“I question whether it’s a good sign when one of the greatest go players of all time is making commercials for Candy Crush soda,” (Go Spotting: Cho Hunhyun Crushes It 5/15 EJ) writes Terry Benson. “It’s amusing and well shot. (Cho Hunhyun) may have done it as a fun ‘why not?’ or because he knows the president of the company, but think Placido Domingo for Halls lozenges or an aging football great selling Depends. I’m sure he was well compensated.”
American Go E-Journal
Sunday May 17, 2015
Saturday May 16, 2015
“When people ask me, ‘how was your summer,’ I tell them it was wonderful, because of the AGA Go Camp,” writes 14-year-old Elan, “I had an amazing time playing go and hanging out with other kids, learning from our teacher, and enjoying fun summer camp activities.” Go Camp strives to provide young go players a unique experience, allowing them to foster their love of the game in a traditional summer camp setting. “Camp does involve a lot of go,” says Director Amanda Miller, “and campers spend both their mornings, and part of their afternoons, studying, but these lessons include a creative mix of lectures, life and death problems, games, and game reviews to kep things interesting.”
Many campers love the opportunity, and as 8-year-old Yuga remembers, “I learned go from morning to evening and that was my first time studying go so long. I spent time with a great teacher and lots of friends and played go and talked about go with them. It makes me want to play more and want to improve more.”
“Camp is about more than just go, however, “says Miller, “it’s about giving kids the chance to meet and make friends with other kids who love the game just as much as they do. Part of the magic of camp is the wide variety of campers who attend, and in the past few years, the camp has welcomed kids from as far away as Hawaii and Canada.The camp has been growing every year, and we’re always trying to make it better. Last year was one of our best summers yet, because we got to try so many different activities. The kids had a great time with hiking, archery, boating, swimming, and rock climbing in addition to playing go.” Boating was a general favorite, and as Elan remembers, “A mega splashing competition ensued and everyone was soaked wet!
With a mix of lessons, outdoor activities, tournaments, and other go-related activities, the camp is an ideal place for kids to make friends and have fun while also improving their go skills. Perhaps 12-year-old Joe does the best job of summing up everyone’s feelings after a great week at camp: “When I left camp I was sad that I will miss all my new friends, but when I came back home I was happy because I was beating everyone and showing that I improved.”
Go Camp will be held July 18-25, at YMCA Camp Kern in Oregonia, OH, with Myungwan Kim 9P as this summer’s professional teacher. Camp directors Amanda Miller and Nano Rivera invite campers of all skill levels, between the ages of 8 and 18 to join them for a week of go-playing and fun. Youth who played in the NAKC or the Redmond Cup are eligible for a $400 scholarship, and need-based scholarships of up to $250 are also available courtesy of the American Go Foundation.
For more information on the latest camp-related news, and to download the registration forms, visit the camp website at or e-mail Amanda Miller at email@example.com. -Paul Barchilon with Amanda Miller.
Saturday May 16, 2015
American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock and his wife Lisa are walking 200 miles along the coast of Wales this July to celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary and raise funds for the American Go Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting go in the U.S. With the AGF’s support, thousands of American children have learned go in hundreds of schools, libraries and community centers across the country, as well as at the annual Go Camp (AGA Go Camp a Favorite with Kids 5/16 EJ). The AGF also provide scholarships and resources for youth who play go, and supports go in institutional settings such as prisons, and senior centers. Click here to donate what you can: .25/mile = $50; .50/mi = $100; $1/mi = $200; or whatever amount you like, it’ll go to help promote go across the United States. “Chris likes sitting still a long time and also walking a long way,” says AGF President Terry Benson. “We hope players will encourage him and help go by going as far as they can to help us spread the game.”
photo: Garlock on a training walk earlier this year; photo by Lisa Garlock
Friday May 15, 2015
Korean 9-dan professional go player Cho Hunhyun crushes it in this amusing short video. Considered one of the greatest players of all-time, Cho reached professional level in Korea in 1962. Since then, Cho has amassed 150 professional titles, more than any player in the world.
Friday May 15, 2015
Ishi Press Archives is reprinting five long out-of-print Ishi Press go books. The reprints include Breakthrough to Shodan by Naoki Miyamoto 9-dan, Enclosure Josekis by Masaki Takemiya 9-dan, Kato’s Attack and Kill by Masao Kato 9-dan, The Power of the Star-Point, The Sanren-Sei Opening by Shukaku Takagawa 9-dan and All About Thickness, Understanding Moyo and Influence, by Yoshio Ishida 9-dan.
