The 2015 edition of the Iwamoto Awards has gone global. “Thanks to internet and social media, the world has become smaller, so we think it is time to invite people on a global scale to submit go promotion projects,” says Harry van der Krogt of the European Go Centre, which organizes the awards, supported by the European Go Federation and the Nihon Ki-in. “So many people are trying so many things these days,” says AGA president Andy Okun, who’s serving on the awards jury. “I think it is great we are giving them rewards, encouragement and incentives to keep to at it.” Now called the World Wide Iwamoto Awards, the contest – with €2,000 in prizes — is named in honor of Iwamoto Kaoru, who devoted much of his career to promoting go around the world. The goal is to motivate go players “to think about how go can be promoted,” organizers say, so that “through the gathering and exchange of ideas it can lead to a higher quality of popularization of go all over the world.” A top prize of €1,000 will be awarded, and two “encouragement” prizes of €500 each will also be awarded; click here to see examples of previous winners. Deadline for submitting proposals is June 1, 2015; click here for criteria/rules and to apply online.
The 2014 American Go Foundation College Scholarship winners are Amy Su of Bridgewater, New Jersey and Leon Lei of Bardonia, New York, AGF President Terry Benson announced. “We had nine applicants this year, more than ever, and all of them worthy candidates,” Benson said. “For the first time, students included school-related assignments as part of their applications; one winner’s paper was favorably received at a regional competition. Another applicant tried to measure the impact of go instruction on school performance. It’s great to see students exploring the mathematical, psychological and other intricacies of go in their schoolwork.”
The AGF awards two scholarships of $1000 each year to ” high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the Go community,” according to the AGF website. College-bound US citizens are encouraged to apply in the fall by submitting an application form and an essay; the scholarships are awarded in November.
Amy Su 5D of Bridgewater NJ was already an experienced tournament competitor when at age 12 she “decided to change my relationship with go. Instead of playing for my own satisfaction, I chose to devote my time to teaching others about the game, to give them a chance to discover the art, and for me to pass on my enthusiasm for the game. I learned to teach by watching my mother [Feng Yun 9P] teach at her go school.” After starting go classes in two different Chinese schools, Amy became active in The American Go Honor Society, where she is now serving as Promotion Head. “Teaching Go [has] given me leadership, mentoring, and speaking skills,” Amy wrote in her essay. “It taught me patience, and how to encourage others to learn. As a student, it taught me how to think and use logic. It changed me as a thinker, a dreamer, an artist.”
Leon Lei 10K learned go at the The Huaxia Chinese School in White Plains, NY from Ms. Tang Jie 4D. After bitterly grieving his early losses, Leon “realized that much more can be gained from a lost game than an excess pile of teardrops,” going on to win his school’s tournament two years in a row. ” When he graduated from Chinese school, which had grown to more than 40 students, he stayed on as an assistant teacher, while also starting a club at his high school. He also submitted a paper, “Go and Mathematics”, to The Greater New York Math Fair, where it gained entry into the second round of competition. Leon explored the question of how to calculate the number of possible go games, noting that it is far larger than commonly thought. Many calculations only consider the number of possible arrangements of stones on the board, but he noted that the stones can also appear in any order; any single ending position accounts for thousands of possible games. Leon’s paper and other school-friendly resources are available on the AGF’s Lesson Plan Cooperative.
The AGF College Scholarship recognizes high school students who have served as important youth organizers and promoters for the Go community. Juniors and seniors who plan to attend college and believe they meet the criteria are encouraged to apply by November 1 of each year. Scholarships may be awarded to one male and one female applicant based on merit. “If we continue receiving so many applications of such high quality, we may need to increase the budget for scholarships,” Benson said. — reprinted from SENSEI: The American Go Foundation Newsletter. Click here to read other issues of Sensei. Subscribe for free at the bottom of this page.
“When I was reading the book ‘Chess Secrets I learned from the Masters,’ Edward Lasker’s semi-autobiographical book, I found that weiqi/go is mentioned in the introduction and in the middle of the book,” writes Xinming Simon Guo. “To my surprise, his go story covers two and half pages in the 6-page introduction.” Lasker and a friend had learned go’s rules from a magazine. “To our amusement, the game was called a ‘competitor’ of chess,” Lasker writes. “But on closer examination we found the statement was well-founded, and we played Go at the slightest provocation.”
