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

Two Slate & Shell books back in print

Saturday November 11, 2017

After a short hiatus, two of Slate & Shell’s books have returned to print. Yilun Yang’s clear presentation of basic guidelines for how to find the2017.11.11_fundamental-yang 2017.11.11_masterplay-zhoucorrect play in many common situations has made “Fundamental Principles of Go” an extremely popular book. Yuan Zhou analyzes three of Iyama Yuta’s games in “MasterPlay: The Style of Iyama Yuta.” has dominated the Japanese pro scene in a way no other pro ever has; he leans toward a territorial style but also has excellent fighting skills and Zhou show many illuminating ideas in his analysis.


Kiseido Holiday Season Sale

Wednesday November 8, 2017

Kiseido is having a holiday season sale, writes Richard Bozulich, with discounts on go books, go boards, and Japanese prints. Shop between now2017.11.07 Yurugi Motoharu and January 6, 2018 for a 10% discount on orders of 4 books or more, or a 15% discount on orders of at least 10 books. Both book offers include free shipping. The company is also offering a selection of Japanese prints (ukiyo-e) on go themes, suitable for framing. Players looking for a top-quality go board with legs may be pleased to find Kiseido’s tenchimasa Kaya board for sale now at about 13% of the regular price.
For more information, visit the company’s new website.

“Surrounding Game” announces student discount

Monday October 30, 2017

Starting this month, students and university clubs are now eligible for a major student discount on screening packs of “The Surrounding Game2017.10.29_SurroundingGame screening pack documentary.

“We want to make it easy and affordable for campus groups to host screenings” says director Will Lockhart. “I think young people will enjoy the film more than anyone, and screening the film is an excellent way to interest new students in Go and Go clubs.” The screening pack includes several copies of the film, posters and flyers, and a custom 9×9 set, “perfect for teaching newcomers after the show,” notes Lockhart.

If you’d like to organize a screening of the film on your campus, check out the screening pack here, or contact the team for more information.


2016 European Go Yearbook released

Wednesday September 13, 2017

Weighing in at a whopping 576 pages, the 2016 European Go Yearbook has recently been released. The first such Yearbook covers the biggest 2017.09.13_egc-yearbook2016-2and most important go happenings of 2016 in Europe, including: Interviews with newly promoted professionals Artem Kachanovskyi 1p and Antti Törmänen 1p; An extensive catalogue of all the National Championships in Europe, including reports on Main Championships, Women’s Championships and Youth Championships, accompanied by personal interviews with the champions; Reports and photos of major European tournaments and events, such as the 60th Polymetal European Go Congress, the 2nd European Go Grand Slam and the 3rd European Professional Qualification.

The Yearbook also features an in-depth chapter of 80 pages on AlphaGo and the Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Go, with game commentaries by Fan Hui 2p, Gu Li 9p, Zhou Ruiyang 9p and Myungwan Kim 9p. It also includes many game records and commentaries by top European players.

The European Go Yearbook 2016 was compiled and written by Kim Ouweleen 4 dan (right), also known as Murugandi. For a preview of the book, check out these three teasers: 2016 European Professional Qualification TournamentInterview with Antti Törmänen 1pNational Championships: Russia. Complete details on how to order are here.
– Chialing Chan


ShinKGS brings KGS to all devices

Tuesday August 8, 2017

FullSizeRender (1)Almost since the day the iPhone came out, people have asked about a KGS client for the popular smartphone. An Android client for KGS was published a few years ago but iPhone users were still out in the cold. No longer: this year ShinKGS was developed by a go player who wanted to solve this problem.

IMG_0117.PNGKGS developers have been working on this client on and off for years. Every once in a while they would post on the KGS Google+ page with a status update. Last year they published the API for developers to create their own clients, and since then two have been developed. ShinKGS has received some support from KGS by having it be part of their website.

ShinKGS has been in beta for a few months and the platform has been very stable. It’s also been good enough that the new ownership of KGS has hosted it on their site. Monday at lunch at the Go Congress Todd Heidenreich (right), was able to watch the Masters Round 4, Board 1 battle between Zi Yang Hu 2p and Zirui Tim Song 1p on his iPhone.

Programmer Justin Kramer has open-sourced this project on GitHub and says that he and KGS are always looking for more programmers to help support the client. ShinKGS works well on a phone (left) of course, and is even easier to use on an iPad.

