World news

Research Offers a New Look at Go Players’ Brains

AGA news - Thu, 06/02/2014 - 13:28
A research collaboration in Seoul has revealed new information about the cognitive requirements of playing go and the effects that it may have on the brain. A team compared a group of expert go players with a group of beginners and published the results in the journal “Frontiers in Human Neuroscience”. The work revealed several differences between the brains of the beginner and the expert. The experts had increased volume in certain areas of the brain, decreased volume in others, greater interconnectivity between certain regions and differences in the overall brain structure. A correlation between the magnitude of the effect and the number of years of go training suggests that these differences are not simply the result of a predisposition of these people to continue playing go. Rather, the difference in brain structure can be explained by the the fact that the brain rewires itself to meet new skill requirements. This phenomenon, known as neuroplasticity, has been observed before in chess players. The areas of the brain in which the experts outmatched the novices are associated with visuospatial processing and emotional regulation in decision making, among others. This suggests that these skills are important in go. Thus, it appears that long-term go training can enhance these and other skills and can indeed be used as a tool for brain development. The complete article is available here. The literature search section links to many other fascinating studies as well. There are several related articles. Click here for one that discusses similar specific physical changes in the brain and reaches similar conclusions. The EJ covered this article at length in 2010 here.
- Ben Gale, Korean Correspondent for the E-Journal
Categories: World news

EuroGoTV Update: Romania, Netherlands, Hungary

AGA news - Wed, 05/02/2014 - 14:34

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.

– Annalia Linnan,  based on reports from EuroGoTV, which include complete result tables and all the latest European go news; photo courtesy of EuroGoTV

Categories: World news

School Teams Tournament Set for March

AGA news - Tue, 04/02/2014 - 19:58

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.

 

Categories: World news

This Week’s Go Calendar: Alhambra, Minneapolis, Simsbury, Tempe

AGA news - Mon, 03/02/2014 - 14:00

February 8-9: Alhambra, CA
Dado 2014 Southern California Go Championship
Kevin Chao ocgoclub@aaace.us ocgoclub@yahoo.com 949-466-1479

February 8: Minneapolis, MN
2014 TCGO Winter Open
Aaron Broege aaron.broege@gmail.com 612-384-8789

February 8: Simsbury, CT
Simsbury Open Scholastic Go Championship
Michael Scudder michael.j.scudder@gmail.com 860-294-1983

February 8: Tempe, AZ
2014 Phoenix Chinese Week Go Open
Quan Li qb081449@gmail.com 602-326-7556
Bill Gundberg bill@azgoclub.org 480-831-5567

Get the latest go events information.

Categories: World news

Kyu Championships Deadline Feb. 11th

AGA news - Sun, 02/02/2014 - 01:07

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. 

Categories: World news

31 Jan – A Tale of Two Tournaments

Irish Go Association - Fri, 31/01/2014 - 21:37

As February beckons from behind the calendar, we reach out to our members to bring them news of two events.

1. The IGA Ladder tournament will start on February the 17th, this event is open to all IGA members.  As well as being a qualification pathway to the Irish Championship League, it can also help you to qualify for the Korean Prime Minister’s Cup, or it could even just offer you a chance to enjoy some serious games of Go. Register now at ladder @ irish-go.org.

2. The Irish Correspondence Championship is running on Dragon Go Server, you can follow the games using the links on the scoretable. Arthur Cater has dashed into an early lead in the Intermediate section, whilst the Open section is currently experiencing a three way tie.

Categories: World news

Report from Korea: Jo Hanseung 9P & Park Jeongsang 9P on the Lee Sedol – Gu Li Jubango Game; Kuksu Games Available

AGA news - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 23:18

Jo Hanseung 9P & Park Jeongsang 9P on the Lee Sedol – Gu Li Jubango Game: This game commentary on the

download SGF file

 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 

Categories: World news

Jan 28 – Ireland stuck mid-table

Irish Go Association - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 20:25

Climbing to the top of League C is continuing to prove difficult for Ireland. Our latest match was played on Tuesday night against Turkey. On board 1 Gavin won a typically chaotic game against a 5 dan opponent. Sadly though, the rest of the boards performed less admirably, and Ireland tumbled to a 3-1 loss. This leaves us in 8th place in the league now, but we have a chance to improve our position against the somewhat weaker opposition in the second half of the season.

Categories: World news

AGA City League First Round Results

AGA news - Tue, 28/01/2014 - 03:30

The first round of play has mostly been completed for the AGA City League, reports TD Steve Colburn. In the A League,

download SGF file

 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.

Categories: World news

Mind-Mapper Tony Buzan Takes a Turn at the Go Board

AGA news - Mon, 27/01/2014 - 23:00

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.

Categories: World news

EuroGoTV Update: Ireland, Russia, Romania

AGA news - Mon, 27/01/2014 - 14:00

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. 

