American Go E-Journal » Search Results » game of life

Your Move/Readers Write: Why It’s Better to Fall in Love with the Game

Sunday February 10, 2013

“There is a persistent problem with the thinking behind many go articles (The Spirit of Play: “I’m Stuck” 10/29/2012 EJ, for example),” writes Terry Benson. “Everyone eventually gets stuck at some level and can’t get higher. Their game might change, but it doesn’t get better. Whatever rank they are will be their high water mark. That’s go and that’s life. There are limits in our brains which we can test but not break.

“So anyone who plays only because they are ‘getting better’ sooner or later will stop playing. Hopefully, before they give up, they’ll realize that go is a great game with many types of puzzles to solve and a wonderful way to connect to other people. They’ll switch from ‘I have to get better’ to playing for the pure enjoyment of stones, wood, patterns, and the thrills of the contest.

“What we need in this country — and indeed in the world — are millions of people playing go the way millions play tennis or golf or run. Most of them will be duffers; 35 handicap golfers, 9-minute milers, and, in go, 25 kyus. And their level of play will seem horrid to ‘serious’ players. But they are playing and they should be encouraged to play simply for the joy of playing.  If they are having fun in the confusion of 25 kyu – leave them alone, especially if they’re kids! We know how often a won game gets away, even from stronger players. In some ways the game is even more fun at 25 kyu because literally anything can happen.

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get better or trying to learn something new. There are levels of play that some people will find more satisfying than others. But improvement is a short term rationale. It’s far better to fall in love with the game.”

Benson, a 1-dan, has been playing go for 52 years and has served as president of the American Go Association, Managing Editor of the American Go Journal and is currently President of the American Go Foundation. He directed the video/webcast of the International Go Symposium 2012, where he gave a talk on promotion of the game. 

Share

Life and Death and Middle Pair: Go, Poker and the Sublime

Tuesday October 30, 2012

(Gamasutra) There’s little doubt that music, literature, and film can all result in some incredibly meaningful works of art, but for whatever reason, the jury’s still out when it comes to games. Veteran game designer, Area/Code co-founder, and Zynga New York creative director Frank Lantz, however, believes wholeheartedly that games can be just as beautiful and meaningful as any other media, and at the 2011 Game Developers Conference, he explained how some of history’s oldest games demonstrate the real power of the medium.

“Games are something like music, literature, film,” Lantz said. “Games can be meaningful, beautiful in the way these other things are, but their meaning and beauty is actually quite different.”

But rather than looking at video games, Lantz turned his attention to go and poker, two games that have long since stood the test of time and have proven the power games can hold over their players. By examining what makes these games special, Lantz believes video game designers can have a batter grasp of what makes their craft meaningful.

“Understanding this particular kind of beauty is challenging, and it’s important, because if this really is the golden age of games then we, as developers, are its custodians and architects, inventors and guides. And we should understand how these things are beautiful in order to each more people and in order to create deeper, more valuable games,” he said.

Click here to see Lantz’ lucid and fascinating hour-long talk — which includes a terrific Powerpoint presentation, parts of which are useful as an introduction to the game of go.
- from the Gamasutra website; thanks to EJ reader Nick Prince for passing this along.

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

BadukTV Free Trial Offer Extended to Life Members; Offers Going Fast

Wednesday October 10, 2012

The BadukTV free trial offer has just been extended to AGA Life Members, reports AGA president Andy Okun. Any interested Life Member should email him at president@usgo.org for details. Meanwhile, the limited number of free one-month trial subscriptions to BadukTV — a $50 value – are going fast; join or rejoin the American Go Association this month to take advantage of the offer. BadukTV is the new online video service from GoGameGuru (GGG), featuring a live 24-video feed from BadukTV in Korea and a growing archive of English translations. AGA members also get the Member’s Edition of the American Go E-Journal, which includes game commentaries. Click here  to find out more about AGA membership or BadukTV.

Share
Categories: U.S./North America
Share

2012 U.S.Go Congress Overview: Reports, Photos, Games & Commentaries

Monday October 8, 2012

Dozens of 2012 U.S. Go Congress games, reports and photos – including galleries of players in top tournaments – are available online; our comprehensive coverage includes crosstabs of the U.S. Open, North American Ing Masters and Strong Players Open. See below for a selection of highlights of our coverage or click here for all our 2012 Go Congress reports.

