American Go E-Journal

Two Weeks at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy: Van Tran’s Journal (#2)

Monday November 14, 2011

July 8: Today, I woke up, got ready and went to the dojang a little early. I’ve started changing my style from the traditional peaceful play found frequently in the States to the somewhat reckless fighting style of the Koreans. I think it’s the best way to improve because it forces you to read further. I have also found that life and death problems are a huge part of Korean go because they come up so often in their games. Today I memorized a pro game on the recommendation of the headmaster. He says it’s not enough to go over a pro game; you have to memorize it in order to get a solid feel of the best move on intuition. I find pro games to be much more helpful now because when you memorize them you understand why professionals make each of their moves. It’s easy to gain two stones in strength by putting a purpose in each stone you play. Oh it’s  a good night because I won all my games today!
Photo (right): Dinner at the dormitory

July 9: Today is Saturday, which is kind of like a break day at the dojang. Everyone participates in a team tournament. On my team was Yu Minh and Masakito, a 7 year-old student from Japan. Both of them are 9d and aspiring professionals. I felt out of place and was given handicaps against the other players. I played a 9d insei with 6 stones and won. The next game I played with another 9d insei with 6 stones and won again. Our team won the tournament, but I knew I didn’t deserve to win because they were much stronger than me.
photo (left): Win some, lose some

Sixteen-year-old Van Tran spent two weeks in South Korea at the Lee Sedol Baduk Academy earlier this year and sent the E-Journal his report, which is appearing in the EJ this month. The high school junior lives in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, has been playing for two and a half years and is “about 3 dan.”

Categories: Youth

AGF Scholarship Applications Due Nov. 20

Monday November 14, 2011

Applications  for the American Go Foundation(AGF) college scholarship are due November 20th. The program recognizes high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the go community. To apply, download and complete the application form here. Applicants should describe their accomplishments and volunteer work in a short essay. Read about this year’s winners, Jasmine Yan and D’Mitri Moore here.


Go Spotting: Neal Stephenson’s Novel “Reamde”

Sunday November 13, 2011

Neal Stephenson’s new novel Reamde has a reference to go, reports Ken Parel-Sewell. “On an iPad in portrait mode, the reference starts on page 271. The section starts with the words ‘Like any Russian, Sokolov enjoyed a game of chess.’ The next paragraph then starts talking about go. ‘He had heard somewhere, though, that mathematically speaking, the game of Go was more difficult than chess…’ It goes on to use go as a metaphor for a particularly difficult situation this character has found himself in. It goes on for a few paragraphs. Check it out.” Stephenson’s speculative fiction novel, set in the present day, centers on the plight of a hostage and the ensuing efforts of family and new acquaintances to rescue her as various captors drag her about the globe. Topics covered range from online activities including gold farming and social networking to the criminal methods of the Russian Mafia and Islamic terrorists, according to Wikipedia’s post.

Sempais Leading the Way in WV

Sunday November 13, 2011

“In Glen Dale, West Virginia, an unlikely new program has attained a huge following at John Marshall High School: Go Club.  With a membership of nearly 100 students, the club has grown by massive leaps and bounds in a way that no one thought possible. Go Club started two years ago with a handful of students in my study hall,” writes school teacher David Will.  “I had brought a board and a book of go problems with me to study hall one day to give me something to do while my students worked on homework.  Three students approached my desk and inquired about the game, something that they had never seen before.  Two of those students would go on to important roles in the club. In years past, I have always taken two or three days to teach the basics of go to my World History classes to close the chapter on ancient Chinese history.  For the rest of the year, many of the students would play the game, but it had not gone beyond a diversion for after the completion of worksheets and tests.  Now, I had an interesting opportunity.  These students and I played go daily for months, honing their skills to where they were competition for me, and one even finally defeated me. Continue reading…)

Debarre Wins Another French Championship

Sunday November 13, 2011

Eighteen-year-old Thomas Debarre 6d (r) won a third French Go Championship October 29-30 at Beire-le-chatel, near Dijon, France. Debarre beat Rémi Campagnie, a young Frenchman who lives in Canada in a final that was commented live on KGS by Fan Hui 2P.
- reported by Alain Cano

Categories: Europe

Zhixiong Shi Tops NOVA Pumpkin Classic; Chinese-American Team Wins Wisonet Team Tourney

Sunday November 13, 2011

Over two dozen players – some in Halloween costume – participated in the 2011 Pumpkin Classic in Arlington, VA on October 29. The four-round handicap tournament was sponsored by the NOVA Go Club and Capital Go Club. Zhixiong Shi, Kabe Chin, Diego Pierrottet and Anderson Barreal won their respective divisions, taking home trophies as well as the traditional pumpkin.

