Sunday December 12, 2010
“I don’t know whether or not I’m a genius. Even if they call me a genius, I am not sure if it is a suitable term. And even if it is a suitable term, you really have to like go in order to keep playing. But I do like go very much. In that sense, anyone who keeps playing go could be called a genius.”
“If a player has a natural source of momentum and vigor, I believe that somehow changes into luck. So in a sense there is a vigor in me that just wells up. I think that is the source of my strength. This inner strength is necessary. In international tournaments and those in Korea and China, three hours has become standard, so I think that explosive power is required to exert all your strength in a short time.”
- excerpted from the Autumn 2010 issue of Go World, the quarterly magazine covering the international go scene; interview by Miyazaki Yutaro 6P, translated by Rob van Zeijst. The Member’s Edition of the E-Journal includes an excerpt of the Fujitsu final game, with commentary by Kobayashi Satoru; click here to sign up for the Member’s Edition.
For more on Sedol (Yi Se-tol), click here for his entry on Sensei’s Library and here for the Wikipedia entry.
Wednesday December 8, 2010
Irish Go Association President Ian Davis 1d beat clubmate James Hutchinson 1k 2-0 on November 27 in Belfast to take his third Irish Championship title. A week later, Willen-Koen Pomstra 5d (r, in red shirt) of the Netherlands won the UCC Cork tournament. The Cork tournament continues to be plagued by natural disasters. Several years ago the playing room was damaged by storm winds, and the entire city was flooded the next year. This year, record snowfall brought the entire country to a standstill. Still, nearly 30 stouthearted go players braved the storm and cold for the December 5 tournament, making it the biggest go tournament to be held in Cork. In addition to the usual Irish and British players, a whole host of nationalities turned out, including five players from the Netherlands, three from Poland, as well as Chinese, Vietnamese, German, Romanian, Zimbaween and Taiwanese players who are living locally. Pomstra snatched the Cork title from three-time winner Wei Wang 6d (l in photo), who has moved to London to study engineering. In second place for the fourth time was Cao Tong-Yu 4d, a local lecturer at the University. The best female player was Karen Pleit, also from the Netherlands. The best kyu player came from Poland, Przemyslaw Dyszczyk who scored 4 wins from 5. All agreed that Justyna Kleczar did a great job organizing her first tournament. Click here for full results; click here for photo album. photo by Rory Wales
Monday December 6, 2010
Matthew and Karoline Burrall topped their respective divisions in the December 4 Davis/Sacramento Winter Quarterly Tournament in Sacramento, CA. A dozen players participated, including one who was playing in his first tournament: Dong Hoang won one game playing as a 12 kyu. Matthew Burrall 7d won the upper division (1kyu and above) with a perfect 4 wins and no losses while his sister Karoline, 5k, won the lower division, also with 4 wins. Jeff Newmiller directed, and when he was called away, Willard Haynes assumed his duties.
Monday December 6, 2010
Empty Sky Go Club organizer Steve Colburn 5k took first place in the first annual Cornell Open last Saturday, December 4 in Ithaca, New York. Colburn, who won all his games, also lent the club go equipment for the tournament. “The Cornell Go Club was very happy to host this event, and looks forwards to hosting more tournaments in the future,” reports local organizer David Glekel.
photo by Bryant Garcia
Monday December 6, 2010
Popular teacher Guo Juan 5P (r) has joined the E-Journal’s growing roster of contributing professionals and top players. Guo, a 5-dan Chinese professional who lives in Amsterdam and is an active participant in European tournaments, is a regular at the annual U.S. and European go congresses and also conducts popular workshops in the U.S. and elsewhere each year. She also teaches online at Guo Juan’s Internet Go School. Guo will be focusing on commentaries “with an emphasis on opening strategies and direction of play,” she tells the E-Journal. Guo’s debut commentary will be on a double-digit kyu game (10k+); email your game (sgf file required) to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Guo commentary” in the subject line BY MIDNIGHT DECEMBER 17. Please be sure to include your AGA number, as this is a member’s-only benefit. “Game commentaries and instruction consistently rate highly in our Reader Surveys,” noted EJ Managing Editor Chris Garlock. “We’re very pleased to welcome Guo Juan 5P to join Michael Redmond 9P, Yilun Yang 7P, Kazunari Furuyama and Yuan Zhou 7d as regular contributors and look forward to learning from their insights into the game.”
photo: Guo Juan 5P (right) commenting a 2009 U.S. Go Congress game live on KGS for the E-Journal; photo by John Pinkerton
Monday December 6, 2010
Israel’s Mind Go Club is hosting go presentations, teaching and demonstrations of Japanese arts at the upcoming Japan Day, scheduled for Monday, December 13 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “Some interesting lectures by Prof. Ben Ami Shiloni and others will be given,” reports Shavit Fragman. Also featured are workshops on go, tea ceremony, ikebana (flower arranging), sushi making and origami. Admission is free.
Monday December 6, 2010
SmartGo Kifu 1.3 for the iPad is now available in the App Store, reports author Anders Kierulf. “The main improvements are in Book View, which is designed to present annotated games with diagrams and comments like a book,” Kierulf tells the E-Journal. Click here to see examples. “And unlike a book, you can replay the moves within a diagram,” Kierulf adds. Click here for more information.
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.
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 email@example.com
- 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
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.