“There is a persistent problem with the thinking behind many go articles (The Spirit of Play: “I’m Stuck” 10/29/2012 EJ, for example),” writes Terry Benson. “Everyone eventually gets stuck at some level and can’t get higher. Their game might change, but it doesn’t get better. Whatever rank they are will be their high water mark. That’s go and that’s life. There are limits in our brains which we can test but not break.
“So anyone who plays only because they are ‘getting better’ sooner or later will stop playing. Hopefully, before they give up, they’ll realize that go is a great game with many types of puzzles to solve and a wonderful way to connect to other people. They’ll switch from ‘I have to get better’ to playing for the pure enjoyment of stones, wood, patterns, and the thrills of the contest.
“What we need in this country — and indeed in the world — are millions of people playing go the way millions play tennis or golf or run. Most of them will be duffers; 35 handicap golfers, 9-minute milers, and, in go, 25 kyus. And their level of play will seem horrid to ‘serious’ players. But they are playing and they should be encouraged to play simply for the joy of playing. If they are having fun in the confusion of 25 kyu – leave them alone, especially if they’re kids! We know how often a won game gets away, even from stronger players. In some ways the game is even more fun at 25 kyu because literally anything can happen.
“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get better or trying to learn something new. There are levels of play that some people will find more satisfying than others. But improvement is a short term rationale. It’s far better to fall in love with the game.”
Benson, a 1-dan, has been playing go for 52 years and has served as president of the American Go Association, Managing Editor of the American Go Journal and is currently President of the American Go Foundation. He directed the video/webcast of the International Go Symposium 2012, where he gave a talk on promotion of the game.
The North American Go Convention continues on Sunday, February 10. Cut-off time is 8:45A for the first round. “Drive safe” urges organizer Edward Zhang. Highlights include 3-4 rated games in the Open, awards for day-trippers 4-win trophies and 3-Win certificate), the Blitz Go Final, Pair Go Final and the Award Ceremony. Four pros are on hand: Myungwan Kim 9P, Joanne Missingham 6P, Andy Liu 1P and Stephanie Yin 1P. Click here for photos from Day One or here for more photos on Facebook.
Round 1: zhaonian-chen-xuzeyu
Round 2: Cao-Ruxu-chen-zhaonian
Round 3: wang-jun-chen-zhaonian
Round 4: zhaonian chen-wang ruinan
Are you enrolled in a go club at school? If so, this is your chance to challenge other go clubs from all over North America. Registration is now open for the American Go Honor Society’s (AGHS) 14th annual School Team Tournament. In March, go clubs from the United States, Canada, and Mexico will compete for $3,000 in prizes, with some for every club. Which club will take home the glory of being North America’s strongest go club? Register from now to March 1st to take your shot at being the best. Gather your team mates and play in various divisions ranging from Novice to Varsity level. Teams must be composed of three people who are in high school or below and are all younger than 20. Each member of each team must be enrolled in the same school or learning institution, and each school/learning institution can enter a maximum of 3 teams for the tournament. For returning teams, there have been a few important changes in the rules this year: check them out and register on our website: Aghs.cc. The deadline to sign up is March 1st, and the tournament will be held on KGS on March 16 and 23, with rounds at 1 and 4 pm Eastern Time. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
The World Go League Invitational (New Go Server Launches With 10 Top Pros in $100,000 Invitational 12/15/2012 EJ) is underway. Sponsored by new go server go9dan.com, the contest seeks to determine the strongest go player in the world in a battle between the top five Korean pros and the top five Chinese pros. The World Pro Go League, the first quarterly league, commenced the last week of January and will end in March or April. Click here to see the the latest results and playing schedule and here for game records. To read comments see go9dan.com’s Facebook page.
Here are the results in the first five games; the first player is white and the winner is in bold: 1. Lee Sedol-Chen Yaoye; 2. Shi Yue-Lee Changho; 3. Park Junghwan-Xie He (note from go9dan.com: the “future authority of Korean Go” Park Junghwan won by time against one of the super-powers of China Xie He at move 84. We confirmed with Xie that it was not a technical problem. “The opening joseki feels good for white. After W’s move at 60, the game looks difficult for black.” said Lee Sedol); 4. Kong Jie-Park Younghoon; 5. Fan Tingyu-Kim Jisuk.
