American Go E-Journal

Your Move/Readers Write: More Responses to The Popular Go Quiz Question

Monday April 7, 2014

“Thanks for asking this great question about popular go references, (Go Quiz: Who Pulled Off the “Miraculous Upset”? 4/4 EJ)” writes Stuart French from Melbourne, Australia. “A few years ago I saw an Australian newspaper article about how the Japanese generals used the game of go to strategize the war in the Pacific. It included a map of SE Asia, from Japan down to Darwin with a Go board super-imposed over the top. I assume ~c.1943. Did anyone submit this to you as one of the options, or have you seen a copy of it? I am chasing it down to use in my Go and Complexity presentation and would really appreciate an electronic copy.” If anyone’s come across this, let us know at journal@usgo.org.

“Love the Camel ad,” writes Bob Barber in Chicago, Il, also in response to last week’s quiz. “David Matson has it, and a photo of the same situation, with David playing Black. I see that the new paperback edition of Shibumi has a go board on the cover, and a few stones. The central stones make an empty triangle. This may be intentional, and not just a stupid mistake. Years ago, Alan Mishlove showed me a video of Richard Boone, as Paladin, playing go. Far out.”

And in response to quizmaster Keith Arnold’s comment that he was expecting “A Beautiful Mind” to be the winner, noting that “the go scenes are less than convincing…” Rick Mott in Princeton, NJ responded “…Meaning the position in the overhead board shot was utterly ridiculous, doubtless set up by some random prop guy who didn’t play. Yet somebody taught the actors to hold the stones the proper way.” Mott goes on to say that “Hollywood is very, very good at faking things if you don’t know what you’re looking at. Years ago, I had a chance to visit a special effects house on a technical project, the short version is that the effects for the ‘planet at the end of the universe’ in Star Trek V were done with an electron microscope using a digital imaging system made by the company I worked for at the time.”

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Why Bill Gates Wants to Be a Better Go Player

Sunday April 6, 2014

In “Why does Bill Gates want to be a better Go player?”, David de Ugarte says that “The birth of videogames and Apple’s first steps, free software’s first steps, and even the platforms that allowed for the organization of tens of thousands of volunteers for the earthquake in Haiti, all have something in common: their creators cited Go as a source of personal inspiration and related it to their form of innovating and thinking.” de Ugarte’s fascinating March 14 post on the Las Indias blog asks “What good is Go to those who change the world?” and takes a look at the go lessons learned and applied by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Nintendo’s Hiroshi Yamauchi (right), Tron’s Ken Sakamura, Richard Stallman of GNU (/Linux), Microsoft’s Bill Gates and young extrepreneur Luke Biewald (left), the creator of Crowdflower. de Ugarte has published two other posts on go, Reason Against Force and How Go Became The Favorite Game Of Anarchist And Libertarians. He’s an economist, technologist “and entrepreneur committed to new models of economic democracy.”
Thanks to Mark Gilston & Bart Jacob for passing this along.

Categories: Go Spotting,World
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Website Updates: 2 New Books & 2014 Summer Camp

Sunday April 6, 2014

Two new books have just been added to our “New and Noteworthy” page: “Games of Wonder” is an English translation by Ruoshi Sun of Yi Miao, a collection of 40 famous games by some of the best players in the Qing Dynasty, and “Whole Board Opening Problems” by Yuan Zhou draws problem situations from actual games played by amateurs and pros.

The Summer Go Camp page has been updated for 2014, when the camp will be held August 3-9 at YMCA Camp Kresge in White Haven, PA.
- Greg Smith, AGA website team
Update (4/10/14): The title of one of the books has been corrected to “”Games of Wonder” . 

Yen and Zhou Win WYGC Qualifiers

Saturday April 5, 2014

Albert Yen 6d and Brandon Zhou 4d both won 2-0 in the final rounds of the Ing Foundation’s World Youth Goe Qualifier, held in Menlo Park CA on March 29th.  Yen, who is 14 and lives in Illinois, squared off against Aaron Ye 6d, who is competing in the Senior Division for the first time – after having dominated the Jr. Division for several years.  Meanwhile, Zhou, age 10, defeated Ary Alden Cheng, to win the Jr. Division. Zhou hails from Atlanta GA, and is one of the most promising youngsters on the national scene. He only recently began professional lessons, as there are no pros in Atlanta, and has been studying with Alexander Dinerchtein online.  Both boys will travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the World Youth Go Championships, August 13-17. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.  Photos by Ernest Brown: Albert Yen 6d (l) and Brandon Zhou 4d (r).

