American Go E-Journal

San Diego Club Promotes Go at Cherry Blossom Festival

Saturday March 15, 2014

The San Diego Go Club manned a go booth on May 8 at the 9th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. “On a perfect San Diego sunny spring day in the 70’s,thousands crowded into the expanded garden,” reports club president Ted Terpstra. The club introduced go to the passersby and played demonstration games. Comments ranged from “What is that interesting game?” to “You play go in America! I am a Chinese level four player.” Several new members were signed up for the club.

Categories: U.S./North America
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Teen Wolf Update: Michael Redmond 9P is the Nogitsune

Saturday March 15, 2014

Turns out the board position in episode 22 of Teen Wolf (EJ 3-12-14) is from a real game. “I had the pleasure of setting up the go board for this scene, and I got paid for it too,” reports 2012 AGF Teacher of the Year Joe Walters. “The empty triangle is a real move. The game was between Michael Redmond 9P and Chino Tadahiko 9P on March 15, 2012, in the B section of the Meijin. I set the game up for the scene sometime before Xmas last year, they provided the board and stones. I did it on the floor in the room where they shot the scene, but not on the tree stump where they used it in the final scene. Someone took pictures of the board, and they duplicated the setup when they shot the scene later on. They just wanted a game that looked real, so I selected that one because it was by an American 9 dan pro and had only a few moves,” said Walters.

The game itself had been offered as a commented record by Michael Redmond, and appeared in the members edition of the E-Journal.   “The empty triangle, white 140, was just a normal endgame move,” Redmond tells the E-Journal. “Although good shape is advantageous even in the endgame, correct reading and calculation becomes much more important and as the board becomes crowded with stones, so-called ‘bad shapes’ become more likely and can often be the correct move, as in this case. Looking for good shape in this game, I would have chosen black 97 because, although I say it myself, it was an inspired and well-calculated move with which I forced the sequence that secured my win.” The timing in the episode of Teen Wolf is pretty good, as white actually resigns the move after the empty triangle, which coincides with Stiles sweeping the stones off the board, and also means the Nogitsune was playing Redmond’s moves. “I am glad to know that my games are getting this extra chance to be viewed by a non-playing audience,” adds Redmond. “It is great that go is now being used more in movies and other such media, and it is always exciting to see that reported in the AGA E-Journal.”  This week, as a special bonus for non-members, the E-J is providing Redmond’s commentary on his game record.  If you would like to receive exciting games like this in your e-mail every week, join the AGA as a full member here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor 

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On Studying With Kaz

Saturday March 15, 2014

by Steve Berthiaume

If you’ve been a subscriber to the Members’ Edition of the E-Journal, you’ve probably seen the occasional feature, “Lessons with Kaz.”  I always liked the style of these features, how Kazunari Furuyama (right) often suggests different moves for players of different abilities, or rates the severity of mistakes by assigning a dollar level to them, so I recently began taking lessons from him online. 

Kaz’s teaching methods appeal to me as an adult player, because he understands that the adult mind learns differently than that of younger players.  This is not to say that adults don’t have the same potential to improve, and Kaz has seen many of his adult students progress from mid-kyu to dan level under his tutelage.

For the first lesson, Kaz has his students submit 11 games for review, 10 that he looks through to get a sense of the player’s strengths, weaknesses and habits, and then a game which he reviews with extensive commentary and variations. Accompanying this review is a set of 25-30 problems.   Sometimes in place of some of the problems, Kaz will send a group of related problems that explain a concept in great detail.  An example of this would be Kaz’s “Peeps” or the “On Fighting” series that have been recently featured in the E-Journal. For subsequent lessons, Kaz asks that students continue to send recent games, so he can keep track of the student’s tendencies and address any issues that come up.

This is precisely the kind of instruction that appeals to me. I have a shelf (and now IPad) full of go books that — with the exception of a few recent books — always seem to be over my head after a few pages; I feel they are often geared to professional players who don’t make kyu-level mistakes, and feature commentary that leaves me scratching my head.  Instead, Kaz stresses basic, strong shapes that have broad application throughout the game, and repetition in various configurations that really allows the concepts to sink in.  He avoids complicated josekis, choosing simpler ones that also teach good shape and tesuji, and have broad application throughout the game.

