Go is cited in a brand new TED Talk video by physicist and computer scientist Alex Wissner-Gross (right). In “A new equation for intelligence,” Wissner-Gross attempts to give a definition and a formula for intelligence. “His main thesis seems to say that ‘Intelligence is a physical process that resists future confinement, and attempts to maximize the options for diversity,’ ” writes James Michali of the Springs Go Club in Colorado, one of several readers who sent this in. “Among several examples to illustrate this thesis, Alex uses the game of go to make his argument concrete,” says Michali.
Thanks also to James Chao and Cynthia Gaty.
by Keith Arnold, HKA
I am delighted to have been asked to return as AGA Quizmaster and look forward to bringing you a whole new batch of weekly brain-teasers that will test your knowledge of the go world and its fascinating history. I will be ably assisted by quiz veteran Phil Waldron 6 dan and Daniel Chou 6 dan; if you notice clever questions of a new style, they will deserve the credit, while all errors (and unfortunate puns) will remain my responsibility. Please remember to submit your answers on or before Thursday each week. Let the games begin!
Since we’re in a self-referential mood, let’s make our first effort close to home: How many books are in Keith Arnold’s go library? For the purpose of this question, all languages are allowed, including duplicates as long as they are materially different (translations, revised editions with different covers) as opposed to the deranged “doubles” of an obsessed collector. Our E-Journal editor – who interviewed me at my home some years ago — will be as surprised as I am that the number of go books finally exceeds my voluminous collection of books regarding the War Between the States. Is the number 600-700, 700-800, 800-900 or more than 900? Click here to make your guess and, as always, feel free to include your comments, rude or otherwise, as we do award extra points for clever responses. photo: Arnold at the 2012 US Go Congress; photo by Phil Straus
Classic Handicap Books: Whether giving or getting stones, two new translations of classic handicap go books will come in handy. Go master Guo Bailing’s “Sanzi Pu” (Three-Stone Games) and “Sizi Pu” (Four-Stone Games, Part 1 & Part 2 have just been translated by Ruoshi Sun and published on Amazon’s Create Space. The books contains hundreds of diagrams from Guo’s research on three- and four-stone handicap games. In Guo’s own words, “It is the author’s intention to elucidate the countless variations and let people realize that they all follow the basic principles.” Both books were recently added to the AGA’s “New and Noteworthy” page where you’ll find information and links to hundreds of go books both new and old.
SmartGo Says “Oui”: Meanwhile, SmartGo Books is branching out into other languages. After releasing books in Japanese, Spanish, and German, SmartGo Books recently added two books in French: “Comment ne pas jouer au go” is the French translation of “How Not to Play Go” by Yuan Zhou (Slate & Shell), translated by Micaël Bérubé. Also, “Black to Play! – Train the Basics of Go” by Gunnar Dickfeld (Board N’Stones) now includes both French and Spanish translations. Click here for more information on SmartGo Books or here for information in French. Also just added to the SmartGo Books line-up: John Fairbairn’s “New Ways in Go: A complete translation of Honinbo Shuho’s classic Hoen Shinpo”.
Looking for “Tony,” a strong amateur originally from Austria who used to live in Japan and now lives in LA. When he visited Japan last year, we played go at the Japan Go Association’s center in Tokyo. email Kazu Narimatsu at firstname.lastname@example.org
Go Kaizen: The lifehacker website uses Juha Nieminen’s photo of a go board to illustrate a post on how to “Practice your personal Kaizen”. The Japanese management strategy called Kaizen roughly translates to “continuous slow improvement” and Jason Thomas uses the concept here to as “an ideal approach to improve one’s personal workflow.” Thanks to Lisa Garlock for passing this along.
CSM’s Good Reads: Go is mentioned in the Christian Science Monitor’s January 25 Good Reads column. In the section on “Lessons in an ancient war game,” Managing Editor Marshall Ingwerson says that “Games can be a reflection of how people see the world. If the Western world, reared on chess, wants to understand the Chinese worldview, one way is to understand the strategies of Go.” Thanks to David Saunders for sending this in.
Go in Shanghai Factor? The cover of Charles McCarry’s 2013 espionage thriller “The Shanghai Factor” features a go board, reports Dave Bogie. “I’ve lightly skimmed the book at my library and found no go analogies, references or game descriptions. Maybe other E-Journal readers know more about the story.”
