American Go E-Journal » Your Move: Readers Write

Odds & Ends: Yin to rep N.A. at Qionglong Mountain Bingshend Cup; Go set source? ; Poughkeepsie players wanted

Wednesday October 31, 2018

Yin to rep N.A. at Qionglong Mountain Bingshend Cup: Stephanie Yin, 1p won the recent qualifier for the Qionglong Mountain Bingshend Cup against Wan Chen, 5d and will represent North America at the event.

Go set source? “I was wondering if there were any websites, or locations, that hadn’t yet made it on the ‘Buying Go Equipment and Supplies‘ page,” writes James. “I’m interested in buying a new set, but Yellow Mountain Imports has informed me that they’re uncertain of when the items I inquired about will be back in stock. Due to them offering me a potential wait time of two months, and with even that not necessarily being enough, I am forced to look elsewhere. After numerous obvious scam sites and ‘Unavailable’ legitimate postings, I thought I’d try asking here as the only alternatives remaining seem to be buying something considerably more expensive or something comparable to my current lower-grade set. Any assistance you may offer would be greatly appreciated. While online is my preference, I am not opposed to driving if you know of any shops within 1 – 3 hours drive from Victorville, CA. I tried Chinatown in Los Angeles recently, but that turned up nothing.”

Poughkeepsie players wanted: “I have been trying to find local players in the Poughkeepsie, NY area and have not had any luck,” writes David. “It seems the majority of events/clubs are too far from my home for me to attend.”
Email your suggestions to journal@usgo.org

 

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Your Move/Readers Write: The Einstellung Effect

Saturday September 22, 2018

“In response to Bill Cobb’s message of the importance to play moves out of our comfort zone (The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #10 9/19 EJ),” writes Eric Osman, “I offer the following: A 7d player on kgs alerted me to the concept of Einstellung, which is the propensity we have for solving a problem in life (or on the go board) by using the methods we have learned, even though for this particular problem there’s a better way!”

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Your Move/Readers Write: Where to score a scoresheet; Connecting to other go players

Monday September 17, 2018

Where to score a scoresheet: In response to Glen Hart’s query about “Where to score a scoresheet?”, Jim Hurley sent 2018.09.16_Go Game Record copythis link where he’s posted some printable game recording files.

How many Nakayama? “I’m wondering how can I find out how many books Nakayama Noriyuki  wrote in Japanese,” wrote  Kent Olsen recently. Richard Hunter sent along this Japanese Wikipedia link, which includes books and essays Nakayama authored, as well as those he edited or ghost-wrote for others, like Kajiwara and Takemiya.

Connecting to other go players:
David in Poughkeepsie recently posted that he’s looking for other nearby go players. “I find one current AGA member in Poughkeepsie and two others lapsed within the last five years,” says AGA Chapters Coordinator Bob Gilman. “If David is willing to share his email address, I would be happy to write to email these individuals, tell them of his interest in playing, and provide his email address to them should they wish to get in touch with him. I am happy to provide such a service to other go players interested in making contact with other players in their area.” Reach Gilman at bobgilman.aga@gmail.com

 

 

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Your Move/Readers Write: More thoughts on Go vs. go

Sunday September 16, 2018

Avoiding grammatical confusion: “While the style sheet (Your Move/Readers Write: Go or go? 8/20 EJ) may be consistent and logical,” writes former EJ editor Terry Benson, “the reason I continue to capitalize Go and have (most of the time) for nearly 50 years is to distinguish it from the verb and grammatical confusion. Chess, checkers, and backgammon don’t have that problem… or the many puns on the name of our game.”

