Welcome to the American Go Association

Reflections on Pair Go

Wednesday February 22, 2017

by Eric Lui 1P2017.02.22_A Simple Guide to Pair Go

Editor’s note: Lui, who’s now a regular game commentator for the E-Journal, wrote this after attending the second Pair Go World Cup in July 2016 and recently shared it with us. Coincidentally, Hajin Lee recently made a short Pair Go introduction video, saying she hopes “to see more pair go events in the US and Europe in the future.” We hope you enjoy both.

Reflecting upon his legendary career, the great Sakata Eio opined that a necessary prerequisite for go mastery is self-2017.02.22_pair-go-world-cup-411_sreliance, which can only be developed once one fully accepts the game’s solitary nature, specifically the completely isolated state that all players find themselves in during the process of a game.

As far as I can tell, there are two types of people in this world: Pair Go enthusiasts and those who can do without. Takemiya Masaki gushes that Pair Go is “playing catch with the emotions…the instant that love is born.” Ishida Yoshio, on the other hand, says that in Pair Go you have three opponents.

The most anticipated match in the first round of the main knockout tournament saw the departure of powerhouse 2017.02.22_pair-go-world-cupChinese pair Shi Yue and Wang Chenxing, who succumbed to the charming synergy of Choi Cheolhan and Oh Yujin. Our first-round victory against the Thai pair was defined more by relief than pleasure, since it ensured that we would get to play at least one more game. In the second round against Taiwanese superstars Chen Shiyuan and Joanne Missingham, the game became difficult right from the start when a mistake in judgment set the tone for the rest of the way. My partner Sarah Yu fought gamely during many continuous kos and we maintained our chances for a while but were unable to cause an upset.

Our conquerors would go on to score an excellent victory in the semifinal against the Choi-Oh pair, earning themselves a 2017.02.22_lui-pair-gofinal showdown with the Chinese pair of Ke Jie and Yu Zhiying, the male and female world No. 1 respectively.
During the last round of the Shuffle Pair Go friendship match, I was paired with the Thai female player, Pattraporn Aroonphaichitra. As we waited at the board for our opponents, Amy Song, the Australian female player took the seat across from Pattraporn. But who was her partner? I took a quick glance around – there were still a few empty seats and just a couple minutes until game time. I couldn’t help but smile when I noticed Sarah, looking ever so serene, sitting next to Iyama Yuta. My new partner was completely absorbed in her phone, and I opened my mouth to say something when, sensing a disturbance in the Force, we both looked up. Making his way through the large crowd that had gathered around the closed-off playing area with ruthless efficiency was “One Dragon Per Game” Shi Yue, one of the strongest and most universally feared Chinese pros for his aggressive playing style.

2017.02.21_pair-go-eric-luiPattraporn played beautifully and we enjoyed a lead for most of the game. It was a singular experience to watch as Shi Yue struggled to contain his frustration with the position as his plans to deal us pain were disrupted again and again. When the game was over, Shi Yue transitioned seamlessly from executioner to teacher, pointing out missed opportunities and explaining his thought processes at key points while the rest of us sat transfixed by the clarity of his analysis. A while later, only dimly aware that the postmortem had concluded and that the others had started putting the stones away, I slowly and reluctantly joined in.

Later that night, long after Yu Zhiying and Ke Jie had collected their 10 million yen 1st place prize, I would find myself tuning in to the Wimbledon final from my hotel room. During one of Andy Murray’s signature tirades, I realized that Ishida was wrong. Whether you are playing Pair Go, individual go, or tennis, the number of opponents remains the same. One, and it’s not the one on the other side. As Murray sealed the first set with a thunderous forehand and an emphatic fist pump, his fierce visage betraying equal parts triumph and anguish, I was reminded of a timeless image of Sakata, in the midst of his prime, staring at the go board with an expression of utmost intensity and exquisite pain. A formidable, yet lone individual.

