Former AGA President Phil Straus (l) recently dropped by the Santa Monica Go Club where he played a game with go author, translator — and Santa Monica Go Club member — Richard Dolen.
- photo by Jeffrey Tsao
The upcoming Spring Go Expo, scheduled for March 23-24 in Boston, MA, will now be held at Harvard’s Student Organization Center at Hilles (SOCH) on both days. The event will include a Chinese-American professional exhibition match between Andy Liu 1P and Chang Hao 9P, simultaneous games against professional players, a preview of the first feature-length documentary on go, “The Surrounding Game”, public teaching and demonstrations, a youth go tournament, and lectures on the relevance of go beyond the board.
“We urge everyone in the New England area to try to come to this unique event,” says organizer Cole Pruitt, “especially college students, for whom the ACGA can offer subsidies for travel and stay”. The Go Expo is designed to attract both die-hard players and newcomers alike, with many different kinds of activites throughout the weekend. Click here for the full schedule, as well as registration info; click here for the brand-new Expo flyer.
NJO Results & Standings Posted: Our New Jersey Open report (Andy Liu 1P Wins New Jersey Open 3/3/2013) has been updated to include links to a full NJO tournament report, including prize-winners, and complete tournament standings, including updated ratings and all game results. photo by Rick Mott
AGA Website/Social Media Updates: Liking AGA’s Pair Go Facebook Page: The new AGA Pair Go Facebook page has new photos and urges you to check it out and “Like” it. Go9dan Added: The new go9dan.com server has been added to the AGA’s internet go page; the server’s features include the ability to observe and play multiple games, a teaching game auction, rated and unrated tournaments, and the opportunity to play against professional world go champions.
25% Off Slate & Shell Books: Slate & Shell is having a sale on all its books, publisher Bill Cobb tells the E-Journal. All S&S books are discounted at least 25% on the web site. The sale — which does not include books imported from overseas lasts through 10am EDT Monday March 11.
Guo Juan School Accepting Students: Guo Juan’s Internet Go School is currently accepting enrollment for its online group class for the 2013 second term, beginning on April 13. Participants also receive a 20% discount on annual membership of the school’s pro lectures. The teaching faculty includes Guo Juan 5P, Young Sun Yoon 8P, Jennie Shen 2P, and Mingjiu Jiang 7P.
March 9: Middlebury, VT
Peter Schumer firstname.lastname@example.org 802-388-3934
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The New Jersey Open — held March 2-3 in Princeton, NJ — had a near-record turnout of 114 players. Professionals participated for the first time in the 54-year history of the tournament, and the final round came down to Andy Liu 1P (US, at left) and Ming-ming (Stephanie) Yin 1P (CN, at right), with Andy Liu emerging victorious. This is his second time as NJ State Champion.
“Another highlight of the event was the drawing for the Beginner’s Prize, which has been a feature of the NJO since 1990,” reports organizer Rick Mott. The names of all players 15 kyu and below who completed at least three games were written on index cards, and the newly-crowned New Jersey Champion picked a card at random. This year, the winner was young Audrey Shin, playing in her first tournament. She was much too small to hold the box with a new board, bowls and stones, so it fell to her dad David Shin 4k, who also won a prize as a 4-game winner, to carry it home. “All in all, it was a pretty good day for the Shin family,” said Mott.
- photo by Rick Mott
Jeff Newmiller 1k (right) topped the Davis/Sacramento Go Club tournament last Saturday, March 2, with two wins. There were a total of seven players at the Arden-Dimick library in Sacramento. Cha Tai-An 5k (left), won Division II with a perfect 4 wins.
- Willard Haynes
The American go community lost another longtime friend when Teddy Feldman passed away on Friday, March 1. Feldman — along with her son Micah — has been a familiar sight at go tournaments and events in the Northeast for many years, where she took an obvious delight in sharing the game with friends old and new. The funeral will be in New Jersey on Monday morning.