REPORTS
Congress Updates: Congress Tournament Winners; Congress Credits
Matthew Hu 1P Wins 2012 Ing Masters
Dyer-Zhou Win 2012 U.S.Pair Go Championships
Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell on Go, Pong, Life and Changing the World
Hikaru no Go Creator Hotta Yumi Goes Behind the Manga
Kyu-Killer Keith Arnold Falls to Kyu Players, 19-1
U.S. Go Congress EJ Team Recognition

TOURNAMENTS
Congress Tournament Winners (PDF)
• US Open
Crosstab (includes game files)
Game commentaries
• North American Masters Tournament
Crosstab (includes game files)
Player photos & game commentaries
• Strong Players Open
Crosstab (includes game files)
Player photos & game commentaries

PHOTOS
Congress Photo Album: Sunday, August 5
Phil’s Portraits: Monday’s Gallery
Go Congress Photo Album: Day Off Activities
Go Congress Photo Album: Crazy Go
Go Congress Photo Album: Pair Go (NEW! Just posted)
Congress Co-Director Peter Armenia’s Photo Album

YOUTH
Gan and Ye Shut Out Rivals in Redmond
Soo, Ganeva, and Ye Top Children’s Art Contest
Liu and Su Top Youth Adult Pair Go
Hikaru Author Hotta Yumi Interviewed

2013 U.S. Go Congress Set for Tacoma, WA
photos, top to bottom: Matthew Hu (by Phil Straus); Nolan Bushnell (by Chris Garlock); Hotta Yumi (by Steve Colburn); Youth-Adult Pair Go (by Paul Barchilon).

Share
Categories: U.S. Go Congress
Share

New in Print: Commented Games of Lee Sedol (Volume I)

Sunday September 23, 2012

by Roy Laird
What does the world’s top player do when he’s not playing go? In the case of Lee Sedol, the answer turned out to be: write wonderful go books. In June 2009 Lee abruptly retired from tournament play in a dispute with the Korean Baduk Association, which was later resolved. During the break, as Lee reflected on his career, he reviewed several of his most important games in detail with his sister Lee Sena, a former female amateur Myeongin (Meijin), who had just returned from a long stay in Australia. Three books emerged from this collaboration, and, as we reported last week, the first  has just been published in English by Baduktopia as Commented Games of Lee Sedol I. In unparalleled depth, Lee explores his first title-winning game in 2000; his loss against Lee Changho in the 2001 LG Cup; and the game with which he won his first international tournament, the 2002 Fujitsu Cup.  Using dozens of game records and hundreds of explanatory diagrams per game, Lee takes us through each contest step by step, with more than 100 pages of analysis per game. As a mid-level player, I was slightly daunted to find that the very first page of analysis explains why Lee decided, at move 6, to avoid a 30-move variation of the hard-to-fathom takamoku taisha variation. But as I kept reading, I also found clear and insightful points on many different levels. There’s something for everyone in these wide-ranging game analyses. The large format, open layout and use of multiple game records – some contain only two or three moves — make everything so easy to follow, you may not even need to play along on a real board. Lee also offers personal reflections on subjects ranging from his life growing up on a farm on Bigeum Island off the southern coast, to his thoughts and feelings during and after the games. Lee’s father was a crucial figure and great go aficionado — we learn that he even included the word “Dol” (“Stone” in Korean) in his children’s names.  (“Sedol” means strong stone.) With more than 300 7.5”x10” pages in quality paperback form, it’s a hefty volume, with a price to match – over $40. But if the best way to improve is to study professional games, this is the most thorough discussion ever in English of play at the highest level. It’s found a home on the top shelf of my library with Invincible and those great classic game review books that John Fairbairn has been putting out lately. I’m looking forward to Volumes II and III.
photo: Lee Sedol with his daughter in 2008