Ilya Kirillov has also been working on a HTML5 client for KGS called GoUniverse. His app can be found in the Google Chrome App Store.
– Steve Colburn


“Invisible” collects 78 AlphaGo games

Friday August 4, 2017

Ever since AlphaGo burst on the scene in January 2016 when it was revealed that the go AI had defeated European Go Champion and 2017.07.30_invisible-coverChinese professional Fan Hui 2P 5-0 in a secret series, its games have been studied closely by go players around the world. As AlphaGo has established its dominance, defeating Lee Sedol 4-1 last year, amassing an astounding 60-0 record against top pros online this past January and then beating Ke Jie 3-0 in May, a 2017.07.30_antti_t-cropnumber of commentaries have been published, both online and in print. The latest is “Invisible. The Games of AlphaGo,” (click here for a sample) a comprehensive collection of all 78 officially played games by AlphaGo against human opponents, 73 of them with professional commentary in English by Finnish go professional Antti Törmänen 1P and other professionals.

The title of the new book pays tribute to the classic “Invincible,” the collection of games by go master Shusaku, one of the . AlphaGo “has not only dominated the games against human opponents, but has also contributed a lot to the further development of go theory by playing some new josekis and setting new accents in the opening, and – last but not least – also breaking some previously valid iron rules of go theory,” says Tobias Berben of Hebsacker Verlag, which published the book. “You could say the AI has crushed the humans to free their go!”

“Invisible” is available to US customers for 40 Euros including shipping (book rate, uninsured) until the end of August 2017, when paying via Paypal to; send your shipping address to


Slate & Shell releases “The New Territorial Style” on Amazon

Sunday July 30, 2017

Slate & Shell has a new book available through Amazon. Professional players have begun to play a territorial style that differs from the ‘old’ style2017.07.29_new-territorial-style in that it focuses on making solid territory early and then creating a large fight in the center. “The New Territorial Style”  is a closely annotated study of this technique, by longtime author and teacher Yuan Zhou. As previously reported, S&S has ceased distribution of print books but publisher Bill Cobb reports that “Although we have run out of many of our titles, there are still some books available; visit the website to see the final price reductions.”



Slate & Shell to cease distribution of print books; will continue to release e-books

Monday July 3, 2017

Longtime go publisher Slate & Shell has announced that it is ceasing distribution of print books. 2017.07.03_S&S-logo“Our books will continue to be available in either print, through Amazon, or as e-books, through SmartGo,” said publishers Bill Cobb and Laurie Crammond. “There will continue to be new SmartGo e-books, and we will also do on-demand print books that can be ordered from Amazon—including a number of currently out of print books,” Cobb tells the E-Journal. “The next (new e-book) will be Yuan Zhou’s analysis of the AlphaGo-Ke Jie match.” The effective date for ending distribution is August 1. Until then, all of Slate & Shell’s books are marked down at least 50%, “most more, some much more,” added Cobb and Crammond. Orders must be received by August 1. “Please note that if you order several books, it would be wise to request priority shipping as the books have a greater chance of arriving in good condition,” S&S said in their announcement.


Lego go set idea seeks support

Saturday July 1, 2017

While several different Lego chess sets have been created and marketed in recent years, David Fazekas thinks the Danish plastic brick company 2017.06.30_lego-go-setis missing a big opportunity. “After Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in 1997 Lego had made several official Lego chess sets,” says Fazekas, promotion executive for the PaGoda Go Association in Hungary. “Now that Deep Mind’s AlphaGo has defeated both Lee Sedol and Ke Jie it’s time for Lego to acknowledge go players with a Lego Go set!” Fazekas has developed a Lego go set prototype and submitted it on the Lego Ideas site, where he needs to gather 10,000 supporters to advance to the next step in the approval process. Thus far he has 754 supporters. “A go Lego set would reach kids in every country,” says Fazekas, “please take a moment to click to show your support for this project.” The word “lego” is derived from the Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”.


Unique go-themed shirts and hoodies available

Monday June 26, 2017

Shirt designer and “passionate” go player Joel Gabelman has a unique line of go-themed tee-shirts and hoodies available. One in particular — 2017.06.25_Go-Shirt-Facebook“Eat. Sleep. Play Go. Repeat.” — might be a must-have for anyone planning on attending the upcoming US Go Congress. Gabelman is offering 15% off for customers using the discount code TESUJI.