With just three weeks left to register for the third annual Young Kwon National Online Tournament (YKNOT), the field already shows “an exciting diversity of ranks from the high 7 dans all the way into the 20 kyus!” reports AGA
Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. The tournament, with $3,000 in total prizes, is shaping up to have a very strong open section, with at least 9 of the registrants so far being 6 dan or stronger. Players of any level can register for free. “Brand new AGA members are welcome,” Burrall adds, “or even those who haven’t joined the AGA yet, as long as players are AGA members by the time of the tournament, they may participate!” Players don’t have to be citizens or permanent residents either; if you live in the US you are eligible to compete and AGA life members living anywhere are also eligible. Now in its third year, the tournament has produced two champions so far, both professional players: Zhanbo Sun 2P in 2011, and Mingming Yin 1P in 2012. Check out the final game of the 2012 tournament between Mingming Yin 1P (Mingming) and Jie Liang 8D (gust) at right, featuring some exciting fighting throughout the game. “Continued thanks goes to Young Kwon for sponsoring this exciting tournament and his dedication to promoting go in the US!” says Burrall. “His support makes all of this possible.” Players who have already registered (or if you just want to see who is playing), click here and double check that your information is correct. If you requested a rank adjustment when you registered, these changes are not displayed yet; Burrall will be contacting players closer to the tournament date to discuss any rating change requests.
With just a week before starting his 200-mile trek across England (E-Journal Editor’s 200-mi UK Walk to Raise Funds for AGF 4/17 EJ), American Go E-Journal Managing Editor Chris Garlock 3D Garlock has raised nearly half of his $1,000 fundraising goal. “Go players have been incredibly generous,” says Garlock – who’s undertaking the Coast to Coast Walk with his wife Lisa to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary and raise funds for the AGF. “From our friends at Go Game Guru to AGA President Andy Okun and San Diego Go Club president Ted Terpstra, the response has been truly inspiring.” The AGF supports go in hundreds of schools, libraries and community centers across the country, provides scholarships and resources for youth who play go, and supports go in institutional settings such as prisons, and senior centers. Click here to donate and follow him on Facebook (Christopher Garlock) for posts from the Walk.
- photo by Lisa Garlock
If you’ve been thinking about visiting Vienna, mid-June could be just the time. The Österreichischer Goverband will be hosting Wien 2013, Vienna’s annual International Go Tournament June 15-16. Attractions include plenty of prize money, book prizes for players with multiple wins, and a venue in one of the most beautiful parts of Vienna, near the Lainzer Tiergarten, 20 minutes to the city center. Registered players will also enjoy inexpensive meals, free wifi, and a welcome party June 14 that includes grilled food, poker, and free go play. Players who register before May 20 are eligible for discounted accommodations. For more information on rules and how to register, visit the official Wien 2013 website.
Strong players in the Eastern Region will have another chance to earn points towards the North American Masters Tournament on Memorial Day weekend. The May 25-26 Maryland Open in Baltimore has been designated the second NAMT Qualifier for the Eastern Region, reports AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. “Now in its 40th year, the Maryland Open is a great competition with a long history,” says Burrall, “and is a fantastic opportunity for players in the open section to earn points towards the North American Masters Tournament at this year’s U.S. Go Congress in August.” The five-round, two-day tournament also offers prizes in all dan and kyu sections. Check out the Maryland Open section of the Baltimore Go Club webpage for information on schedule, directions, and nearby lodgings for traveling players. - photo: Jie Li 7d, Andy Liu 1P and Daniel Chou 6d review a game at the 2012 Maryland Open; photo by Chris Garlock
Chang Hao 9p (left) and Chenxing Wang 5p (right) took first place at the Tri-Nation Pair Go tournament, held in Heifei, China, April 30 through May 2. They fended off a challenge from 2nd place winners Korean duo, Jung Choi 3p and her former teacher Changhyeok Yu 9p, while Japanese pair Satoshi Yuki 9p and Ayumi Suzuki 6p came in third.
The pair go tournament was the main attraction, and go fans also had a chance to play professionals during the event. Former Chinese Go Association President Runan Wang 8p (below) even made an appearance, playing some of Anhui Province’s youngest players.
Another instance of the old connecting with the new was the venue itself: Three Kingdoms Park. As mentioned on Go Game Guru, Chinese history buffs will recognize “Three Kingdoms” as a tempestuous period in Chinese history, filled with struggles between the Wei, Shu and Wu kingdoms. In the same region where there are ancient ruins from those dark times, players of all ages enjoyed peaceful teaching games.