The North American Go Convention launched Friday night with welcoming speeches from organizers and professionals and simuls at the Days Inn Hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey. Action continues Saturday with tournaments, lectures, simuls and more. Call 703-888-9240 or 407- 810-4098 for info. photos by Errol Missingham; collage by Chris Garlock
The AGA Board of Directors is seeking two new board members as current members Bob Barber and Daniel Smith take their departure. Barber, a much-loved Chicago go organizer, is known for his creatively-named – and very well-run — tournaments and is a longtime AGA volunteer. “We owe Bob a huge debt of gratitude for his many years of dedicated work on behalf of the local and national go community,” said Board Chair Daniel Smith. Barber is leaving to focus on other new activities in his life and to provide an opportunity on the AGA board for someone with more current involvement in AGA activities. With more than a year left in Barber’s term, the Board has determined that its by-laws call for a special election; details will be forthcoming from AGA Elections Officer Arnold Eudell. Smith, meanwhile, is leaving his Illinois home to take a tech job in California and is giving up his Central Region seat per the by-laws. “In his short time on the board, Daniel has been diligent, thorough and creative and I’m confident he’ll remain involved in all we’re doing,” said AGA President Andy Okun. Given the smaller amount of time remaining in Smith’s term, the board will appoint an interim board member pending this summer’s election. Central region resident AGA members who are interested in filling this seat or chapter leaders with a recommendation should get in touch with Okun – email@example.com — or a board member as soon as possible.
New details have just been released on the Kansai-Kiin’s 3-week intensive go camp with Maeda Ryo 6P in Osaka this summer (Maeda Organizing 2013 Go Camp in Osaka 8/6/2012 EJ). It will be held at the Osaka University of Commerce from June 30 – July 20. Attendees will receive intensive training from Kansai-Kiin professionals, play against top amateur players and former inseis while they make friends and go sightseeing around historical cities like Kyoto, Nara, and Himeji. There are also some optional tours to Hiroshima and/or the Shusaku Memorial Museum in Innoshima. Register before February 28 and get a 5,000-yen discount. “Maeda is hoping — and excited — to show the best part of Japan and have great time with attendees!” reports Akane Negishi.
- photo: Maeda at the 2012 US Go Congress; photo by Chris Garlock
National Veteran Championship: The National Veteran Championship, played from 01/26-27 in Bucuresti, Romania, was won by Petru Oancea 4d, second was Lucretiu Calota 5d and third was Liviu Oprisan 4d… Cognifide Go Cup #1: The Cognifide Go Cup #1, played on 01/26 in Poznan, Poland, was won by Marek Kaminski 4d, second was Kamil Chwedyna 4d (right) and third was Marcin Majka 2d… Torneo citta` di Treviso: The Torneo citta` di Treviso, played on 01/27 in Treviso, Italy, was won by Stefano Babini 3k, second was Leonardo Giuliato 3k and third was Andrea Brancaccio 6k… 2013 Irish Championship League Kick Off: The 2013 Irish Championship League Kick Off, played from 01/26-27 in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, was won by Roman Pszonka 3d, second was Claas Roever 2k and third was Noel Mitchell 2d… Dutch Female Championship: The Dutch Female Championship, played from 01/26-27 in Amstelveen, Netherlands, was won by Marika Kuin-Dubiel 2d (left), second was Marieke Overbeek 3k and third was Annemarie de Putter 2k… 2. Go turnir Filozofskog fakulteta: The 2. Go turnir Filozofskog fakulteta, played on 01/26 in Zagreb, Croatia, was won by Mladen Smud 1k, second was Nikola Primetica 4k and third was Drazen Odobasic 16k… Warszawska Liga Go #2: The Warszawska Liga Go #2, played on 01/22 in Warszawa, Poland, was won by Stanislaw Frejlak 4d, second was Blazej Madejski 2k and third was Andrzej Drzystek 3k… Dutch Championship: The Dutch Championship, played from 01/12-27 in Amstelveen, Netherlands, was won by Merlijn Kuin 6d and Zeno van Ditzhuijzen 5d,there will be a play off between them, and third was Frank Janssen 6d… Maidenhead: The Maidenhead, played on 01/19 n Maidenhead, United Kingdom, was won by Matthew Cocke 5d, second was Desmond Cann 4d and third was Baromi Kim 5d… Ukrainian Youth Go Championship: The Ukrainian Youth Go Championship, played from 01/19-20 in Rivne, Ukraine, was won by Valerii Krushelnytskyi 1d, second was Oleksandr Mishchuk 12k and third was Oleksandr Zarivniak 12k… Czech Youth Championship-U16 catagory: