American Go E-Journal » 2019 » August

AGA website content managers wanted

Saturday August 31, 2019

Want to help make the AGA’s website an even more useful resource for Go players worldwide? Join our website content team! Team members will review the existing pages to determine what needs updating, work with experienced team members to make the changes, and implement updates going forward. No html experience is necessary; a keen eye for detail and commitment to the global Go community is a must. The AGA is looking for other volunteers for the organization, as well. Some of these include AGA Treasurer, Services Coordinators, and Application Developers. Our full list of positions can be found on the Get Involved! page on the sidebar. Those interested in any of these opportunities can email volunteer@usgo.org for more information.

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Kim In Kuksu International Baduk Championship seeks players

Thursday August 29, 2019

If you’re a male Go player born before December 31, 1969 or a female player born before December 31, 1989, the 13th Kim In Kuksu International Baduk Championship could be just the ticket! The tournament is set for October 25-28 and all you have to do is get yourself to Gangjin-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea and the Korea Baduk Association will cover your room and board, ground transportation in Korea and sightseeing costs for the participants during the period of the event. AGA president Andy Okun has been there before and calls it “an amazing Go trip and culinary delight; not to be missed!” For details and to register, email assam1023@nate.com

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Categories: Korea,Main Page
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Kuksu Mtn. a hit with kids

Wednesday August 28, 2019

Children compete at the Kuksu Mountains Tournament in Korea.

The Sixth Kuksu Mountain International Baduk Festival was held in Korea August 2-7, in Jeollanamdo. Children from ten countries attended, in teams of varying sizes, and local Korean children participated as well. The US sent three kids: Jiayang Su, Henry Lyman, and Sun Lee.

“Henry and Jiayang won all of their matches and got a special certificate,” reports his mother Christin Lyman. “The team got to play a simul with a pro. They had 3 pros playing 8 kids each. The closing ceremony was amazing with traditional folk performances (dancing and singing). We visited Lee Sedol’s birthplace (a remote island called Sinan), a celadon museum (Gangin is the celadon capital of Korea), and a water park that was lots of fun for the kids.”

Jiayang Su, Sun Lee, and Henry Lyman, representing the US in Korea.

Sponsored by the Korean Baduk Association, the Kuksu Mountains event has been drawing lots of kids in a spirit of international cooperation. Children attended from China, Japan, Russia, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, the US, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and Korea this year. – Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor. Photos by Christine Lyman.

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New US Go Congress room on KGS

Wednesday August 28, 2019

“Can’t wait for the next Go Congress?” asks Terri Schurter, founder of the Wings Go Club. “Perhaps you want slow games with people you know. Experience the fun and fellowship of a Congress all year long on KGS. Chat and play with people you know from previous years, and with people who hope to attend a Congress in the future. Make online go less hurried and impersonal by hanging out with friends. Join us in the “US Go Congress” room on KGS, under Social in the room list, and consider adding your AGAID# to your info.”

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First U20 Eastern Youth Open this weekend, online registration closes Wednesday

Wednesday August 28, 2019

Young Go players under the age of 20 will compete for a $1,500 prize pool at the August 31 U20 Eastern Youth Open. The event is being organized by the New York Go Association, which intends to host this competition annually and make it the largest youth Go tournament in the East. “It is time to provide an opportunity for young players to compete in a high quality face-to-face tournament,” says New York Institute of Go founder Stephanie Yin. 

All players must be under 20 years old by the date of the tournament, ranked 10 kyu or higher, and current AGA or CGA members. Players whose AGA ranks are out of date but who have a KGS rank with at least 10 most recent games at the rank of 10 kyu or higher may enter. Pre-registration is required.

The U20 Eastern Youth Open will be held Saturday, August 31 from 9:30AM-4:00PM at the New York Institute of Go, 255-05 Northern Blvd, 2FL, Little Neck, NY.

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Leela for all, maybe Bender and Fry too

Wednesday August 28, 2019

Plenty of go players have tested their hand against Leela, but what about Bender, or Fry? Ever wanted to play a go game against Dr. Farnsworth? Andreas Hauenstein has modified Leela Zero – an open source superhuman-strength go program – and created different “players” with different strengths after some experimentation and public feedback. That those “players” should be named after Futurama characters, Leela being the strongest, seems natural. To read a little more about his process and to test your skills against the character of your choice, take a peek at his English translation of a piece he wrote up for the German Go Journal here.