Thursday May 14, 2015
“Minnesota, home of the 2015 US Go Congress, celebrated its’ annual fishing opener over the weekend,” reports Congress Director Josh Larson. A guided fishing tour is among the traditional day-off options for this year’s Go Congress. Discounted Go Congress registrations will expire June 1st. Click here to register and pay now to take advantage of early bird rates “and while you’re there, vote for your favorite day-off activities,” Larson urges.
photo courtesy Pioneer Press Archives
Thursday May 14, 2015
“Reading is the process of imagining tactical sequences of well-chosen moves,” says Robert Jasiek. “Besides strategy, reading determines a player’s skill.” “Tactical Reading,” Jasiek’s latest book – his 11th– uses the holistic approach of general theory applicable to all tactical problems. “Powerful principles develop every essential aspect of the theory of tactical reading,” Jasiek says. “Various kinds of simplifications and techniques reduce a large and unmanageable set of choices to the smallest possible number of necessary variations.” The book explains in detail a general method which Jasiek says will lead to “correct and efficient reading.” Application of the theory to 100 problems and their exhaustive answers demonstrates “the best way to distinguish inferior from the interesting moves.” Click here to order from Jasiek or go to Goshop Keima.
Monday May 11, 2015
The Pandanet AGA City League has come down to one more match. At the US Go Congress in St Paul, MN, Los Angeles will face off against Greater Washington. Playing for the Los Angeles team (left) will be Mark Lee, Evan Cho, and Daniel Ko. Playing for Greater Washington (right) will be Tim Song, Eric Lui, Yuan Zhou, and Jie Li. These players will face off on Saturday August 1st. Come watch live in person or on Pandanet-IGS.
Monday May 11, 2015
Sunday May 10, 2015
Huang of China Wins Globis Cup: Huang Yunsong (at right in photo) of China has defeated Na Hyun of Korea to win his first international tournament. Aged 18, he can now claim to be the strongest teenager in the world and his next ambition is to win an open international title. His play in this year’s Globis Cup was so impressive that no one will be betting against him.
On Sunday, May 10, the third day of the tournament, the semifinals were held in the morning and the final and play-off for third place in the afternoon. All four matches were China-Korea pairings, as the Japanese players had been eliminated in the quarterfinals. In the first semifinal, Huang 3P (W) of China beat Lee Donghun 5P of Korea by resignation. This game featured a spectacular fight in which Huang killed a large enemy group. O Meien 9P, who gave a public commentary on the final, praised Huang’s play in the semifinal very highly. According to O, the fight looked like a very perilous one to the onlookers that could have gone either way, but once the fight started Huang played quickly, not bothering to use all of his time of 30 seconds per move. In retrospect, said O, it became clear that Huang had read it all out at the beginning of the fight, which was an awesome feat.
In the other semifinal, Na Hyun 6P of Korea (B), the only player to announce publicly his intention of winning the tournament, defeated Li Qincheng 2P of China by resignation.
The final between Huang and Na started at 1:00 in the afternoon, with Huang playing white. Although no Japanese representative made the final, there were only a few empty seats in the hall. The fans who turned up were treated to an exciting game that was graced by an excellent commentary by O Meien 9P and Mannami Nao 3P. O is the commentator of choice for international games, as he is well informed about international go and is very open-minded. By this, I mean that he is not dogmatic. Although he is well-known for his own distinctive style, a dynamic, influence-oriented way of playing, when players follow a different style, making moves that he doesn’t like personally, he readily admits that they may know better. O’s humor meshed well with the bright, cheerful personality of Mannami Nao, the younger of the two Mannami sisters; she has developed into a very competent and appealing MC and assistant commentator and is a real asset in go events.
After the first major fight in the early middle game, O expressed surprise when Huang played a relatively peaceful move after reducing Black’s right-side position. O hadn’t thought the maneuver was a particular success for White, but Huang’s calm play made him reassess his positional judgement. He admitted that he couldn’t reach a definite conclusion himself, but commented that we could safely trust Huang because of his experience. Na’s subsequent play showed that he felt he was a little behind. He launched an all-out attack on an unsettled white group in the centre, but he was outplayed by Huang in the ensuing fight and resigned early.
In the play-off for third place, Li Qincheng (B) beat Lee Donghun by resignation, so China won three of the four games played today. (photo at left: l-r: Na, Huang & Li)
One of the most interesting points in the commentary on the final was that O kept referring to the ‘experience’ of the players. For example, he would say something like, ‘I don’t know about this move, but my guess is that the player knows from his experience that it works.’ These players are teenagers, and though obviously they can’t have played that many games yet, what O seemed to be talking about was the high level of competition in China and Korea. Even at their young ages, their representatives in this tournament are already top players in their own countries, where star players seem to emerge in their teens. This is not really the case in Japan (with the major exception of Iyama Yuta).
The strength of the Chinese and Korean teams is borne out by their ratings. Hori Masao, the father of the president of Globis University, Hori Yoshito, drew my attention to a Japanese site that rates 900 professionals (if you read characters, click here; it also has historical ratings going back to 1989). The Chinese team is in the lead. Sixteen-year-old Yang Dingshin is rated 18th in the world, tournament winner Huang (aged 18) 46th, and Li Qincheng (aged 16) 37th (probably thanks mainly to winning the CCTV Cup last year). The top Korean is Lee Donghun, aged 17 and 23rd; Na, aged 20, is 27th, and Shin Jin Seo (just 15) is 75th. To take the Japanese, Ichiriki (aged 17) is 128th and Yo Seiki (19) is 195th, and the others are much lower.