The Czech Youth Championship-U16 catagory, played from 01/19-20 n Praha, Czech Republic, was won by Samuel Havelka 2k, second was Vojtech Vasa 9k and third was Vojtech Tomek 10k… Czech Youth Championship – U20 catagory: The Czech Youth Championship – U20 catagory, played from 01/19-20 n Praha, Czech Republic, was won by Lukas Podpera 5d, second was Petr Kouba 2d and third was Frantisek Caha 5k… Czech Youth Championship – U12 catagory: The Czech Youth Championship – U12 catagory, played from 01/19-20 in Praha, Czech Republic, was won by Dita Vasova 15k, second was Michal Hrbek 18k and third was Leon Defer 20k… Winter Tournament: The Winter Tournament, played from 01/18-20 in Kosicka Bela, Slovakia, was won by Pavol Lisy 6d, second was Tamas Gerbner 4k and third was Stanislav Urbanik 7k… Jusandan 2013: The Jusandan 2013, played from 01/12-13 in Stockholm, Sweden, was won by Johan Berntsson 1d, second was Micael Svensson 1k and third was Klas Almroth 4d… Schoolkids Championship U16: The Schoolkids Championship U16, 01/12 in Budapest, Hungary, was won by Dominik Boviz 3d, second was Robert Csizmadia 2k and third was Attila Sebok 10k… Schoolkids Championship U12: The Schoolkids Championship U12, played om 01/12 in Budapest, Hungary, was won by Bulcsu Fajszi 7k, second was David Matolcsi 7k and third was Botond Ekler Szabo 15k… Wintergo 2012: The Wintergo 2012, played from 12/27-01/31 n Overasselt, Netherlands, was won by Zeno van Ditzhuijzen 5d, second was Michiel Eijkhout 6d and third was Frank Janssen 6d… adapted from EuroGoTV, which includes winner reports, crosstabs, game records and photos. Edited by Taylor Litteral
“In general I felt good about my game,” Shi — who took white in the game (at right) — tells the E-Journal. “I think I
played well and was able to hang on to until the late middle game where I forgot to make an important exchange that cost me the game. I feel Lee Sedol is really strong and really punishes opponents for misplays and overplays. He was able to catch all of my mistakes and really profit from doing so. Overall it was a very enjoyable experience.”
In the next round, European pro Catalin Taranu will take black with 0.5 komi (W wins ties). Due to the Chinese and Korean New Year holiday this weekend, the series is expected to resume on the weekend of February 16th.
Plans for this weekend’s North American Go Convention are proceeding as a winter storm bears down on the region. “Our three professionals have arrived on-site and we’ve arranged for shuttle service from both Newark Penn Station and the Park & Ride in Parsippany-Troy Hills,” says NAGC Commissioner Edward Zhang (at right with Joanne Missingham and her parents, Nan-Ping and Errol). Click here for a short video overview about the NAGC.
Shuttle sign-up is strongly encouraged so the NAGC volunteers can plan accordingly and reduce wait time. Players may also stay at the Days Inn Hotel on Friday if they wish to avoid traveling on Saturday, when the storm is forecast to hit. “Keep in mind that there is a second chapter of the NAGC in DC from February 13-17, with same three Open, Blitz and Pair Go tournaments,” adds Convention Director Yue Zhang 7D.
The 5th US-Canada Youth Friendship Tournament will be held Saturday, February 9, at 4pm Eastern time (1pm Pacific) in the AGA Tournaments Room on KGS. Organized by Lawrence Ku, the popular transnational match pits the strongest youth in North America against each other, and often draws large crowds of observers. Canada has won for the past three years in a row, and the US is itching for a win. The current crop of contenders (with US players listed first) features Calvin Sun 7d vs. Bill Lin 8d; Hugh Zhang 7d vs. Jianing Gan 8d; Albert Yen 6d vs. Irene Sha 7d; Andrew Lu 6d vs. Andrew Huang 6d; Vincent Zhuang 6d vs. Oliver Wolf 5d; Aaron Ye 5d vs. David Fan. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
Insight Into the Universe is a new film about Yasui Santetsu, a go player and famous Japanese astronomer, better known as Shibukawa Shunkai. The creator of the Japanese Jokyo calendar and the author of many books about astronomy, he also played with his friend and rival, Honinbo Dosaku, in the “castle games.” The famous game between Dosaku and Santetsu, where Santetsu opened on tengen, is depicted in the 2012 film, which was directed by Yojiro Takita and stars Junichi Okada, a Japanese actor, singer, and member of the pop group V6. The heroine in the film, played by Miyazaki Aoi, works at a shrine which still exists today; click here to see Cho U 9p dedicating some of his famous go problems to that shrine. An English-subtitled version of the film does not appear to be available at this time.