 

Santa Monica Coffee Cup Registration Opens

Saturday April 5, 2014

Registration is now open for this year’s Santa Monica Coffee Cup, the 8th year of the caffeinated event, to be held on June 14 in Santa Monica, CA. “As always, the tournament will be AGA-rated and three rounds long,” reports organizer Andy Okun, “with prizes including coffee beans and the eponymous and storied ‘Coffee Cup,’ hand-painted in this year’s theme color of vivid auburn (#922724)” Click here for online registration and further details. The event will again be held at the award-winning UnUrban Coffee House (www.unurban.com), through the generosity of proprietress Pam Stollings (right). “The turkey chili is outstanding,” Okun adds. For more info reach him at president@usgo.org.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Go Quiz: Who Pulled Off the “Miraculous Upset”?

Friday April 4, 2014

Last week’s quiz: Before turning to the poll results, here’s my personal all-time favorite go reference. This Camel ad from the late 1970s should have worked.  It was certainly popular, often featured on the back covers of numerous magazines. While not the best board, the bowls are nice, the board position reasonable, the decor splendid and our hero dutifully takes black against the master – top marks.  And for coolness it hits the all-time high. I mean, he has a piercing gaze, cool mustache, is at home in a world few men ever see and women bring him drinks.  Unfortunately, it only got more folks addicted to smoking, and not go.

I found all of your responses interesting, from the mysterious “Love and Go” by Wando Wende (on which I could not find any information) to the intriguing – and new to me — French cartoon “Code: Lyoko”, which certainly looks interesting and features the characters playing the game and discussing it, reports Alison Fotness.  Brian Kirby offers “PopCo”, a novel that features go prominently. Others chose brief references in “Tron: Legacy” and “Da Vinci’s Demons” while I was surprised no one chose “Star Trek” appearances or the cool background ambiance appearance in “24″.  It was great to hear from old friend David Erbach, editor of the early journal “Computer Go,” who suggested Henry Kissinger for featuring go in one of his books.  Ramon Mercado came up with the interesting choice of “ATARI”  the computer game company.  Full marks go to Drew Chuppe for selecting the film “Heaven Knows Mr. Allison”.  This World War II drama features Robert Mitchum as a soldier stranded on a Japanese-occupied island.  While breaking in to a store-room for food, he tensely hides while two soldiers play a couple of games.  A popular film, an accurate depiction as well as a wonderful use of the game as part of a suspenseful part of the plot makes this perhaps the greatest western film reference, but at the time, as an obscure game played by the “enemy”, it failed to gain go much popularity here.  Finally, Michael Goerss intrigued me with his spotting of go in Martin Sheen’s hotel room in “Apocalypse Now” but I must confess, I do not see it.

Tenuki-ing to those chosen by more than one of you, the films “A Beautiful Mind” and “Pi” garnered two votes each.  I must say I was expecting “A Beautiful Mind” to be the winner.  The Best Picture Oscar winner certainly wins the popular honors, and many folks got interested in go as a result, but the go scenes are less than convincing and minor.  Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi” does a better job and go is more central to the plot, thanks no doubt in part to credited guidance by “Go Advisors” including former AGA President Barbara Calhoun, Michael Solomon and the late Don Wiener (misspelled in the credits as “Dan”).  Sadly, this first effort by the director of many critically acclaimed films was not widely seen.  Your quizmaster will have to go along with the choice of 6 of you: “Shibumi” by Trevanian. The thriller features go-related section headings and a marvelous, lengthy section about the main character’s training and playing of the game.  And if a film version ever makes it to the screen the novel’s number one position could be solidified (or destroyed).  Many, many players were intrigued by the game as presented in the book, and learned to play as a result. So, until Steven Spielberg makes “The Tesuji Kid” about an unpopular but cute middle schooler who comes across a small asian garden while hiding from some bullies, meeting three old men playing go who teach him lessons from the game, which become lessons in life, foiling the bully, impressing his/her teachers and getting the boy/girl – Trevanian is number one.   Congrats to Steve Miller of Ramsey, MN, this week’s winner, randomly chosen from those who suggested Shibumi.

This Week’s Quiz: Hearty congratulations to Gu Li for taking game three of the jubango; could this be the start of a comeback? In the Japanese top titles, the matches are best of seven.  Who was the first player to come back from an 0-3 deficit and win a title in what was termed a “miraculous upset”?  Was it Sakata Eio, Rin Kaiho, Kato Masao or Cho Chikun?  Click here to submit your responses and comments.

