American Go E-Journal

Go Spotting: Remembering the No Exit

Tuesday June 25, 2019

Via EJ photog Phil Straus, Howard Rosen sent us this great shot of a mural that “was on the wall by the train tracks near where the No Exit (go club) used to be” in Chicago, Illinois.

Jasiek releases two new endgame books

Tuesday June 25, 2019

Robert Jasiek has released two new endgame Go books, his 15th and 16th. “Endgame 3 – Accurate Local Evaluation” distinguishes local gote from sente endgames objectively and evaluates local endgames accurately. “Even for long local sequences, we determine the right moments of playing elsewhere,” Jasiek says. Click here for sample pages. “Endgame Problems 1” has 150 problems, of which 20 are new tactical problems on the 11×11 board and 130 are evaluation problems. “Their detailed and correct answers calculate the counts, move values and, if necessary, gains of the initial local endgame and every follow-up position,” says Jasiek. Click here for sample pages.

Albert Yen on the World Amateur Championship

Tuesday June 25, 2019

[link]

White:  Albert Yen, 7D
Black: Timur Sankin, 6D
June 4, 2019, in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Japan
Commentary: Albert Yen, 7D
Game editors: Kiren Polara, Myron Souris

Albert Yen placed an outstanding 4th in this year’s World Amateur.  Albert graciously gives us an enlightening commentary of his 5th round win against Russia’s Timur Sankin.  For the game moves, Albert also includes LeelaZero’s (AI) winrates.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.  To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.

Registration opens for 24th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament

Monday June 24, 2019

Registrations are now being accepted for the 24th Pandanet Cup Internet World Amateur Go Tournament. The deadline is July 17. Registration is free; click here.

There are five divisions: Main Class (6-dan and up); A Class (5-dan~2-dan); B Class (1-dan~3-kyu); C Class (4-kyu~7-kyu); D Class (8-kyu~).

Categories: Main Page,World
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Upcoming Go Events: Ontario, Sacramento, Cambridge

Monday June 24, 2019

June 28-July 1: Hamilton, Ontario
42nd Canadian Go Open
Nicholas Prince nickprince@gmail.com

June 29: Sacramento, CA
Davis/Sacramento Summer Quarterly
Willard Haynes cwillardhaynes2@gmail.com 916-929-6112 or 916-601-0829

July 7: Cambridge, MA
MGA Summer Handicap Tournament
Neil Ritter ritter.neil@gmail.com 978-621-5936

Get the latest go events information.

Categories: Calendar,Main Page
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Your Move/Readers Write: Why we play Go

Monday June 24, 2019

By Mark Rubenstein

Why do we play this game? Some might say it’s just for fun, but I believe it goes deeper than that. I think many of us have discovered that Go is more than a game; it’s a space where we can experiment with a way of thinking that helps us engage more fully in life.

When we play Go, the fundamental question we are asking throughout the game is; what’s important? Every move we play, we ask ourselves; where is the most important place for me to be playing now? Every time our opponent makes a move, we ask ourselves; is that move important? What does he want? Why is he playing there? Do I need to respond to that move? Do I agree that what he finds important is also important to me? These questions resonate deeply within us, even when they are only being asked in the context of a game of Go. They trigger a way of thinking that we find engaging and meaningful.

Some people say that you can see aspects of someone’s personality in the way they play Go. I think there’s some truth in that. Do you live and let live on the Go board? Do you try to kill everything? Do you shy away from a fight? Are you willing to sacrifice unimportant stones? I think as we ask these questions on the Go board, we also see their application in our daily lives. If these questions only applied to the game of Go, I don’t think we would all find ourselves as deeply interested in and enamored of the game. I think these questions tap into something more fundamental in our nature, and stimulate our desire to express our personalities more fully in the world.

As we review our games, we are replaying our thoughts and feelings. We aren’t looking for the perfect move we missed; we’re looking for the thought that kept us from seeing that move. The game story is not a list of the moves that were played; it’s a narrative of a conversation each player is having with himself and his opponent.

In this new era of AI, I fear that we are orienting ourselves to a narrow goal; to win the game. Of course, we all want to win games. But there’s much more to each game we play than just winning; there is the discovery of what we find important, and how that affects the course of the game… and maybe the course of our lives.