Romania: Constantin Ghioc 5d bested Lucretiu Calota 5d at the National Veteran Championship in Bucuresti on January 26 while Liviu Oprisan 4d placed third. Netherlands: Also on January 26, the Dutch Female Championship finished in Amstelveen with Marika Dubiel 2d (left) in first, Mirjam Visscher 4k in second, and Annemarie de Putter 2k in third. Hungary: Dominik Boviz 4d led group 1 in the Kondor Dragon Cup on January 26 in Budapest. Behind him were Robert Csizmadia 1d and Attila Teby 1k.
The annual School Teams Tournament is set for March 22 and 29 this year. Run by the American Go Honor Society (AGHS), and co-sponsored by the AGA and the AGF, the event is the largest annual youth competition in North America, drawing players from dozens of schools across the continent. All K-12 schools and organized learning institutions (such as Chinese language schools) in Canada, the US and Mexico, can register teams consisting of three players. Each school is allowed a maximum of three teams. This year, all teams that complete their matches will also receive an entry prize (regardless of their score in the event). Teams can choose between a full set of Hikaru no Go manga (23 volumes), two classic go books from Slate and Shell (Fundamental Principles of Go, and Master Play), or a $50 gift certificate to the go vendor of their choice (due to customs fees, not all gifts may be available for Mexico and Canada). For more details visit the AGHS website. The event is “a good opportunity to see which school club is the best in North America and a chance for young players to communicate,” says AGHS Promotion head Yunxuan Li, “our recent champions in 2012 and 2013 are High Land Park High School and Albert Einstein High School. Will we see the returning of a defending champ or the rise of a new champion?” Rules for the event are here, to register, click here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Double click on the image to enlarge it to full size.
Get the latest go events information.
Young players, in the US, Canada, and Mexico have until Feb. 11th to register for the North American Kyu Championships (NAKC). The tourney will be held on KGS, on Saturday Feb. 15. Brackets in the NAKC will be divided by rank, with a new bracket formed approximately every 5 ranks or so depending on the range of participants. Within brackets, all games will be played even. Dan level players will be able to compete in the Redmond Cup (including players from Canada and Mexico). Youth who compete in either event will also be eligible for $400 scholarships to the AGA Go Camp, or $200 scholarships to the US Go Congress, courtesy of the AGF, on a first come first served basis. Registration is now open for both the NAKC and the Redmond Cup, and more information can be found on the AGA webpage for youth events. The deadline for the NAKC is Feb. 11th. to register, click here. For Redmond Cup registration, click here. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor.
Jo Hanseung 9P & Park Jeongsang 9P on the Lee Sedol – Gu Li Jubango Game: This game commentary on the
January 26 game between Lee Sedol 9P and Gu Li 9P — the first of their jubango (Lee Sedol Off and Running as MLily Jubango Begins with Gu Li, 1/26 EJ) — was transcribed from the Baduk TV live stream and includes variations and comments by commentators Jo Hanseung 9P and Park Jeongsang 9P.
Kuksu Games Available: The game records from the recent Kuksu Cup are now available; four uncommented sgf files have been added to our January 16 report (Cho Hanseung Wins 3rd Consecutive Kuksu 1/16 EJ).
- Ben Gale, Korean Correspondent for the E-Journal
The first round of play has mostly been completed for the AGA City League, reports TD Steve Colburn. In the A League,
Boston defeated Los Angeles (2-1), Greater Washington beat Toronto (3-0), and Canwa Vancouver 1 defeated Seattle 1 (2-1). In B League, Chicago beat Washington DC 1 (3-0), NC Raleigh defeated Washington DC 2 (2-1), and New York City defeated San Francisco 1 (3-0). In C League, Seattle 2 won over West Tennessee/Memphis (2-1), Canwa Vancouver 2 defeated Katy TX 2 (3-0), Brentwood/Nashville def Lincoln (2-1) and Central New York/Syracuse vs Katy TX 1 is in progress, currently 1-1. Check the Pandanet site for all the most up to date information. Here’s the game record for the Evan Cho (LA) vs Huiren Yang (Boston) game.
Tony Buzan, the inventor of mind-mapping and author of numerous books on enhancing the power of the brain, has made his debut appearance at a go tournament at the age of 71. The man once named by Forbes Magazine alongside Henry Kissinger, Margaret Thatcher and Michail Gorbachev as one of the world’s top five international lecturers played in round one of the annual Maidenhead Go Tournament, held January 18 at Hitachi’s European Headquarters in Maidenhead, south-east England, after seeing publicity about the tourney in his local newspaper, the Maidenhead Advertiser.
He entered with a nominal grade of 10k, but it seems this may have been wishful thinking as opponent Colin Maclennan of Twickenham Go Club, with a thick grade of 10k, won by a large margin. Maclennan says, “In our game it soon became apparent that I was building a huge moyo that he allowed me to turn into territory. He then invaded with little hope of life. In the end I won by over 100 points.”