Pair Go was invented to popularize the game of go by emphasizing the social aspects of the game. But no matter how many players there are, the game itself remains the same mysterious, fascinating challenge it has been for thousands of years.
photo: US team Sarah Yu and Eric Lui with Cho Chikun

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Confucius Institute and Feng Yun Go School to host tourney in New Brunswick

Tuesday February 21, 2017

The Confucius Institute of Rutgers University, together with the Feng Yun Go School, will be hosting a go tournament on Saturday, April 1 at the College Avenue Student Center in New Brunswick, NJ, reports Paul Matthews. Click here2017.02.20_FengYunWeiqi-logo1 for more details. Feng Yun 9P will do game reviews between rounds. There are no registration fees, but you must register online no later than Thursday, March 30 to guarantee your seat.

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Redmond Reviews: New AGA video commentary series launches

Monday February 20, 2017

[link]

This game commentary file accompanies Redmond’s Reviews, Episode 1: Artem Kachanovskyi 1p v. Alexandr Dinerstein 3p, the first in a brand-new series of AGA video commentaries with Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock, Managing Editor 2017.02.20_Redmond's Reviews, Episode 1of the American Go E-Journal. In March 2016 the two teamed up to provide live commentary on the historic 5-game match between Lee Sedol 9P and AlphaGo — available on the AGA’s YouTube Channel  – and now plan to do go video commentaries on a regular basis. Each video commentary — produced by Michael Wanek — will be accompanied by sgf commentaries that will include comments and variations by Redmond, enabling the video commentary to focus on the major points in a shorter format. We hope that you enjoy this new series and look forward to hearing your feedback; email journal@usgo.org with your comments or questions. The AGA is also currently working on producing video commentaries by other professionals on Master games; stay tuned for updates on those soon.

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Go Review: Fairbairn’s “Meijin of Meijins: The Life and Times of Honinbo Shuei”

Monday February 20, 2017

Reviewed by Roy Schmidt2017.02.20_meijin-of-meijins

Go translator and historian John Fairbairn draws upon his phenomenal knowledge of go history and his collection of classic works to craft “Meijin of Meijins: The Life and Times of Honinbo Shuei,” an entertaining and educational book covering the life of one of the strongest members of the Honinbo “family,” Honinbo Shuei. Shuei has long been the most admired and emulated player amongst go professionals in Japan. He gave Honinbo Shusai black in every game they played, and won a solid majority of them. It is a marvel that he became so strong, because during his lifetime, the go world in Japan was thrown into turmoil with the abolishment of government support by the new Meiji apparatus. How the Honinbos and other go families coped with their reversal of fortunes makes for a good read.

With a grand total of just three diagrams in the book, this is not the book for those interested in reviewing Shuei’s games. But if you want a taste of the inside workings of the go community during the late 1800s up to 1908, this is an absolute jewel. There are some organizational problems with the narrative, with some repetition of events – perhaps because the book is pulled from a larger e-book (which does contain commented games) with “light editing.” But overall, the writing is excellent and for fans of go history, I highly recommend this book. It’s published using Amazon’s instant-printing process, which offers quality comparable to mainstream paperback go books with an amazingly low price ($9.99).

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Eric Lui 1P tops NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year tourney

Monday February 20, 2017

Eric Lui 1P swept the NOVA Chinese Lunar New Year 10th anniversary tournament, held on Saturday, February 11 at George Mason University Law School in Arlington VA. The four-round tournament attracted 42 players, including 18 dan-level players. “As usual,” reports Allan Abramson, “there also was an afternoon short tournament for beginners.”

Winners Report:
First place: Eric Lui 1P, 4-0; Frederic Bao, 4d and Jack Chong, 4d, tied at 3-1; Julian Erville, 1d, 4-0; Jeroen Meijer, 2k, 4-0; Anderson Barreal, 8k, 4-0; Julian Li, 15k, 4-0; and Andrew Chen, 25k, 4-0
Second place: Yuang Lin, 7d, 3-1; Bob Crites, 7k, and Joon Lee, 10k, tied at 3-1; James Liu, 12k, and Sean Lin, 14k, tied at 3-1; and Antonina Perez-Lopez, 20k, 3-1

13×13 Afternoon Tournament for beginners, six participants:
First place: Derek Hu, 4-1
Second place, Joseph Wang, 4-1

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Problem of the Week

Magic Sword Trick Play

Black to play