American Go E-Journal

Ing World Youth Qualifier May 6

Tuesday May 1, 2018

IMG_0005The 35th World Youth Goe Champion will be held in Germany, at Stahleck Castle in Bacharach, from July 18 to 23.  Food and lodging will be covered by the organizers, and Ing’s Goe Foundation will provide $1500 for the air ticket.  The qualifying tournament is this Sunday, May 6th, and players must register by Thursday, May 3rd. Games will be played on KGS, with Ing rules, 1hour 3/30 each. Skype video will be required for all games. The top four players in each group will then play a single elimination tournament. The winner will represent the US at the Ing World Youth Cup in Germany. 

Eligibility: US Citizens, Resident of the US for at least 6 months for the past 12 months; Senior Group (Age 12—15) Junior Group (Age under 12). Players cannot be part of the the US team in the same group more than twice within 3 years.

Registration: By email or phone mingjiu7p@hotmail.com (650-796-1602) by May 3, 2018

 

 

The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #4

Tuesday May 1, 2018

by William Cobb2018.05.02_empty-board-kaleidoscope

Decisions about good and bad moves have a big role in go. It’s often not that easy to determine, but a move either promotes or hinders the achievement of the player’s ultimate goal, which is of course to win.  Whether playing the game is good or bad is a different issue. To decide that you have to appeal to some goal independent of the game. This is a way in which go is not so much like life. Not because life situations are more complicated, but because the ultimate goal or purpose of life is much more difficult to determine. So deciding what is good and bad in life is much more difficult. As a result there is a lot of muddling through and a lot of just following along. That’s why in most cases we just don’t think about this very much. But if you want to be able to feel more confident about making decisions about good and bad in life, you will have to make an effort to determine what the goal of life is. Nevertheless, playing go can be very relaxing and comforting. It’s nice not to have to worry about what we are really up to.

photo by Phil Straus; photo art by Chris Garlock

“Twitch Plays Go” broadcast introduces the game to thousands 

Monday April 30, 2018

Streaming giant Twitch.tv’s all-day livestream about go attracted nearly 20,000 viewers last Saturday. “Being able to introduce so many people to the game in such a unique way was a thrill,” said Hajin Lee, the former professional player2018.04.30 Twitch_Plays_Go-IMG_1229 and popular commentator.

The broadcast was hosted by Lee, Twitch streamer Stephen Hu, and directors of the “Surrounding Game” documentary Will Lockhart and Cole Pruitt, and featured a variety of go content for beginners as well as more experienced players.

2018.04.30 Twitch_Plays_Go-screenshotLockhart and Pruitt kicked off the broadcast with a segment on the rules of go (left). Next viewers enjoyed a special showing of The Surrounding Game, during which the twitch chat-room was abuzz with comments. “It was so much fun to follow the chat as the movie played” says Lockhart. “Part-way through, we were elevated to the featured video on Twitch’s front page, and all of a sudden the number of live viewers jumped to over 15 thousand!” Viewership hit a high of 17,500 during the livestream.

After the film, Lockhart hosted an interactive 9×9 game between the Twitch audience and Hajin Lee 4p (Haylee), in which viewers could vote between move options. With just a 2-stone handicap, the audience fought valiantly, but in the end the pro prevailed. “Although most of the audience was new to go, the chat consistently chose better options,” said Lee. “I think this interactive group play format has a great potential as a beginner class tool.”

2018.04.30 Twitch_Plays_Go-teamThe broadcast continued with live commentary on back-to-back high-level tournament games.  Stephen Hu 6d joined Haylee to cast the semi-finals of the 2018 Creator’s Invitational Tournament between Justin Teng 6d (USA) and Peter Marko (Hungary). In the end Marko eked out a 0.5-point win, advancing to face winner Norman Tsai and Stephen Hu himself in the CIT finals next week.

Pruitt returned to host the final segment: the Collegiate Go League Championship. The strength of the West Coast was in full display, with UCLA and UC Irvine competing in the finals. In an exciting and dramatic result, with boards 2 and 3 split, the championship was decided by the board 1 result with another 0.5-point game. Shengjie Zhou 6d of UC Irvine escaped with the narrowest of victories over UCLA’s Cheng-Yi Huang 3p to notch Irvine’s first CGL championship.

“This was a tremendous opportunity to promote go,” said Hu. “Thanks to everyone who participated, and to BattsGo, the National Go Center, CatsPlayGo, and many more for providing entertaining promos for their channels.”

If you missed the livestream, an archived version of the “learn to play” segment is here and the rest of the stream is here.

 

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World Amateur Go Championships return to Japan this week

Sunday April 29, 2018

The World Amateur Go Championship returns to Tokyo this week, after a nine-year hiatus. Sixty three players from around the 2018.04.29_39wagc_USA_YEglobe will compete in the 39th edition – known as the Gurunavi Cup – World Amateur Go Championship — May 4-7 at the Nihon Ki-in. Click here to see the full list of players. Fifteen-year-old Aaron Ye (right) will represent the U.S., while veteran player Yongfei Ge will play for Canada and Jose Abraham Florencia Islas will represent Mexico. Starting May 4, Ranka online will provide full coverage of the championship.

Evanston Go Club prepares for PechaKucha round 2

Saturday April 28, 2018

Mark Rubenstein and Bob Barber are preparing to do their second presentation about go at PechaKucha. Pecha-wha? 2018.04.28_Evanston Go Club prepares for PechaKucha

PechaKucha was devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. PK is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. “PK Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts… just about anything, really!” Rubenstein tells the EJ. There are PK events in over 1,000 cities around the world.
“We did a PK presentation in 2011, and it was a blast!” said Rubenstein. “We wanted to give people an interesting and engaging introduction to Go, and in PK you’ve only got 6 minutes and 40 seconds in which to do it. We worked really hard, putting together slides and writing a script. With the recent events around AlphaGo, we thought it would be appropriate for us to do another one focused on that.”
The event that Rubenstein and Barber will be presenting at will be held June 5 at Martyr’s, 3855 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago. You can click here to download and watch their previous presentation.
“We encourage everyone to find a PK event in their hometown, and consider doing a presentation about Go.” said Rubenstein. “It’s a ton of fun, and a great way to increase the visibility of the game.”
Click here for more information about PK.