- thanks to Go Game Guru
“Regarding Roy Laird’s article, ‘SGFs and iStuff’ (2/1 EJ),” writes Eric Anderson. “Please — if you’re going to do a comparative product review, please spend the effort to investigate the features. Otherwise, you’re using your powerful and respected platform to spread casual (and misleading) opinions, and it’s really quite unfair to your readers. Specifically — ‘Seems worth the extra cost unless you really need to import large databases.’ Um, no. SmartGo Kifu is an excellent problem and game collection, combined with a Go playing engine. It includes a form of SGF editor; but that editor is not particularly suitable either for recording games or for constructing problems — at least, not compared to EasyGo, which is specifically (and very well) designed to do … SGF editing. Bulk file import and export is only one of the features you’d want in an SGF editor; other features include tree-editing capabilities (ever tried fixing a recording mistake in SmartGo Kifu?), problem editing (ever tried entering un-numbered initial conditions?), and variation analysis. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s an independent review. Although at first sight EasyGo looks like a close-cousin to SmartGo Kifu, it is not. They share a goal though: analyzing games, exploring variations and solving problems. But they focus on different sets of features, and work very different. That review — only six paragraphs long — is much more insightful and thorough, and helpful to readers, than your ‘Seems worth the extra cost…’”
“All that seemed necessary was to copy the linked-to sgf on the web page onto my desktop,” suggests Kirby Smith. “Then I could use the ‘edit’ mode of the KGS interface (CGoban3) to view it and its commentary. I recall that The Many Faces of Go will also open these. Thanks for your journal’s many interesting articles.”
A number of readers also suggested this solution, which works great for desktops, but Laird’s review was specifically referring to smartphone apps available for Apple products.
“This is the last chance to sign up for the Brunei Friendship Cup,” reports Andrew Huang, AGHS Tournament Organizer. ”Registration will close Wednesday night at midnight. The team is still short on female players for pair go, so ladies, I urge you to find a partner and try for pair go.” More info can be found on the AGHS website. To register, follow this link. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor
February 9: Palo Alto, CA
Bay Area Go Players Association Monthly AGA Ratings Tournament
Roger Schrag firstname.lastname@example.org 510-501-2701
Steve Burrall email@example.com 916-688-2858
Get the latest go events information.
Two German brothers are collaborating to create a free movie trailer to spread the game of go. Sven Walther is a go player and computer scientist, while his brother Lars is an actor and filmmaker. Sven says he’s driven to “inspire people with interesting stuff” while Lars is “wowed by the stories and the drama in a game that appears to be so simple.” The brothers have teamed up to crowd-source $8,000 “to make a short video clip, like a movie trailer, to promote the game of go.” Rather than explaining the rules of the game, the Walthers intend to work with real actors and real movie people to create a professional clip that will create a “fascinating atmosphere to represent the game. The novice will see it and say ‘Whoa, what’s that game? Wanna learn more!’” They’ll make the video available on YouTube, so anyone “can use it to promote the game wherever you want.” With 50 days to go, the duo has already raised just over $2,200 in pledges. With several other professionally-produced shorts – the romantic French go video The Album Leaf Within Dreams (Go Art: Romantic Go Video 12/3/2012 EJ) and the 2012 European Women’s Goe Championship promo (The Red Dress Tesuji 8/26/2012 EJ) – already available, and the feature-length documentary The Surrounding Game now in production, a critical mass of go videos seems to be building.
Young American go players can now sign up for the 20th annual Redmond Cup Tournament. For the first time, the tourney will be held on KGS instead of IGS. There are two divisions in the Cup; the Junior league for kids under 12 years old, and the Senior league for those under 18, on August 10 2012. The two finalists in each division win a free trip to the 2013 US Go Congress to play the final games in person. Competitors in the Senior League must have an AGA rank of 1 dan or higher, in the Junior 5 kyu or stronger. The participants must be members of the American Go Association or the Canadian Go Association and either residents of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, or citizens of the United States living anywhere in the world, provided that they are also members of the AGA. The tournament director for the Redmond Cup is Michael Bull; AGA rules for all games. To register e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone #, date of birth, AGA rating, KGS ID, and citizenship. The registration deadline is March 10, 2013. The Cup is sponsored by Michael Redmond 9P and his family, the American Go Association and the American Go Foundation. Photo: 2012 finalists, Jianing Gan 7d (l), and Calvin Sun 7d(r) compete at the US Go Congress in Black Mountain, NC. – Paul Barchilon, Youth Editor.
