American Go E-Journal
Sunday April 1, 2012
Friday March 30, 2012
The legendary Cho Hun-hyun 9P (right) will attend this year’s Cotsen Open, set for April 28-29 in Los Angeles, CA. Also attending and teaching will be Yang Jae-ho 9P, secretary general of the Korea Baduk Association, Yoo Chang-hyuk 9P, winner of many Korean and international titles, Kim Myung-wan 9P, one of the organizers of the American Go Association’s new pro system and Yang Yilun 7P, local South California favorite and renowned U.S. teacher. The Cotsen, one of the biggest tournaments on the American go calendar, is being hosted by the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles (KCCLA, at left), and this year includes the AGA-Tygem Pro Prelim, which will select two candidates for the AGA’s first-ever professional certification tournament at the U.S. Go Congress in North Carolina this summer. Cho Hun-hyun — Cho is considered one of the greatest players of all time, with more than 150 professional titles to his name — Yang Jae-ho and Yoo Chang-hyuk are being sent by the Korea Baduk Association to celebrate the first official event of this year’s AGA pro selection process. Cho and the others will observe the pro qualifier games, do game commentary – top boards will be broadcast live by the E-Journal, as usual — and play simultaneous games with attendees. Preference for playing in the simuls will go to those who register earliest for the tournament. This year’s free lunch for pre-registered players will be Korean finger food courtesy of KCCLA and food from Los Angeles’ famous roving gourmet food trucks courtesy of tournament sponsor Eric Cotsen. KCCLA will provide participants with traditional style Korean cloth fans, and the winners of every dan division will receive dan certificates from the KBA. And as always, any tension over the boards will be massaged away by the Cotsen’s famous roving masseuses. For more info on the Cotsen email Jenna Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday March 29, 2012
The second and final Eastern North American Ing Masters Qualifier will take place at the Wisonet NAIM Qualifier and Self-Paired Tournament on April 21-22 in New Jersey. Ronghao Chen, tournament director and president of the Wisonet Go Club invites go players of all strengths to come to the Madison Suites hotel in Somerset, New Jersey, for a weekend of go and chance for dan players to earn points to qualify for the North American Ing Masters Tournament at the 2012 US Go Congress in August. Click here for tournament and registration details. Players in the NAIM qualifier must register by April 12. Players who wish to play in the free-pairing section will be able to play as many rated games as they like on either one or both days on their own schedule. All players who would like to register for this tournament in either section for one or both days, are encouraged to email Ronghao Chen at email@example.com as soon as possible so he can get an idea of how many players will be there.
Thursday March 29, 2012
The American Go Association Board of Directors has announced that it’s now accepting applications from members of the American go community willing to be considered for the post of President. “The position involves a lot of work and a lot of responsibility,” says Board Chair Andy Okun, “but also the opportunity to join with the board, the chapters and the members of the AGA to build a remarkable future for our game and our organization.” Interested members should email a statement of candidacy to the AGA Board at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 7. The Board hopes to make its appointment of the next AGA President by June 15. The applicants for President will be considered at the same time for Executive Vice President, a post intended to back up the President and share the workload. As with all AGA leadership positions, both posts are voluntary.
Thursday March 29, 2012
by Betsy Small
My father discovered go in the 1940s in a book by chess International Master Edward Lasker, Go and Go-Moku: the Oriental Board Games, originally published in 1934. He never got to play an actual game until the 1960s, however, when my older sister Judy married a go enthusiast, who spent many enjoyable hours playing with my father. About six years later my father was delighted when I married Haskell (Hal) Small, another go enthusiast, and happier still when I learned the game a few years later. For us this marked the beginning of our communication through go for many years to come. I distinctly remember our very first game – neither of us understood much about it, but we had fun splitting the board diagonally into two parts, “His Side” and “Her Side.”
In the beginning, our games were limited to several visits every year, since my parents lived in Boston and Hal and I lived in Washington DC. But after the advent of the Internet, my father and I found online go a joyful way to connect across the miles that separated us.
In the fall of 2006, shortly after my father celebrated his 100th birthday, he suffered several small strokes, and we moved him to a senior residence in Washington so I could spend as much time with him as possible. While his go skills had declined, my father’s enthusiasm for the game remained strong and now we could play go most every day. At his peak he had been as strong as 10 kyu but now he was perhaps more like 40 kyu. I had remained a 13 kyu for many years and was now giving him a 3 or 4 stone handicap on a 9 x 9 board. Occasionally my father would express frustration with his waning go skills, but he took comfort in being reminded of how exciting the process of playing go remained for him. Most of the time, even at a weaker level, playing continued to give him great pleasure, because he still loved go, and our games were meaningful occasions for both of us.