For more information about the tournament including photos and game records, please visit Go Game Guru. -Annalia Linnan, photos from gogameguru.com
The most recent episode of Da Vinci’s Demons “The Prisoner” (Episode 3) — is structured to parallel a game of go, played by Riario and the eponymous, mysterious prisoner. ”The villain forces a prisoner to teach him go,” reports EJ reader Diego F. Pierrottet. “The villain then uses the go strategy and philosophy that he is learning against his enemies, in this case DaVinci’s employer and DaVinci himself.” The series airs Friday nights at 9 pm on Starz.
- Dave Weimer
Over 100 early birds have registered for the 2013 U.S. Go Congress, which runs August 3-11 in Tacoma, Washington. Registration cost rises $50 after May 31; payment must be made in full to receive the early-bird discount (which is why only 48 show on the “Who’s Coming” page, though some registrants simply may not yet selected room and board plans).
“This Congress has new exciting plans,” says Congress Co-Director Chris Kirschner. “The AGA will issue official rank certificates, a teacher’s workshop will inaugurate an AGA teacher certification program, and The Pentathlon is a new competitive opportunity for the truly dedicated.” Combined scores from the U.S. Open, Self-Paired, 9×9, 13×13 and the Lightning tournaments will determine the Pentathlon winners. photo: Mt. Rainier, nearby the Congress site
Though he is a 7-time European Go Champion, the first Russian player to achieve professional rank and currently considered one of Europe’s finest players, Alexandre Dinerchtein 3p (“breakfast” on KGS) keeps his accomplishments in perspective.
Referring to his record against Ilya Shikshin 7d (“roln111″ on KGS), he told the E-Journal in a recent interview that “The official score is 24-8, but we cannot say that I am stronger.” Dinerchtein says he won early games against Shikshin because the distance in strength between them was much greater. For example, in their first match in 2001, Dinerchtein, the European Champion, played Shikshin as a 3-dan amateur. Their score in recent games has been more evenly matched, however, and Dinerchtein says he thinks Shikshin has more talent. “My score is not bad with him only because I know his go style well, his weak and strong points.” Citing strategy as a key Shikshin weakness, Dinerchtein said he forces Shikshin to solve more strategy-oriented problems. Shikshin “plays the same fuseki in every game for exactly the same reason,” says Dinerchtein, “he likes to avoid fuseki and joseki questions and start middlegame fights early.” These middlegame conflicts are Shikshin’s greatest strength and Dinerchtein’s biggest weakness. “I cannot fight as well as Ilya can and I hate any risk on the go board,” Dinerchtein told the E-Journal. Like his favorite professional Kobayashi Koichi 9P, Dinerchtein would rather games be as peaceful and risk-free as possible.
In terms of game study, Dinerchtein said that when he started playing go 25 years ago, “it was hard to find even a single go book, [a] single pro game record.” But now with many go books, game databases, and internet lessons (including his Insei League KGS go school), “it’s easy to find good partners online, so you can improve a lot without even visiting Asian go schools.” Dinerchtein emphasized the importance of studying professional games by using chess as an example. “Every chess grandmaster who wants to win tournaments spends a lot of time preparing new variations using go game databases,” he said, “I am sure soon we will see the same situation in go.”
Though go resources have expanded, the thing Dinerchtein would like to see most in the future is more “serious” interaction between top European and U.S. players. Except for his game with Michael Redmond 9P in 2001, he has never played any top U.S. players in an official event. As for recent U.S.-European events, he said, “I saw the matches between Lee Sedol and U.S. pros (and European pro Taranu), but I don’t think that they were interesting enough” because they were “novelty” fast games. He’d like to see the European Go Federation (EGF) and American Go Association (AGA) sponsor tournaments with big titles and prize purses, like those organized by the Chinese Weiqi Association, Korean Baduk Association and the Nihon Ki-in in Japan. Find out more about Dinerchtein on his homepage, KGS, OGS, DGS, or sign up for the GOAMA newsletter.
- Annalia Linnan
In our April 29 Power Report, we mis-spelled the name of the Huading Tea Industries Cup World Women’s Team Tournament; we apologize for the error.
The Shanghai Ing Foundation has opened its first International Collegiate GO Tournament to US and Canadian college students, according to Michael Fodera of the American Collegiate Go Association. Students who attend the July 7-13 event will play go with players from all over China and the world, travel around Shanghai and Hangzhou and play teaching games with stars Gu Li 9P and Chang Hao 9P. While players must cover their own travel costs to China, their food, accommodation, travel within China, tour costs and sponsored events will be paid for by the Shanghai Ing Foundation. “I was one of the players that attended the [Ing-sponsored] 2011 go summer camp,” Fodera tells the E-Journal, “ and I can honestly say that this is a chance of a lifetime. The Ing Foundation really does not spare any expense when it comes to these events.” The opportunity is open to players who have attended college or will attend college — undergraduate or graduate — in the 2013 calendar year, and who do not hold a professional certification from a recognized go association.
