Welcome to the American Go Association

Go Congress “Early Bird” discount ends May 31

Wednesday May 23, 2018

If you haven’t yet registered for the US Go Congress in Williamsburg VA this year, you have until May 31 to take advantage of2018.04.02_go-congress-sign-in the Early Bird registration discount. On June 1 the cost goes up by $50 per person. To get the discount it is necessary to register  and make a minimum payment of $70.

The U.S. Go Congress runs from July 21-28 and features a full week of go-related activities. Register now and reserve your spot in the premier annual event of American go.

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South Sound Go Club holds first tournament

Wednesday May 23, 2018

South Sound Go Club held its first AGA-rated tournament on Sunday, May 20, at Terracrux Games. Ten players 2018.05.23_South Sound Go Clubparticipated, including two new to the AGA. Mike Malveaux directed.

TerraCrux Games  is an independent games store located at 760 Commerce Street in Tacoma, WA,” Malveaux reports. “They do a brisk trade in games like Magic The Gathering, Warhammer, X-Wing, and many other games; and the owner, Doug, lets SSGC use the playing area as a weekly meeting spot.”

There were three rounds, and nobody won all three. Three players won 2 out of 3 games, creating a three-way tie for first place. “Since there were no prizes or trophies, we didn’t need to declare a singular winner.”

Winning two games: Steve Zhang (5k), Joel Simpson (8k), Katherine Harmon (20k).

2018.05.23_Andrew Zhang and Steve StringfellowFurthest travelers: Andrew Zhang (1k) and Steve Zhang (5k) drove over 200 miles from Corvallis, OR.

Newest AGA members: Kathleen Dorsett (20k) and John Evans (12k).

The most common player name was Steve (30%); the second most common player name was Kate (20%).

Closest game: In the 2nd round, Steve Stringfellow 5d played Andrew Zhang 1k at 5 stones handicap. Both players were deep into byo-yomi before the dame were filled. When the counting was done, Steve had squeaked out a 1.5 point victory.

South Sound Go Club is hoping to make this a quarterly event, and planning is underway for a tournament in August.

photo (top right): Left: Steve Jones from Olympia, WA, vs. Joel Simpson from Everett, WA; Left background:  Steve Zhang vs. Andrew Zhang (both from Corvallis, OR); Center foreground: Katherine Harmon vs. Kathleen Dorsett (both from Tacoma, WA); Right background: John Evans (formerly Tacoma, now from Portland, OR) vs. Tom Cruver (Tacoma; president of SSGC).
photo (bottom left): Andrew Zhang and Steve Stringfellow
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Upcoming Go Events: Baltimore, Andover, Des Moines

Monday May 21, 2018

May 26-27: Baltimore, MD
45th Maryland Open
Keith L. Arnold hlime81@verizon.net 410-788-3520

May 28: Andover, MA
The 1st Boston Youth Go Tournament
Ke Lu ke_lu@yahoo.com 781-296-7519

June 2: Des Moines, IA
Des Moines Go Club Tournament
Dan Klawitter danielkcigs@gmail.com 319-693-9718
Jacob Upland jauptain@gmail.com

Get the latest go events information.

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Categories: Calendar,Main Page
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The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #7

Monday May 21, 2018

by William Cobb2018.05.21_empty-go-board-blurred

“Blitz” games are an interesting phenomenon in the go world, often played at ten seconds per move. They do count as go games since they follow the rules of the game, but to me, they’re about as appealing as playing blindfolded (although I have heard of one guy  who plays amazing well blindfolded). Actually, blitz games are not that different from playing blindfolded. Although you can do a bit of analysis in a few seconds, you certainly can’t see most of what is going on in the game. Since you don’t have time to think, except in a very superficial way, there are inevitably a lot of bad moves, although I suspect a stronger player would usually beat a weaker one. And you can’t deny that such a game can generate a lot of excitement—sort of like a dog fight. So I can see why some people like to play blitz games. So-called trick moves should be very effective. However, it seems a way to create a lot of bad habits since the results would generally just be a function of luck, instead of superior understanding, strategy, and analysis. Trying to figure out what is happening and how to best counter your opponent’s moves is what makes go such an engrossing game. If you minimize that intellectual challenge, I would think the game would soon become boring. I suppose there are times when you are too tired to really play the game but would like to have something to do. Maybe the people who play blitz games are just exhausted or bored and looking for a little easy stimulation. Are there ever blitz tournaments? You could play a lot of rounds in a day.

photo by Phil Straus; photo art by Chris Garlock

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AlphaGo Zero vs. Master with Michael Redmond 9p: Game 9

Saturday May 19, 2018

After a brief hiatus, Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, returns with a review of the dramatic 2018.05.19_zero-master9ninth game of the AlphaGo Zero vs. Master series. “It’s a bit of an odd game 2018.05.19_zero-master9-redmond-garlockthat follows a pattern in these Master-Zero games,” says Redmond, “in which Master makes a big moyo and Zero takes all the territory, and in this game they really take this pattern to an extreme. Master’s got a huge moyo and it can score a big win if it can just make it into actual territory.” The game also features the large high shimari, which AlphaGo has made popular, as well as the early 3-3 invasion.

[link]

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Problem of the Week

Maximizing Aji

Black to play