game reviews with professional players, who thus far include Joanne Missingham 6P, Stephanie Yin 1P and Myung-wan Kim 9P. Also on tap are Blitz go, Pair Go, awards for top youth, female and senior players and more. The North American Go Convention is sponsored by the AGA Capital Go Club, NOVA Go Club and Days Inn Hotel, and organized by Yue Zhang, Sam Zimmerman, Garrett Smith, Tengxiao Yang, Edward Zhang, Liang Yu, Xiliang Liu, Joshua Guarino, et al. Click here for online registration; groups of 10 or more qualify for a 5% discount. For facility reservation reasons, registration fees will rise 10% after 12/25/2012.
American Go E-Journal
Wednesday November 28, 2012
Wednesday November 28, 2012
The Hedgehog (Le Hérisson), the French film based on Muriel Barbery’s’ novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog (GO SPOTTING: The Elegance of the Hedgehog 5/4/2010 and The Return of the Elegant Hedgehog 10/24/2010) is now available on Netflix for instant play. As in the novel, the main character is a precocious 12-year-old girl who comments acerbically about the adults around her and knows more about go than the father of a friend who is making a movie of The Girl Who Played Go. As Terry Benson noted in our previous report, “She uses go as a philosophic metaphor, saying that ‘One of the most extraordinary aspects of the game of go is that it has been proven that in order to win, you must live, but you must also allow the other player to live. Players who are too greedy will lose: it is a subtle game of equilibrium, where you have to get ahead without crushing the other player. In the end, life and death are only the consequences of how well or how poorly you have made your construction. This is what one of Taniguchi’s characters says: you live, you die, these are consequences . It’s a proverb for playing go, and for life.’” This dialogue is retained almost verbatim in the film.
Tuesday November 27, 2012
Lee Sedol 9P seems to be fully recovered from his slump earlier this year, pulling off a classic hat trick in the Olleh Cup by defeating Choi Cheolhan 9P 3-1 in the final for his third straight Olleh championship title. It also makes Lee the only winner in this all-Korean tournament, which started just three years ago. In 2010 he defeated Kang Dongyun 9P and Lee Changho 9P in 2011. The final game was an exciting contest showing how professionals consider the whole board situation when playing and both sides fight for life throughout. The Olleh Cup not only features the best Korean players but also hosts a children’s tournament.
Adapted from a report on Go Game Guru; click here for game records and more information. Edited by Ben Williams
Tuesday November 27, 2012
The 2012 International Go Symposium in Black Mountain, North Carolina attracted leading scholars and researchers from around the world for two days of presentations and discussions on the many aspects of the game of go. Dozens of hours of footage have now been edited down and posted online to accompany the conference papers. This 3-part series covers highlights of Symposium presentations by teachers, scientists, historians and anthropologists.
Games may be a major key to learning, suggested keynote speaker Nolan Bushnell (right) at the 2012 International Go Symposium, August 4-5, 2012. The entrepreneurial wizard behind products as diverse as Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, Bushnell is now applying principles such as “thalamic engagement” and “spaced repetition” to develop Brainrush, a game-based learning app that aims to help students learn all kinds of material more effectively. Mexican Go Assoiation President Israel Rodriguez offered some interesting speculations on the nature of the barriers to developing a go culture. Yet go is a superb medium for growth and development, as Dr. Roy Laird – a clinical social worker who manages treatment programs for The Children’s Aid Society in New York City and former President of the American Go Association – explores in his talk “Play Go And Grow,” about the unique aspects of go that favor positive development, and some interesting recent research on go and the brain. While go is popular in Asian communities and has developed a growing base among Caucasians in the West, its presence is very limited in other Western cultures. In Playing Under and Pushing Through the Stones, Roxanna Duntley-Matos, a member of the Western Michigan University School of Social Work faculty, describes how she used go as a tool for “emancipatory education” with the Ann Arbor Hispanic community, promoting leadership, camaraderie and success among a marginalized minority. At the upper end of the learning spectrum, Peter Schumer described a for-credit course on go that he has taught at Middlebury College for years, offering tips on everything from curriculum development to teaching style. In “How Rules, Terms and Attitude Help or Hinder the Game,”, American Go Foundation (AGF) President and AGA Rules Committee Chairman Terry Benson (left) urges a rethinking of what it means to “play go,” and what we teach. Peter Freedman, an experienced go teacher from the Portland area, looked beyond simply teaching children the game to how to help them develop a lifelong love for go, while go teacher Siddhartha Avila’s Mexican school is committed to teaching through the arts. On a practical level, AGF VP Paul Barchilon outlined some of the many ways that the AGF can help aspiring organizers in the US. Laura Martinez ended the go teacher’s panel, and the conference, by unveiling the winners of The Second International Go Art Contest.
The AGA and the 2012 US Go Congress are extremely grateful to the International Go Federation for financial support that made this event possible, and to the American Go Foundation for additional support. All presentations can be found at the Symposium’s YouTube channel. In addition, links to all the videos and to associated papers, links and contact information be found at the Symposium website. NEXT WEEK: Historians and anthropologists at the Symposium.
Monday November 26, 2012
With Go World ending publication (Endgame for Go World Magazine After 35 Years 11/16) we want to know which was your favorite Go World article. Click here to participate in the My Favorite Go World Story Contest. Page through your hard copies for reminders of all the great content over the years, or check out Go World’s handy Index for Go Worlds #1 to #122 if your memory needs jogging. Three winners will be selected to receive a choice of three GW issues, courtesy of the American Go Foundation. Deadline is 6P on Sunday, December 2.
