November 9: Burlington, VT
Three Dragons Emerge from the River Go Tournament
David Felcan email@example.com 802-860-9587
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In the game Destiny once you hit Level 5 you can buy “Snakeline 4.5 gauntlets,” which are “tough, menacing, and I swear- make you unbeatable at Go.” Thanks to Michael Albert for passing this along, though he doesn’t say whether the gauntlets have actually made his go invincible.
Students at the Feng Yun Go School got a special treat last month when Kwon Kapyong 8P paid a visit. “Among other accomplishments, Mr. Kwon was Lee Sedol’s teacher,” reports Paul Matthews on the school’s website. “In fact, almost 20% of all Korean professional players were taught in his school.” Matthews reports that Feng Yun 9P “had a long talk with Mr. Kwon, and offered to help in his efforts to promote go in the United States.” They also discussed differences between teaching young students in Korea and in the United States. Parents in east Asian countries are willing to support their child in putting a lot of time into go study because there are more professional career opportunities there, American parents want to use go as an educational tool to train critical and logical thinking, problem solving, concentration, and good learning habits. The October 3 visit included a friendship match between six of Mr. Kwon’s students and the Parsippany students. Accompanying Mr. Kwon were Kim Young Ran, CEO of the Kwonkapyong International Baduk Academy, Joseph Sung, translator, and Kim Dae Yol, a very strong amateur player and go club entrepreneur in New Jersey.
photo: Kwon Kapyong 8p, Feng Yun 9p, and Joseph Shun are standing; Kim Dae Yol and one of Mr. Kwon’s stronger students are seated in the foreground.Click here to see more photos by Paul Matthews
The Long Island Go Club on October 12 hosted a pizza party (more photos on our Facebook page) thanks to the AGA’s special October free pizza AGA Chapter Offer. AGA chapters in San Diego and the Twin Cities also hosted AGA pizza parties.
Once again, go is providing insights into US/China diplomacy. In the recent US policy of “rebalancing toward Asia,” Michael Spangler, writing in the Summer 2014 issue of Parameters, the US Army War College quarterly, suggests that “Another way to look at this is to imagine a Chinese game of weiqi, the popular Asian game of black-and-white pieces in which two opposing players strive to surround the other. China’s July 2012 establishment of Sansha City on Paracel Island seized by force from Vietnam in 1974 was the precursor of its new weiqi games with the Philippines and Japan.” In “Rebalancing the Rebalance,” Spangler, a visiting fellow at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, adds that “It is key that Manila’s talks not give Beijing any preponderant advantage by isolating or leveraging the Philippines against other disputants. In other words, this weiqi-like diplomatic negotiation can be completed as China’s future negotiation partners consult with each other.”
Thanks to Don Travis, a historian at the War College, and a new go player at the Carlisle Go Club.
On the afternoon of September 21, 2014, Hiraoka Satoshi, three times amateur Honinbo and twice world amateur go champion, found himself facing a neurosurgeon. More precisely, he was facing Osawa Shinichiro, a member of the faculty of the Department of Neurosurgery in the Graduate School of Medicine at Tohoku University. Between them was a go board, and they were about to play the game that would decide which of them would represent Japan at the 2015 World Amateur Go Championship in Thailand.
Hiraoka had been seeded into the 60-player selection knockout and given a bye in the first round, so he reached the final game by defeating only four opponents: a veteran from Chiba, a middle-school student from Fukuoka, an insei from the Kansai Kiin, and Mori Hironobu, another seeded player, who had played in the WAGC in 2007. Dr. Osawa, the amateur meijin of Miyagi, had entered at the first round and downed five opponents, including a former amateur Honinbo and an insei from Nagoya. Those were in addition to the opponents he had beaten in the Miyagi qualifying tournament. His appearance in the final game was no surprise; he has beaten professional opponents in the Agon Cup. The presence of insei among Hiraoka's and Osawa's opponents was a little unusual -- Japanese insei rarely take part in amateur tournaments -- but in any case, none of the insei reached even the semifinal round.
Instead, all four of the semi-finalists were in their thirties or forties, far past insei age. In contrast, the last eight world amateur go champions have all been in their teens or twenties. And none of them have been Japanese. Japan did rather well in the WAGC in the last decade of the 20th century, taking five championships against three for China and two for Korea, but since 2001 Japan has won the WAGC only once, and after Mori's third place in 2007, no Japanese player has finished higher than fifth.
The job of lifting Japan's sagging fortunes will fall to Hiraoka, for he beat Dr. Osawa by 9.5 points. Hiraoka was in his mid-twenties when he first won the WAGC in 1994, and in his mid-thirties when he won it again in 2006. Can the JR freight railwayman win another world championship in his mid-forties, or can he at least restore Japan to a place among the top four? We'll find out next summer.
- James Davies
Cartography is a new map-making, territory claiming, strategy game based on the game of go. Developed by Jon Adams, the game’s map is made up of interlocking triangular tiles, with walls that divide the map, allowing territory to be defended or captured. Players create and claim territory, and capture opponents, in an effort to control the map, which, like go, changes as you play. “Strategy is key and chance doesn’t determine the winner,” says Adams. Like go, “Cartography is easy to learn and challenging to master!” Adams has already raised over $14,000 of his $15,000 Kickstarter campaign to launch the game.
Thanks to Jeff Diamond for passing this along.
Members of the Davis/Sacramento Go Club were featured on the October 19th edition of the local CBS affiliate’s weekend morning show, Good Day. Willard Haynes (far left) gave host Cody Stark a quick tutorial on the game and Steve (at right) and Matthew Burrall were shown playing, as were club members Julie Burrall, Jeffrey Horn, Laura Holeman and Cameron Yu. Click here to see the 2:46m clip.
Michael Basaman and Eric Yang topped a field of 11 at the October 25 Wisonet tournament. The one-day tournament held in the Quakerbridge Learning Center at Lawrenceville, New Jersey and included both “rated and non-rated games, multis, 9×9 and 13×13 games for the youths,” reports assistant director Shen Wan. “Everyone enjoyed the games and the pizza, thanks to AGA’s initiative for free pizza in October,” adds Shen.
Basaman was 3-0 in the dan section and Eric Yang was 4-0 in the kyu section.
With little competition so far for the two open slots, interested university and college students in the Americas have a good shot at getting to compete in the preliminary for the next World Students Go Oza Championship. Application deadline is Nov 16 and applicants must be under the age of 30. Click here for the entry form. Click here to read more (Registration Open for World Students Go Oza Championship 10/22 EJ).