American Go E-Journal

Go Congress “Early Bird” discount ends May 31

Wednesday May 23, 2018

If you haven’t yet registered for the US Go Congress in Williamsburg VA this year, you have until May 31 to take advantage of2018.04.02_go-congress-sign-in the Early Bird registration discount. On June 1 the cost goes up by $50 per person. To get the discount it is necessary to register  and make a minimum payment of $70.

The U.S. Go Congress runs from July 21-28 and features a full week of go-related activities. Register now and reserve your spot in the premier annual event of American go.

South Sound Go Club holds first tournament

Wednesday May 23, 2018

South Sound Go Club held its first AGA-rated tournament on Sunday, May 20, at Terracrux Games. Ten players 2018.05.23_South Sound Go Clubparticipated, including two new to the AGA. Mike Malveaux directed.

TerraCrux Games  is an independent games store located at 760 Commerce Street in Tacoma, WA,” Malveaux reports. “They do a brisk trade in games like Magic The Gathering, Warhammer, X-Wing, and many other games; and the owner, Doug, lets SSGC use the playing area as a weekly meeting spot.”

There were three rounds, and nobody won all three. Three players won 2 out of 3 games, creating a three-way tie for first place. “Since there were no prizes or trophies, we didn’t need to declare a singular winner.”

Winning two games: Steve Zhang (5k), Joel Simpson (8k), Katherine Harmon (20k).

2018.05.23_Andrew Zhang and Steve StringfellowFurthest travelers: Andrew Zhang (1k) and Steve Zhang (5k) drove over 200 miles from Corvallis, OR.

Newest AGA members: Kathleen Dorsett (20k) and John Evans (12k).

The most common player name was Steve (30%); the second most common player name was Kate (20%).

Closest game: In the 2nd round, Steve Stringfellow 5d played Andrew Zhang 1k at 5 stones handicap. Both players were deep into byo-yomi before the dame were filled. When the counting was done, Steve had squeaked out a 1.5 point victory.

South Sound Go Club is hoping to make this a quarterly event, and planning is underway for a tournament in August.

photo (top right): Left: Steve Jones from Olympia, WA, vs. Joel Simpson from Everett, WA; Left background:  Steve Zhang vs. Andrew Zhang (both from Corvallis, OR); Center foreground: Katherine Harmon vs. Kathleen Dorsett (both from Tacoma, WA); Right background: John Evans (formerly Tacoma, now from Portland, OR) vs. Tom Cruver (Tacoma; president of SSGC).
photo (bottom left): Andrew Zhang and Steve Stringfellow

The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #7

Monday May 21, 2018

by William Cobb2018.05.21_empty-go-board-blurred

“Blitz” games are an interesting phenomenon in the go world, often played at ten seconds per move. They do count as go games since they follow the rules of the game, but to me, they’re about as appealing as playing blindfolded (although I have heard of one guy  who plays amazing well blindfolded). Actually, blitz games are not that different from playing blindfolded. Although you can do a bit of analysis in a few seconds, you certainly can’t see most of what is going on in the game. Since you don’t have time to think, except in a very superficial way, there are inevitably a lot of bad moves, although I suspect a stronger player would usually beat a weaker one. And you can’t deny that such a game can generate a lot of excitement—sort of like a dog fight. So I can see why some people like to play blitz games. So-called trick moves should be very effective. However, it seems a way to create a lot of bad habits since the results would generally just be a function of luck, instead of superior understanding, strategy, and analysis. Trying to figure out what is happening and how to best counter your opponent’s moves is what makes go such an engrossing game. If you minimize that intellectual challenge, I would think the game would soon become boring. I suppose there are times when you are too tired to really play the game but would like to have something to do. Maybe the people who play blitz games are just exhausted or bored and looking for a little easy stimulation. Are there ever blitz tournaments? You could play a lot of rounds in a day.

