American Go E-Journal » Tools: books, software & hardware


Sunday August 1, 2010

IgoLocal is a new way to find go players in your community or when you’re traveling. Creator Chuck Thomas – who also runs Shodan Imports — calls IgoLocal “the first physical go server and location service,” and the free online service — which just launched — makes it easy to find local go players who match your rank, challenge them to games at a specific time and location and create open games for anybody in your area to accept. IgoLocal is also designed to help go players find and join local go clubs, create a go club that will be seen by the entire world and manage your local schedule of go-related activities. “Register now so that other go players in your area can find you!” urges Thomas.



Monday July 26, 2010

The new Empty Sky Go Club t-shirts are now available. “This was designed by our very own Becky and it looks great,” reports club president Steve Colburn. The Hanes Tagless t-shirts in Kelly Green can be pre-ordered now; orders will ship by the end of the September, “just in time for the go tournament season!” adds Colburn. CLICK HERE to order.



Monday July 12, 2010

“Uno de los atractivos de ser un jugador kyu es la facilidad con que puede mejorar su juego—algo mucho más difícil para jugadores dan,” says Yuan Zhou in Como No Jugar al Go, a just-issued Spanish translation of Zhou’s popular How Not to Play Go in which he clarifies the common kyu level misunderstandings of how to play which hold kyu players back from reaching dan level. Brian J. Olive of Orlando, Florida did the translation and Slate & Shell publisher Bill Cobb reports that “there are also plans to translate How Not to Play Go into other languages.”



Wednesday June 9, 2010

The British Go Association (BGA) has recently completed a project to get all issues of the British Go Journal into an on-line archive.   Each issue since 1967 is available as a PDF file, with many issues having some of their content translated into web pages.  Making article web pages is an ongoing project, and issues will only become available to the general public once they become a year old.  There are 148 issues currently available with games and instructional articles for kyu through dan-level players.

Early issues were produced on typewriters and used an algebraic notation to describe games and positions.  Starting with issue number 4, pictures were added and the web page versions include SGF and GO format game records.  News from the local, national, and international go scenes in the issues as well as 40+ years of  “internal wranglings” of the BGA provide an amazing resource for anyone interested in go history, or just in improving their game.
EuroGoTV; photo: Jon Diamond, creator of the first BGA journal prototype in 1967; he was British Champion at the time and is the current BGA President



Saturday June 5, 2010

The new Igowin Pro brings the features of “The Many Faces of Go” to the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Igowin’s apps include Igowin Tutor – a free introduction to go– Igowin — 9×9 play — Igowin 13×13 — 13×13 play — Igowin Life – solve life and death problems — and Igowin Joseki, a joseki dictionary and tutor. “The playing apps adjust to your rank and can play a good even game against anyone from 19 kyu to 1 dan,” says author David Fotland. “The knowledge-based engine allows the program to play human-like moves at the weaker settings, generally with good shape,” while the Monte Carlo engine from the latest Many Faces of Go “gives the program great strength.” $4.99. available in the iTunes App Store.


GO REVIEW: The Go Consultants

Tuesday May 25, 2010

The Go Consultants documents a unique event in go history, Kitani Minoru and Go Seigen’s 1934-35 consultation game against their teachers Suzuki Tamejiro and Segoe Kensaku.  Authors John Fairbairn and T Mark Hall provide fly-on-the-wall observations of what each side was thinking at every stage of the contest, doing an excellent job of describing the characters and putting their status into context for 21st-century readers. In fact the story is related so naturally that The Go Consultants reads like a hard-to-put-down novel, complete with amusing anecdotes as well as keen commentary on the actual progress of the game. It’s like a show-within-a-show. On top of the pure entertainment value of the story, I found it insightful to learn how professional players approach serious games and a relief to discover that even professionals can be taken by surprise. I have always appreciated tightly-decided games more than landslides, because they tend to exemplify the ideal of ‘balanced play’, and without giving away the ending, this game was very closely fought indeed. Whether you’re a novice historian or an obsessive student of go, you won’t find a more thorough deconstruction of a professional game-in-progress. As a bonus, the book includes the players’ own post-mortem analyses. $18 from Slate & Shell
– adapted from Tyler Reynolds’ Go For All blog



Friday May 14, 2010

A digitized version of Go Review, one of the very first English go publications, is now available. Go Review was published monthly by the Nihon Ki-in from January 1961 to March 1973, then quarterly through Spring 1977. The 160 issues — comprising some 15,000 pages —  are available on three DVDs ($75 each) from Kunaki. The early issues on disks 1 and 2 — 60 issues each, from January 1961 through December 1965 and January 1966 through December 1970 — “represent the halting attempts of the Japanese go world in the early 60s to start spreading the game internationally,” reports Bob Myers of Kiseido Digital on GoDiscussions. “The content is basic and written in poor English. However, it’s still very interesting. There are more handicap games (often with famous Japanese pros) than tournament games, apparently in the belief that pro-pro games might be too hard for foreigners to understand. There’s lots of go news, including about foreigners we all know well now. There are great teaching series by big names. Even the ads from big Japanese companies (which are included in the PDFs) are interesting.” Disk 3, — 40 issues from January 1971 through Spring 1977 — contains the last few years of monthlies and then the “meatier quarterly issues,” which are roughly equivalent to Go World (which succeeded Go Review) in terms of quality and content. A sample of the June 1963 issue of Go Review is available for download at Kiseido DigitalNOTE: Disc 1 is shown as “Go Review Archive”, and the DVD cover art could mistakenly imply that this item contains all three discs. It does not. This item is Disc 1, and contains only the first 60 issues.
– includes reporting by Sensei’s Library



Monday May 10, 2010

Many of the stories in the weekly E-Journal originally appeared in our daily edition; if you’d like to get the latest world go news in brief clickable stories linked to complete reports on the AGA’s website, simply click on the “update my profile” link at the bottom of the E-Journal and choose the daily edition (you can switch back and forth at any time). To receive the Member’s Edition – including members-only game commentaries, problems from Yilun Yang and more — join here.



Monday May 3, 2010 is a new website dedicated to promoting the knowledge, culture and beauty of go worldwide.  Organized both as a blog and as collection of useful links and articles, the site will feature blog posts from an international team that includes Alexandre Dinerchtein 3P, Hajin Lee 3P, and Youngil An 8P, with  Tyler Reynolds from the Canadian Go Association, and Paul Barchilon from the AGA rounding out the contributors. A downloadable toolbar offers instant RSS updates from several go sites, as well as the ability to search on Sensei’s Library.



Saturday April 10, 2010

If you know them, following joseki is easy, but what happens when your opponent veers off course? Will you know how to handle it? Alexander Dinerchtein 3P has teamed up with Josekipedia to offer a joseki contest exploring this problem. The contest contains three real high-level games containing joseki mistakes. “Find the mistakes, then the best refutations, and win fabulous prizes,” says Dinerchtein. “Even if you are not a joseki expert, you will learn a lot from participating in this contest!” The contest ends April 30.