- photo: Teddy Feldman (l), plays Todd Cesere at the Western Massachusetts Go Club’s Spring 2011 tournament. photo courtesy the MGA
iPad/iPod/iPhone user alert: In “SGFs and iStuff” (2/1/13), I looked at some issues related to viewing sgf files on iPods, iPads and other mobile Apple products. I managed to confuse some readers, so please note that I was referring specifically to apps for mobile devices, not desktop-based software. One reader disagreed at some length with my conclusion favoring Smart Go Kifu (SGK) over EasyGo, so I took a closer look at the two apps. The reader raised some specific questions: What about when you’re recording a game and realize you skipped a pair of moves? How do you place un-numbered stones when setting up a problem? I found that both apps have these functions. He also offered a link to a review from last April with information that is, in some cases, incomplete or inaccurate. SGK actually does keep problem statistics, but only for one user (EasyGo can track multiple users.) SGK only imports one file at a time, but that file can contain many games or problems; just concatenate them into one file on your desktop, using software such as the freeware Kombilo. EasyGo does offer one unique feature — a “time line” type graph that shows where the next comment will be. You can test it in the free version if you like. On the other hand, SGK’s problem collection is better. I’ve been studying a lot of problems lately. I find it is the perfect time filler when you’re waiting in line, riding the train or otherwise briefly idle. If you guess the wrong answer in EasyGo, you get a big red X that tells you to try again. SGK’s response is more thorough. Your wrong move says “1?”, and the other side’s best response appears, so you can play out failed variations and see why they don’t work. (If you don’t even get a “1?”, you know you’re not even close.) When you’re right, your stone says “1!”, but you still have to finish the variation to get credit, and if you go wrong along the way, you’ll get a “?” to let you know, and you can play it out and see why. With so many other features — a playing engine, a collection of 40,000 pro game records and a “Guess Next Move” function , to name a few — SGK still seems clearly worth the higher price. When I’m finished studying SGK’s >2000 problems, I’ll probably pick up EasyGo too, for the problem collection; or I may just get one of the classic problem books that’s available through Smart Go. Or both.
- Roy Laird
The US has won the Brunei Friendship Cup, which was held Saturday Feb. 16th, on KGS. Sponsored by the American Go Honor Society, and the Brunei I-Go Society. “The match revived an earlier tourney last held in 2010, and renewed an international friendship with countries in Southeast Asia,” reports tournament coordinator Andrew Huang. This year’s event featured two teams from Southeast Asia, a team from Canada, and a team from the United States (selected by a qualifying event the prior week). The US team featured Aaron Ye 5d, Jeremy Chiu 5d, Louie Liu 1d, Sathya Singh 1k, Jeremiah Donley 4k, Joshua Song 12k, Eric Liu 3k, Kalin Bradley 6k, and Monsoon Shrestha 8k. In the end, the Americans were victorious after posting a 3-0 record, while SE Asia Team 2 (2-1) got second, SE Asia Team 1(1-2) got third, and Canada (0-3) got fourth. ”Most importantly, some international friendships were made,” reports Huang, “and very exciting games were played (including a triple ko in the qualifying event). We look forward to an even more successful event next year.” Full reports are here. -Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo of Brunei players from xinwengolife.wordpress.com.
Liu Xiaohan 7D (right) won the Bei Dou Xing Cup, the second leg of the recent North American Go Convention, held February 16-17 in Arlington, VA. Zhang Shujian 5D won the Expert division, Feng Wei 6K the Proficient division, Frederick Bao 13K the Intermediate, and Sarah Crites 20K (below left) the Novice.
Zhou Xinyu and Zheng Xiangnan won the Pair Go championship in DC despite handicap disadvantage. Notably, in the Pair Go semi-final, Yukino Takehara teamed up with Benjamin Coplon and bested her big brother Keiju Takahara and partner Ziyi Ge. The Ge/Takahara and Rongrong Zhang/Nathan Epstein pairs took 3rd place. In the NY/NJ NAGC Pair Go, Amy Wang 2D and Justin Ching 3D from the Feng Yun Go School won the final match against Ziyi Ge 4D and Xinzeng Feng 2D. Ge was extremely excited to play Pair Go, saying “It is so much fun, and you can feel the sweetest moment when your partner plays at the exact spot you want it.” Wuhao Jiao/Xinyu Zhou and Yingzhi Qian/ Michael Zhaonian Chen took 3rd places.
Ruxu Cao 7D showed his mastery of Blitz Go, topping the competition in both NAGC chapters. With his star performance and solid support from other teammates, Team Beijing, consisting of just nine visiting players from mainland China, took the NAGC Team champion title. Yuan Zhou directed the DC event; Zhiyuan ‘Edward’ Zhang was “Commissioner and Chief Judge” of the NAGC.
- photos by Joshua Guarino (except top right, by Liang Yu); Pair Go photos: Rongrong Zhang-Nathan Epstein (top left); Xiangnan Zheng-Xinyu Zhou (top right); Yukino Takehara-Benjamin Coplon (bottom left); Keijiu Takehara-Ziyi Ge (bottom right)
Kiseido Digital has begun publishing a new line of interactive go e-books. The first two books cover the eighth and tenth Kisei Title Matches, in 1984 and 1986, and include Go World’s comprehensive commentaries on Cho Chikun’s exciting matches against Rin Kaiho and Koichi Kobayashi.