Since starting lessons with Kaz, I have felt more in control of my games, able to remain calm and play moves that I knew were solid, as well as take advantage of opponent’s mistakes, particularly in 3-3 corner invasions.  This allows me to spend more time thinking about other aspects of my playing, and has greatly increased my enjoyment and fascination with this game that seems to be taking over my life.
- Steve Berthiaume is a 15-kyu who plays at the Milford Go Club in Milford, Massachusetts. Email cickazu@gmail.com  for details on studying with Kaz. photo by John Pinkerton

UK Preview: 3rd Isle of Skye Tournament This Weekend

Thursday March 13, 2014

One of the most beautiful and romantic UK tournament locations must surely be the Isle of Skye in Scotland’s Western Highlands, which this weekend, March 15-16, hosts the 3rd edition of its two-yearly tournament (alternating with the two-yearly Isle of Man Go Week). Despite its remoteness from most of the UK, 30 have already registered including Britain’s strongest native player, Matthew Macfadyen 6d, who rarely competes these days but who also entered – and won – the first two Skye tournaments.

Although the island’s economy was formerly dominated by crofting, these days tourism is its key money-spinner. Tournament organizer Carel Goodheir tells us that, for reasons which are not entirely clear, about 6,000 Chinese visit every year now, which is approximately twice the population of the largest settlement, Portree, where the tourney is held. So far none of them have entered but he hopes to find a way to bring the tourney to their attention in the future.

Forty years ago, when Goodheir first moved to the island, he estimates about 80% of the inhabitants  spoke the Scottish Gaelic as their main language, but nowadays less than 40% can speak it. Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a public higher education college in Sleat, Skye, is the world’s only educational establishment using Scottish Gaelic as the medium of instruction. If you’ve never heard the language – which in 2000AD also had about 1600 speakers in the US, and  currently has over 2300 in Canada – check out this short (2′ 15″) BBC Alba (Gaelic service) TV report on the 1st Skye tourney in 2010, featuring Neil Mitchison explaining the game in Gaelic, and believed to be the only BBC coverage to date of a go tournament. The clip opens with co-organizer John Macdonald at the board playing Aideen O’Malley, a director of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

Click here for full tournament details

Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal. Photo: Carel Goodheir mooring his boat at Portree with Honey the dog,  Old Man of Storr in background, by Ruth Goodheir

Choi Cheolhan Conquers Nemesis Chen Yaoye in Jingdezhen Exhibition

Thursday March 13, 2014

The third annual Jingdezhen exhibition match finished on March 9 with Choi Cheolhan 9p finally victorious over long-time rival Chen Yaoye 9p. Establishing territory was tedious but the game remained relatively even up to move 134. However, both Chen (black) and Choi (white) began to stumble shortly after, making a series of mistakes until Choi secured the winning move at 182. They played a perfect endgame and Chen never had a chance to recover.

Before this game, Chen had won over twice as many games as Choi in their individual matches (10-4). From 2007 through 2012 alone, Chen defeated Choi in 8 consecutive games. Choi’s record since 2013, though, has been comeback material. Since 2013, Chen and Choi’s head to head record (including this game) is 3-1 in Choi’s favor.

