American Go E-Journal » Your Move: Readers Write

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.”
Share

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)

 

Share

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“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

 

Share

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.”

Share

Your Move/Readers Write: World rankings? Go study abroad? Janice responds to “Philosophical Reflections on Go”

Monday April 16, 2018

World rankings? “Janice Kim’s interesting reflections on ranks made good reading,” writes Bill Saltman. “What might also make good reading would be the first-ever (to my knowledge) chart which correlated amateur from 30 kyu to 9 dan, country by country, go-server-by go server. How does a German 1D compare in strength to an American 1D? What does 5k on KGS equal on Pandanet, or the AGA or French, Russian or Japanese rankings? And where would AlphaGo Zero fall if compared to professionals? Many questions; are there any reasonably quantifiable answers?”

Go study abroad? “I’m a self-taught high kyu/low dan recreational player based in Baltimore, and may be taking a professional break soon to travel, among other things,” writes Greg Lysko. “As part of that, I was thinking of trying to study go outside of the US, possibly in either Korea or Japan, for 1-2 months later this year. Are there programs available/easy for English speaking foreigners to sign up for in either country?”

Janice responds to “Philosophical Reflections on Go”: “Enjoyed this piece by William Cobb,” writes Janice Kim. “It did make me think: I don’t see go as being like death, as an analogy of equal weight to other go analogies. I think go is a conversation between two people, not like a conversation between two people. This has a ripple effect through the ages, even though I personally end. So maybe one could say, go is a connection point between the monads, not like the end of one of them.”

Email journal@usgo.org with your responses and/or suggestions.

 

Share

Your Move/Readers Write: Tehran go club?

Saturday April 7, 2018

Tehran go club? Does anyone know of any go club activity in Tehran, Iran? Email Phil@Strausphoto.com

Share

Your Move/Readers Write: More on Rob Ryder, including an sgf of Ryder-Go Seigen

Monday March 26, 2018

“Bob Ryder was 48 at the time of this tournament (From the Archives: The First International Amateur Go Tournament 1963),” writes Terry Benson. “He became one of the first western 5-dans and was president of the AGA in the 60s and early 70s. He was also a part of the Bell Labs research team which developed the transistor.”
And in a related note, Adrian Petrescu has transcribed the game between Robert Ryder and Go Seigen, saying “I thought you might find it useful for those who want to add another Seigen game to their databases.”

[link]

Share

Your Move/Readers Write: Ukiyo-e at Shizuoka

Monday January 8, 2018

“I read your article about the Tokugawa Memorial Go Congress set for February 2017 in Shizuoka,” writes Erwin 2018.01.07_Ukiyo-eGerstorfer. “One additional bit of information that might be interesting to the readers of the American Go E-Journal is an exhibition of go-related Ukiyo-e — woodblock prints and paintings — in the Tokaido Hiroshige Art Museum of Shizuoka that will take place from February 6th to April 1st, 2018. There was a go related Ukiyo-e exhibition in Villach, Austria in 2007 in conjunction with the European Go Congress but this one will be bigger and more exciting and taking place in a dedicated Ukiyo-e museum.”

“I have met one of the Japanese organizers of the go festival at the European Go Congress in Oberhof last summer and my impression is that this event is well worth a visit. They are very dedicated to that event and especially interested in international participation. You can reach Shizuoka from Tokyo by train (Shinkansen) in about 90 min and there are several trains a day.”

Image: Kubo Shunman’s “Outfit for the Go Game” 

Share

Your Move/Readers Write: Remembering Joel Olson’s “wonderful smile”; Janice Kim on “An interesting story”; Board size mystery explained

Monday November 27, 2017

Remembering Joel Olson’s “wonderful smile”: “Reading about Joel Olsen’s interest in music explains an aspect of this old hand go player,” writes Terry Benson. “Every Go Congress, he was a regular at the gathering for silly go songs. There are four editions of the AGA Song Book, so it often took time for everyone to find the words to a song in whatever version they had. Two years ago Joel compiled a concordance to show where any particular song was in each of the editions. I emailed him this past spring expecting him to come to the2017.11.27_A Chess Novice Challenged Magnus Carlsen Congress in San Diego and enjoy his work. Sad that he didn’t get to sing one more time. He always had a wonderful smile which beamed happiness.”  

Janice Kim on “An interesting story”: “An interesting story has popped up, weaving together themes of learning, and human achievement in field of games,” writes Janice Kim. “My thoughts: It would be a little clearer what was going on to non-chess players, if they considered a random person who decided to challenge the Olympic gold medalist in the 400m hurdles after training for a month. 1) WSJ, you don’t have to create drama by suggesting Magnus winning is in doubt. 2) Magnus, I get it. I’d be curious too. 3) Max, you are definitely getting the silver.”

Board size mystery explained: “Having a collection of go-related art I can assure Greg Kulevich (Go Spotting: Art Institute of Chicago 11/12 EJ) that a board size of 25×17 was just the artist’s choice and not a usual board size at any time,” writes Erwin.Gerstorfer. “It might be surprising but hardly any depiction of Go boards in Asian art is coming even close to a 19×19 size, let alone that you find there any kind of reasonable board positions. Obviously Asian artists were more interested in the overall impression and not in depicting the exact details of the game.”





Share

Your Move/Readers Write: More pro go news wanted

Wednesday September 27, 2017

“I love the E-Journal updates of what is going on in the professional go world,” writes Howard Cornett. “But I want more! Where are links to the game records? Is there any more detailed coverage in English somewhere? And an in-depth explanation of all the leagues and their rules would be great, too. Are they in English somewhere? I recently started re-reading the manga Hikaru No Go and want to be able to follow the professional go world like others follow football, baseball, or soccer. What resources are there in English? If not in English, what language will I have to learn or plug into Google Translate?”
Send your responses/suggestions to journal@usgo.org. We’re always looking for reporting/translation assistance/support here at the E-Journal, as well; if you’re interested in being part of the team, email us at journal@usgo.org

 

Share