Share

Go Review: Pro Game App Released; Two Books for Advanced Players

Friday September 21, 2012

Pro Game App Released: Canadian software developer Wei Cheng has just released “Weiqi2Go,” an Apple iOS app aimed at bringing the latest professional games from Asia into the hands of North American go fans. “Many of us (are now) forced to stay up late watching games on Tygem or other go servers which is neither good for our family life nor good for our work the next day,” Wei Cheng says. Weiqi2Go — $4.99 in the App Store — currently includes about 500 professional games from the past year. On the plus side, there are 650 pro games from 2011 and 2012 tournaments, and the app has handy auto-play and numbered-move options. Minuses: the app’s game interface is a bit clunky at this point: the board and stones are small and cannot be enlarged, and the forward and back arrows are not terribly responsive. Also, virtually all the game and player names are in Chinese, so for those who don’t read Chinese it’s difficult to know what you’re looking at. Apparently you can search using names in English but as all the game info is in Chinese it’s not much help. Wei Cheng suggests this is a feature, not a bug, telling the EJ that “Serious student(s) of go would be interested in the game records without paying attention who played them, as long as they are played by top pros.” Bottom line: great idea, decent execution but has some serious drawbacks for non-Chinese players; plenty of room for improvement in future updates. Note: there’s no extra charge as the games library is updated.

Two Books for Advanced Players: Two books recently came our way from Hinoki Press – The Ins and Outs of Life and Death and The Art of Positional Analysis (both available from Yellow Mountain Imports and both translated by Robert Terry). All professionals recommend studying life and death problems to get stronger – among other things it improves your reading ability – and Ins and Outs is a valuable addition to any serious student’s collection. Examining life and death problems from a variety of perspectives, including the artistic, Ins and Outs 150 problems are drawn from the pages of Kido Magazine, the famous publication from the Nihon Ki-in, and feature legendary tsume-go masters like Maeda Nobuaki, the ”God of Life and Death Problems” (including a fascinating examination of his career and one of his teaching essays), Mimura Tomoyasu, 15 masterpieces from the inimitable Fujisawa Shuko and six of the late Hashimoto Utaro’s compositions. As a special bonus there are ten problems selected by professional players as the best of all time. In and Outs is on sale for $20 but note that it’s correctly filed under “Advanced” go books; definitely not for beginning or intermediate players!

Ditto with The Art of Positional Analysis (also on sale for $20), a collection of high-level game analyses, first published as a series of articles in Kido Magazine. The 323-page book addresses the question of where this is the time to be aggressive, or to consolidate the lead by looking at a dozen games analyzed by Kobayashi Koichi, 12 more with commentary by Takemiya Masaki, as well as the five games of the 11th Kisei Title match. “Positional judgment requires more than intuition,” notes Yellow Mountain, “it requires a reasonable amount of analysis and the discipline to alter course accordingly.” This book enables the advanced player to see that analysis in action.
- Chris Garlock
Got review? We’d love to hear your thoughts on go software, apps, books and equipment! Email journal@usgo.org and let us know what  you’re interested in reviewing.

Share

Baduktopia Releases English Edition of “Commented Games by Lee Sedol, Vol. 1″

Saturday September 15, 2012

The English edition of “Commented Games by Lee Sedol, Vol. 1: One Step Closer to the Summit” – which some are calling “a Korean version of Invincible” — is the highlight of eight new books published recently by Korean publisher Baduktopia. Keenly awaited by his fans — Lee wrote the 3-volume series during a leave of absence in mid-2009 when he temporarily stopped playing professionally — the book doesn’t disappoint. Over 320 pages Lee Sedol 9P comments in great detail on three of his own games; click  here for sample pages. “Commented Games” also includes unusually honest and frank stories about Lee’s life, thoughts and emotions, providing rare insight into the mind of one of the world top players. There are three volumes of the Lee Sedol books, with three games in each for a total of nine commented games, the English translation of Volume II is scheduled for release in the first half of 2013. Baduktopia has also released the continuation of the “Level Up! Series,” five new “Jump Level Up!” books along with their answer book. The “Level Up” books contain short explanations, practice problems and entertaining material like comics and texts on go culture. Originally designed for children at Korean Go schools the books are intended to systematically teach essential techniques step-by-step. The “Jump Level Up!” series is recommended for single-digit kyu players. Available from Baduktopia, Go Game Guru and SchaakenGo. Note: the AGA receives a 10% commission on books sold through the GoGameGuru shop.

Share

AGA Pro Tourney Game Records Posted; Women Who Get Go; Vogue interviews Xie Yimin; GoGoD Publishes Chinese Classic in E-Book Form; Go Mention in Stevie McCabe Mystery; Nice Go

Wednesday September 12, 2012

AGA Pro Tourney Game Records Posted: AGA-TYGEMGO Pro Tournament game records for both the main tournament and the Exhibition League have been added to the AGA Professional System page on the AGA website. To see the tournament draw – and download game records – scroll down to “Results.” Thanks to Dennis Wheeler and Steve Colburn for their work on this.

