American Go E-Journal

The Empty Board: The Real Go Player

Monday December 15, 2008

THE EMPTY BOARD: The Real Go Player
by Bill Cobb

At a lecture at this year’s U.S. Go Congress, Takemiya Masaki (right) 9P insisted that it is very important in go to play where you want to, not where you think you ought to. He said that no one believes he is serious about this. It’s easy to understand why. The issue here is what it means to be a “honte” go player. First, think about why we play the game. Surely it’s because we enjoy it: no one is forcing us to play. Those of us at the Congress paid a lot to attend. Takemiya assumes we all agree with this, but he notices that a lot of players often seem to find playing an unpleasant and frustrating experience. He suggested this is because we are worried about where we should play next in the game. For many of us this worry is based in a concern about our ratings, which is what drives us to worry about winning the game we’re playing. It may well be that the excessive focus on ratings so characteristic of the current AGA culture – player rank was the most visible part of Congress ID badges — is the greatest barrier to enjoying playing. The solution is to quit worrying about ratings and winning. Instead, look over the board carefully, and play wherever you want to. Of course, this approach may lead to losses, but it’s the only way to become a real go player, playing your own style of go. This approach requires two essential things, which is where your feelings for the game come from: studying seriously and reviewing your games carefully. Seeing what does and doesn’t work shapes your feeling for the game in the direction that leads to better play. So don’t worry, be happy. Follow your feelings when you play and you’ll not only enjoy the game more, you’ll be a real go player and not someone who only thinks they are a go player.

 

Categories: U.S. Go Congress
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Youth Champ Qualifier Hosts Wanted

Monday December 8, 2008

US Youth Go Championship (USYGC) organizers are looking for chapters interested in hosting one of next year’s regional qualifying events. “This is a great opportunity to encourage many children and youth players to become stronger,” says Coordinator Daniel Short. “It’s also a way to give local players a chance to compete for a national championship.” Eight qualifiers will be held across the country, with regional winners being flown to the national championship tournament in San Francisco, where the final champions — junior and senior — will be selected as the AGA’s representatives to the World Youth Go Championship in August. To find out more about how your chapter can host a USYGC qualifier, email usygc@usgo.org.

GO QUIZ: Waldron & Salamony Share Top Quiz Honors

Monday December 8, 2008

For a change, all of the folks who thought last week’s Quiz was too easy got it right, correctly identifying the Judan as the one title that no player has yet won five times in a row. Congratulations to Grant Kerr, this week’s winner, selected at random from those answering correctly, and thanks to the most recent Go World for inspiring the question.
After leading all year, Phil Waldron was caught in the last three weeks by Kim Salamony, resulting in a jigo in which they share the two top honors of Most Correct and Most Attempts this year. Both finished with 28 right and 3 wrong. Honors for highest percentage — with 50% participation — goes once again to Grant Kerr who was an impressive 18 for 18. Honorable mention goes to Steve Fawthrop for a very respectable 18/20 and to Reinhold Burger, who finished the year with a streak of 5 straight correct answers to finish at 15/15. The rest of the honor roll follows: Terry Fung 11/13, Peter Schumer 11/15, Brian Kirby 8/10, Jonathan Huber 7/7, Andrew Huang 7/12, Trevor Morris 7/13, Deborah McGlothin 6/10, Ramon Mercado 5/5, and Oliver Nava 5/5. My thanks to all 160 of you who participated in the Go Quiz this year, as well as the many others who responded to our polls. See you in January!
- Keith Arnold

Categories: Go Quiz
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YOUR MOVE/Readers Write: Blackberry Go? California Dreamin’

Monday December 8, 2008

BLACKBERRY GO? “Is there software for recording games on a Blackberry?” wonders Bill. Let us know at journal@usgo.org

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: “Can you give me and name and contact for the Palo Alto and Menlo Park go clubs?” writes Joy. “We live nearby and my son is playing go online and is interested in a club.” Click here to quickly locate go clubs across the country.