“Our books differ from other digital go materials in that they can be downloaded from many ebookstores and read on various ebook readers,” says Kiseido Digital’s Bob Myers. Currently, they are available on Apple’s iBookStore, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kobo bookstores.
The Apple versions are fully interactive, meaning that sequences described in the narrative can be animated on the figures and diagrams by tapping them. The Kindle, Nook and Kobo versions are not interactive.
“Kiseido Digital plans to make available additional great content in this format,” Myers adds, “including additional commentaries, problem sets, and tutorials, from both its own library and other publishers.”
Click here for the Apple versions of the books: Tenth Kisei Title Match and Eighth Kisei Title Match. Other versions can be found with a Google search for “Kindle Kisei”; both Apple and Kindle support download of free samples of the books.
by None Redmond: My memories of Don Wiener are filled with his kindness, a tenderness which was rarely seen. I especially remember some years ago when he was one of those in the go community who persuaded me to attend the annual U.S. Go Congress even though my husband Peter — who initiated our family’s involvement with go — had died a few months before and I would be alone. When I arrived in Santa Fe, Don reassured me, got me through the registration line quickly and shepherded me through the maze of buildings to where the children would be playing. It was a wonderful set up for the young people and I was pleased for them. Don became my constant companion during that Congress and I remember that while Michael was playing a simul with the four Redmond Cup finalists, I suddenly thought I saw my husband, young, healthy and vigorous coming in through the door to watch. Don quickly took my arm and led me out to the patio where he stayed and comforted me until I recovered. I remember his own sorrow when a friend of his died and I believe this tenderness of heart may be something that very few of you saw, obscured perhaps by his legendary prowess at the go board. Don was a mensch, an entire man and a good friend. I hope his example brings a gentler side to those of you who compete in this absorbing game. And perhaps a gentler side to all of us. I shall always remember him.
Phil Straus: Don was the last person I allowed to smoke cigarettes in my house. That was probably in the late nineties. I brought out my Chinese swan ashtray, and we played endless handicap games in my office. We’d play one-game kadobans, and he consistently pushed me to embarrassingly high number of stones.
Steven Jamar: One full-board game I played with Don was about a 7-stone handicap. He made an impossible invasion and when I said “You can’t do that!” he replied “if I can’t the handicap is too large.” That one comment taught me a whole new level of detachment to the game and any one result.
Chris Garlock: My favorite and most enduring memory of Don is of those summer evenings at The Woodlands in the Catskills, when Don, after a long day playing game after game on the wrap-around porch out front, would take his seat at the piano inside and play long into the night. His vast repertoire included every Tom Paxton, Harry Chapin and Phil Ochs song and we could stump him with an obscure song request about as often as we could beat him on the go board. Which is to say, almost never.
- photos by Phil Straus
Wenhao Liu 5d (right) topped a 32-player field to win the Twin Cities Winter Go Tournament on February 23. Players ranging from 5-dan to 20-kyu participated in the event, which was cosponsored by the Twin Cities Go Club and the University of Minnesota Go Club. The tentative date for the Twin Cities spring AGA ratings tournament is Saturday, April 20th.
- report/photos by Aaron Broege
Time is running out to register for the American Go Honor Society’s 14th annual School Team Tournament. On March 16th and 23rd, go clubs from across North America will compete online for glory and prizes. Each school may enter up to three teams, consisting of three players of any levels from the same K-12 school. There are multiple divisions, so teams of any level will be able to compete. A total of $3,000 in prizes will be awarded, with prizes in each division, but also to every team that has a high participation rate. Visit www.aghs.cc to register and to read important information about the new rules and prizes. The registration deadline has been extended to March 6th, so gather a team from your school and enter before it’s too late. -Julian Erville, AGHS Vice President.