Women Who Get Go: Go has been catching on recently among young women in Japan, Daniel Krieger reported in The Japan Times earlier this year (The women who get go 5/15/2012). “Just last year, it started to get more popular,” said Mayumi Otsuka, 29, who has been hosting monthly get-togethers since last year at a go parlor in Osaka where she and her 27-year-old sister, Satomi, have been working (and playing up to 10 times a day) for the past three years. International Go Federation vice president Thomas Hsiang said that “To facilitate the next big change, we need a model” like a “Bobby Fischer” of women’s go, and suggested that the two best bets on the pro scene are 18-year-old Joanne Missingham, who is a sensation in Taiwan, and Hsieh Yi Min (Xie Yimin), a 22-year-old prodigy who came to Japan 10 years ago and is now at the top of the women’s game. photo: Yasuko Mantani (left) and Aya Kitano commence a game of go at the Shinsaibashi Igo Salon in Osaka. photo by AIMI NAKANO, courtesy The Japan Times

Vogue interviews Xie Yimin: In a related story, GoGameGuru’s David Ormerod reports that “Vogue Taiwan and the fashion house Chanel recently did a video interview with Xie Yimin, the Women’s Honinbo Meijin in Japan. It’s part of a series of interviews with directors, musicians, go players – basically artists.” Although the video is in Mandarin, GoGameGuru has posted an English transcript along with the video here. “When I first arrived at the Nihon Kiin, I had to learn to kneel while I played,” Xie Yimin says in the interview. “I would kneel until my legs and feet went numb. However, my Go Sensei (teacher) said that, before the goban, one must learn to display a modest demeanour before one can become strong at Go.”

GoGoD Publishes Chinese Classic in E-Book Form: GoGoD has issued another e-book on Amazon: Gateway To All Marvels. Gateway is special edition of the 1347 Chinese classic Xuanxuan Qijing (Gengen Gokyo in Japanese), which John Fairbairn says “is surely the most significant go book ever produced. It has become the foundation for virtually every problem book since, as well as being the main source for early go theory.” The new e-book version “brings together every problem and every variant from perhaps every subsequent edition, and discusses how the almost 500 problems and their solutions have evolved and varied, and also how even modern professionals often disagree on the correct solutions or, dare we say it, trip up,” Fairbairn adds. Previous GoGoD e-books include Inoue Genan Inseki and The Life of Honinbo Shuei, also available on Amazon.

Go Mention in Stevie McCabe Mystery: “Go is mentioned in the fifth novel in the Stevie McCabe mystery series, No Shadow in the City by John Callaghan, a Scottish author,” reports Su Co Chon Duc (Marjorie E. Hey). “In Chapter 4, there are several pages introducing go to the private investigator, Stevie McCabe. It is mentioned again in passing in Chapters 6 and 29. There’s some mayhem, but there are no ripping viscera, no splintering skulls. Yes, there are sexual encounters, because the characters have real lives, but no lingering erotica. It is marked for For Adults because of language.” While the first four books are available in paperback and Kindle format, Su Co Chon Duc notes that this book is currently only available on Kindle.

Nice Go: Bob Barber reports that go pops up in “Mr. Nice,” a 2010 film about a Welsh drug dealer. “There’s a minute of go at minute 19,” says Barber.

Share

Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell on Go, Pong, Life and Changing the World

Saturday August 4, 2012

A standing-room-only crowd packed into Washburn Hall at the U.S. Go Congress opening ceremonies Saturday night, where – after a brief but entertaining Congress welcome from Congress Directors Paul Celmer and Peter Armenia — Atari founder Nolan Bushnell regaled the rapt audience with tales of how he came to found the company that helped define the computer entertainment industry for years. The talk was the keynote presentation of the ongoing International Go Symposium (see below for Sunday’s schedule).

“Isn’t go a great game?!” Bushnell began, to cheers and applause. “Go allows us to engage both side of our brain,” Bushnell continued, “but it requires humility and patience, both of which are hard for Americans. But wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone played go?” He then described how he learned go from a fellow chess club member in college, was instantly entranced by the game, and then got interested in arcade games while working in an amusement park. Punctuating his own history and that of the computer game industry with jovial asides – “I turned down an offer to buy a third of Apple for $50,000; I regret that.” – Bushnell described developing classics like the Atari 2600 gaming console and Pong, which drew knowing nods from many in the crowd of gamers, some of whom had brought their favorite Atari game cartridges to be autographed. “Go has been really important in my career,” Bushnell said, as he described the ups and downs of a long and fascinating life. “Just like in a game of go, at the end, you pick up the pieces and start over again.”

