American Go E-Journal

Last Chance for NAMT Points

Saturday June 29, 2013

The upcoming online “Long Live the King!” final qualifier will be strong players’ last chance to earn points towards this year’s North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) at the 2013 US Go Congress in Tacoma, WA in August. To check how many points you have accumulated, please click here to view the spreadsheet. The four-round tournament will take place July 6-7 on KGS in the AGA Tournaments Room, and will be directed by Todd Heidenreich. Deadline to register is July 3; for details, rules, and registration click here. Registration and participation is free, and every player in the tournament is guaranteed to earn some points. The outright winner of the tournament will automatically qualify to play in NAMT.
- Karoline Burrall, AGA Tournament Coordinator

Categories: U.S./North America

EuroGoTV Updates: Spain, France and Germany on KGS, Slovakia

Saturday June 29, 2013

Jan Simara 6dSpain: At the II Open de Bilbao on June 16, Kiichi Matsumoto 1k bested Miguel-Angel Antolinez 2d and Alejandro Menendez 8k placed third. KGS: On June 23, French player Tanguy Le Calve 5d (Welvang on KGS) led his nine-player team to victory against German team leader Oliver Wolf 4d (sinsai on KGS) in the French-German Youth Friendship Match. There were three players per age group (U18, U15, and U11) with the each team leader on board one. In the end, France triumphed 5-4.  Live commentary on select games by Hwan In-seong 8d (including the match between Wolf and Le Calve) can be found here. Slovakia: Jan Simara 6d (right) dominated the Slovak Go Festival on June 23 while Ondrej Silt 6d came in second and Dominik Boviz 3d in third.
— Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news

Your Move/Readers Write: Not So Fast, Mr. Kaufman; Fotland’s Freebie; American Ing’s New Website

Friday June 28, 2013

Not So Fast, Mr. Kaufman: “A glaring error in Josh Kaufman’s chapter on go in ‘The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast!’ (Expert On “How to Learn Go in 20 Hours” 6/18 EJ) underscores the danger of ‘fast learning’ espoused in Mr. Kaufman’s book,” writes Daniel Chou 6D. “The go chapter lists Chinese characters for go in both traditional and simplified glyphs. However, there is a typo in the simplified glyphs that translates to ‘Restroom Board Game’!? A mistake like this undermines Mr. Kaufman’s credibility for his method of learning go quickly,” Chou says. “Kaufman criticizes Malcolm Gladwell’s ’10,000-hour to mastery’ rule-of-thumb and asserts that few people would commit to that level of effort. He claims that anyone could learn the basics of any subject quickly by applying the methods described in his book. But if he could not even get the Chinese characters for go right, why should anyone continue reading to learn the basics of go in 20 hours? Although I am excited that a popular non-fiction book devoted an entire chapter to go, I wish Mr. Kaufman and his editor spent a little more time on due diligence to fact-check the Chinese characters for go.”

Fotland’s Freebie:
“Many Faces of Go creator Dave Fotland has created Igowin, a great little freebie that plays on a 9×9 board, and, when you get to the 1-2 dan level, is difficult to beat,” reports Peter Freedman. “I think it’s strength goes up to 5 dan.” Download Igowin here .

American Ing’s New Website: American Ing reports that they’re moving to a new web page. The Ning website will go down July 1st.


Nihon Ki-in to Use NY Go Center Sale Proceeds to Benefit Go in North America

Thursday June 27, 2013

The American Go Association is welcoming news that the Nihon Ki-in plans to use proceeds from the sale of the former New York Go Center to benefit go in North America. After considering “all options on handling the New York Go Center, including renting the current building,” Nihon Ki-in Secretary General Ikuo Hanyu told the E-Journal Thursday that the final decision by the Nihon Ki-in Directors “in their view the best option — is to sell the building and use the proceeds for the benefit of go in North America.” Hanyu added that “We will seek strong consultation with the American Go Association on the future support of go activities in North America.” While local organizers had recently expressed concerns (Local Organizers Oppose Nihon Kiin Plan to Sell New York Go Center 6/17/2013 EJ), AGA President Andy Okun tells the E-Journal that “In recent months, the Nihon Ki-in has included AGA leaders in its deliberations about how to more effectively pursue Iwamoto’s vision in North America.” Okun added that “The AGA is pleased to be involved and is grateful for Nihon Ki-in’s making clear the assets of the New York Go Center will be used for North American go. I, for one, look forward to working with them to bring these efforts to fruition.” Nihon Kiin America President Terry Benson agreed, saying that “We in New York are pleased to see the Nihon Ki-in’s commitment to a public sale of the NYGC building and to working with the AGA to support North American Go.” Benson said that while “On a personal level, it’s a sad day for Iwamoto’s vision of a multicultural Go Center in New York, we respect the Nihon Ki-in’s current decision and will work with the Ki-in to maximize the benefit for go.” photo: the former NYGC’s courtyard playing area; photo by Roy Laird

Categories: U.S./North America

Capital Go Club Seeks Volunteers

Thursday June 27, 2013

The Capital Go Club in metro Washington is “looking for partners in operation and strategic planning,” reports club organizer Edward Zhang. The club has been serving area go players since 2010, organizing nearly a dozen events with professional go players, team competitions among American, Taiwanese, Chinese and Korean players, friendly matches between AGA members and students at local schools, and the 2013 NA Go Convention (photo), which featured tournaments covering two weekends in New Jersey and Virginia, instruction by professional players and more. The club’s top priorities over the next year include “setting up official go program in local schools, facilitating visits by players from Asia and planning for the 2014 edition of the NA Go Convention,” says Zhang. “If you want to be part of these exciting projects, please let us know!” Volunteers don’t need to live in the Washington DC metro area, Zhang adds. “We currently have a small but energetic and talented team, and there will be multiple types of rewards for a job well done.” Reach Zhang at

Wales Goes To The Welsh

Thursday June 27, 2013

A Welshman had dominion over all comers in his native land last weekend. Dylan Carter 1d of Cardiff took the Welsh Open from a field of 27, mostly English, at Barmouth June 22-23.