When I was reviewing Weiqi2Go (Weiqi2Go Update 1/29 EJ) and discovered that there was no “Import” function, I thought it strange. I assumed that most go apps include this function, but it turns out that a good sgf reader is surprisingly hard to find. Most apps just save the records the user creates. I found only two programs that allow the user to import games: Smart Go Kifu, priced at $19.99; and EasyGo, priced at $11.99. It’s easier to import a large number of files into EasyGo; Smart Go Kifu only lets you do one at a time. On the other hand, Smark Go Kifu already contains a library of 40,000 games, as well as a way to record your games, a tutorial, a pretty strong playing program, 2,000 problems, 30 annotated games, a joseki matching feature, and more. You can also purchase and read many classics from Smart Go Books. Seems worth the extra cost unless you really need to import large databases.
What if you just want a free app to look at your sgfs? For now, it seems there is only one option. It’s a little clunky, but it works. Here’s how:
1. Install the latest version of Panda-Tetsuki, Pandanet’s client for The Internet Go Server client, on your device.
2. Install Dropbox on your device.
3. On your desktop, move the files you want to review to a directory in Dropbox.
4. Make sure your device is connected to the Internet.
5. Open Dropbox on your device, find the sgf you want to view and click on it.
6. A window will open with a button containing the Pand-Tetsuki icon. Click on it.
7. Voila! The game appears onscreen.
You need to be connected to the Internet to load a game, and you can’t save sgfs in Tetsuki, so if you have 3G great, but Wi-Fi has its limits. I guess if you’re serious enough about go to collect game records, you’ll have to spend a few bucks.
Thanks to Tomasz Podolec for pointing out the Dropbox connection.
- Roy Laird
Although there were many familiar faces at the annual Jujo Jiang Ing Cup last weekend, there were many new faces as well. “This year Jujo brought a group from China, led by former LG Cup titleholder — and Chinese National Team Coach — Yu Bin 9P,” reports organizer Ernest Brown. “Also on the tour was Li He, current women’s world go champion.” Nine amateur players from the Chinese contingent joined more than 70 local players on the boards, including Herb Doughty, Steve and Matthew Burrall and Martin Lebl. The 21st Jujo Jiang Ing Cup was held January 26 in San Francisco, sponsored by Ing’s Goe of California and organized by American Ing Goe and the Bay Area Go Association. “Go in the San Francisco area seems to be thriving,” Brown added. The one day, 4-round event used the Go Clubs Online pairing software for the first time, and Brown reports that “The software held up well without any technical problems. We plan to use it again and encourage pre-registration for future tournaments.” Every contestant received a t-shirt from Jiang’s go school in China along with a carton of Kid Robot collectible “Fat Cap” figurines as door prizes. “Jujo plans to bring an even larger group to next year’s tournament,” Brown says.
photos: top left: An Yu (left) & Aaron Ye; bottom right: Herb Doughty. photos by Ernest Brown
Winner’s Report (see below for top-board game records)
Open Division: 1st: Yi Xue; 2nd: An Yu (daughter of Yu Bin); 3rd: Hugh Zhang; 4th: Aaron Ye
Dan Division: 1st: Zhi Ma; 2nd: Jun Yao; 3rd: Chengji Huang; 4th: Daniel Liu
Expert Division: 1st: Linden Chiu; 2nd: Kevin Chou; 3rd: Charles Su; 4th: Eric Branlund
Intermediate Division: 1st: Liang Chen; 2nd: Jonathan Mi; 3rd: Matthias Kramm; 4th: Eric Liu
Novice Division: 1st: Peter Pan; 2nd: Matthew Cheng; 3rd: Maxim Razin; 4th: Eric Huang
Downloadable top-board game records; recorded by Chris Burg
Round 1, Board 1_Hugh Zhang 7d – Shao Liu 7d
Round 2, Board 1_Hugh Zhang 7d – Renyu Chen 7d
Round 3, Board 1_Hugh Zhang 7d – AnYu
Round 4, Board 1_Yi Xue – An Yu
Our friends at Go Game Guru have just posted their 2012 album of favorite go photos, which are great fun to look at – the captions are amusing too — and many of which would make terrific screensavers or wallpaper. Click here for the 2011 collection.