It appears that Buzan has long wanted to find the time to learn to play go well, though it is hardly surprising, with his prodigious output and many speaking and other commitments, that he has not so far been able to put in the many hours required to master the game. British Go Association VP Tony Atkins says Buzan approached the Association some twenty years ago, enquiring about learning at the time when manytime British and European Champion Matthew Macfadyen 6d was actively teaching. He added, “I still have fond memories of a festival of the brain that [Buzan] organized at the Royal Albert Hall some years ago, which we were privileged to teach go at”. Atkins organizes the go competition in the Mind Sports Olympiad (see Taylor Wins Gold at London’s Mind Sports Olympiad, EJ 8/28/13), which Buzan co-founded.
However, the novice promised tournament organizer Iain Attwell that he will be attending some of Maidenhead Go Club‘s Friday evening meets in the future. If he does, he will be in good hands: the club and tournament, sponsored by Hitachi, grew out of the Furze Platt School go club which Attwell founded some twenty-five years ago with fellow teacher France Ellul who had taught him to play, and the school produced every single Under-16 and Under-18 British Youth Champion for a number of years. Attwell described his guest as “a very nice gentleman”, and expressed hopes that Buzan will be as good as his word.
In a surprise finish, Toby Manning 2d of Leicester this year stole the tournament from British Championship Challenger Andrew Simons 4d of Cambridge in the third and final round. Click here for full results.
Report by Tony Collman, British correspondent for the E-Journal; photo courtesy of Buzan’s mindmappingsoftware blog.
Ireland: The first half of the Irish Championship League finished on January 19 in Dublin with Roman Pszonka 3d in first, James Hutchinson 1d in second, and Tiberiu Gociu 3k in third. Russia: Also on January 19, the Russian Youth Championship finished in Moscow. Grigorij Fionin 4d won the under 16 division with Dmitrij Miljutkin 4d in second and Anton Chernykh 4d in third. Kim Shakhov 1k took the under 12 tournament while Andrej Mramorov 3k placed second and Mikhail Dobricyn 4k came in third. Romania: Adrian Nedan 2k (left) bested Elian Ioan Grigoriu 1d at the MPRB 5.2 Braila on January 19. Iulian Toma 3d was third.
– Annalia Linnan, based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV
NOTE (1/29): this report has been updated to reflect that only the first half of the Irish Championship League finished on January 19, not the entire league.
Though both players shocked fans and each other with many unexpected moves, Lee Sedol 9p defeated rival Gu Li 9p in the first game of their jubango, or ten-game series, on January 26 in Beijing. Cheering on Lee were his wife and daughter while Gu was backed by his former teacher, legendary instructor Nie Weiping 9p. Younggil and others provided live commentary during the game but Younggil is also working on written commentary for those who may have missed it. For more information on the MLily Gu vs Lee jubango including photos, analysis, and continuous updates, please visit Go Game Guru.
– Annalia Linnan, based on a longer article by Go Game Guru; photo and game record courtesy of Go Game Guru
John Zhang 4D, Peter Enyeart 3k and Damon Hoffman 17k all went 4-0 to top the Austin “Dead of Winter” Go Tournament on January 25 at local game store Great Hall Games in Austin, TX. “This was the first of what is planned to be quarterly tournaments throughout 2014,” said tournament director Bart Jacob. He added that although “the unusually cold and icy weather limited the number of out-of-town players this time, we hope and expect future tournaments will draw players from Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and beyond.” On a side note, Jacob also said that “The rumored participation of Lee Seedol 9P and Gu Li 9P was proved incorrect as apparently they could not reschedule their commitment to their first game of their jubango match.” photo: Bart Jacob (left) with John Zhang.
In Portland, OR, there are now over 100 children in chess and go programs, spread over five schools, and organized by Peter Freedman and Fritz Balwit. Freedman teaches go and Balwit teaches chess in most schools. “We decided to leverage our long-running chess and go program at Irvington Elementary,” Freedman told the Journal, “I approached several school chess coaches about the idea of morphing their chess clubs into chess and go clubs. The Richmond club got off to a rousing start in November, with 41 children, 1st-5th grades, coming to the first meeting. Limited to 40, we were oversubscribed, with parents coming to the meeting with checks hoping there was still room to enroll their children. It was the best response ever to a new chess and go club, and confirms our view that ‘the way to a new go player’s heart is through chess.’ While Richmond is a Japanese language magnet school, where go is more familiar than the average school, a great many of these children did play chess, or want to, but had never heard of go,” said Freedman. Parents are enthusiastic too, with one writing in to say:”just wanted to let you know Ben had a great time today. He had said earlier that he didn’t want to learn go, but after one lesson, he is begging me to buy him a go board. I will sign him up for the rest of the year and will put a check in the mail tomorrow.”
