American Go E-Journal

Go Review: Monkey Jump Workshop

Monday December 1, 2008

by Phil Waldron
The first encounter with a monkey jump is an intimidating and frustrating experience. In an instant, once promising territories vanish and three-eyed groups become corpses. Most players learn to deal with the monkey jump by trial and error, but all too often they obtain only passing familiarity. For those looking for true mastery of the technique, a big jump comes with Richard Hunter’s “Monkey Jump Workshop.” Sensibly enough, Monkey Jump Workshop begins with the monkey jump at its simplest: a basic reduction against a solid territory. The standard counter-moves are analyzed before considering how things change when the surrounding position is altered. Even subtle differences can be important, and this chapter illustrates this point admirably. All of the important considerations are presented with elegant examples without getting bogged down by details. Coverage continues with the monkey jump in the context of life-and-death situations and ends with a presentation of several professional games in which the monkey jump appears. Distributed throughout is an impressive collection of monkey-jump problems, both of the yose and life-and-death variety. If all this seems like a lot of material to cover in a single book, it is, and the coverage is somewhat uneven. I was particularly impressed by the treatment of the monkey jump as an endgame move, while the chapter on the monkey jump in professional play is presented as a series of uncommented game diagrams that feels like filler material. Part of the difficulty seems due to the origins of the book; the chapters began as a series of stand-alone articles in the British Go Journal, and as a consequence are generally well-organized individually but do not flow together and mesh poorly with the supplementary material added later. This also limits the book’s value as a reference text, which is unfortunate given both the quantity and quality of material contained. Although it needs a good editing job, the Monkey Jump Workshop is a worthwhile addition to the go collection of a kyu-level player. The book is by far the most comprehensive treatment of the topic available in English and contains all the information necessary to become a master of the technique. Monkey Jump Workshop is available from Slate and Shell Publishing.

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Go Quiz: Chevy Geo, Of Course!

Monday December 1, 2008

Only a handful of hardy quizzers took a shot at last week’s anagram question, racking their brains with the usual Asian names for go. A couple, including quiz leader Phil Waldron, went as far afield as “shudan” or “handtalk” to try to make “Datsun” fit. One enterprising person actually made a program to look up all different permutations of “igo”, “baduk”, “weichi” and “weigi” and automatically produce a Google search which he then checked based on number of hits. Sadly, this effort only got him an ATV. A couple of you checked “Goe” (thank you Mr. Ing) but only got as far as some concept car called the “Ego.” The correct answer, from 4 of you, including now Quiz co-leader Kim Salamony, was based on Goe: the Chevy Geo. Congrats to this week’s winner Clark B. Wierda, this week’s winner, selected at random from those answering correctly. THIS WEEK’S QUIZ (’08 FINAL!): This will be the last quiz for the year, as we take our usual holiday break. As noted above, Phil Waldron and Kim Salamony have answered every quiz, and both have just 3 wrong at this point. Japanese go has a policy that if you hold a major title for 5 years in a row, you hold that title in an “Honorary” fashion upon turning 60, or retiring. This is the same reason I claim the title “HKA”, or “Honorary Keith Arnold”, after winning the “Keith Arnold” award in the Congress Self-Paired tournament 5 years in a row, and then retiring from the competition. Name the only Japanese “big seven” title where no one has yet to qualify for an “honorary” title upon turning 60 or retiring. Click here to send in your answer.
- Keith Arnold

Categories: Go Quiz
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Correction: Amherst, Not Boston

Monday December 1, 2008

The November 23 Western Massachusetts Go Club’s Fall tournament was in Amherst, MA, not Boston, as we reported last week (Morris Sweeps Western Mass Tournament).

Categories: U.S./North America
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Discounted GoGoD Offer

Monday December 1, 2008

“Prepared to do its bit for the credit crunch,” GoGoD is offering a discount on the upcoming new Winter 2008 edition, reports T Mark Hall. “Our normal prices, for a single issue, or for an issue now and one more up to a year later, are respectively 20 and 25 pounds Sterling (30 and 35 Euros, or 40 and 50 US dollars),” says Hall. “For a limited period up to December 8, we are making those respective prices 15 and 20 pounds Sterling, 25 and 30 Euros and 30 and 40 US dollars.” GoGoD now includes a database of almost 55,000 games, database software, and a large encyclopedia, “We estimate that this gives you the equivalent of almost 200 books,” adds Hall, who notes that GoGoD prices include airmail postage. Paypal payments accepted; email Hall at tmark@gogod.demon.co.uk or chat with him (Tmark) on KGS.