photo by Phil Straus; photo art by Chris Garlock

AlphaGo Zero vs. Master with Michael Redmond 9p: Game 9

Saturday May 19, 2018

After a brief hiatus, Michael Redmond 9p, hosted by the AGA E-Journal’s Chris Garlock, returns with a review of the dramatic 2018.05.19_zero-master9ninth game of the AlphaGo Zero vs. Master series. “It’s a bit of an odd game 2018.05.19_zero-master9-redmond-garlockthat follows a pattern in these Master-Zero games,” says Redmond, “in which Master makes a big moyo and Zero takes all the territory, and in this game they really take this pattern to an extreme. Master’s got a huge moyo and it can score a big win if it can just make it into actual territory.” The game also features the large high shimari, which AlphaGo has made popular, as well as the early 3-3 invasion.

[link]

AGA Chapter Email List reminder

Friday May 18, 2018

The AGA would like to remind chapters about its Chapter Email List. This is an open list for all chapter leaders and any members2018.05.17 chapterlist who would like to discuss topics relating to AGA Chapters. Sign up anytime using the link or from the left menu. You can see recent topics such as: 50 state championships, AGA Bylaws updates, and the previous election.

Pandanet AGA City League Round 6 this weekend

Thursday May 17, 2018

2017.10.03_PANDANETThis weekend is the Pandanet AGA City League Round 6. Check the schedules for your favorite and local teams and root on your favorites. Most LIVE games will be found in the AGA City League room at 3PM EST Sunday May 20th. Updated schedules can be found below:

A League

B League

 

IMG_5020

U.S. Congress app has international appeal

Thursday May 17, 2018

很荣幸能在这里欢迎各位来到第 34 届围棋大会。第34回USコングレスへようこそ。This is the opening line in US Go Congress Co-Director Diego Pierrottet’s welcome message, which, for those who don’t read Chinese or Japanese, is “It’s my pleasure to 2018.05.17_congress-app-multi-languagewelcome you to the 34th Annual US Go Congress.” The wealth of information available each year in the Congress attendee booklet has been a challenge for those who do not read English, but with the new Congress mobile app — available on both iOS and Android devices — not only will more information be available, it’s now being provided in multiple languages.

“As more textual material is added, the intent is to translate that as well,” adds app developer Gurujeet Khalsa. “This is our first effort at internationalization using volunteer translators. We think this will make it a more inviting experience for our overseas visitors, and would welcome volunteers who can translate into other Asian and European languages. We would like to thank translators Chiemi Mori, Shigeru Takehara, Daniel Chou, and Yanqing Sun for getting this effort started.”

The Congress app can be downloaded here. Congress registration  is ongoing and still available at the Early Bird Discount price. The 2018 Congress will be held in historic Williamsburg, VA from July 21-28.

The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #6

Monday May 14, 2018

by William Cobb2018.05.14_empty-go-board-polar-coordinates

As go players, we cannot say whether playing the game is itself good or bad. We can only say whether particular moves in particular games are good or bad.  To make judgments of what’s “good” or “bad” you have to have a context which provides criteria for making such judgments. Sports in general are a good analogy for making this point clear. Not just any toss of the ball can be called good in baseball. So what about human actions in general? To make such judgments you must have a set of rules and in particular a clearly specified overall goal in which the rules are determined. Unfortunately, there is no general agreement about the ultimate goal of life. Insofar as that is the case some suggest we would be better off not judging good and bad. Of course, people often set certain goals and are then able to determine what’s good and bad in relation to those goals. But how can they be sure those goals are in fact “good”? In order to say a particular move in a go game is good you have to assume a view of the nature of the game. But to justify playing the game as a good thing you have to appeal to something outside the game. So a question is how to deal with people who show no interest in playing go. Just saying they should play because it’s fun or interesting doesn’t seem adequate somehow. We can try to find some value we do share with them and to convince them that playing go will promote that value. Japanese efforts to show that playing go can diminish the effects of dementia are an interesting example of this. The Japanese go community also believes that playing go can promote world peace; hard not to approve of that.  Another interesting example is some of the claims that are made about the value of teaching groups of children to play. Go is certainly a very special game. We’d like to say it makes you a better person.