Rubenstein runs the Evanston (IL) Go Club 

Two puppies walk into a go club…

Sunday June 23, 2019

“Tonight at Coffee Bean, our regular Wednesday evening. 8:37 pm.,” reports Ed Lee. “I was playing a teaching game with Lorin. Five other members were at the far tables. A few minutes later, two puppies walked in…”

Jake Game 3D wins NGC Congress Tune-up Tournament

Sunday June 23, 2019

Twenty-seven players took part on Saturday, June 22 in the annual National Go Center (NGC) tune-up tournament for the upcoming US Go Congress. Jake Game 3D, the overall winner, was one of a contingent of four players from Tennessee who drove all night to participate.

TN contingent – Joe Kimball, Jake Game, Jasper Emerton, Anthony Long

Other winners with 3-1 records were James Funk (1D), Ray Perlner (1K), William Dowers (6K), Anderson Barreal (7K), Brendan Kennedy (9K), Solomon Kritz (18K), and Tonya Lopez (19K)

TN Contingent – Joe Kimball, Jake Game, Jasper Emerton, Anthony Long

After the tournament there was a dinner at the nearby Yosaku Restaurant to give a send-off to Chizuko Sento who is returning to Japan. “She has been a good friend of the NGC, participating in classes and tournaments and volunteering,” said the NGC’s Gurujeet Khalsa. “We wish her a safe journey and hope to see her here again.”

The Power Report: China dominates 2nd Go Seigen Cup; Hane to challenge for Gosei title; Korea wins Tiantai Mountain team tournament; Iyama recovers from bad start in Honinbo challenge

Sunday June 23, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

China dominates 2nd Go Seigen Cup

    The preliminary tournament and Rounds 1 to 3 of the 2nd Go Seigen Cup World Women’s Go Championship were held in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province, China, from April 26 to 29. Reaching the best four were three Chinese players and one Korean. Ueno Asami 2P from Japan made it to the third round, but there she was beaten by Rui Naiwei. The latter took revenge on Ueno for her loss to her in this tournament last year. In that game, Ueno captured a large group; this time Rui returned the courtesy. A tournament for AI programs was held at the same time and was won by the program Golaxy. An exhibition match was held, with the top four in the human tournament playing Golaxy on two stones. The program won all these games. The remaining two rounds will be played in November.

Hane to challenge for Gosei title

    The play-off to decide the challenger for the 44th Gosei title was held at the Central Japan (Nagoya) branch of the Nihon Ki-in on May 9. It featured a clash between Hane Naoki 9P, one of the stars of the second half of the Heisei era (1989~2019) and Ichiriki Ryo 8P, one of the top players of the post-Iyama generation. The game was decided by a large ko fight, during the course of which the position tilted from Ichiriki in favor of Hane. The latter, taking black, won by resignation after 261 moves. The titleholder is Kyo Kagen, so this will be the first top-seven title match for quite a while not to feature Iyama Yuta. (To be precise, the last was the 53rd Judan title match between Takao Shinji and Ida Atsushi in 2015, which is 30 matches ago.) Hane’s last top-seven title was the 36th Gosei title in 2011 and his last top-seven title match was the 2012 Meijin. The match will get off to a start on June 30.
Incidentally, Hane’s daughter Ayaka made her professional debut on May 6、so three generations of the Hane family are now in action. Her grandfather is Hane Yasumasa 9P. There are other examples of three generations of professionals in a family (the most notable being Kitani Minoru, his daughter Kitani/Kobayashi Reiko, and Kobayashi Izumi), but this is the first time all three generations have been active at the same. (Unfortunately, Ayaka lost her first game.)

Korea wins Tiantai Mountain team tournament

    The 8th Tiantai Cup Women’s Team Championship was held in Zhejiang Province in China from May 10 to 12. Competing were three-women teams from China, Korea, Japan, and Chinese Taipei. Two teams, perhaps, got a bit of a shock. Recently Chinese players have been dominating international go, but at present Korean women players seem to have an ascendancy over their Chinese rivals. Korea sailed through the tournament without dropping a game, taking first place with a score of 3-0 (9-0). China beat the other two teams and took second place on 2-1 (6-3). The second shock was for Japan, which was beaten 2-1 by Chinese Taipei. On the top board, Hei Jiajia beat Fujisawa Rina by 2.5 points. Scoring 1-2 (2-7), Chinese Taipei forced Japan, 0-3 (1-8) into fourth place. Japan picked up its sole win when Xie Yimin beat Yu Lijun 2P of Chinese Taipei.