Strange Things Happen at the One-Two Point

Monday December 1, 2008

The Terminator played go on network television, this past Monday night. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles featured “good” Terminatrix Summer Glau opening up a go board and playing out a position after telling Sarah Connor — and the show’s nationwide audience — that go is a “five thousand year old game, invented by the Chinese.” Earlier episodes of the series have focused on repeated attempts to stop various artificial intelligence programs from turning into Skynet, the military defense system that unleashes nuclear holocaust on humans in the Terminator movies. A previous program that played chess quite well was an initial target, but the Connors were able to stop it in time. A new program reared it’s head in the latest episode, but it doesn’t play chess, it plays go. Glau lays out a position on the board while telling Connor that “Strange things happen at the one two point. It’s a go proverb; it means the usual rules don’t apply.” The scene appears about 14 minutes into the episode, and can be watched on Fox’s website or on HulaTV.
-Paul Barchilon

Categories: Go Spotting
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Shi Knocks Out Jiang & Yang In N.A. Fujitsu; Final Delayed

Monday November 24, 2008

Canadian teenager Gan Sheng Shi (left) defeated both Mingjiu Jiang and Huiren Yang last weekend to earn a berth in the North American Fujitsu Cup championship final against Jie Li. The excitement continued Sunday when the final had to be adjourned because of technical difficulties. It was excitement on all fronts during the North American Fujitsu Cup championship. While top seeds Jie Li, Andy Liu and Huiren Yang made it through unscathed to the semi-finals, defending champion Mingjiu Jiang let a favourable position evaporate when he lost on time to Redmond Cup champion Gan Sheng Shi. The Canadian teenager then astonished a crowd of 500 by taking down professional Huiren Yang to earn a spot in the finals against perennial strongman Jie Li. The excitement continued when Jie Li suffered network problems at move 55 of the final game and could not reconnect to continue. The game has been adjourned and will be rescheduled at a later date. Click here for complete details on the tournament so far.
- Philip Waldron, AGA Tournament Coordinator

Ko Wins New L.A. Korean Tourney

Monday November 24, 2008

Dae Hyuk (Danny) Ko (right) 7D (AGA 8.712) took first place in the Myung In Tournament, held November 15-16 in Los Angeles, CA. The Los Angeles Go Club, a popular 7-day playing spot in LA’s Koreatown, hosted the tournament, which was organized by the newly-formed Korean American Baduk Association. About 50 players, including a number from outside the Korean community, played in two handicap sections and one open section for $4,000 in prizes, won by Ko, of the Santa Monica Go Club. The tournament also featured an exhibition game between two Southern California professionals, Myung Wan Kim 8P and Yilun Yang 7P. “Sunday evening dinner was provided to all the players,” reports Andy Okun, “and there was a raffle of donated goods as well, in which your correspondent unexpectedly won 40 pounds of rice.” Korean American Baduk Association officials plan to hold more events in the coming year.

Morris Sweeps Western Mass Tournament

Monday November 24, 2008

Trevor Morris (left) 7D swept the Western Massachusetts Go Club’s Fall tournament, held November 23 in Boston. Morris was undefeated in four rounds to claim the first-place trophy, while three players had 3 wins each: Eric Osman 2d (3-1), Richard Buckman 7k (3-1) and William Luff 10k (3-1). Click here for a full report, including photos by Bill Saltman.

Cho U Makes It 2-0 In Tengen Title Match

Monday November 24, 2008

Cho U 9P took the second game of his challenge for the Tengen title held by Kono Rin 9P to make the score 2-0 in the best-of-five-game match. Kono, who has held this title for the last three years, defeating Yamashita Keigo 9P in the title match each year, will have a hard fight to make it four. Cho’s winning percentage so far this year is 79%, while Kono’s is 60%, so the odds favor Cho’s taking another of the top seven Japanese titles — he already holds the Meijin and Gosei.

Kang Stops Tuo In Nongshim

Monday November 24, 2008

Korean Kang Dongyun (right) 8P snapped Chinese teen Tuo Jiaxi 3P’s winning streak in the international Nongshim Cup, winning by 1.5 points Monday. Tuo, got the Chinese team off to a blazing start in the Nongshim team tournament by winning all four games in the first stage and eliminating two members of the Korean and the Japanese teams, lost in the first round of the second stage on Monday, November 24th to Korean Kang Dongyun 8P (another teen) by 1.5 points. There will be six games in this stage, which is being played in Pusan, Korea, one each day until November 29th. Coincidentally, the first Chinese player in the similar Jeongganjang Cup for women also won all four of the games in the first stage earlier this month. Song Ronghui 1P, yet another teen, will face a Korean player when that event resumes in early January. Photo from the World Go new blog