It was a neck-and-neck finish, with Carter and two others, Richard Hunter 3d of Bristol and Toby Manning 2d of Leicester all entering the final round with a chance of winning – and each going on to win his game in that round. In the end the Welshman triumphed by just half a SOS point. Also distinguishing themselves with four wins were John Green 4k of Leamington and Colin Maclennan 10k of Twickenham.

The tournament was a five-round MacMahon, with the bar at 1-dan. Click here for full results.

Wales is one of the four main territories which make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the UK) – the others being England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is a country with its own National Assembly, its own Celtic language* and its own Open Go Tournament. Scotland holds its own Open Tournament, too (see June 1 EJ report) and both are in addition to the British Open (see April 8 EJ report).

We may commiserate with those defeated by adapting words from the famous Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas**:
Though go games be lost, the game of go shall not.
- Report by Tony Collman, British Correspondent for the E-Journal, based partly on a report on the British Go Association’s website.

*Welsh - unrelated to English which is, however, now the most widely-spoken language (80%) there.
**“Though lovers be lost, love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.”
― Dylan Thomas, And Death Shall Have No Dominion

Categories: Europe

Go Congress Updates: Strong Players Face July 1 Deadline for SPO Eligibility; Soccer & Tennis Confirmed

Wednesday June 26, 2013

Strong Players Face July 1 Deadline for SPO Eligibility: Strong players who register for the US Go Congress by July 1st have the chance to be invited to participate in this year’s Strong Players Open (SPO), which will run simultaneously with the North American Masters Tournament (NAMT). This year’s Congress runs August 3-11 in Tacoma, WA. This 16-player, 4-round event is designed to provide a strong tournament – in addition to the US Open — for professionals and amateurs who did not or could not qualify for the NAMT. There are no citizenship, residency, or length of membership requirements for the SPO, just full Go Congress registration by July 1st. After that, the strongest players who have registered will be invited to participate in the Strong Players Open and the strongest 16 players who accept will be selected for the tournament.

Soccer & Tennis Confirmed: In breaking U.S. Go Congress sports news, the E-Journal can now confirm that there will be both soccer and tennis at this year’s Congress. “Bring your cleats and shorts,” Terry Benson urges soccer players, while tennis players should bring their racquets and tennis balls, says Chris Garlock. “Soccer every afternoon at 4:30 except for Saturday and Wednesday, field TBD,” says Benson. “All ages come and play.  Let your body loose and your mind run free!” Garlock and Lisa Schrag will coordinate the tennis action at the PLU courts, most likely at the same time. Check in at the EJ office at the Congress to confirm.

Bay Area Organizers See Japan-U.S. Blind Go Connection

Wednesday June 26, 2013

Sighted go players who struggle to master the game of go may be surprised to learn that many blind people in Japan know how to play go, and that there are clubs with blind players who meet on a regular basis. Last Fall, Bay Area Go Players Association board members Roger and Lisa Schrag traveled to Japan and met with Mr. Fumio Miyano (second from right in photo) of the Japan Go Society for the Visually Impaired in Osaka, Japan. The Society produces special 9×9 and 19×19 go sets and Braille go books so that blind and visually impaired people can play go.  Black and white stones can be differentiated by feel, grid lines are raised, and the stones fit into holes in the board so that they will not move when a player touches them to read the board position.

The Japan Go Society for the Visually Impaired also hosts an annual international go tournament for blind players. There are some strong go players out there who are blind. Nakamaru Hitoshi of Japan and Song Jung-taek of Korea, for example, each are rated at 5 dan.

The Society has provided Bay Area Go Players Association with a special 9×9 go set and Braille go materials. “If you have a blind or visually impaired friend in the San Francisco Bay Area interested in learning to play go, we now have the necessary equipment to teach them,” says Roger Schrag; contact him for details and to make arrangements.

EJ Archive Volunteers Wanted

Wednesday June 26, 2013

Now in our 14th year of providing comprehensive coverage of the world go scene, the American Go E-Journal is looking for a few dedicated volunteers to help update our archives. Our current searchable online archives go back to April 2010 and while E-Journals prior to that are available online they’re not searchable. Experience with WordPress helpful but not necessary; email if interested. Volunteers will be eligible to receive recognition and a stylish EJ cap.

Categories: U.S./North America

New Hinoki Site Offers Go Books, Useful Links

Tuesday June 25, 2013

Hinoki Press – publisher of “English translations of top-quality, advanced go study materials” like Yoda Norimoro’s Vital Points and Skillful Finesse – has launched a new website. Go clubs recognized by the AGA can consolidate member orders and receive a 20% discount. The site also provides links to learn how to play go, suggestions on how to study go, and to the AGA website.