American Go E-Journal


Sunday August 1, 2010

Understand the Maeda method and you’ll get very good at the middle game and won’t lose fights, Ryo Maeda 6P (r) said in his Sunday afternoon lecture. He described four different ways to attack and capture a third-line stone. The key is “how to make your stone more effective than your opponent’s,” Maeda said. It’s important to protect weak stones: “If you have a weak stone, you protect it — that’s it.” In addition, “if you want to capture your opponent’s stone, make your group stronger, then good things happen.” Use the normal move in most cases, Maeda advised, “and leave the best move to professionals.” Looking at contact fights, Maeda pointed out that nearby friendly stones can be liabilities in such situations, as weak and strong positions can get reversed. Stones or groups with two liberties are considered weak, and with one liberty, “it’s too late.” However, “when you atari but can’t capture, it’s usually a bad move.” Yoshi Sawada 6D provided his usual animated translation of the Maeda method, which will be detailed in three more lectures this week. Maeda’s popular lectures have been a feature of U.S. Go Congress for the last ten years.
– report/photo by Jake Edge


Sunday August 1, 2010

“The future of American go looks very bright,” Yasumasa Hane 9P told the E-Journal in an interview Sunday morning. “You have so many young serious players.” Hane is the Nihon Kiin’s official representative to this year’s U.S. Go Congress, and he’s accompanied by his family, including wife Masami 1k, daughter Michiyo Yamamori 1k. daughter-in-law Shigeko Hane 1P, and Shigeko’s daughters Ranka 1k, Rinka 4k and Ayaka 1k (YASUMASA HANE 9P & GO FAMILY TO ATTEND U.S. GO CONGRESS 6/18 EJ). The father of Naoki Hane 9P, former Honinbo, Kisei and Tengen title holder, Hane is also known as a major contributor in the development of the Chinese fuseki. He studied with Toshihiro Shimamura 9P, and told the E-Journal that as a student, “We never played with Shimamura, only with each other, but that was old-style and today it’s better for the teacher to play with students.”  Interestingly, Hane says that as teachers of amateur players, “The biggest mistake we make is to teach too much.” The best way to work with beginners, Hane said, is “just let them play and enjoy the game. When they find that it’s fun, they will stay.” With both pros and amateurs, he added, “you can’t push too much too soon” or there’s a risk of burn-out. He loves go because “it’s an art” and says that the current focus on winning makes him “a bit sad; the games we play will always be there, and we must leave art that we can be proud of.” These days, Hane said, “there’s no value placed on the opinion of the loser; winning is all.” Like Takemiya Masaki 9P, he urges players to “play where you want and don’t be afraid. If you’re chasing the dream you must take the risk.” His advice to go students is to “play your best move and don’t be afraid to make a mistake; the pro will correct your mistake and you’ll learn.” He also strongly advises those looking to improve to record their games and review them with stronger players, and was “very impressed” with the number of players he saw recording their games at the Open on Sunday. “The U.S. Open is great,” Hane said, “you should do it twice a year!”
– report/photo by Chris Garlock


Sunday August 1, 2010

The 2010 U.S. Go Congress formally launched Saturday as hundreds of go players gathered from across the country and around the globe. As players checked in at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the main playing area filled up with go players engaged in friendly games and there was even an impromptu simul as Qiao Shiyao 1P played a 3-on-1. Later, there was a taiko drum performance, welcoming ceremonies – including the official Go Congress Director plaque transfer from last year’s Congress Director Todd Heidenreich to this year’s Co-Directors Karen Jordan and Ken Koester.
– report/photos by Chris Garlock


Sunday August 1, 2010

NORTH AMERICAN ING ROUND 1 CROSSTABS/GAMES: Click here for complete first-round results – including 10 game records — from the North American Ing Masters tournament.

13X13 TABLE WINNERS: Henry Zhang 2k, Yukino Takehara 4k, Sathya Anand 7k, Charles Polkiewicz 14k, Oliver Wolf 2d, Mark Gilston 1d and Kory Stevens 5d. Takehara, Anand, Gilston and Stevens are all in the finals. 14 dan players total; 24 kyu players total.
– Lee Huynh & Laura Kolb; photo: at the 13×13 tournament

9X9 TOURNAMENT: Dan division: Matthew Burall 7d plays Josh Larson 3d; Kyu division: Scott Abrams 2k plays Albert Hu 3k; Smith Garrett 12k defeated Sathya Anand 7k and will play the winner of the Abrams-Hu game.
– Lee Huynh & Laura Kolb