Eric Zhang wins NC Spring Tournament (again)

Saturday April 28, 2018

Perennial champion Eric Zhang won the North Carolina Annual Spring tournament on Sunday, April 22nd, topping a field of 38.2018.04.28-NC-sm_2509 “It was a beautiful sunny day on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill,” reports organizer Bob Bacon, “and after four rounds of intense competition the following winners were noted: in the top band, Eric Zhang 2018.04.28-NC-sm_2494won all of his games; second place was a tie between Brian Wu and Suyoung Yoon. Band 2 was won by Tao Ma with another 4-0 record; Paul Celmer placed second. There was a 3 way tie for first place in Band 3, with Eric Tillberg, Harrison Pedigo and Tom Roncoli each achieving a 3-1 record. Raul Crisan won all 4 of his games to lead the pack in Band 4, with Justin Su and Ganning Xu placing second. Band 5 was handily won by Ajay Dheeraj, with another perfect 4-0 record; Annie Yuan and John Schollenberger tied for second, and Sophia Yang was 3rd.

The local go community was encouraged by the many first- and second-time tournament participants. The tournament was attended by many supportive parents “and one special guest, local Professional Ying Shen 2P,” Bacon says. “Ying Shen 2P offered suggestions and encouragement to many of the participants, and her presence was greatly appreciated.” Jeff Kuang was the Tournament Director. Lunch was provided onsite by the Triangle Go Group. The site was arranged by the Cary Go Club.
photos by Bob Bacon

Redmond’s Reviews, Episode 11: Redmond 9p v. Numadate 6p

Saturday April 28, 2018

Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, for Episode 11 of Redmond’s Reviews. In this game, Michael2018.04.20_RedmondReview11-numadate plays against Numadate Sakiya 6p.

On the line for Redmond in this game was a seat in the C League on the road to challenge for the Kisei title. “Numadate is one of the more prominent of the younger players, thouigh he hasn’t yet had any big successes,” says Redmond. “His games are really interesting, and I was pretty sure I’d be facing a 3-3 invasion, so we’ll see that in this commentary, and I’ll share my current thinking about how to handle such invasions.” The game itself is really exciting, “especially toward the end.”

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The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #3

Thursday April 26, 2018

By William Cobb2018.04.26_empty-board-bas relief

In the classical age of go, players would spend several hours or more playing a game. Ever wonder why they did that? What could they have been thinking about? Here’s an experiment for you: Go onto one of the turn based internet go sites, such as DragonGo, and start a game with someone at your level. After the first four moves in the four corners, spend more than a few minutes after each move thinking about the board situation. Print it out and mull it over: where are the biggest plays, are there any weak groups, any ways to start a fight or disrupt the opponent’s plans, what is the balance of territory and potential, etc. Read out (even try out) possible sequences. Spend some time thinking about the game just to see what it’s like. As the game develops notice what it’s like to not be under time pressure trying to figure out what to do. You’ll also discover that there are a lot more possibilities than you had noticed before. You’ll find times when you’re not sure what to do or whether a situation is good or bad and maybe you’ll even see why it might be interesting to read some books and study previous games, especially those of stronger players. Of course, this will also make you more frustrated about playing with only 45 minutes basic time, but at least you’ll get a better idea of what makes go such an interesting game.

photo/art by Phil Straus

“Twitch Plays Go” this Saturday

Wednesday April 25, 2018

This Saturday April 28, The Surrounding Game documentary and Open Study Room are teaming up with Twitch.tv to host what2018.04.24_Twitch_plays_GO_social_v02 Will Lockhart — with some justifiable hyperbole — calls “the biggest introduction to Go in history!” Twitch is the #1 online gaming platform in the world, with an estimated 100 million users per month. Their first special program on go, “Twitch Plays Go,” will be broadcast live on the main channel - twitch.tv/twitch - starting at 11am PSTApril 28. Twitch’s introduction to go for the greater gaming community will feature a tutorial on the rules of the game, a special showing of The Surrounding Game documentary with Q&A, the first-ever massively-multiplayer online go game, and live commentary on the 2018 Creator’s Invitational tournament and College Go League Championship with organizer Stephen Hu and pro player/Go streamer Hajin Lee.

“We’ll be live in the studio to answer questions from the chat during the show and give commentary afterward on the making of the film,” Lockhart tells the E-Journal. “This is sure to be our biggest screening ever, and an opportunity to expose thousands of new players to the game. We hope to see you there!”

YiLin Xu 5D & James Peters 5k top Mass. Go tourney

Wednesday April 25, 2018

Twenty-nine players — including the TD who played two out of four games to maintain parity — participated in the 2018.04.25_YiLin Xu_Micah_Feldman_James_PetersMassachusetts Go Association’s 2018 Don Wiener Memorial Tournament on April 15 at  the Boylston Chess Club in Cambridge MA. Players ranged from eight to octogenarian. Strengths ranged from 20 kyu to 5 dan.  Four women played.  First and second place cash prizes were combined and divided equally between  YiLin Xu 5 dan (left), and James Peters, 5 kyu (right), both of whom went 4-0. Third place was awarded to Micah Feldman, 3 dan (middle),  “by our software which sorts the 3-1 winners by how well their opponents fared,” reports TD Eva Casey.