Go In The News

Monday December 8, 2008

Mazda’s Fall ’08 Zoom Zoom magazine features go in an article entitled “Play Time” on page 10, reports Robert Cordingley of the Houston Go Club. “Play this,” the article says; “Legend has it that the board game of Go was born around 2300 BC. Today it is hugely popular in China and Japan.” The article is illustrated with “a modern version packaged in a rugged go-anywhere case” from Yellow Mountain Imports.

Categories: Go Spotting
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Rez Johnson Mississippi State Champ

Monday December 8, 2008

Rez Johnson is the 2008 Mississippi State Go Champion, topping Saturday’s State Go Championships. McLeod Johnson won the Junior State Go Championship, while Caleb Lewis won the Youth State Go Championship. The event — sponsored by the Mississippi Go Society — was held at Jumbos Chinese Restaurant in Brandon, MS, on December 6th. “A good time was had by all and everyone left excited about playing more go,” reports the Society. WINNER’S REPORT: Mississippi State Go Championship (12 and up): 1st: Rez Johnson; 2nd: McLeod Johnson; 3rd: Robert Pridgen. Mississippi State Junior Go Championship (12 – 17): 1st: McLeod Johnson; 2nd: Nathanael Lewis; 3rd: Joseph Lewis. Mississippi State Youth Go Championship (7 – 11): 1st: Caleb Lewis; 2nd: Sara Beth Alderman; 3rd: Jacob Lewis.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Cho Holds Onto Tengen, Recaptures Oza

Monday December 8, 2008

2008.12.08 Cho U This has been a good week for Cho U (pictured) 9p, who not only recaptured the Oza, but held onto the Tengen, defeating challenger Kono Rin 9p 3-0. Cho took the last game in the Tengen on December 4th and won the fourth and final Oza game on December 8, claiming two titles in just five days. Cho now holds four of the top seven Japanese titles, including the Meijin, Tengen, Gosei, and Oza. Cho held the Oza from 2003 to 2005, but lost it in 2006 to Yamashita who held it for two years. Yamashita is left with only the Kisei title, which he has held for four years altogether, including the last three. Kono held the Tengen title for three years until Cho took it last year. Kono’s only current title now is the NEC Cup. Cho had an impressive run-up to challenging for this event, winning the final with Ko Iso 7p by 1.5 points, his semi-final game against Cho Chikun 9p by 1.5 points, and his third round game against Takao Shinji 9p by a mere half point. Cho won this title for the first time last year, taking it from Kono Rin, who had held it for three years.

Categories: World
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Lee Sedol Takes 2-1 Lead In Myeongin

Monday December 8, 2008

2008.12.08 Lee Sedol Lee Sedol (pictured) 9P is ahead 2-1 in the best-of-five-game finals of the Korean Myeongin (J: Meijin) against challenger Kang Dongyun 9P. Kang became the challenger by defeating Won Sungjin 9P who had just defeated Lee Changho 9P in the play-off after the Challenger League left the three players tied. Kang is an up-and-coming teen. He won the gold medal in the male individual section of the recent World Mind Sports Games and recently won five consecutive games in the Nongshim Cup international team tournament. Last year he won the King of Kings title by defeating Lee Changho. Lee Sedol took this title last year from Lee Changho, who had held it for twelve of the previous thirteen years.

Categories: World
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Gu Li Meets Hu Yaoyu In Finals Of Chinese NEC Cup

Monday December 8, 2008

2008.12.08 Gu Li Gu Li (pictured) 9P has held the fast play Chinese NEC Cup three times and was runner-up once in the last five years. This year he faces Hu Yaoyu 8P in the finals. Hu has done well in a number of top events, but has won few titles–most recently the Liguang Cup in 2007. Gu is the top title holder in China currently, holding two international titles (Fujitsu and Chunlan Cup) and five national titles.

Categories: World
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Feng Yun Winter Workshop

Monday December 8, 2008

2008.12.08 Feng Yun Feng Yun (pictured) 9P will hold a go workshop from December 26 through 31 at the Madison Suites Hotel in Somerset, New Jersey. Visiting Chinese professional Yin Kuo 3P, second place finisher in the U.S. Open, will also teach, and Rob Muldowney 2D will assist in teaching beginners. Players of all ages are invited to attend. Click here for more details.

Categories: U.S./North America
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