TANG WINS FIRST ROUND IN REDMOND CUP: Curtis Tang 7d won his first round Redmond Cup game against Jianing Gan this afternoon.  Tang, the only player to defeat Gan in the qualifiers, had arrived at Congress at 3a Sunday morning, and played in the US Open a few hours later. Visibly tired, he rallied during the Redmond game to take the first match, which was broadcast live on KGS and drew hundreds of spectators.  Tune in for round 2 at 3p Monday in the AGA Tournaments room on KGS.  The Junior League game between 11-year-old 1-dans Henry Zhang and Oliver Wolf will also be broadcast at the same time.
– Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor


Saturday July 31, 2010

Players are beginning to arrive at the 2010 U.S. Go Congress in Colorado Springs, CO. Hundreds are expected for the year’s biggest go event in North America. The website will be updated on an ongoing basis, and the E-Journal will be sent out daily with updates.
– photo by Chris Garlock


Friday July 30, 2010

Ilya Shikshin 7D is leading the European Go Championship after the first week of the European Go Congress in Tampere, Finland. Click here for results through Round 5, as of July 30. Shikshin also won Wednesday’s 13×13 Tournament (r). Chin-seok Mok 9P and Klára Žaloudková 3D are the 2010 EGC Pair Go Champions, after forcing Laura Avram 2D and Ilia Shikshin 7D to resign. Click here for EGC news and results and here for EuroGoTV reports.

Categories: Europe


Friday July 30, 2010

Wolfram Research, makers of the renowned Mathematica technical and symbolic computing software, announced today that it’s donating ten student editions of Mathematica to be used as US Open prizes at the Colorado Springs U.S. Go Congress, which begins Saturday.  The current plan is to hold a drawing at the prize banquet from among the currently enrolled college students who won or placed in their division of the Open, though some may be used as prizes for other events.  “I am delighted that Wolfram, maker of about the coolest math software there is, has decided to back the US Open,” said AGA Board Member Andy Okun. “They have a proud record of supporting math competitions and other educational activities and it is nice to be in such company.” Mathematica, created originally by physicist and computer scientist Stephen Wolfram, is capable of a huge and complex array of numerical and symbolic calculations, but uses a coding method so general that the user can combine any of the existing methods together or create new ones.  It is widely used in science, industry, government, law, business and economics and its user base includes all of the Fortune 50.


Friday July 30, 2010

Janice Kim 3PProfessional player Janice Kim 3P addressed “stone capturing disease” and other go problems at a weekend go workshop in San Francisco, CA  July 24-25. Students provided game records in advance so that Kim could prepare material geared to the specific needs of the students. Based on the records, Kim discussed blunders (such as losing the game when you are ahead), self-defeating moves (sente moves with obvious responses that don’t provide significant benefit), and “stone capturing disease”. Kim co-authored the popular book series Learn to Play Go, and is one of only a few western women to be recognized as a professional by the Korea Baduk Association. The workshop was organized by Bay Area Go Players Association, which puts on monthly rated tournaments and periodic pro workshops in Northern California.
– Roger Schrag


Thursday July 29, 2010

An elderly man bit the thumb off a 71-year-old foe during a fight over a board game at a Queens senior center, authorities said yesterday. Bok Jin Kim, 74, allegedly began taunting his victim, Sang Lee, as Lee was playing Go — a Chinese game of strategy — with a pal at the Korean American Senior Center in Corona the afternoon of July 15. “Why did you make that move?” Kim allegedly snipped at Lee. “You’re going to lose!” Lee angrily responded, “It’s none of your business,” and the pair started heatedly arguing, law-enforcement sources said. Kim then allegedly grabbed Lee by the shirt, leaned over and chomped down on his victim’s thumb so hard that the tip, including the thumbnail, was severed, the sources said. Lee was rushed to a nearby hospital, where doctors were unable to reattach the piece of thumb, according to the police report. Kim was charged with assault.
– reported by Jessica Simeone in the July 28 edition of The New York Post

Categories: U.S./North America


Wednesday July 28, 2010

Brandon Gress 5d, Sung Yeo 4d and Lee Huynh 1d shared top honors at the July 24 Congress Tune-Up in Chicago, Illinois. There were 29 players, half of whom “came out for pizza, setting a new record,” reports TD Bob Barber. “And some got to show off their I-Pads,” adds Barber.  Results: First Place Dan: GRESS, Brandon 5d, YEO, Sung 4d, HUYNH, Lee 1d; First Place High Kyu: NORMAN, Matthew 9k; First Place Low Kyu:  SEIFRID, Alicia 16k.

Categories: U.S./North America