As my father’s health declined we moved him to a hospice. Early one morning in January, 2007, we received a call that he had only hours to live, and we rushed to his bedside. My father’s pulse was weak and he was barely able to speak, but his eyes opened and he smiled when he saw us, managing a surprisingly firm handshake for Hal. Even more surprising were the faint words he spoke: “black stones…white stones…” Because he was too weak to sit up, we got out the board and placed it on his belly. From this angle he could not get a clear view of the bowls or the board, so I guided his hand to the bowl. He picked up a stone, and then I guided his hand to the board. Although he couldn’t see where the stone landed, he placed it with great intention. I made my move and we continued back and forth with these familiar and comforting motions for ten or fifteen minutes, until he gestured that the game was over. Not too long after that, a look of contentment, deep tranquility and fulfillment on his face, my father passed from this world.
That last game with my father, more of a symbolic farewell than a thought-out game of logic, will always be my most memorable.
Monday March 26, 2012
The AGA East Go Camp has been confirmed for the summer of 2012. The camp will take place the week before the U.S. Go Congress from July 28 to August 4 and will be held at the same location – the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Camp directors Nano Rivera and Amanda Miller welcome all campers from the ages of 8 to 18 to join them for a week of go-playing and fun. More information regarding the camp will be available on the AGA website, and registration will open within the next two weeks, so be sure to check back soon. – Story and photo by Amanda Miller, Camp Director. Photo: the 2011 Go Camp.
Monday March 26, 2012
A special attraction of the annual Salt City Go Tournament – scheduled for this Saturday, March 31 in Syracuse, NY — is the “go problem” cake baked by local go organizer Richard Moseson’s wife Chris. “Competitors are invited to fill out an entry form supplying what they believe should be black’s first move” to solve the life and death problem icing the cake, reports Moseson, and “a prize is given for one of the winning submissions at the end of the tournament,” although the cake itself is consumed at the conclusion of lunch. “We do give out 15 other prizes to game winners too, mostly books from Slate and Shell,” adds Moseson. The tournament derives its name from Syracuse’s history as the principle salt resource in the United States until 1900.
photo: 2011 tournament winner Phil Waldron (r) observes the cake preparation by Chris Moseson; photo by Richard Moseson
Saturday March 24, 2012
The father of the computer gaming revolution, Nolan Bushnell, will be the keynote speaker at the first US International Go Symposium, on August 4-5, 2012. The Symposium will bring together go scholars from around the world to explore educational, cultural, historical, literary, artistic, scientific and technological aspects of the game. Bushnell has called go a “wonderfully rich and powerful game” and his “favorite game of all time.”
When he founded a pioneering computer company in 1972, Bushnell selected a go term, atari, for the company’s name. Atari’s game Pong became the first commercially successful computer game, opening the door to modern computer gaming. Organized by Peter Shotwell, noted go scholar and author, the symposium will take place on August 3rd and 4th during the first weekend of the American Go Association’s (AGA’s) 28th US Go Congress in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The International Go Federation is providing seed funding for the symposium. For more information about the Symposium, or to submit papers or proposals, contact Peter Shotwell at email@example.com
Saturday March 24, 2012
The International Mind Sports Association has announced that the second World Mind Sports Games (WMSG) will be held August 9-23 at the Lille Palais in Lille, France. International Go Federation (IGF) vice president Thomas Hsiang reports that the second WMSG will be an all-amateur event. “Once again, we will be depending upon donations to support sending our U.S. team to this prestigious competition,” says American Go Association President Allan Abramson. Due to the lateness in confirming the event site, the IGF will not be participating on as large a scale as in the first WMSG. The European Go Federation has been asked to organize the event. Supporters donated about $15,000 to send the U.S. team to the first Mind Games in China in 2008. “Can we ask you to match or exceed this amount for this Summer’s games?” asks Abramson. Use the “donate” button on the AGA website, to contribute or get and use the AGA credit card.
Saturday March 24, 2012
Bay Area Go Players Association held the third annual Go Expo Day on March 11 in Oakland, CA, and once again it was a big success. Over 50 people from diverse backgrounds converged on the Oakland Asian Cultural Center to learn how to play go, pick up a free 9×9 go set and Way to Go booklet, and watch games in the monthly AGA ratings tournament taking place in the room next door.
“We need more teachers!” exclaimed Jay Chan, Go Expo Day co-organizer, as inquisitive adults and children poured into the room and filled all available seats. A few tournament players heeded the call for help, generously pausing their rated games and stepping in to teach until more go instructors could be brought in.
Teacher Ernest Brown summed the day up nicely when he commented, “It was just so great to see so much interest and enthusiasm for go.” Based on the success of this and previous outreach events, Bay Area Go Players Association will hold the next Go Expo Day during the September monthly AGA ratings tournament instead of waiting until 2013. “The great teaching supplies available from the American Go Foundation store make it a lot easier to teach go to beginners at our regular monthly tournaments,” explained co-organizer Roger Schrag. Photos by Steve Burrall and Roger Schrag.