Makes sense but maybe not sensible: “That public domain games like chess, poker, and backgammon are not capitalized, and therefore Go should not be capitalized either, makes sense,” writes Janice Kim. “Identifying Go as public domain, however, seems less important than identifying it as a game. It may be a specific, overarching concern when the word ‘go’ is in the top 20% of words used in English, has dozens of definitions as different parts of speech, and is used to signify the game only by a small portion of the people who play that game. In the meantime, a look at Merriam Webster online indicates that Go the game is often capitalized, and Wikipedia capitalizes it. These aren’t the definitive guides to proper grammar, but it’s indicative of how widespread and accepted it is to capitalize the word ‘Go’ when referring to the game. Luckily in this case the ease of specifying what one is referring to, is not come by an uncomfortable practice such as using male pronouns arbitrarily or exclusively. It’s nice that we have a word, Go, that can be used universally to signify the game. It makes sense that the E-Journal chooses not to capitalize it, but we can assume that there is little ambiguity for average readers of the E-Journal. Meanwhile, people will probably be capitalizing it in other places, not until Go reaches household popularity with consistent agreed-on grammar usage, but as long as there is a word ‘go’ that means something else.”

Logical but lacks clarity: “In the ‘go’ vs. ‘Go’ debate logic is on the side of the E-Journal’s position in favor of the lower-case spelling,” writes Fred Baldwin. “The name of our favorite board game is a common noun like ‘chess’ and ‘poker,’ not like ‘Risk’ or ‘Monopoly.’ Unfortunately, ‘go’ as a noun is easily confused with one of the most commonly used verbs in English. We should avoid any typographical convention that makes a sentence, a headline or a poster unnecessarily difficult for a reader to understand without having to make extra effort. So I favor ‘Go’ on the grounds that writers and editors should not hesitate to break rules for the sake of clarity. Apparently, the New Yorker, a magazine known for its attention to clear writing, agrees. As a distinguished U.S. jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., once wrote: ‘A page of history is worth a volume of logic.’ Or, as a not especially distinguished U.S. Senator once said: ‘Sometimes a man has to rise above principle.’”

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Your Move/Readers Write: How many Nakayama? Poughkeepsie go players wanted; Thought experiment idea; Where to score a scoresheet?

Tuesday August 21, 2018

How many Nakayama? “I’m wondering how can I find out how many books Nakayama Noriyuki  wrote in Japanese,” writes Kent Olsen. “I would like to start a Go Fund Me page to get some of them translated.”2018.08.21_6-ways-to-turn-thought-into-action-630x354

Poughkeepsie go players wanted: “I have been trying to find local players in the Poughkeepsie, NY area and have not had any luck,” writes David. “It seems the majority of events/clubs are too far from my home for me to attend. The only go club relatively close to me is the New Paltz Go Club, but on your website there are times listed, yet no meeting place. I have tried getting in touch with the organizer of the club but I have not heard back from them. I get the feeling that the club might not be meeting anymore. I am writing this e-mail in the hopes that you might be able to help me find some local players.”

Thought experiment idea: Philosopher/scientist Pat Conover, who’s “currently working with issues of logic and consciousness,” writes to share a thought experiment “y’all might want to take on for the fun of it, to drive the creators of artificial intelligence crazy, or just to expand reflection on how go masters construct and integrate tactical and strategic aji.” Imagine an elliptical shaped board with about half again as many points as a standard go board, Conover says, “with three carve out spaces: a triangle, a pentagon, and an approximate circle, irregularly placed in the ellipse. Set up a Go Prime tournament or tournaments with allowed pauses for players to take notes, express feelings and considerations, etc. Let some observers construct narratives that could be of interest to scientists and philosophers.”

Where to score a scoresheet? “Do you know where I can find a printable score sheet (such as a PDF file), possibly with a primer on how to score a game (proper notation, etc.),” asks Glen Hart.

Email responses to us at journal@usgo.org

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Your Move/Readers Write: Go or go?

Monday August 20, 2018

“Thank you for all your hard work at Congress,” writes Bob Barber. “Although I don’t play anymore (much), I like to keep up with my pals and the world of Go. Speaking of which, I noticed in a recent New Yorker (July 23, page 47), this: ‘…and gigantic sets of chess and Go.’ For what it’s worth, I (and the New Yorker) think Go should be capitalized.”
The style here at the E-Journal is not to capitalize. Our colleagues at BoardGameGeek summarize the reason  nicely: “We capitalize the names of published games like Twilight Struggle because they’re proper nouns. But according to Webster’s, we don’t usually capitalize the names of public-domain games like chess, poker, and backgammon.”