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Hinoki Press founder Chris Greene died last Friday. Greene, who had cancer, died at home in Libertyville, Illinois. He is survived by his wife, Vicky, and his daughters, Melissa and Elizabeth. “I was lucky enough to work with Chris doing a little copy editing on some of Hinoki’s books, and found him to be a gentleman and a friend to the go community,” said AGA president Andy Okun. “The books he published represent a lasting contribution to the game and its enjoyment.”
A long-time go player, Greene started the go book publishing company in 2006 after retiring from his career as a programmer and published 18 go books before selling it late last year to Go Game Guru (Go Game Guru Buys Hinoki Press, Will Keep Titles in Print 11/12/2014 EJ). “Chris made an immense contribution to the body of English language go literature in a relatively short time,” said Go Game Guru’s David Ormerod. “He was incredibly modest about his achievements and stoic about his illness. When I last spoke to him, on Thursday, he was primarily concerned that the material that he’d worked hard to have translated and published in English remain available to future generations of go players. His motto for Hinoki Press was, ‘always carry a go book in your hand.’ We will miss our friend and fellow go player and will do everything we can to honor his wishes.”
After a long period of low attendance, things are looking up for the Evanston Go Club. “The new location has sparked a lot of interest” says clubpresident Mark Rubenstein. “We started meeting at the new Starbucks in downtown Evanston (IL), and the response has been fantastic. Customers are showing an interest in the game, and we’re teaching more beginners than ever! This week I was setting up a board and stones at an empty table. I went to get my opponent, and when I returned I saw that two college students had sat down at the board and started playing Go Moku. They didn’t even know about the club!” Check out the club’s website for more information.
photo by Mark Rubenstein
The E-Journal is seeking a new European go news editor. Current European go news editor Annalia Linnan is taking a well-deserved break after two years of consistently excellent work. The volunteer position is responsible for editing reports from EuroGoTV and other sources; editing experience is helpful but not required. Those interested may email email@example.com.
Register by February 28 and you’ll save 5000 yen (about $40) on Maeda Ryo 6P’s 3-week intensive go camp in Osaka, which runs June 28 through July 18. Osaka Go Camp activities include intensive training by Kansai Kiin professionals, the opportunity to play go at the Kiin with professionals, play against top amateurs and former inseis, as well as sightseeing, cultural trips and making new go friends. The camp is sponsored by Kansai Kiin and the Osaka University of Commerce. Email Osaka.firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or to reserve your space.
Tim Kington, a software engineer at Fog Creek Software and 2-dan amateur go player, talks about go, Artificial Intelligence and attempts to create computer programs that can beat human players in “Go and Artificial Intelligence – Tech Talk,” produced for his Fog Creek colleagues. Kington gives an overview of go, explains how to play it and why go AI is hard. He finishes by describing the progress so far with go AI programs and what the future is likely to hold. The post includes a handy guide to the talk’s content and timing so viewers can jump to the area of interest, as well as a written transcript.
“On your site, you’ve posted a poem about go by Jorge Luis Borges, and asked about his connection to the game (Go Spotting: Jorge Luis Borges on “the astrological game of Go” 10/1/2012 EJ),” writes Scott Enderle. “I am not currently aware of any direct connection, but I think it’s worth mentioning that Borges’ writings explored the idea of combinatorial explosion more deeply than perhaps any literary writer before or since. His story The Library of Babel is a particularly notable example — there’s a fairly recent book about the mathematics behind it, William Goldbloom Bloch’s The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel (click here for a review). So the connection as I see it is more conceptual than historical. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Borges never actually played the game, but I imagine that he was immediately able to intuit some vague sense of its beauty because of his fascination with other sources of combinatorial complexity.”
The Go Blog @thegoblognet recently tweeted some stills from the Korean go film “The Stone” (Go Spotting: New Korean Movie “The Stone” 11/28/2013 EJ). #baduk #weiqi #igo #囲碁 #바둑 #围棋 #gogame #moviestills ift.tt/1C98g3g .