Categories: Go Quiz
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AGA On-Line Simuls Continue Through June

Thursday April 3, 2014

Simultaneous games with strong players continue to be available to AGA members in the AGA Community Room on KGS. For April, simuls are now scheduled in the evenings beginning this Saturday, April 5 and continuing on Wednesday, April 9, Saturday, April 12, and Wednesday, April 30.

The full simul schedule through June is available here.  “Volunteers are adding simuls to the schedule on an on-going basis, so keep checking it for the latest information,” urges organizer Bob Gilman.

Since this program began in October 2013, there have been 128 games played. “These simuls are a great way to test your strength and develop your game,” Gilman says. “You will have the chance to learn tactics and strategies from a stronger player. There will generally be a brief review afterwards. And don’t worry about being ‘too weak.’ These are handicap games and intended to help you learn.”

The games are played in the AGA Community Room on KGS (under “Clubs”) in the Rooms List. If you need room access, email bobgilman.aga@gmail.com with your AGA ID number and KGS username.

 

Categories: U.S./North America
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Battle for 2nd Bailing Cup Cup Begins

Thursday April 3, 2014

Competition has begun for the second Bailing Cup, a biennial event backed by the Guizhou Bailing Group, a Chinese pharmaceutical company, and held under the auspices of the International Go Federation, the People’s Government of Guizhou Province, the Guizhou Sports Bureau, and the professional go associations of China, Japan, and Korea.

Four preliminary rounds were held March 15-16 in Beijing, and the 48 survivors then joined 16 seeded players from China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, and Korea in the main tournament, with the first round held on March 18. Click here for Round 1 results and games, along with some of the preliminary games.

One of the winners in the prelims was a young Chinese pro who had recently won the Shanghai Jianqiao Xinren Wang tournament. This event is known as the Rookie King tournament, but this year’s king was Wu Zhibao 5P (Yu Zhiying, at left), a female player. It’s extremely rare for a go tournament that is open to both men and women to be won by a woman; in the entire history of professional go it has happened perhaps five times. Three of those victories were by Rui Naiwei 9P (right), who Wu faced in the first round of the Bailing Cup, losing by resignation.

The second round has yet to be scheduled; the ultimate winner of the second Bailing Cup is due to be decided next year.
- based on James Davies’ detailed report on the IGF website; game records from www.go4go.net/

Categories: World
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EuroGoTV Update: UK, Serbia, Germany

Thursday April 3, 2014

UK: Andrew Kay 4d led the Birmingham on March 29. Behind him were Alex Kent 3d in second and Alistair Wall 2d in third. Serbia: Also on March 29, the 3rd Memorial Milos Vucicevic finished in Kragujevac with Zoran Jankovic 4d in first, Dragan Dubakovic 3d in second, Mihailo Jacimovic 1k in third. Germany: Bernd Radmacher 4d (left) bested Jonas Welticke 5d at the 4th Recklinghaeuser Guzumi in Recklinghausen on March 30 while Martin Ruzicka 2d came in third.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

Three Top-Player Congress Tourneys Merged into Single Super-Event, AGA Announces

Wednesday April 2, 2014

An expanded prize pool and a new tournament structure are planned for the strongest players at this year’s US Go Congress. “The AGA Board, in close consultation with strong players across the country, felt strongly that we needed to raise the stakes, the prestige and the competitiveness of the top tournaments and this is the result,” said American Go Association President Andrew Okun. 

In recent years, strong players competed in three separate main tournaments at Congress, the 6-round US Open open section in the mornings, the 4-round North American Masters Tournament (NAMT) for North American professionals and qualified amateurs in the evenings, and the 4-round Strong Player Open, also in the evenings. 

In the new structure, these three tournaments will be combined into a single 9-round US Open, which will serve both as the top section of the U.S. Open and as the NAMT. The U.S. Open winner will take a top prize of $5,000 and the NAMT-eligible player with the strongest result will become the North American Masters Champion and win $2,000. Other prizes will be paid to other finishers both overall and in the NAMT.  All players 7d and above – and all players who qualified for the NAMT — will be eligible to compete in this new event. Strong players who wish only to play the traditional six rounds of the US Open may do so instead, but will not be eligible for the top prizes. 

The U.S. Open/NAMT will take place during the six mornings of the US Open – at the 2014 US Go Congress in New York City August 9-17 — with an additional three rounds in evenings during the week. Click here for the FAQ on these changes.
photo of 2013 NAMT and SPO playing room by Phil Straus