Welcome to the American Go Association

50 Years aGO – July 1971

Saturday July 31, 2021

by Keith L. Arnold, hka, with Patrick Bannister

On July 11, the 4th Pro-Amateur Go Congress took place, between ten pros and ten top amateurs. Our source is silent on the handicap, but the score was a tie, with each team winning 4 games and two games ending in jigo, There was quite a sensation when 13 year old M. Kanazawa defeated Hashimoto Utarō 9d.

The Meijin League entered its final phases. On July 8, Rin Kaihō’s perfect 5-0 start was ended by veteran Takagawa Kaku, keeping suspense alive as to the challenger for another round. But on July 22, Rin defeated Ōtake Hideo and secured the right to challenge Fujisawa Shūkō. (Game record: Rin-Takagawa.)

On July 26 (televised on August 1) Kojima Takaho 6d won the 3rd Shin’ei TV event by a half a point over Cho Hunhyun 5d. (Game record: Kojima-Cho.)

Two amateur players visited Japan to study go this month. The more famous, at the time, was Manfred Wimmer, amateur 5d and former European Champion. His plan was to stay for two years. With a plan to stay for two months, James Kerwin arrived to study as well. He is pictured on the left facing Takenaka 4d at the Nihon Ki’in.

Rin Kaihō wins the Meijin League
Rin Kaihō wins the Meijin League
Kojima Takaho and Cho Hunhyun in the final game of the 3rd Shin'ei Tournament
Kojima Takaho and Cho Hunhyun in the final game of the 3rd Shin’ei Tournament
James Kerwin at Nihon Ki'in
James Kerwin at Nihon Ki’in

Photos courtesy of Go Review.

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Amateur Pair Go Championship postponed due to COVID

Friday July 30, 2021

The 32nd International Amateur Pair Go Championship has been postponed to next year. It had been scheduled to be held on December 11 and 12 this year, but due to the fact that the COVID-19 situation in Japan is not improving, organizers decided that “it’s just too difficult to safely invite players from overseas.” The Championship is expected to be held in late November or December of 2022.

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Categories: Japan,Main Page,World
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Upcoming Go Events: Evanston

Monday July 26, 2021

July 31: Evanston, IL
Evanston Go Club Go Tournament
Mark Rubenstein mark@evanstongoclub.org 847-869-6020

Get the latest go events information.

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Categories: Calendar,Main Page
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Go Spotting: Go and Polyominoes

Sunday July 25, 2021

by Xinming Simon Guo

My former math instructor, professor George Litman from National Louis University, recently invited me to visit his personal library. There, I found a mathematics book he purchased in 1995: Polyominoes: Puzzles, Patterns, Problems, and Packings. In the preface, the author, Professor Solomon Golomb, mentioned that polyominoes were first observed in patterns formed by 5 connected stones/markers on a Go game board in 1907.

Coincidentally, I also discovered these patterns in 2011 on the Go board, but I didn’t know they were polyominoes. In a Go game forum, I posted a puzzle about the possible shapes formed by 8 connected stones, which proved to be too challenging at the time. So I changed the difficulty level to 6 stones (Hexomino), and found all 35 shapes.

The unexpected discovery about polyominoes has led to the formal integration of these shapes into my Go and Math curriculum. The photo below captures all the shapes of pentominoes (5-stone string):

Photo by Jane online summer camp student Jane, 2020

By the way, there are 363 shapes of octominoes (8-stone string), a number arrived at by adding an extra stone based on 7-stone strings, removing duplicates, and counting the distinct shapes. No formula has been found yet to calculate the number of shapes.

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Categories: Go Spotting,Main Page
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AGA releases updated COVID guidelines for local play

Saturday July 24, 2021

With an increasing percentage of the American public vaccinated and many localities easing or lifting COVID restrictions, the American Go Association – which last year urged all chapters and clubs to avoid face-to-face play – has released recommendations[CK1]  for resumption of local play and tournaments.

“We are being very conservative in our recommendations,” said Andy Okun, AGA President, “but we do want to acknowledge people’s desire to get competing again. With a little inconvenience and some patience, it should be possible for most people to play with reasonable safety.”

Basic FAQ:

It is now safe to play go face-to-face?
Everyone, and every club, has to take responsibility for the safety of their own activities. That said, with basic safety precautions (see below), it should be possible for most people to play with reasonable safety.

Can I re-open my local AGA chapter for face-to-face play?
Chapters may decide on their own whether to re-open; AGA can’t decide for you. We recommend you only re-open if you follow basic safety precautions (see below).

Can a local chapter require proof of vaccination for players?
That’s a local decision to made in consultation with members of your chapter. AGA has no objection to such a requirement.

Do we have to wear a mask if playing outside?
That is your choice and may depend on local conditions.  Follow local guidelines on masking but be aware that according to the CDC, there’s still risk of transmission and the safety of a chapter attendees is the responsibility of local organizers so erring on the side of extra caution is well-advised.

Do we need to wash stones and/or boards and bowls?
We don’t think so. Touch transmission has been assessed by the CDC as a very low risk.
HOWEVER: The AGA strongly recommends that sanitizer, gloves and spare masks be made readily available to all; supplemental funding is available to AGA chapters to offset the costs of providing these supplies; email planning@usgo.org.

Why so strict on being masked at all times?
Two people sitting across from each other for an hour in a closed room is the exact situation in which COVID is most readily transmitted.

Can my local chapter hold a tournament?
YES; providing you follow basic safety precautions (see below).

Are there more detailed organizer’s resources available?
Yes: see AGA recommendations, tournament announcement templates for Low  and Moderate level risk categories, best practices, and Basic Characteristics of COVID-19 Relevant to Board Game Play. Any further questions — email planning@usgo.org.
These documents are intended to assist organizers get us back to competing again, not quite like the good old days, but as safely as we can be in these trying  times.

RECOMMENDED BASIC PRECAUTIONS

Wear masks: All attending should be required to be masked or shielded [CK3] at all times (unless eating). Refusal to comply may result in expulsion from the event.
– Be vaccinated: We recommend that  organizers ask unvaccinated people (except kids too young) stay at home. Organizers wishing to check vaccine status are free to do so.
Sanitizer, gloves and spare masks to be provided: Frequent hand washing or sanitizing will be encouraged, particularly after touching one’s face, particularly nose, eyes and mouth. Sanitize after you do. Supplemental funding is available to AGA chapters to offset the costs of providing these supplies; email planning@usgo.org
– Post Signage in highly visible locations (e.g., at entrances, in restrooms, on televisions) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs, such as by properly sanitizing and/or washing hands, and properly wearing a mask. Provide signs and messages in multiple languages as needed. Prominently post copies of the AGA Guidelines for Safe Board Game Play (below).
Urge players to stay home if they are in doubt: Encourage all potential participants to stay home if they have any symptoms that resemble those of Covid-19. People also should not participate if they have been recently exposed to someone with COVID. Consult current CDC and or local criteria regarding when a person may return to group activities after having had, or been exposed to someone with Covid-19, and with respect to vaccination status.
If possible, play outside, but if you play inside, try to have the room as well ventilated as possible.
Post tournament pairings online or on a large wall screen: to prevent crowding, do not use wall charts.
Observe standard social distancing guidelines: Spectators should observe normal social distancing practice. A brief look at a game is OK, but extended kibitzing in close proximity to the players is discouraged.

Updated July 24, 2021

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