Categories: World news

Lee Sedol Off and Running as MLily Jubango Begins with Gu Li

AGA news - Sun, 26/01/2014 - 23:45

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

 

download SGF file

Categories: World news

Zhang, Enyeart & Hoffman Sweep in Austin, TX

AGA news - Sun, 26/01/2014 - 20:00

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.

Categories: World news

Portland Chess and Go Programs Booming

AGA news - Sun, 26/01/2014 - 01:29

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).

Categories: World news

Your Move/Readers Write: Remembering Relson

AGA news - Sat, 25/01/2014 - 19:36

“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

Categories: World news

Updated Broadcast Times for Saturday’s Lee Sedol – Gu Li Game

AGA news - Thu, 23/01/2014 - 17:00

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

Categories: World news

Europe’s “Top 8″ to Battle Online in Champions League

AGA news - Wed, 22/01/2014 - 17:00

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.

Categories: World news

Ari Saito 2014 San Diego Champ

AGA news - Tue, 21/01/2014 - 22:58

Ari Saito 7D (right front) topped a field of more than 30 go players gathered on the UC San Diego campus January 18 “on a beautiful 70+ degree southern California day” to contend for the 2014 San Diego Go Championship, reports San Diego Go Club President Ted Terpstra. “The ultimate game pitted Saito against Yixian Zhou 6D (left front),” said Terpstra. Saito’s win win gave him a 3-0 record, the $100 first prize and the title. Jenna Jansen 3k not only won the kyu championship with a 3-0 record but took the dual title of San Diego Women’s Champion. In the title game, she edged long-time AGA stalwart Les Lanphear by 3.5 points. David SU, 26-kyu won the youth prize for his 3-0 finish. The third annual tournament was a combined effort of the UCSD Go Club and the San Diego Go Club. photo by Ted Terpstra

Categories: World news

In Memoriam: David Relson

AGA news - Tue, 21/01/2014 - 02:03
David Relson, a “mainstay of the AGA” from the mid-1970′s to the mid-’80′s, died on September 21, 2013 at 65. An active cyclist, “he was almost home after riding 73 miles on a beautiful fall day when he collapsed,” reported his family in their annual letter. “Dave was a key member of the group which took the hand-off of a recreated AGA from a small group in New York (John Stephenson, Matthias Thim, and Masao Takabe) and moved it to the next level with broader national support,” former AGA president Terry Benson tells the E-Journal. “His enthusiasm was infectious. He was smart and sharp and reliable and an early computer person with both skills and personality.  A great guy.” Relson was president of the Ann Arbor Go Club when in January 1977 Ann Arbor was the first club to insist on AGA membership by all its members. He served in a succession of leadership roles at the AGA for a dozen years beginning in 1976, serving as Membership Secretary, AGA rating coordinator, and on the Executive Committee, as well as assisting in running Easterns, the AGA’s major tournament at the time. “Dave was also the second AGAer to go to the European Go Congress (1977 in the Netherlands), report back, and encourage others to go and for us to have a Congress,” Benson adds. “He was a generous and thoughtful teacher,” remembers Dewey Cornell, who met Relson in 1978, when Relson ran the Ann Arbor club which met at the University of Michigan. “He started out each meeting by distributing a printout with our latest ratings. For a new player, that was a nice incentive.” - includes reporting — and photo (top right) by T. Benson — from the American Go Journal, Vol. 15 #4 (July-August-Sept 1980), page 37
Categories: World news

Cuban Delegation Invited to US Go Congress

AGA news - Tue, 21/01/2014 - 00:29

A delegation of Cuban go players has been invited to attend this year’s U.S. Go Congress for the first time and AGA board member Robert Gilman is coordinating fundraising efforts to support the visit. “The Cubans have greeted our invitation with ‘immense joy’,” Gilman — who organized the 2013 visit by US players to Cuba (Traveling Board: U.S.-Cuba Friendship Match “A Rare Opportunity”) — reports, “but the key question is money. Cuba is a poor country, the Cuban internal currency is worthless in the U.S. and the AGA does not have the budget to sponsor the delegation, so we’re asking the go community to step up. Cubans have made strong efforts to develop go there, but isolation from the international go community and limited internet have handicapped them. This visit will help them develop and extend bonds with our neighbors to the South.” The invitees are  Cuba’s top two players and the president of the Academia Cubana de Go. The video here describes this effort.

Contributions can be made through either the AGA or the American Go Foundation (AGF); contributions to the AGF are tax deductible. In either case, put “CC2014” in the memo field, and mail the check to Gilman at  P.O. Box 40020 in Albuquerque, NM 87196-0020. Checks will be acknowledged as they are received but not cashed until its clear the project is a go. If you are contributing, please complete the form here.

Categories: World news
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