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Go-inspired clothing

Tuesday August 27, 2019

Would you like to have a t-shirt that shows a Go board with a Go stone getting captured? How about a tank top that depicts a ko fight? Tenuki Normal is a new clothing brand offering apparel with Go-themed imagery. T-shirts are available in men’s, women’s, and children’s styles, and tank tops and sweaters are also available. Check out Tenuki Normal’s website here; you can also find them on Facebook.

“Our goal is to create Go/weiqi/baduk/igo style clothing for comfortable and casual wear that stays true to the aesthetics of the game,” reports the company’s website. Founder Matthew Leong tells the E-Journal that Tenuki Normal is a nonprofit organization, and that 20% of proceeds will be donated to the American Go Association in support of its efforts to promote and sustain the American go community.
– Roger Schrag

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Cotsen registration opens

Sunday August 25, 2019

Registration is now open for the 2019 Cotsen Open. The Cotsen is an annual go tournament, sponsored by go-lover Eric Cotsen, held in Los Angeles, CA. This year’s tournament will be held on October 26-27, 2019 at MG Studio in downtown Los Angeles. The Cotsen Open features thousands of dollars in prizes, an extremely competitive Open Division, live commentary on top board games, masseuses to massage players during their games, free food truck lunches to all those who pre-register on both Saturday and Sunday of the tournament. And, as always, everyone who pre-registers and plays in all 5 of their matches has their full entry fee refunded.

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The Power Report: 1200 wins for O Rissei; Iyama’s second marriage; Sakai to resume medical career; Promotions & Obituaries

Sunday August 25, 2019

by John Power, Japan correspondent for the E-Journal

1200 wins for O Rissei: In the final play-off on July 18 for one of the places in the main tournament of the 58th Judan tournament, O Rissei (W) beat Akiyama Jiro 9P by resig. This was his 1200th win as a professional. He had 688 losses, 1 jigo, and 1 no-result, for a winning percentage of 63.6. O is the 9th player at the Nihon Ki-in to reach this mark. He is 60 years eight months old, and it took him 47 years three months. He has won 22 titles, including the Kisei from 2002 to 2004.

Iyama’s second marriage: According to Go Weekly, Iyama Yuta got married for the second time on July 20. No details were given of his wife except to say that she is an “ordinary woman.” In Japanese newspaper jargon, that means that she is not a celebrity or a professional entertainer or sportswoman. Iyama was previously married to Murota Io, a shogi professional. They had the same birthday, May 24, 1989, so they got married on their birthday in 2012. However, they split up amicably in 2015, the reason being that they were unable to spend much time together. Iyama was traveling constantly for title games (a two-day game takes four days with travel on the day before and the day after the game and a one-day game may take three days). Murota was very popular with shogi fans and so she also spent a lot of time away from home. 

Sakai to resume medical career: Born on April 23, 1973, Sakai Hideyuki is a player who has had an unusual career and it is now taking another twist. While in high school and at medical school he was one of the top amateur players in Japan and he won the World Amateur Go Championship in 2000. In 2001, very soon after graduating from the Kyoto University College of Medicine, he became a professional with the Kansai Ki-in, being awarded the rank of 5-dan after winning some test games with professionals. He became one of the top players at the Kansai Ki-in, winning numerous internal titles; he also won the Gosei title in 2010 and played in the Meijin League nine times and the Honinbo League once. He was noted for his meticulous study, especially of the opening, and preparation. He has just announced, however, that he has submitted an application for leave of absence from the Kansai Ki-in so that he can resume his medical career as of September 1. Apparently he has been dissatisfied with his results in recent years. He plans to work in a hospital. This would be the real start to his medical career; he must have kept up with medical advances to gain professional acceptance. There are professional players who have pursued careers as lawyers or in other professions while also playing go, but I don’t know of any other case of retiring from go like this. The term “leave of absence” suggests that he might later be able to make a comeback as a go professional if he wished.