photo by Phil Straus; photo art by Chris Garlock

 

Sarah Yu: Memories of the Go Seigen tournament and his dreams of peace

Monday May 14, 2018

by Sarah Yu 6D2018.05.13_NA team photo with Lin Haifeng in front of Go Seigen's statue at the cemetery

Recently I was lucky to attend the first Wu Qingyuan (Go Seigen) Women’s Tournament in Fuzhou, China. It was like a dream come true. I was one of four North American representatives; the other three were Feng Yun 9P, Stephanie Yin 1P, Gaby Su 6D. A qualifier game was held for the eight North American and European players to determine which four would proceed to the main tournament. After the draw, each North American player would play against a European. Feng Yun, Stephanie Yin, and I won the qualifier (click here for details). Then at the main, we respectively lost to Qu Yin, Yu Zhiying, and Ueno Asami.

I enjoyed playing with Ueno Asami very much and had a good game, and it was a pleasure to be participating in this memorable event with Feng Yun, Stephanie and Gabby. I especially appreciated those who worked so hard to make this tournament happen, and to acknowledge Go Seigen’s milestone contributions to go. Thanks to the tournament, I was able to meet players who had known Go Seigen, and to get a glimpse of his passion for go and peace.

I remember that during the opening ceremony, I felt strongly that Go Seigen had “sacrificed” his life for go. That moment was when children singing “coming towards home,” while photographs of Go Seigen were playing on the screen behind them. We also had the chance to visit the cemetery where Go is buried (photo), where Chang Hao 9P, the Vice Chairman of the Chinese Go Association, gave an inspiring speech. As the children sang and danced, I saw that the future belongs to the next generation. Go Seigen said that the 21st century will be about the harmony of go — North, South, East, West, Heaven and Earth — he dreamed of promoting peace through go, and I hope that with the help of AlphaGo, we will further comprehend both.

photo (l-r): Feng Yun 9P, Rin Kaihō (Lin Haifeng 9P – Go Seigen’s disciple), Sarah Yu 6D, Stephanie Yin 1P, Gabby Su 6D

Categories: China,Main Page
Share

U.S. Go Congress meal plan offers “Variety and value”

Monday May 14, 2018

In searching for a venue for the 2018 US Go Congress Co-Director Diego Pierrottet reports that “We really wanted to offer a great plan with multiple options at a reasonable price. One of the very top concerns we heard from past Congress attendees was the meal plan. At William & Mary we are glad to be able to offer a tremendous variety of high quality meals. We also negotiated cost savings up to 20% off per meal over regular door prices for our Congress attendees who sign up for a meal plan.”

The website for Center Court at Sadler Center gives an idea of the numerous options, including:2018.05.13_wm-mary-dining_pizza_station

  • The Chop House, offering made-to-order salads
  • Maize, featuring vegan and vegetarian options
  • Natural, serving a menu tailored to guests with special dietary needs like celiac, gluten and dairy intolerances
  • Taliaferro’s, offering handmade pasta and pizza
  • Tidewater Grill, featuring handmade burgers and hot sandwiches as well as seafood options
  • Reves Global, presenting authentic recipes from around the world from Asian-inspired dishes to West Coast cuisine and Latin dishes
  • Simple Servings, serving minimally processed food prepared without gluten or seven of the eight most common food allergens: milk, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish and wheat

“If you haven’t yet registered, or registered and didn’t select a meal plan yet, try one of the flexible combinations on the Congress website,” Pierrottet suggests, “We heard your concerns.”

Registration is still available for Congress at the Early Bird discount price. You can also keep up with Congress goings on by downloading the free mobile app for iOS and Android devices.