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Your Move/Readers Write: Treat women players equally

Thursday July 19, 2018

Treat women players equally: “If you have to qualify a sentence with ‘I hope it’s not sexist to say…’, just don’t say it at all,” writes Seth Yoder (7/18 Power Report, Nannami Nao wins Senko Cup). “That qualification is akin to saying, “Not to be racist, but…’” The go world, Yoder continues, “is at a crucial point right now. We can decide whether to make this a welcoming environment for women, or to keep it a snobby, insular boy’s club. Treat women players like they’re people in their own right, instead of always identifying/qualifying them by their relationships with men. Resist that impulse.”
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Your Move/Readers Write: More on why we compete, and life and death

Monday May 7, 2018

More on go and why we compete: “I have read Janice Kim’s and William Cobb’s words with great interest,” writes Tony Collman. “While looking for something else, I serendipitously came across words from the Chinese philosopher Chuang Tsu (Zhuangzi), which touch on a point raised by William: “He who is contending for a piece of earthenware puts forth all his skill. If2018.05.07_518px-Dschuang-Dsi-Schmetterlingstraum-Zhuangzi-Butterfly-Dream the prize be a buckle of brass, he shoots timorously; if it be for an article of gold, he shoots as if he were blind. The skill of the archer is the same in all the cases; but (in the two latter cases) he is under the influence of solicitude, and looks on the external prize as most important. All who attach importance to what is external show stupidity in themselves.”

More on life and death: “I’d like to add a little comment to Janice Kim’s response to William Cobb’s nice little piece,” writes Jaap Blom. “In real, physical, life, if you make a very serious mistake, you’re dead. In the idealized and stylized universe of the goban, if you make a very serious mistake, you have only lost the game. You can clear the board and start a new game together with your playing partner, your temporary ‘opponent.’ That enables us to learn by trial and error, a somewhat lazy but extremely effective method. And what else is the learning for but for the next game? Indeed a rich end in itself. After our bodies die, the thoughts we have had will for some time still resonate in the minds of other people. As long as this ripple lasts, your personality is still alive, albeit without consciousness. According to Euclid, a point is simply defined as a thing that together with another point determines a line. (As a line is a thing that is determined by two points.) Indeed nodes are the players; the games are edges.”

graphic: “The Butterfly Dream,” by Chinese painter Lu Zhi (c. 1550)

 

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Your Move/Readers Write: Janice Kim and Bill Cobb respond

Wednesday April 25, 2018

Janice on time limits: “More thought-provoking pieces in the E-journal, thank you!” writes Janice Kim. “Many people believe that their Go playing improves given a longer time limit (The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #2  4/17 EJ). That’s probably true if the time limits are very short. But beyond familiarity and practice, my thinking is there probably isn’t a discernible difference in quality of the Go playing of most people between having 45 minutes per player of basic time, and doubling that. If people played ‘better’, I’d hypothesize people’s ranks on turn-based servers to be higher than their ranks on real-time servers. Why not try your own experiment?
I’m reminded of one time that I was playing a professional tournament game. At one point, I completely missed an obvious move. I mean I completely missed it in the game, I had to see it in the review to recover from the “blind spot”. I could have sat there for 1 minute or 10 minutes, and I probably wouldn’t have “seen” it, although I was doing plenty of thinking, about other moves. Later this gave me the biggest insight I’ve had into the nature of improving at Go.
To wit: I think the ‘point’ of playing four rounds in the Open, is that it’s a good opportunity for a player to play as much serious Go as comfortably possible, where one is consciously trying to improve in an environment conducive to that. It’s just a side feature that directors can award prizes, and people can win them.
Moving to shorter time limits in the modern professional era is largely about having a broad real-time audience. The players themselves are frequently of the opinion that their best Go is played in about 3.5 hours per person, but I don’t think that most people could tell the difference between those games, and “speed” games on TV, played in an hour.
I know people who are discouraged by the prospect of prizes in tournaments, and I think that’s probably a not-uncommon view, but it’s a difficult one to express. Most directors will see them as an easy essential. I’d probably do something like charge people $20 for every game they lose, to pay for the recorder and the review session.”
Addendum: But seriously. I always liked some tournaments in Korea, where you walked around with a big prize button ribbon on your lapel-region that said how many wins you had, and you self-paired by finding a person with the same ribbon. The prize at the end of the day? Your ribbon. Amazing fun in big venues. It’s also self-selecting if you’re not going to have amazing fun. Not to mention the mysterious smile you could give years later, if you had some colorful ribbon with a big “1″ on it. :)

