American Go E-Journal

Registration open for South Central Go Tournament and Texas state championship Presidents’ Day weekend

Monday December 16, 2019

The fifth South Central Go Tournament will be held Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16 in Dallas, Texas, at the Center for Asian Studies, a venue generously donated by the University of Texas and located on their campus in Richardson. There will be three rounds per day for a total of six; all AGA members are welcome at the tournament in either the Open Section or the Handicap Section and players may register for either. The Texas resident who places highest in the Open Section will become the 2020 Texas State Champion and will receive an engraved trophy.

Prior tournaments have drawn around 40 players altogether. All will receive a certificate of participation for competing; first, second, and third place finishers in the Open Section will get certificates acknowledging this achievement, and in the Handicap Section, first, second, and third place finishers in each band will also be awarded certificates. Further prizes are under consideration.

On-line registration is open at www.GoClubs.org, and you can find updated tournament details on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/southcentralgotournament. Send questions about the Texas State Championship to Bart Jacob at bart.jacob@gmail.com, or general questions to Bob Gilman at bobgilman.aga@gmail.com

EJ Mailbag: Joseki guide for kyu players; Don’t mourn, organize; Columbus discovers Go; Gameboy Go?

Sunday December 15, 2019

Columbus discovers Go: “Devin Fraze can teach you how to play Go in about two minutes.” That’s the lead in the “It’s always Go time for enthusiast of ancient game” report last month in ThisWeek Community News, about the Columbus Go Club in Ohio. “To try and teach yourself the game can be confusing and frustrating, but to sit down across the board from an experienced player is a great way to learn,” Fraze said.

Joseki guide for kyu players: Learn Go Joseki for kyu players is a new way to view common joseki for kyu players designed, coded and populated by Neil Moffatt. They’re drawn from the 21st Century Dictionary of Basic Joseki volumes one and two, with a few exceptions.

Don’t mourn, organize: “I am saddened by Bill Cobb’s article,” writes Jean de Maiffe. “I find internet play soulless and am grateful to live where I have been able to start two different Go clubs in my town, at different times in my life. My heart goes out to Bill for his isolation. I started my first Sunnyvale CA club about a year after my husband and I moved here. When I turned that first club over to someone else, I learned that while I didn’t need to drive for an hour to attend, I did have to drive a narrow, twisty, dirt road in the Coastal Range to get there. During the rainy season, when the sun retires early, I found it terrifying to drive to and from there. Hence my starting a second club in our nearby Senior Center, which is within walking distance and which is open during the day only, a blessing for me in my 70s. Best wishes to Bill on finding a new GO home in the Arkansas mountains or nearby.”

Gameboy Go?: “I’m very interested in Go and used to own a portable chess game similar to the Gameboy,” writes a usgo.org visitor. “Do you know of any electronic go handheld games available today? I have tried for hours to find something that’s not on the app store.” Email journal@usgo.org with suggestions.

AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo; Game 33: Slightly unusual josekis

Saturday December 14, 2019

The latest AlphaGo vs. AlphaGo game commentary — Game 33 — from Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock. The popular series resumed last week after a 6-month hiatus. “This time we’re going to be seeing some slightly unusual josekis,” says Redmond, “including some of the fighting follow-ups to the 3-3 invasion. And, unlike the crash we saw in #32, this is another of those long, close games.”

NOTE: The EJ plans to livestream from the First Southeast Asia GO Congress, which runs December 15-22 in Singapore. Be sure to follow the AGA’s Twitch channel and get notified of live streams.

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Redmond to livestream again on Twitch Wednesday night

Tuesday December 10, 2019

Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock will do their second livestream game commentary this week on the AGA’s Twitch channel on Wednesday December 11 at 7P EST. Monday night they streamed an exciting game between Redmond and Otake Hideo 9P, with in-depth commentary and interaction with viewers.

The EJ also plans to livestream from the First Southeast Asia GO Congress, which runs December 15-22 in Singapore. Be sure to follow the AGA’s Twitch channel and get notified of live streams.

The goban, elevated

Tuesday December 10, 2019

Playing go on a traditional goban is one of the joys of the game. But aging knees pose a painful obstacle. Former AGA president Phil Straus elegantly solved the problem with help from fine woodworker Sylas Navar. The table he designed for Straus allows the traditional go board to be used while sitting in chairs. It’s made of hickory and flame maple with walnut inlay, which complements and extends the aesthetics of the goban, where the grain and glow of the wood are an integral part of the game. If you’re interested in such a table, contact Sylas at ironwoodartistry@gmail.com  or check out his website.