Monday November 26, 2012
“People having been playing go for 4000 years,” says the Seattle Go Center. “And people have been eating cheese for 4000 years. But they were usually not the same people, until the Seattle Go Center invented Tuesday Pizza Night, where we play go and eat cheese pizza in the same room (but at different tables). We usually have fresh baked bread to share as well.”
This week 40 players, ranging in age from 5 years old to over 80, turned out for pizza and some of Chris Kirschner’s freshly-baked loaves of bread. “Four visitors were new to the Go Center, but had played a little on their own,” reports club manager Brian Allen. “Millie is back after touring with her band. Alex is moving to New York City – he will be looking for go players there.”
photo: at the November 13 Pizza Go Night; photo by Brian Allen
Monday November 26, 2012
by Gabriel Benmergui
We have all had this experience in our own games. Right from the fuseki, the game looked to be in your favor, you have the fights in control and the lead is obvious and solid. Then it happens. The self-atari, the missed sequence, the time-pressure mistake. That you could so easily have avoided the mistake only deepens your dissatisfaction and regret.
I can’t tell you how to prevent these mistakes, which even happen to professional players. But there is something you can do about what happens next. The emotional turmoil after such a mistake often causes more losses than the blunder itself. When you’re in control of a game your brain moves like a train. Straight. Direct. Unstoppable. When the blunder happens, it’s like getting derailed. It feels like a total disaster and can cause a great shock. Our sense of the balance of the game gets skewed by nostalgia for the position before the mistake, we get angry and then we play badly.
How many games have you seen where even after a mistake the player who blundered was still winning, but lost perspective, control, and the game? This is about emotional control. It is of utmost importance not to get upset. Controlling your emotions is hard, but is absolutely necessary if you want to win more games. Your resolve must stay steady, and you must always look for the best way to play. You will notice that professionals and ex-inseis have a formidable control over their emotions. The pro system quickly disposes those who don’t handle their emotions well, providing evidence that emotional control counts for a lot more than we may think.
My advice: In any kind of emotional rush during the game, whether due to a mistake or even excitement, I recommend taking a break, even for as little as thirty seconds. The purpose of the break is simply to calm your emotions, control them, get them back in check. It’s just too dangerous to continue playing a game when your perception is blurred by heightened emotions.
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 Chris Garlock
Sunday November 25, 2012
A few years back, the American Go Foundation came into possession of almost all of the remaining print copies of Go World magazine. Now that GW is ceasing publication, the AGF is offering its complete inventory for sale to all current AGA members. There have been other offers in conjunction with AGA membership drives, but several rare issues were held back. Now for the first time, any AGA member can purchase any issue in the AGF inventory — while supplies last. First come first served! GW is also available digitally, but for those who like the real thing, this is it, and when they’re gone, they’re gone forever. We’re just saying . . . If you want to round out your collection, you’ll find back issues that have never been available before: in some cases, fewer than ten issues remain. Or, if you’d like a good old-fashioned pile of magazines to leaf through, packed with top level game analysis, instructional material and other features, many issues are available for just $2 ($1 plus $1 S/H) or less. FREE SAMPLE: If you have never experienced Go World, click here to download a sample issue exclusively through the AGF. Click here to learn how to take advantage of this special offer. Shipping within the US only. If you’re not an AGA member, there’s never been a better time to join!
Sunday November 25, 2012
Go clubs are generally pretty quiet places, where the most you might hear is the click of the go stones, perhaps the rattle of a teacup. But on November 15 the brand-new Paulista Go Center in Sao Paolo, Brazil rocked as visiting pro Murakami Akihide 2P (right) danced to South Korean rapper PSY’s global hit Gangnam Style, now YouTube’s most-watched-ever video. Earlier in the evening, Murakami – who was part of an 18-member delegation from Japan — participated in a more traditional exercise, playing a game (left) with Wang Sen Feng (KGS wsfbr 5d), currently the strongest player in Brazil. The new club and attendant festivities were just the latest in a “very fruitful year for go in Brazil,” reports Thiago Sinji Shimada. In addition to sending representatives to the World Students Go OZA Championship in Japan, the World Amateur Go Championship in China, the World Mind Sports Games in France and the International Amateur Baduk Championship KPMC in Korea, “We implemented a go program in some schools across the country (Go Teaching Project Takes Root in Brazil 6/18/2012 EJ),” says Shimada, who a few years ago helped found a go school, the Insei Brazil, in collaboration with the Nihon Kiin of Brazil.
Saturday November 24, 2012
DC-area go players are being invited to play in a free 2-round friendship tournament Sunday, December 2 against the Hope Chinese School (HCS) in Fairfax, VA. In addition to an opportunity for fun competition, organizers hope the event will help them recruit some local go teachers for the school. “We love to hold go classes in our school because we know go is great for students,” says principal Dinny Li. A national volunteer-run school system run by volunteers, HCS has six chapters in DC metro area, and HCS-Fairfax has nearly 1,000 students registered to study Chinese and extracurricular subjects on weekend, but was forced to discontinue its go program due to a lack of go teachers. The December 2 friendship tournament runs from 1-5p at Annandale High School, 4700 Medford Drive in Annandale VA. Registration is free but AGA membership is required. Click here to register; for more info, contact Edward Zhang at email@example.com.
photo: at the 12th Chinese Culture Festival in 20120