Act fast, however. The deadline for registration is May 15, and, while there is currently no cap on the number of North American students who can attend, the event includes students from the rest of the world as well and if room runs out, requests will be handled on a first-come first-served basis, Fodera says. Click here for details of the trip, as well as links to the registration form and schedule. Questions may be addressed to Fodera at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Shanghai Ing Foundation’s Min Xiao at email@example.com.
- Andy Okun
Nominations for the American Go Foundation’s Teacher of the Year award have been extended until May 30th. The award is presented each year at the U.S. Go Congress and recognizes an outstanding American teacher. The winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to the congress. To be eligible, a teacher must be a member of the AGA, have been teaching go to children for at least two hours a week (during the school year) for two years, have started a go club or organization for youth, and have helped their students enter appropriate tournaments, if possible. If you would like to apply for this award, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations are due by May 30th and should include a description of the teacher’s activities, how long they have been teaching, and how many students attend their program. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: 2011 winner Fritz Balwit teaching his son Theo.
In the uncontested race to complete Bob Barber’s term as AGA Director for the Central Region, “Bob Gilman wins with 100% of the vote,” reports Arnold Eudell. Gilman (left), who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is affiliated with the Santa Fe Go Club. A long time AGA member, Gilman has contributed articles to the E-Journal, edited several pages in the recent update of the AGA web site and organized a trip this past February by a group of US players who traveled to Cuba for friendship games at the Academia Cubana de Go in Havana. “I am interested in encouraging greater active involvement by AGA members in forming and executing AGA development plans,” Gilman says. Reach him at BobGilman.AGA@gmail.com
Oystein Vestgaarden 2d bested Paal Sannes 4d and Kim Johansson 1d came in third at the Oslo Open on April 21. In the League A Japan Counsil Cup in Sankt-Peterburg April 13 and 14, Alexander Dinerchtein 7d defeated Ilya Shikshin 7d while Alexander Vashurov 5d placed third. Silvestru State 1d won the Romanian Youth Championship – U 16 final in Bucuresti on April 14 with Denis Dobranis 3k in second and Darius Dobranis 1k in third. For complete result tables and all the latest European go news, visit EuroGoTV.com.
SmartGo Books has been quietly adding more books over the last months, publisher Anders Kierulf reports. John Fairbairn’s “The Life, Games and Commentaries of Honinbo Shuei” is one of three more books added recently, bringing the total to 61.
“Honinbo Shuei” contains a full biography, detailed commentaries on 79 of his games, and 11 commentaries written by Shuei. “It combines six books that were available for the Kindle (combined price $54) into one $20 masterpiece while vastly improving readability and interactivity,” says Kierulf. “One reason Shuei is so famous is because of his pure but elusive style; he is still esteemed as the best model for even modern professionals to follow.”
“Schwarz am Zug: Das Go-Übungsbuch” by Gunnar Dickfeld is SmartGo Books’ first book in German, containing 131 go problems for beginners. “As with our other multi-lingual books (“Patterns of the Sanrensei” in Japanese and “How NOT to Play Go” in Spanish),” notes Kierulf, “English is always an option.” Click here for more information on books by Brett und Stein Verlag.
“The Workshop Lectures, vol. 5” by Yilun Yang 7P looks at choosing areas in the opening, handling unusual opening moves, and protecting positions. “As always, Mr. Yang emphasizes the importance of understanding general principles rather than memorizing particular patterns,” says Kierulf.
SmartGo Books is a free app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, with books available through in-app purchase.
Reviewed by Roy Laird
GoEye, the latest go-related app for iOS 5.0+ iPhones, helps you organize, build and enjoy your sgf collection, but offers no content of its own. I’m pretty happy with the sgf readers I’ve written about before, but GoEye does have a couple of unique functions. For commented games, the PDF creator turns the SGF into a PDF file with numbered stones on a series of diagrams, and the accompanying comments at the bottom at the bottom of each page. So for instance, if the first comment appears at move 5, the PDF will show a game record with moves 1-5 and the comment; if the second comment is at move 17, the next record will show move 6-17; etc. Explanatory diagrams also appear, and the pages curl nicely as you “turn” them. There’s an “Alert” function that tells you when you get to the next comment. The game info pops up, pushing the board down, a move that is sure to get your attention; you can swipe it back into place, but I would prefer an alert that doesn’t disturb the status quo.