Iyama recovers from bad start in Honinbo challenge

   

Kono Rin 9P made an excellent start in his challenge for the 74th Honinbo title match, so Iyama Yuta seemed to be in danger of having his multiple crown whittled down even further, but the momentum switched to Iyama when Kono let slip a sure-win game. Now Iyama is on top.

   The match got off to a start on May 11 and 12, with the first game being played at Ofuna Port, also known as the Ofunato City Disaster Prevention, Tourism and Exchange Center, in Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture. Kono drew black in the nigiri. He took the initiative in the opening and maintained an edge throughout the game. The combination of 155 and 165 was a brilliancy that wrapped up the game, as these two moves set up a double threat. No matter how he answered, White faced disaster, so Iyama resigned on move 169. O Meien 9P, who served as referee, commented that it was rare to see such a decisive blow in a top game. Incidentally, this was the first title-match game of the new Reiwa era.

   The second game was played at the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Literature in Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, on May 22 and 23. The circumstances of the game are a good indication of the place go holds in traditional Japanese culture. It was one of a number of events commemorating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the museum and was actually played in a traditional teahouse attached to the museum. The name of the teahouse is Soshin-an, which means something like Hermitage of the Simple (or Pure) Heart. The head of the museum is the poet Saigusa Takayuki; as one of about 30 spectators, he witnessed the start of the game. The sight of Kono carefully wiping the board before the game led him to write a tanka (a 31-syllable poem also called “waka”), which reads: Shiroki nuno/mote banjou/migakitari/hito wa kokoro ni/kagami wo moteri (note that the “n” in “banjou” is counted as a syllable). My poor translation: Polishing the board with a white cloth, we have a mirror into our hearts.

   This game started out more peacefully than the first one, but the lead changed a number of times in middle-game fighting. Just when the game looked like going into a tight endgame contest, Iyama (black) made a major blunder and had to throw in the towel after move 166.  

   Trivia note: Iyama’s birthday was on May 24, so this was the last game of his 20s. These two losses may be an anticlimactic ending to his 20s, but it’s worth remembering that he has already won 55 titles; his nearest rivals in this respect are Cho Chikun and Cho U, who had both won approximately 30 titles by the age of 30.

The third game was played in the Goryokaku in Hakodate City, Hokkaido, on June 4 and 5. The venue is a fortress shaped like a five-pointed star built by the Tokugawa government in 1855 (a Net search of the name will bring up more information and photos). Playing black, Kono took the initiative in the opening and held it throughout, but, near the end of the endgame, he missed the best move a couple of times, losing a point each time. This let Iyama stage an upset and win by half a point. Kono commented that he had miscounted the score by a point, so he played facilely. The game ended on move 289. This was a costly reversal for Kono: the difference between 3-0 and 2-1 is enormous. 

   The fourth game was played at the Former Numazu Imperial Villa in Numazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on June 13 and 14. This is a building that was once used as a summer residence for members of the imperial family, but is now a museum. Playing black, Iyama convincingly outplayed the challenger and won by resignation after 203 moves. It was his first good game of the series.    The fifth game was played at the Matsumoto Hotel Kagetsu, Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, on June 18 and 19. Playing white, Iyama won by 4.5 points.

Categories: Japan,Main Page
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Garlock’s Go Congress quiz challenge

Friday June 21, 2019

by Chris Garlock, Managing Editor, The American Go E-Journal

It’s easy enough to find out that there are 389 people registered for this year’s U.S. Go Congress (just click here for the latest list), but how many different states are represented among the attendees? How many countries? How many kyu players and how many dan players? How many players named Chris? (ok, I just put that one in for fun) Send in your best guesses and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a prize TBD.

With just three weeks to go — the Congress runs July 13-20 in Madison, WI –, there’s still plenty of time to register for the biggest and best go event of the year; 8 days of non-stop go in gorgeous Madison, Wisconsin (go Badgers!). Also, for my fellow tennis-playing go players be sure to pack your racquets, as Director Dave Weimer has assured me that courts are available nearby so we’ll definitely be heading there for some off-board action! And as soon as I hear from soccer-meister Terry Benson, I’ll update you on those plans.

Also, we’re looking for a few good game recorders for join the EJ’s Congress team; if you’re interested, drop us a note at journal@usgo.org.

If anyone else has cool pre-Congress news to report, send it my way at the same email address; see you soon in Madison!