Upcoming Go Events: Little Neck and Washington, DC

Monday December 9, 2019

December 14: Little Neck, NY
NYGA Monthly Tournament December
Zhongfan Jian tournaments@ny-go.org 617-921-4105
Stephanie Yin info@ny-go.org

December 14: Washington, DC
NGC Winter Warmer
Gurujeet Khalsa gurujeet.khalsa@nationalgocenter.org 703-626-0777

 

Get the latest go events information.

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Redmond to livestream on Twitch this week

Sunday December 8, 2019

Michael Redmond 9P and Chris Garlock will livestream game commentaries on the AGA’s Twitch channel on Monday, December 9 and Wednesday, December 11, both at 7P EDT. “The live streaming brings these commentaries to a broader audience and enables fans to interact with us in real time,” said Garlock. The popular Redmond Reviews returned to the AGA’s YouTube channel last Friday with a commentary on AlphaGo vs AlphaGo Game 32, after a 6-month hiatus. ” The wait for this is so freaking long, as if I was waiting for an Avenger movie!!!” commented Nguyen tuan anh. Added Sami Helen, “Yesterday I was just about to go on your previous video in this series and ask if you’re still alive. Guess the telepathic communication works after all.” Be sure to follow the channel and get notified of live streams.

Billy Maier defends New Mexico State Champion title

Saturday December 7, 2019

Nine players, all kyu level, came together on November 23 from the New Mexican cities of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and White Rock to compete for the NM State Go Championship. Players competed to defeat Billy Maier 3k, the reigning champion from 2018. After winning all three games in this three round tournament, Billy remained undefeated and earned the right to hold the perennial trophy until next year. Other prizes included magnetic go sets and Kiseido gift certificates.

Robert Gilman 6k was awarded second place and Kyle Fenmore 1k took third. Some difficulties arose in determining final winners due to the technical reasons associated with small tournaments, and TD Robert Cordingley is looking forward trying a slightly different GoClubsOnline (goclubs.org) pairing strategy next year.

We were very pleased to welcome Janice Kim, who attended as a spectator from Albuquerque. Our thanks go to Peter Shotwell for the go sets, Kiseido Publishing for the gift certificates, and the AGA for their sponsorship.

report and photos provided by Robert Cordingley

The Empty Board: Philosophical Reflections on Go #14

Saturday December 7, 2019

by William Cobb

“The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” is a film that is hard to forget, though that may be because I was a Cross Country runner in college. Since moving to a very small town in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas I am discovering another kind of loneliness: that of the go player living where there are no other players within less than a full hour’s drive away. I play lots of games on DragonGo, but it is definitely not the same. There is something important about sitting across the board from another player and placing actual stones on a hard piece of grid-marked wood. Go is a lot more than a fascinating intellectual activity of analyzing tactical and strategic possibilities in a very complicated situation. There is an intimacy of contact and involvement with another human being and real objects that is impossible over the internet. Insofar as go can function as a path to enlightenment it doesn’t happen with an internet connection. The online involvement of the players is just not as real or engrossing, nor is the handling of the stones when it is replaced by clicking a mouse. I really miss these physical and psychological feelings that make playing with another person on an actual set such an enjoyable and enlightening experience. I may have to start making that harrowing drive across the most harrowing roads I have ever encountered.

photo by Phil Straus; photo art by Chris Garlock and Karoline Li

Sixth volume in Black to Play! series published by Board N’Stones

Saturday December 7, 2019

Board N’Stones have just released the sixth and final volume of the Black
to Play! series by Gunnar Dickfield, available in books stores as a paperback or as an ebook from gobooks.com.

The Black to Play! series begins in the first book with problems for beginners – 30k to 25k – and is aimed for players who have just gotten in touch with the game. It provides exercises to help deepen and ingrain the understanding of the rules. They will learn about the correlation and dependencies of the stones to each other, and thereby be able to improve your games. The exercises throughout the six volumes gradually increase in difficulty as the player learns and grows stronger, accompanying the player on the way to Shodan, the first master rank. This sixth volume is dedicated to players from 5k to 1k, and includes more whole-board problems, allowing the learner to apply local problem solving strategies in a larger context and real game situations.

This series is available in English (Black to Play!), German (Schwarz am Zug), and French (A Noir de Jouer). Board N’Stones (Brett und Stein Verlag) is a long time publisher for Go books based in Germany with about 45 titles in print, focusing mainly on Go books in German with some titles in English and French.

-report by Gunnar Dickfield