Now CEO of Brainrush, Bushnell has gotten interested in education and in the effects of aging on the brain, and he described software his company’s working on that he said has gotten tremendous results by focusing on play instead of the usual approach of “presentation, practice, test.” Bushnell concluded by throwing his arms wide and proclaiming that “I love go players” and confiding that he often plays on KGS (“Often anonymously”) but that he needs “a two-martini account” for those days when he just wants to have fun playing.

International Go Symposium Schedule for Sunday, August 5
A = Attending Congress; S = Skype presentation; also streaming live online. Papers and web links will be posted online after the Symposium; details will be announced in the E-Journal.

Sunday August 5

9:00    Thomas  Wolf  Go Theory S
Basic Seki in Go

9:45    Chen Zu-yan  Poetry S
The Art of Black and White: Weiqi in Chinese Poetry

10:30  Roxanna Duntley-Matos  Education and Community Organization  A
“Playing Under and Pushing Through the Stones”: Privileging Transnational Go Network Formation and Minority Leadership from Lower to Higher Education.

11:15  Peter Shotwell  History
The Origins of Go Strategies in Classical Chinese Grammar

12:00-1:00  Lunch 

1:00-2:30  A Panel Discussion on Go inChinaToday:
Marc Moskowitz  A
Wei Qi Wonders: Conversations About the Game of Go in China (Film)
and
The Challenges of Categorization for an Increasingly Globalized Game

Stephanie Mingming Yin (China1-dan Professional)  A
Experiences in Growing Up in the Profession and Observations on the Chinese Methods of Education  Joshua A. Guarino (Go Congress Japanese-English Interpreter) A
Cross-cultural memoirs

Peter Shotwell  (Go Historian)
Go in China1985

2:30 Hotta Yumi  A
Hikaru no Go creator – Interview
Paul Barchilon  (Vice-President and Youth Coordinator, American Go Foundation: 2006 Teacher of the Year)  Akane Negishi  (Translator)

3:15 Terry Benson  Rules/Attitudes A
Spreading Go – Rules and Attitudes Which Make That Hard

A Panel Discussion on Go on How to Start a Go Program in Your Community
Moderated by Roy Laird, PhD, LCSW-R (Program Director, New York City Children’s Aid Society)

Play Go and Grow: Why Every School and Library Should Have a Go Program  A
Paul Barchilon (Vice-President and Youth Coordinator, American Go Foundation: 2006 Teacher of the Year)

Developing Youth Programs
Peter Freedman, PhD (Portland, OregonChildren’s go organizer); 2011 Portlandand Mexico Children’s Tournament)  A

Teaching Children to Become Go Players
Siddhartha Avila (Program Director, Mexican Youth Go Community; Univ.of Michigan Cultural Ambassador Go Program)  A

The Art of Go in Education and Presentation of the International Children’s Go Art Contest

photos: (top right) Nolan Bushnell delivers Symposium keynote speech; (middle left) Bushnell talks with Congress attendees after the speech, including the EJ’s Steve Colburn (right) and Todd Blatt (left); (middle right): Congress Directors Paul Celmer (standing, center) and Peter Armenia (seated at right) with Chris Kirschner (left) as the Ghost of Congresses Past. photos by Chris Garlock

Share
Categories: U.S. Go Congress
Share

Last Chance for Mind Games; 5 Slots Left

Monday July 16, 2012

American go players interested in playing in the upcoming Mind Games in France have one last opportunity to represent the US. “We have four open slots for players in the Men’s Individual and one slot in the Women’s Individual competition at World Mind Sports Games,” reports Chris Kirschner. The Games run August 13-16 in Lille, France. Players are responsible for all costs, estimated at $2,500 – $3,000. The AGA requires that applicants be an AGA member for at least the last year, and WMSG requires US citizenship. Slots will go first to anyone with WMSG qualification points (in point order).  After that, it is first come, first on the list. Email tournaments@usgo.org; deadline is midnight PDT this Thursday, July 19. Those accepted must promptly provide their name as on passport, passport #, date of birth, name of accompanying adult (if under 18), tee shirt size, a short bio of your go life, digital head shot picture (similar to passport size).

Share