In the 3-round Winsonet Greater Washington Team Go Competition — also held in Arlington on October 29 — Team Chinese American defeated Team USA 3-1, Team Korean American 3-1 and Team Taiwanese American 2-2 in a tie-break. Chinese anchor Lin Lu 7D was the only female player in the high-Dan competition and pulled out three impressive anchor wins against Juan Pablo Quizon 5D (US), Ray (Hsien-Ho) Chang 7D (Taiwan) and Jin Park 7D (Korea). Team Taiwanese American was the runner-up, beating Korea 3-1 and US 4-0. The USA team, which averaged 4D, was seemingly the underdog, but thanks to anchor Quizon and blitz player Joshua Lee 5D, took third place by winning over Koreans (2-2) who have two 6-dans and one 7-dan.

Pumpkin Classic Winners Report:
Dan division: 1st, Zhixiong Shi; 2nd, Ray Hunley.
1-4 kyu division: 1st, Kabe Chin; 2nd, Kelsey Dyer and Kevin Chin
7-10 kyu division: 1st, Diego Pierrottet; 2nd, Julian Erville
15-22 kyu division: 1st, Anderson Barreal, 2nd, Jackson Hergenrather and David Dobbs.

Winsonet Greater Washington Team participants:
Chinese America: Binquan Wang 5D, Zhenying Gu 5D, Wei Sun 5D (Captain, Zhixiong Shi 3D
Taiwanese American: I-Han Lui 7D, Daniel Chou 6D, Justin Teng 4D, Ching-Sung Chin (Captain)
USA: Daniel Short 4D, Haskell Small 3D, Yuan Zhou 7D (Captain)
Korean American: James Park 6D, Won Seok Suh 6D, Chang Sun Lee 2D, John Goon (Captain)

- based on reports by Tournament Director Edward ‘Zhiyuan’ Zhang


Categories: U.S./North America

Allen Posts ’11 Go Congress Photos

Sunday November 13, 2011

American Go E-Journal photographer Brian Allen has posted photos from this year’s U.S. Congress online. In addition to general photos of the 2011 Go Congress in Santa Barbara, CA, there are albums of the Youth Awards and the Korean Baduk Association awards. There’s also a nice album of Allen’s shots from the 2008 U.S. Go Congress in Portland, Oregon. Allen, who also manages the Seattle Go Center, is a professional photographer, so please be sure to carefully observe his restrictions/permissions on use of his images.
photo by Brian Allen

AGF College Scholarship Apps Due

Thursday November 10, 2011

Applications are now being accepted for the American Go Foundation(AGF) college scholarship.The program recognizes high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the go community . To apply, download and complete the application form here. Applicants should describe their accomplishments and volunteer work in a short essay.  The deadline for applicants is November 20th. Letters of recommendation may also be included. Applicants whose enthusiasm and ambition have helped spread go in under-served areas will be given special consideration. Strong players who spend much of their time voluntarily teaching will also be considered, although the award focuses on promoters and organizers who have made substantial contributions during their go career.  To read about former winners, check out Sensei #6.
- EJ Youth Editor Paul Barchilon

Categories: Youth

Richard Bozulich Not Dead After All

Wednesday November 9, 2011

Rumors of Ishi Press founder Richard Bozulich’s death, as Mark Twain once said, have turned out to be greatly exaggerated. Bozulich was indeed hospitalized, sources tell the E-Journal, “but he is at home and OK now.” In an email to Teddy Terpstra, Bozulich reported that “Although I was in the hospital for some surgery and experienced a minor glitch, I did survive. My ‘biographer’ did not wait around for the final prognosis and jumped to the conclusion that I had expired.” A clearly amused Bozulich signed off “Best regards from beyond the crypt,” with assurances that “I hope to be around for another 15 years or so.”

Categories: World

Go Game Guru Launches Online Go Shop

Monday November 7, 2011

Go Game Guru — an Australia-based go website featuring go news, commentaries and more — has just opened an online go shop. “We want to make it easier and more affordable for everyone to buy go books,” GGG founder David Ormerod says. The GGG Go Shop catalogue currently includes two dozen popular Kiseido titles “and we have a go book competition to celebrate the opening of the shop,” Ormerod — a frequent contributor to the E-Journal — says. “If things go well we have plans for equipment, merchandise and on-demand video,” Ormerod adds. “We’ll also expand the number of locations we can ship from to continue reducing postage costs for everyone.” GGG first trialed the go bookshop idea back in June and Ormerod says “Our goals haven’t changed since then. Basically everything we’re doing is aimed at either introducing go to new players or helping existing players get stronger.” Ormerod adds that “Go Game Guru is still something of an experiment. Younggil and I started it based on the idea that you could build a self sustaining business around promoting go globally. We don’t ask for donations for this project, because then we’d be competing with go associations. If people want to donate money or time towards promoting go, I’d really encourage them to get involved with their local go association.” Ormerod says that GGG is an attempt to “build a business that provides useful services to the community and uses profits to promote go in online and traditional media – working with existing promoters like go associations.” Ormerod freely admitts that “Nobody really knows whether this theory will work — and there are very mixed opinions among people I know – (but) what we’re really trying to do is test the theory and find out (if it works).”