Promotions

To 7-dan: Yamamori Tadanao (120 wins, as of August 2)
To 4-dan: Onishi Kenya (50 wins, as of July 26)

Obituaries

   Takabayashi Takuji 6P died of multiple organ failure on July 7. Born on May 21, 1942, he became a disciple of Okubo Ichigen 9P. He made 1-dan in 1961 and reached 6-dan in 2000. He had a number of disciples, including Kyo Kagen Gosei.

  Matsumoto Tokuji 8P died on July 14. Born on November 5, 1921 in Yamaguchi Prefecture, he was a disciple of Kitani Minoru. He became 1-dan in 1941 and reached 7-dan in 1967. He retired in 2002 and was promoted to 8-dan. He won the Okura Prize for spreading go in 2000.

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The Win or the Way: Finding meaning in the game of Go

Sunday August 25, 2019

by Brian Olive

Regular readers of the American Go Association E-Journal will be well-acquainted with the contributions of William S. Cobb, both as author of The Empty Board, a column published regularly in this journal for many years, as well as the publisher of many excellent go books through his own Slate & Shell publishing company. Through his writings, Cobb has challenged us all to think more deeply about why we love this game so much. Through his publishing – and, by extension, through Slate & Shell’s generous sponsorship of countless go tournaments around the country – he has worked selflessly to spread his own love of the game.

Mining the same veins of thought expressed in The Empty Board, Cobb has published other, deeper musings on the meaning of Go, especially as it relates to the core teachings of Buddhism. One such article (available here) was published in 1999 in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. Entitled simply “The Game of Go”, this article explores Go as an aid in the search for enlightenment, an endeavor that, Cobb posits, is on par with other traditional meditative practices such as the tea ceremony and karate. Twenty years later, this essay still shines as exemplary on two fronts: its easy introduction to the game for those not familiar with it, and its deep look into the meaning of the game. It is worthwhile and fresh reading, even for those who have been playing go for years.

As a tip of our collective hat to Cobb’s contributions, what follows is a brief recap of some of the key ideas that emerge from his article in Tricycle. Although this comes at the risk of losing some context, or inadvertently reinterpreting Cobb’s views, the hope is that something said here will encourage you to both read the article for yourself and to think deeply about the meaning of Go. What does the game mean to you? Is Go all about ‘the win’? Or, perhaps, can this millennial endeavor be a way to enlightenment? Feel free to share your thoughts. Here are some of Bill’s:

Go fosters humane attitudes

Cobb rests squarely on the history and tradition of Go to support this claim. From the days of buddhist monks teaching go to samurai, to the continued popularity of the game in Asia and its growing presence in Europe and America, Go has been used as a means to “instill the virtues of overcoming fear, greed and anger”. Any Go player who has played – and lost – any significant number of games can feel the sweet pain of truth in this idea. We’ve all suffered from our greed mid-game, and we’ve all won games based on mustering up sufficient patience and balance of play. Go teaches us these things.

When played properly, you lose about half of your games

On the surface, this statement speaks to Cobb’s full embrace of the handicap system in Go. In theory, when playing with a handicap, we should win about half of the time. If we are improving, and therefore winning more times than not, then we adjust the handicap and get back to winning just half of the time. Most see this as a way to give other, weaker players, a fair chance. This is perhaps true, but Cobb takes it further: this is how go should be. We are, in his opinion, better off when constrained to both winning and losing. Equally. Put another way…

It cannot be good to win in go, because it is not bad to lose

Tightly woven into this surprising idea are the core threads of Cobb’s idea of Go as kido or, the Way. Many play with the singular motivation of winning. For many, it’s all about ‘the win’. We watch go videos, read go books, attend go lectures, all to improve our play and win games. We track our rating, with our sights set on ranking up. Cobb, on the other hand, proposes that the point of playing is to open oneself to the initial emptiness of the go board, to explore the interconnectedness of the stones, to appreciate the impermanence of value and structure, good and bad on the go board, and to lose oneself (i.e. experience no-self) in this act of creativity. Much of the article expounds on these key ideas, which happen to represent the four fundamental Buddhist principles.

In case you missed it, find the article here. photo by Phil Straus.

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