Bill Cobb on Mott’s comment: “Rick actually supports my point (Your Move/Readers Write: Ratings matter; World ranking data 4/18 EJ),” responds Bill Cobb. “A rating improvement is obviously a kind of prize.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“More thought-provoking pieces in the E-journal, thank you!” writes Janice Kim. “Many people believe that their go playing improves given a longer time limit (The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #2 http://www.usgo.org/news/2018/04/the-empty-board-philosophical-reflections-on-go-2/ 4/17 EJ). That’s probably true if the time limits are very short.

 

But beyond familiarity and practice, my thinking is there probably isn’t a discernible difference in quality of the Go playing of most people between having 45 minutes per player of basic time, and doubling that.

 

If people played “better”, I’d hypothesize people’s ranks on turn-based servers to be higher than their ranks on real-time servers. Why not try your own experiment?

 

I’m reminded of one time that I was playing a professional tournament game. At one point, I completely missed an obvious move. I mean I completely missed it in the game, I had to see it in the review to recover from the “blind spot”. I could have sat there for 1 minute or 10 minutes, and I probably wouldn’t have “seen” it, although I was doing plenty of thinking, about other moves. Later this gave me the biggest insight I’ve had into the nature of improving at Go.

 

To wit: I think the “point” of playing four rounds in the Open, is that it’s a good opportunity for a player to play as much serious Go as comfortably possible, where one is consciously trying to improve in an environment conducive to that. It’s just a side feature that directors can award prizes, and people can win them.

 

Moving to shorter time limits in the modern professional era is largely about having a broad real-time audience. The players themselves are frequently of the opinion that their best Go is played in about 3.5 hours per person, but I don’t think that most people could tell the difference between those games, and “speed” games on TV, played in an hour.

 

I know people who are discouraged by the prospect of prizes in tournaments, and I think that’s probably a not-uncommon view, but it’s a difficult one to express. Most directors will see them as an easy essential. I’d probably do something like charge people $20 for every game they lose, to pay for the recorder and the review session.

 

Rick actually supports my point: a rating improvement is obviously a kind of prize.

Bill

 

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Your Move/Readers Write: Ratings matter; World ranking data

Wednesday April 18, 2018

Ratings matter: “I disagree with Bill (The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #2  4/17 EJ),” writes Rick Mott.2018.04.18_2017GoCongress-IMG_8681 “After running tournaments for almost 30 years, I think 90+% of tournament players are motivated not by prizes, but by ratings.  I don’t know how to get the data, but I’d bet that most go players did well on the standardized tests we all took in school, and start to salivate when offered a test.  Pretty much any kind of test.  We love measuring ourselves.  One of most popular innovations at the New Jersey Open was posting updated ‘tournament ratings’ after every round.  The crowd loved it.” photo: at the 2017 U.S. Open; photo by Chris Garlock

World ranking data: “In a recent EJ article, Bill Saltman expressed his interest in a ‘chart which correlated amateur [ranks] from 30 kyu to 9 dan, country by country, go-server-by go server,’” writes Sebastian Pountney. “I think he will find that the material on this page, the results of a recent survey conducted on OGS, should go some way to satisfying his request. For a simple table of ranks see here specifically.”

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