Also known as the Tianxin Pharmaceutical Cup, the first Jingdezhen match was played in 2012 in its title city Jindgezhen (located in China’s Jiangxi province). The winner’s prize is 150,000 RMB (approx. 24.5k USD) and the runner up claims 100,000 RMB (approx. 16k USD). For more information about this year’s Jingdezhen exhibition match including photos, please visit Go Game Guru.
— Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo and game record courtesy of Go Game Guru

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EuroGoTV Update: United Kingdom, Turkey, Serbia

Thursday March 13, 2014

UK: The Trigantius tournament finished in Cambridge on March 9 with Jon Diamond 4d in first, William Brooks 3d in second, and Toby Manning 3d in third. Turkey: Hulya Colak 4k lead the 2014 Turkish Women’s Championship in Ankara on March 8. Behind her were Sebnem Gurbuzel 4k in second and Evren Bicakci 5k in third. (Photo: Gozde Taskin 5k, place 7 of 19.) Serbia: Also on March 8, Zoran Jankovic 4d dominated the Radnicki Club Tournament in Kragujevac while Mihailo Jacimovic 1k came in second and Dragan Stojadinovic 8k placed third.
– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

Go Spotting: Teen Wolf Features Go Again

Wednesday March 12, 2014

MTV drama Teen Wolf again wove go into the latest episode, making two weeks in a row where the game has been featured prominently. Co-star Dylan O’Brien, as Stiles Stilinski, has been possessed by a dark fox spirit, the Nogitsune, who is controlling his mind and body.  Go is alluded to about twelve minutes in, when two werewolves are discussing strategy.  One is trying to use a chess board to figure out what Stiles would do, but the older werewolf observes “Chess is Stiles’ game, it’s not the game of a Japanese fox”.  Later, using psychic werewolf powers, Stiles’ friends are able to enter his mind, where they find him engaged in a game of go with the Nogitsune.  Like all good go players, he is immersed in the game, and deaf to the cries of his friends. It appears that while his mind is trapped in the go game, the Nogitsune has complete control of his body.  We see the board from multiple angles, with Stiles playing white.  Unfortunately, the only move he makes on the board is an empty triangle, although the board position is at least reasonable.  The spell is broken when Tyler Posey, as Scott McCall, transforms into a werewolf and his howl gets through to Stiles.  Suddenly realizing what is going on, Stiles looks up at the Nogitsune, and then sweeps all the stones off the board.  Just as well, nothing good would have come from that empty triangle anyway.  The go match appears at the 35 minute mark, and the entire episode can be viewed on the MTV website here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo from the MTV website.

Categories: Go Spotting,Youth
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Go Classified: Players Wanted in Vancouver, WA

Tuesday March 11, 2014

Austin Freeman 2k, is looking for players in the Vancouver, WA, area. “I want to be able to play others in person instead of only over the computer, and I know there are others that feel like this too,” says Freeman. Interested parties can contact Freeman at his e-mail: austinjfreeman@live.com , or on KGS, where he plays as AffyTaffyC.

Categories: Go Classified
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Northern California Yilun Yang Workshop April 5th and 6th

Monday March 10, 2014

Popular go teacher Yilun Yang 7P will teach a two-day weekend workshop in Berkeley, California on April 5th and 6th. Author of many go books including Whole Board Thinking in Joseki and Fundamental Principles of Go, Mr. Yang is also a regular participant in the U.S. Go Congress, Cotsen Open, and other major go events.

The workshop is open to go players of all strengths; Mr. Yang’s unique teaching format enables students at all levels to get a lot out of the workshop. Mr. Yang will present a series of lectures addressing such topics as how to fight, when to invade versus reduce, how to determine the biggest point in the opening, how to handle crosscuts and many other situations that occur in every game you play. These algorithmic approaches are integrated with games, game analysis, and problem-solving sessions.

More information is available on the Bay Area Go website. Register early as capacity is limited, and advanced registration is required. Photo by Lisa Schrag.

Categories: U.S./North America
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This Week’s Go Calendar: Seattle, Burlington, Portland

Monday March 10, 2014

March 15-16: Seattle, WA
Yilun Yang 7p Workshop
Brian Allen manager@seattlego.org 206-632-1122 206-545-1424

March 16: Burlington, VT
Queen City Go Tourney Spring 2014
David Felcan dfelcan@yahoo.com 802-860-9587

March 16: Portland, OR
Hikaru No Go Child and Youth Tournament
Peter Freedman peter.freedman@comcast.net 503-242-4203

Get the latest go events information.

Categories: Calendar
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