For several years Freedman and Balwit had tried to establish go clubs in schools, but they were short-lived and drew minimal numbers. Meanwhile, Irvington chess and go club had run for many years, with upwards of 30 students every term. ”It is quite clear to me that chess and go clubs have a much better chance to introduce children and teens to go than free-standing go clubs,” says Freedman. ”John Goon has a similar approach in Maryland. There is a segment of our culture that knows, appreciates and respects chess, while only a few know of go. Yet, many of us were chess players before we were go players. It seems like a nice path. We need a new motto: chess is our friend, not our enemy.”
In addition to the Irvington and Richmond programs, Freedman reports that several other schools are picking up the model. The Grant High School chess club morphed into a chess and go club this year, with about 12 students. Beverly Cleary elementary school did as well, with Freedman teaching go and long time chess coach Brad Kerstetter continuing his work. Freedman also envisions that his model should be economically sustainable, is actively pursuing this: “At Irvington and Richmond we charge $75/term, or $150 for the year, per child, for a one hour/week club meeting. In Irvington, Beverly Clearly, and Richmond we divide the group in two. For the first month half of the kids play go, half play chess. The second month, they switch. After that they choose: chess only, go only, or, chess and go. If they choose chess and go, they play one game for 4 weeks, and then switch each four weeks until the end of school,” reports Freedman.
“Needless to say, the starter kits and technical support we get from the AGF are an important part of our success,” notes Freedman, “we order and pay shipping for a Hikaru no Go manga set at each school where we teach as well.” Freedman and Balwitz have put together curriculum guides and outlines for their method, which can be downloaded on the AGA Teaching Page. Free equipment, Hikaru no Go, and other resources are available on the AGF website. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo from the Irvington Elementary School Yearbook (click on image to view it at full size).
“Very soon after I started playing go, I learned that there would be a tournament in Ann Arbor,” writes Bob Barber (right). “I entered at 16 kyu. At that time, I was progressing a stone or three every year (blessed memories!), so I did well in those tournaments. Soon, Roger White was encouraging me (some might say pestering me) to have a tournament in Chicago. When I finally relented, I based it entirely on David Relson’s pattern, including the post-tourney pizza party. So, all the folks from around the country and around the world who played in a Chicago tournament can thank Mr. Relson (In Memoriam: David Relson 1/20 EJ). I am the same age (as the 65-year-old Relson), and have in my youth cycled 73 miles in one day. Now I consider 30 a good workout. Also, try as I might, I never could match David’s facial hair. Surely a life too brief. But how many of us will meet our end doing something we love?” photo: Barber (r) with Xuyu Xiang 6D at the September 3 2011 Form Follows Function Tournament in Chicago, IL; photo by Dan Smith
The highly anticipated first game of the 10-game series (jubango) with $860,000 in prize money between Lee Sedol and Gu Li will be held in China on Sunday, Jan. 26 (Lee Sedol-Gu Li Jubango to be Broadcast Live on KGS 1/20 EJ). Thanks to the international date line, this game will start on Saturday evening, Jan. 25 in the U.S. The game will be broadcast by KGS starting at 8:30 pm EST, and 5:30 pm PST. The commentary by Myungwan Kim and others will start at 10 pm EST and 7 pm PST.
Here is a promo for the match from China, with English subtitles provided by gogameguru.com. The Seattle Go Center will be showing the game with a digital projector and host Andrew Jackson is planning on staying up late, since the game could run 8 hours. Saturday Manager Dennis Wheeler added “we’re going to make it a big midnight party”. Photo: KGS broadcast of Takemiya simultaneous games from the Seattle Go Center (Aug. 2013). Photo/Report by Brian Allen
Eight of Europe’s top players will battle it out online starting this Thursday in the 1st WBaduk European Top 8 Champions League. Organized by the European Go Federation and WBaduk, the 7-round round robin tournament has a 3,000-euro prize pool, with 1,000 euros to the winner. The players are Hui Fan 2P (France), Ilya Shikshin 7D (Russia), Catalin Taranu 5P (Romania), Alexander Dinerchtein 3P (Russia), Antti Tormanen 7D (Finland), Pavol Lisy 6D (Slovakia), Artem Kachanovski 7D (Ukraine) and Csaba Mero 6D (Hungary). Rounds will be played on the Wbaduk server every Thursday and Monday at 19:30 (1:30p EST) Central European Time from January 23 through February 13.