Fifteen-year-old Andrew Lu 6d has just won the Senior Division of the US Youth Go Championships, dethroning Calvin Sun 7d, age 16, who has had a lock on this event for the past six years. Sun seemed almost sure to win again, emerging from the finals with a perfect record, and defeating Lu (at left) in the final round of the qualifiers. Both boys then started fresh in the four-player double-elimination finals, which began on Jan. 20th. Sun defeated Andrew Huang 6d in round 1, while Lu defeated talented newcomer Albert Yen 6d, who at just 12 years of age is proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Round 2 gave Sun another edge, defeating Lu, while Yen knocked Huang out. Yen then faced Lu a second time, and the victor would go on to face Sun. Although he fought his best, Yen was not able to prevail and was eliminated. This left Lu in the uncomfortable position of being out if he lost a game, but needing to defeat Sun twice in a row in order to win. Despite having lost to Sun in both of their previous matches, Lu was determined to break through. He opened strongly in round 4, on Feb. 16th, and then waged and won a protracted ko fight to claim a decisive victory. The final showdown came Feb 23rd, and again featured a strong opening from Lu. Sun tried to create complications, but in the end was down by komi, and resigned. The game is attached below. To get a sense of just how difficult a player Calvin Sun is to beat, check out the members-only Feng Yun commentary on Lu and Sun’s earlier match up in the qualifiers, where Sun turns the tables on Lu. With this victory under his belt, Lu is now the US National Youth Champion, and has won a free trip to the US Go Congress. The Junior Division matches are not yet finished, but the E-J will report the results when the final games are played. Paul Barchilon - E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Andrew Lu 6d
March 2: Sacramento, CA
Davis/Sacramento Spring Quarterly
Willard Haynes email@example.com 916-929-6112
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The New Jersey Open, to be held at Princeton University in New Jersey March 2-3, will be the second of 2013′s NAMT points qualifiers after January’s Jujo Jiang Ing Goe tournament in San Francisco. A large tournament with a great history of more than half a century, the New Jersey Open is often a draw for strong players “and will be a fantastic opportunity for them to earn points,” notes AGA Tournament Coordinator Karoline Burrall. As the first qualifier for the Eastern region, participating strong players will be eligible to earn points towards the North American Masters Tournament at this year’s US Go Congress in Tacoma, Washington. Registration is 9-10A Saturday, March 3. Email co-director Mott for full details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shi Yue 5P took this year’s LG Cup, and his first international title, defeating Won Soengjin 9P in two straight games in the best-of-3 final.
Shi became a Chinese professional player 10 years ago, but an international title has eluded him until now. Per Chinese Go Association rules, he will now be promoted to 9D.
His style has always fared well against Korean pros, like Won. Shi’s record in 2012 was 17-2.
This marks the 5th consecutive year China has taken the LG Cup title, beating Korea’s previous streak of four, giving Korea even more of an incentive to try to take back the Cup next year.
The Ing Foundation has announced its qualifier tournament for the World Youth Go Championships (WYGC), to be held March 9th and 10th. The new tournament has changed many of the requirements, added new prizes, and created a two step process. The qualifiers will be open to youth under 21, of any strength, and will be held on KGS. Two winners in each age bracket (under 16 and under 12) will be invited to compete live in Menlo Park, CA, for finals on March 22 and 23. The winner will then be invited to compete at the WYGC, which will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, this August. Another addition is the inclusion of a “special recommendation” player, who can be any youth player 3k or stronger, who is recommended by their go club, teacher, or other organization. Details on the tournament, including registration information, can be found in the attached PDF file here: WYGC. The deadline to register is March 3rd. Information on the WYGC tourney in Prague can be found here: WYGC_flyer. - Paul Barchilon, E-J Youth Editor. Photo: Tyn Church in Prague.
I had learned the game from a professor at college, and I knew of two other students who played. One January, back in 1980, the professor taught a month long course on the game. While I did not take the class, I showed up for Don’s visit. After only experiencing the very laid back style of the prof, Don was a seismic shift. His energy was amazing and his laughter infectious. I recall he played the entire class 9×9 games with handicaps. I lacked 9×9 experience, so I was not one of the few winners, but I recall him complimenting my willingness to try to kill him. I failed, but he did not kill me either – I recall the final score was 5 to 2.
Later I would learn that he was one of the strongest players on the East Coast. He was a mainstay of the American Go Journal staff back in those days. I know he was extremely proud of his work on the “Keshi and Uchikomi” series in the Journal, which was later published by Slate and Shell. Like Sam Zimmerman and Chris Kirschner, he was one of those guys who simply showed up at the Go Congress and went to work setting up and helping out wherever he could.
You could call Don the “father of the AGA 7dan”. The US Open — until the second Denver Congress in 2000, I believe — had always had a 5 dan section, and an open section above that, therefore, the AGA’s highest rank was 6 dan. Don argued for years that he was a 6 dan, but that he could not compete with those other 6 dans, and that we should have a 6 dan section, implicitly recognizing a 7 dan rank. My recollection is he got his wish, promptly won the first-ever 6 dan section, and had to play in the Open section the next year anyway.
But my fondest, and given his death from cancer, bittersweet, memories of him were playing games, usually on picnic tables outside at the Go Congresses. Unlike many strong players, Don would play absolutely anyone just so long as they were willing to share his smoker’s exile and put up with his running commentary on the game. Laughing with him in the summer sun are truly some of my brightest Congress memories.
heavy eyebrows laugh and smoke
joyful go exile
- by Keith Arnold; photo by Phil Straus