I was unable to load large files, such as Kogo’s Joseki Dictionary. I told the developer, who then released an update he claims fixed this bug, but I still can’t get such a large file to load. A link with Go4go.net gives you access to recent pro game records, or for €9.99 purchase the entire 33,000 game archive; but at present you can’t search Go4Go while within GoEye. They also plan to integrate seamlessly with others sites such as GoBase, but for now it’s easy enough to collect the files you want directly, then use the reader of your choice to view them.
GoEye also contains an “image recognition” feature meant to read images of go games and transform them into sgfs. I found it somewhat tricky and picky. You can use it for instance when players post positions on GoDiscussions.com and ask for comments, but it doesn’t work well with photos. GoEye is integrated with Facebook and Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site.
GoEye provides users with first-rate graphics and a couple of nice features, but falls short of its self-proclaimed status as “the best iOS app for go.” If you spend a lot of time looking at SGF files, and you’re not happy with any of the readers that are out there, maybe it’s worth $11.99 to give GoEye a try; unfortunately there is no free trial offer. But if you’re shopping for software that helps you study, consider other apps that offer original content and additional features.
“Go is alive and well here in Manhattan!” reports Big Apple organizer Peter Armenia. “We of course have our very regular Gotham Go Group every Tuesday evening at 7 at the Hungarian Pastry Shop. And it looks like there will be Go every Wednesday night at 6 pm at PIE By the Pound (124 4th Ave btw 12th and 13th). Now all we need is a Go Congress in New York City!”
The sequel to last year’s Oscar Wilde Liberation (OWL) Tournament, “OWL: Resurrection”, will be this year’s first online NAMT qualifier, reports Karoline Burrall, who will direct, with Jasmine Yan. The 4-round tournament will take place the weekend of May 18-19, “the 19th being the 116th anniversary of the great author and playwright Oscar Wilde’s liberation from Reading Gaol Prison in 1897,” Burrall tells the E-Journal. “Participants will have the opportunity to earn points towards the North American Masters Tournament at this year’s Go Congress in August,” Burrall adds. Designed for 16 players, all games will be played on KGS in the AGA Tournament Room. Click here for tournament schedule and rules and here to register by Thursday May 16. Players must be 4D+ and eligible to compete in NAMT (citizen or permanent resident, continuous AGA membership since January 2012, and resident in the US for 6 of the last 12 months). Burrall notes that “should this tournament fall on the same weekend again next year, it will be titled ‘OWL: Apocalypse’”.
“Thank you for posting the history of the German go pro who died in Guatemala (Remembering German Go Professional Hans Pietsch 4/26 EJ),” writes Brazilian go organizer Roberto Petresco. “I knew the history and perhaps I heard about it when it happened, but I had no idea of the details nor (had I seen his) face. I am happy to know his memory is being preserved with events organized in his memory. Imagine how go would be in Germany if he had the chance to keep working.”
Aaron Ye 5d, who has been the Jr. Division US Youth Champion for the past three years, pulled a surprise upset at the Jujo Jiang Youth Cup in Sunnyvale, CA, on March 24th. Ye, who is just 11, lost his Jr. Division title to Jeremy Chiu 5d in the US Youth Go Championships in February, and was out to settle a score. Reigning Sr. Division champion Calvin Sun 7d was also unseated by Andrew Lu 6d at the USYGC. All of these matches were held online, but Ye was determined to even the score when he got the chance to play both Chiu and Lu face to face at the Jujo Cup. Taking white against Chiu, Ye captured a large group on the lower side, and then forced Chiu to resign in just 132 moves. Ye next took on Andrew Lu, and despite falling behind in the opening, was able to regain his footing, and defeat Lu as well. As a special bonus for all E-J readers, Feng Yun’s compelling commentary on the game is being provided for free (see below). Full members of the AGA get exciting commentaries like this every week, and members can compare games like this one with last week’s commentary, where Ye lost to Chiu, and also see an exciting game between Calvin Sun and Andrew Lu from the USYGC. The game commentaries alone are worth the price of AGA membership. For youth it is an even better deal, just $10 a year! The E-J is providing this game as a freebie, full members can also see another game this week, where Guo Juan 5P reviews a game from a 1 dan player, and highlights how to find urgent points in relation to strong and weak groups on the board. To sign up for the members edition, register with the AGA here. Winner’s Report: 5-7 dan: 1st Place: Aaron Ye, 2nd place: Andrew Lu, 3rd place: Jeremy Chiu, 4th place: Tianyi Liu; 1-3dan: 1st place: Daniel Liu; 1k – 8k: 1st: Eric Liu; 17k – 29k: Mathew Cheng; 13 x 13 board: Adam Tang. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo by Abby Zhang: A triumphant Aaron Ye holds up his trophy.